Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tofu Steaks with Red Wine-Mushroom Sauce and Mashed Grilled Potatoes

Tonight, I thought I'd do something I don't often offer on this blog - a full meal, as opposed to one component of it. For that reason, I definitely don't recommend this recipe for beginners, because you need to manage all three components at once - the mashed potatoes, the tofu, and the sauce!

For the potatoes: Peel 2 pounds of baking potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces. Cut a large (18x12-inch) sheet of aluminum foil, and coat the foil with cooking spray. Place the potatoes in the center, along with 6 peeled garlic cloves. Gather up the edges of the foil and tightly seal to form a pouch. Pierce the pouch with a fork several times, then place on a grill rack or indoor grill pan over medium heat and grill for about 30 minutes. Turn the pouch occasionally so the potatoes grill evenly on all sides.

Unfortunately, my pouch opened up towards the end of cooking, and my potatoes spilled out. This was less of a problem since I was using an indoor grill pan, so I simply finished them off directly on the pan. But be careful if you are using an outdoor grill, because your potatoes would fall through the cracks!

Once grilled, transfer to a large bowl, and combine with 1/2 cup plain soy milk (such as Silk), 1/4 cup vegan sour cream (such as Tofutti's Better Than Sour Cream), 1 tablespoon vegan butter (such as Earth Balance), 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Mash to desired consistency, then set aside and keep warm.

Here's where I encountered a rather vexing problem: I think because I was using an indoor grill pan, my potatoes weren't tender enough. I was running out of time, so I dumped the whole mashed potato mixture into a saucepan and simmered, covered, for about 10 minutes, hoping to soften the potatoes enough for mashing that way. They still were not quite as tender as I hoped, so I guess my "desired consistency" tonight was rather lumpy!

Now for the tofu: Cut a 14-ounce package of firm tofu into 4 slices, lengthwise. Place a sheet of aluminum foil on a baking sheet, and coat with cooking spray. Place the tofu slices on the foil, then lightly coat the tops with cooking spray. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes (the ideal time to do so is while the potatoes are grilling!).

Cool the tofu slightly, then sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. dried thyme (use 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme, if you prefer), and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Grill - whether indoors or out! - for 3 minutes on each side.

While those two elements are underway, prepare the sauce! Heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots and cook for 1 minute. Add 3 cups sliced cremini mushrooms, 3 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps, and 1 (4-ounce) portobello mushroom cap, cut into 1-inch pieces. Cook for 6 minutes - the liquid that the mushrooms release should be absorbed by the end.

Remove the mushroom mixture from the pan and set aside. Add 1 and 1/2 cups dry vegan red wine of your choice to the pan; bring to a boil, then continue to cook until reduced to about 3/4 cup - it will take about 4 minutes.

Measure out 1 cup of water. Take 1 tablespoon of that water, and mix it together in a separate bowl with 1 tablespoon red miso. Add the miso mixture, the rest of the water, the mushroom mixture, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper to the reduced wine; return to a boil, then continue to cook until the entire mixture equals 2 cups. The original recipe said this would take about 4 minutes, but as with previous recipes in which I have to reduced liquid, I found that I needed about double that - closer to 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons chopped parsley to the sauce at the end of cooking.

Now pull it all together! Serve 1 tofu steak with 1 cup of mashed potatoes and 1/2 cup of the mushroom sauce. Each serving is 460 calories.

baking potatoes $2.11
firm tofu $2.39
cremini mushrooms $2.75
shiitake mushrooms $7.89
portobello mushroom $3.49
red miso $4.99

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy http://www.wholesoyco.com/
  • Vegan milk - Silk http://www.silksoymilk.com/
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia http://www.sunergiasoyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods http://www.galaxyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G http://www.ener-g.com/
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance http://www.earthbalance.net/product.html