Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tofu "Scallops" in Ginger Garlic Cream Sauce

This was inspired by a staple dish on the menu of a local seafood restaurant, where we often go for veggie sushi. By substituting tofu "scallops" for the brethren of the unfortunate bivalve pictured above, I whipped up a dinner that felt sort of fancy, despite being super easy. A Google search for "ginger garlic cream sauce" revealed a number of recipes, and aside from the butter and cream - easily exchanged for vegan analogues - it was very simple to create with things that were already in my kitchen. (I think this would also be good with scallops made from king oyster mushrooms, and am hoping to try that when I can lay my hands on some.) Anyway, grating the ginger was the most time-consuming part of the process, and it made the house smell like absolute heaven, so who's complaining? In fact, the one thing I'll say is that you really should use fresh ginger for this; the jarred stuff is all very good in a pinch, but the real deal adds the brightness and kick that make this taste like Special Occasion Food. We served it over rice pilaf, with some glazed carrots on the side, but it would be equally nice with couscous, quinoa, or even a simple pasta. 

Tofu "Scallops" in Ginger Garlic Cream Sauce
The Tofu
~ 1 lb firm or extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
~ 1 cup vegetable broth
~ Juice of 1 lemon
~ 2 tbsp. freshly grated ginger
~ 1 tbsp. each: olive oil, minced garlic
~ 2 large, firm apples, cut into chunks
~ Cooking spray

~ Slice the pressed tofu in half horizontally, then cut into "scallop"-size pieces; I got a dozen from a 1 lb. package of Nasoya. (You could use a round cookie cutter if you want to go for scallopy verisimilitude, but bear in mind that you'll have fewer pieces.) Place the "scallops" in a shallow bowl or baking dish.
~ Whisk together the broth, lemon juice, ginger, olive oil, and garlic. Pour over the tofu pieces, flip to coat with the marinade, and then cover and refrigerate for at least an hour (the longer the better).
~ Reserving the tofu marinade, coat a large skillet with cooking spray, and fry the tofu over medium heat until browned on all sides (turn it over frequently to make sure it doesn't stick). Remove the cooked tofu to a plate and set aside.
~ Add the apple to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, until just lightly browned. Add them to the plate with the tofu while you make...

The Sauce
~ 2 tbsp. Earth Balance or other vegan margarine
~ 3 tbsp. freshly grated ginger
~ 2 tbsp. minced garlic
~ 2 tbsp. flour
~ 1 tsp. salt
~ 1/4 tsp. turmeric
~ 2 cups plain, unsweetened soy milk
~ Reserved tofu marinade
~ 2-3 scallions, sliced thin 

~ In the same skillet, melt the margarine over medium-low heat. Add the ginger and the garlic, and cook for a bout minute, until fragrant.
~ Add the flour, the salt, and the turmeric, and stir to make a roux.
~ Raise the heat to medium, and begin adding the milk and reserved marinade, whisking to prevent lumps.
~ Continue cooking for 5-10 minutes, until just beginning to thicken. 
~ Add the scallions, the tofu, and the apples, and stir to coat. 
~ Continue cooking about 5 minutes more, and serve hot over rice, or the grain of your choice.

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