Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Buffalo Tofu Tenders

Since Adam and I are moving soon, I am on a mission to use up all the "stuff" we have accumulated food-wise, before we go. You know the "stuff" I mean. Condiments used only once. A forgotten marinade. That tabouleh kit in the cabinet. That Siracha you bought on a whim. Items I have put off using but whose time has come.

On Sunday night I was thinking about our dinners for the week when I decided tofu would be in order for Monday. So I set about pressing it so it would be ready to prepare the next day. I recently learned about pressing tofu from Jenny and her boyfriend Eric and it has made a world of difference in my tofu eating life. My new method is to buy extra firm tofu, wrap it in paper towel and place it in a strainer over a large pot. Then I place small plate on the tofu and balance 4 large cans on the plate. I let it sit there for about 3-4 hours. You would be amazed how much water comes out of a little tofu steak! And all that water you press out makes the tofu that much more firm, more meat-like in texture and more able to get crispy (yum!) when cooked.

So as the tofu was pressing I was like, what to do with this? A stirfry? Maybe grill it and toss it on a salad? I peered into the fridge, gazing at at the contents of the door when my eyes fell upon this:

A ha! Now things are getting interesting. I thought it would be fun to try and buffalo some tofu and so with that, Buffalo Tofu with Cucumber Dipping Sauce was born.

Why cucumber dipping sauce? Because I have approximately on million cucumbers in my crisper and I will be damned if any of them are going to waste. Plus, the cooling effects of a cuke would pair lovely with the buffalo heat! I also made a lovely and refreshing corn and cucumber salad which complimented it beautifully (and also helped in my No Cucumber Left Behind endeavor)

SO here is the super easy, super delicious recipe. You will want to start it the night before, then when you come home from work the next day it's really easy to throw together. If you love buffalo wings, you will love these.

Buffalo Tofu Tenders
1 package of extra firm tofu, pressed and drained and cut into fingerlings
1/4 cup Ken's Buffalo marinade (or you could make your own of course) + 2 tbsp
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
3-4 tbsp vegetable oil

Cucumber Dipping Sauce
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup fat free cottage cheese
1 tbsp Smart Balance mayo
1/2 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Cucumber and Corn Salad
2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded and sliced
Kernels from 2 ears of roasted/cooked corn
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup vinegar (whichever kind you like, I used rice wine)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Combine all the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl. Mix well, cover tightly and chill for several hours/overnight.

Next, place your pressed and sliced tofu into a plastic bag with the marinage. Make sure the tofu is fully covered and chill for at least 24 hours.

The next day when you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350.

Place the oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Meanwhile mix the flour and spices. Dredge each tofu fingerling in the flour, ensuring it's well coated. Cook in the oiled pan about 2-3 minutes a side until crisp then remove from heat. Place the buffalo tenders in a shallow pan (I used a pie plate) and brush the remaining 2 tbsp marinade over them. Bake at 350 for about 5 minutes.

While they are baking combine all the indredients for the sauce in the blender. Blend until smooth.

A delicious, meat free summery meal!


Jenny said...

"No Cucumber Left Behind endeavor" literally made me laugh out loud!

This recipe sounds delish, but I'm always hesitant to use tofu, as I've never been a fan... I bet it'd be great with chicken though! ;)

Caitlin said...

Sarah, this sounds magical! Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to try it.