Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tofu Benedict

This might be, quite honestly, the best brunch dish I've ever made, and I don't make such claims lightly. It may have had something to do with the first day of my spring break being a bright, sunny Saturday; combined with the absence (albeit temporary) of immediately pressing projects demanding my attention, an elaborate, multi-step brunch seemed like a great idea.

Initially, I thought this would keep me in the kitchen for ages - a proposition with which I was perfectly cool, since we had A. all the time in the world, and B. cheap "champagne" and OJ for mimosas - but in the event it all came together pretty fast. If you plan ahead, you can marinate the tofu the night before, and have both it and the tempeh baking while you make the sauce, steam the asparagus, etc. Even if you're like me, and are not especially organized, it was still done in under an hour, so no worries.

With spring on the way at last, beautiful asparagus will be appearing more frequently - and at less expense - so why not take advantage of it, and whip up some Tofu Benedict the next time you have a lazy morning at home? (For that matter, this dish would make a good dinner, too; the recipe below makes a generous quantity of sauce, so go ahead and ladle it over some extra asparagus, roasted potatoes, your dining companion, or whatever!)

Tofu Benedict
The Tofu
~ 1 lb. extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
~ 1 cup vegetable broth
~ 1 tbsp. soy sauce
~ 1 tbsp. olive oil
~ 1 tsp. hot sauce
~ 1 tsp. each: paprika, garlic powder, curry powder
~ 1/2 tsp. turmeric (optional, for color)

~ Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
~ Cut the tofu into 4 rectangles, then carefully slice each rectangle in half horizontally, so you have 8.
~ In a shallow pan or bowl, mix all the remaining ingredients together, then place the tofu in the mixture. Flip the tofu over to coat, and marinate at least 1/2 an hour (the longer the better), flipping occasionally so as much marinade is absorbed as possible.
~ Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray, and arrange the marinated tofu on it. Bake for 20 minutes, turning over at the halfway point. If you like, you can spoon on a bit of the leftover marinade every so often as it's baking.
~ Remove from oven and set aside.

The Hollandaise
~ 3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked and drained
~ Juice of 1 lemon
~ 1 cup plain, unsweetened soy (or other non-dairy) milk
~ 1 cup vegetable broth
~ 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
~ 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
~ 1 tsp. each: salt, dry mustard
~ Dash turmeric (for color)
~ A few grinds of black pepper
~ 2 tbsp. Earth Balance
~ 2 tbsp. flour
~ 1.5 tsp. tarragon

~ In a food processor, combine all but the last 3 ingredients (EB, flour, and tarragon). Blend thoroughly until smooth.
~ In a saucepan, melt the margarine over low heat Aed the tarragon, saute briefly, then add the flour to make a roux.
~ Raise the heat to medium, then begin gradually adding the blended cashew mixture, stirring continually.
~ Cook about 5-7 minutes, continuing to stir, until heated through and thickened; if it gets too thick, add a little plain soy (or other) milk to thin it out to the consistency you like.

The Other Stuff
~ 4 English muffins, split and lightly toasted
~ 1 big bunch of asparagus, steamed until just bright green
~ 1 package tempeh bacon, cooked according to directions
~ 1 lb. mushrooms, sliced and sauteed in olive oil with a little salt and tarragon (optional, but awesome)

The Assembly
~ Lightly spread muffin halves with margarine, then top each one with the following, in this order: tofu slice, bacon, asparagus, hollandaise (be generous!), mushrooms.
~ Serve immediately, ideally with a Bloody Mary or mimosa, and some roasted potatoes on the side.

1 comment:

  1. Spring YES!
    Cheap asparagus YES!
    Tofu Benedict YES! YES! YES!

    Looks delish and the PPK'ers would like the cheap asparagus comment.