Thursday, July 30, 2009

Breast of Tofu + Cilantro-Avocado Potato Salad

Two of my absolute favorite dishes of all time in one outstanding meal! Bryanna Clark Grogan's Breast of Tofu and Emeril Lagasse's Cilantro-Avocado Potato Salad. Eating this, I felt blessed that there are such things on this planet as tofu, potatoes, and avocados, and such amazingly wonderful cooks as Bryanna and Emeril.

I'll provide the recipes and the links. These recipes are perfect as is. I don't change a thing!

Bryanna's "Breast of Tofu"
by Bryanna Clark Grogan

They can be pan-fried plain on a nonstick skillet, or coated with Seasoned Flour (see below) and shallow-fried to make a crispy "skin" that is delectable hot or cold.

1 1/2 to 2 lbs extra-firm or pressed tofu
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
2 tsp dried sage leaves, crumbled (or 2 tbsp fresh, chopped)
1/2 tsp dried rosemary (or 1/2 tbsp fresh)
1/2 tsp dried thyme (or 1/2 tbsp fresh, chopped)
1/2 tsp onion powder

Prepare the marinade by mixing all of the ingredients together in a (at least 5-cup) container with a tight lid. Slice the tofu about 1/4" thick and place in the marinade so that it is covered with liquid. Cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks, shaking daily.

Coat the slices with Seasoned Flour (below).

Heat about 1 tbsp neutral cooking oil (like canola) in a heavy bottomed skillet (cast iron, hard-anodized, or heavy nonstick) over medium heat (no hotter). When the oil is good and hot, add the slices and cook (watching carefully) until golden brown and crispy on the bottom. Turn the slices over and cook the other side until golden and crispy. The medium heat works really well when frying things crispy in less oil than usual.

Bryanna's Seasoned Flour

Mix together:
2 cups wholewheat, or other wholegrain, flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder, optional
freshly-ground black pepper to taste

Zoa's note: After they were cooked, I lifted the slices out of the pan, and then deglazed it with 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice and approximately 1 tbsp rinsed capers and cooked it for about 30 seconds. The resulting sauce was piquant and awesome!

Avocado-Cilantro Potato Salad
by Emeril Lagasse

2 lbs potatoes, peeled, small diced, and cooked in boiling salted water until tender, drained
1/3 cup finely minced red onions
1 tbsp minced garlic
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 firm-ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp minced jalapeno
1 ounce cilantro, leaves picked and finely chopped

Combine potatoes, onions, and garlic in a large bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 3 turns pepper. Add olive oil, tossing to coat. Add the avocados, lime juice, jalapenos, and cilantro, and toss well to combine. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Zoa's note: You don't have to refrigerate this for 1 minute before serving, as I can attest, but even half a recipe makes quite a bit and I had leftovers for lunch today and they were still great.

I served all this with some baby salad greens lightly sautéed in a little olive oil and garlic. Yes, you can cook them. Yes, I do it all the time.

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