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…

Around the World in 40 Lentils

I've always wondered about the whole fusion thing they're always going on about on various food network programs. There are no such style restaurants around here. They're all just one cuisine at a time.

But I took it upon myself to give some fusion a try in my own kitchen. Mostly just because I love ginger so gosh darn much. I'd pretty much put that stuff in anything at all. I love the smell. I love the taste. I even love the name.

My fusion was an admittedly odd confluence. It was cajun/asian/mexi and little bit of kosher. I know. I know. What the? But honest to goodness, it came out tasting great. Yes, I was shocked by this. Some of the best lentils I've ever eaten. And I've eaten a lot of lentils. The very reason I'm writing this post is so I can replicate the dish in the future. I don't want to forget how I did it.

1/2 cup dry lentils
1/4 pearl barley
1/4 cup kosher garlic pickle juice
6 cloves minced garlic
1 cup frozen collard greens
1/2 can mexicorn
1 small finger finely grated ginger
3 tbls cajun spice mix
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsps butter
water as needed

Add your pickle juice, 1 cup water, 1 tbl of the cajun spice, your lentils and your barley to a large pot. cover and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

Add your collards, another tbl of the cajun spice and another 1/2 water. Allow to simmer 5 minutes longer.

Add your garlic.

Taste your lentils and barely to determine if more water is required. Add water in 1/4 cup increments until they are the texture you desire.

When your lentils and barley are where you want them kill the heat, but leave the pot on the hot burner. Add your butter, corn (including some of the liquid) and grate in the fresh ginger. Stir and cover. Let sit 2 more minutes.

Add your ground ginger. Stir. Taste and add more of the cajun spice if desired until it's just right for you.

It sounds crazy, but it tastes great.