Sunday, May 29, 2011

Grilled Tofu with a Honey Chipotle Barbecue Sauce - Smokin' sweet

Tofu is the go-to protein option for vegans and vegetarians. Of course, vegetarians do have paneer, which gets more and more popular each day. Being a lacto-vegetarian, I indulge in this fat laden hunk of cheese quite often. A smal two by two inch piece can have as many as three hundred calories, most of them saturated fat. Think of that the next time you enjoy your paneer dishes.

Getting back to the point, tofu is healthy soy protein and tastes great - it mostly takes on the taste of any marinade or sauce you dump it in. I made a barbeque sauce a few weeks ago exactly following the Neelys' recipe from food network, and it was pretty mean. I decided to give it a slight twist, adding smoky chipotle peppers, and using honey as the main sweetener. I marinated the tofu in spices similar to what went into the barbecue sauce, and set it aside while I made my potatoes and the sauce. The recipe itself is pretty simple and you can add some variations as needed, or adjust the spice level to your taste. You can use dry chipotle peppers, canned ones in adobo sauce, or just a spice mix. I used Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle spice mix. I like these spices because they are sodium free, and I can add as much spice as I want, and still add salt to my taste.

I served the grilled tofu with mashed potatoes. I would have liked to add some broccoli or green beans, but I was out of them that day. The recipe follows -

Ingredients -

1 - 2 boxes extra firm tofu

2-3 cloves garlic

1 Tbsp onion powder

1 Tbsp Mrs. Dash chipotle blend

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp oil

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp cayenne pepper or tabasco/pepper sauce

1 tsp honey

For the Sauce -

Half cup ketchup

2 cloves garlic

1 Tbsp onion powder

1 tsp dry celery

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

salt and pepper

1-2 Tbsp Mrs.Dash Chipotle blend (powdered dry chipotle or chipotles in adobo optional)

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup natural honey

1 tsp cornstarch if needed to thicken

Method -

1) Wa

sh and drain the tofu. You can take one or two boxes depending on the number of people, or to make extra batches for later. This tofu will refrigerate or freeze well, and will be great chopped up in a sandwich or wrap.

2) Combine all the spice ingredients in a wide bowl and mix well. Add some water to make a thick paste.

3) Cut the tofu in triangles or steaks of about half inch thickness. This will ensure that the flavors of the marinade seep in.

4) Place the tofu slices in the bowl and gently spoon the whole mixture over the tofu so that all the pieces are drenched in the spicy marinade. Cover and set aside.

5) Heat a dab of butter or 1/2 tsp oil in a sauce pan and gently saute the chopped garlic cloves until they change color. Mix all other sauce ingredients and add them to this sauce pan.

6) Stir occasionally and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the sauce thickens and develops a glaze. Use corn flour or cornstarch to thicken the sauce to your liking.

7) Heat a non stick pan and brush with oil or spray. Place the tofu slices on the pan and brown from all sides on medium heat.

8) To serve - Place a scoop or two of mashed potatoes on your plate. Place 2-3 grilled tofu slices on the potatoes and drizzle with sauce. The sauce is pretty spicy and pungent, so you need to go slow with it.

9) The honey chipotle flavored sauce has a lot of flavors - spice from the onion and garlic, sweetness of the ketchup and honey, smoky flavor and the heat from however much chipotle spice you added.

This is a healthy and filling sumptuous meal when served with some green veggies, and falls right in with my other favourite comfort foods. I hope you try this simple dish that does not need a lot of effort.

No comments: