Spicy Barbecue Tofu

Tofu tends to get a bad rap. If it's not prepared properly it can feel like eating an old sponge and taste of absolutely nothing. On the other hand, when treated well, tofu can be a scrumptious treat for the senses as well as powerful nourishment for the body.

I first fell in love with tofu through my local Chinese takeout. They have deep fried tofu with sauteed vegetables. Deep fried tofu has the perfect chewy exterior and pillowy soft center. It tastes of all the vegetables, oil and soy sauce from the wok.

I've experimented with cooking tofu at home. I don't really deep fry. But there are other great ways to prepare tofu as a main protein. I like to broil it. I use a classic meat eaters method to give it flavor. I brush it with a glaze before and mid cooking. It works brilliantly both in terms of flavor and texture.

It's totally vegan.

1 package extra firm tofu
4 tbls olive oil
2 tbls hot sauce
2 tbls sriracha
1 tbl apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp…

Unfried Fries

Sometimes when I have a few potatoes left over after having roasted off most of the 5 lb bag I'll try out new things on the remainder. Finely diced potatoes slowly cooked in a saute pan are easy and pretty good. I've mentioned them in other posts.

Once or twice I've given matchstick potatoes a try.

I've learned the trick is to cook them to almost burnt. You'll get a texture and flavor similar to a french fry, but without the added fat of deep frying.

Cut your raw potatoes into 1/4 thick by 2-4 inch long matchsticks.

Heat a very large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Lubricate it with a teaspoon of your favorite oil. Make sure the oil is pretty hot before adding your potatoes. Heat the oil at least 1-2 minutes.

Add potatoes to loosely fill the pan. Sprinkle with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Cover and cook for about 7 minutes. Then turn as best you can to make sure the other sides get browned the same.

Season with fresh ground black pepper.

Try a potato stick after 10 minutes. If they are almost done, remove the lid and continue cooking. Your goal is to get the potatoes evenly browned on as many sides as possible.

Keep cooking the potatoes until you're sure they're about to burn. Then remove form the heat. Cook in batches. Don't overcrowd the pan.

If you brown the potatoes enough on the outside, the result will be a crisp texture with a lightly soft interior.

Add additional salt and pepper when finished. Some dill is also nice. Rub the dill between your fingers as you sprinkle it over the potatoes to release all of the flavor.

While they're not genuine french fries they have a similar texture and taste and way less fat and calories.