I’ve been feeling a little restless in the kitchen lately; actually, to be fair, I’ve been feeling a little restless in general. I’ve got a tonne of stuff on my plate right now and for whatever reason, whenever I have several projects on the go, I always get this feeling that I need to make more changes in my life and create more challenges…what a sick feeling, huh?! Well, whenever this feeling roots itself deep in my being, I immediately turn to the kitchen…creating/trying something new in the culinary world always helps me to feel at ease, as well as gives me a small sense of accomplishment.
Lately, I’ve been craving a lot of tofu…I can’t get enough of that chewy white sponge! However, I’m so over the Italian marinade from Veganomicon. Don’t get me wrong, I lovelovelove that recipe; but, I’ve also been making it weekly since I bought the cookbook. I’ve been wanting something new…something different and exciting and a whole new taste experience. This thinking led me to the idea of a “buttermilk” marinade. There are several styles of cuisine that have recipes for milk-based marinades for various meats and I figured, why can’t I use one for the original vegan meat? I didn’t even bother researching for a reference recipe; I wanted to be inspired entirely by what was in my very own kitchen (another little challenge I enjoy giving myself…especially on the day before grocery day…let’s all say it together now: nerd).
I set out thinking that I wanted the meal to have a nostalgic flair; a very post-war era style dinner using cheap, simple ingredients; so, instead of running out for fresh herbs, I pulled out a selection of dried ones for the marinade instead. Once I had stirred together what I felt was the perfect blend of ingredients, I gently laid the pale triangles of protein down in the dish, keeping my fingers crossed that the tofu would bake nicely and develop a pleasing, simple flavour.
The result? Success! At least to Husband and I…we both welcomed the change of flavour with gluttonous abandon! There was a slightly sweet tang to the tofu. The dried herbs provided a really great background of aromatics, and the tiny clove of garlic I added to the marinade offered just a hint of garlicky depth to the baked tofu.
“Buttermilk” Herb Tofu
-1 cup soymilk
-1 tsp. lemon juice
-1 T. grainy mustard
-1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
-2 T. nutritional yeast
-1/2 tsp. each dried thyme, parsley, mint
-1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
-1 pkg. extra firm tofu, drained and sliced into roughly 1/2″ slices
Stir together the milk and lemon juice in a large, shallow dish. Set aside to curdle while you prepare the tofu and other ingredients. Add the mustard, garlic, nutritional yeast, herbs, and pepper to the milk mixture. Stir together. Lay the tofu slices in the marinade. Cover and chill for 1-2 hours. Flip the tofu over and continue marinating for an additional 1-2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lay the tofu slices on a foil-lined baking sheet, gently shaking off the excess marinade. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip the tofu and bake for 10 minutes more, until the tofu is browned on both sides.
We had ours with simple baked potatoes and those little guys down there.
Aren’t they just stunning? They really are a true work of art…I might actually make a print of that photo to add to my growing collection of food close-ups. Brussels sprouts have got to be one of my all-time favourite vegetables…I loved them even as a small child! My favourite way to eat them is roasted with nothing but a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. I usually leave mine in the oven a little longer than I have to; I adore when the outermost leaves of the sprouts get really crispy…it reminds me of kale chips and makes my belly very, very happy.
I think this satiated my need to do a little kitchen creating…at least for a couple of days. I go on vacation next week and have big plans involving me, my polka dot apron, and my iPod. We have a date to do a little recipe testing…