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…

Sweet and Spicy Baby Pepper and Coconut Curry

1/2 lb fire roasted red, orange, yellow baby bell peppers, diced
1 lb broiled roma tomatoes, peeled
3 broiled sweet corn cobs
1/3 cup sauvigion blanc
2 tbl olive oil
1/2 can coconut milk
3 cloves sliced garlic
1 tbl diced jalapeno/serrano mix
3 chili de arbol, seeds discarded, broken up into small pieces
1/2 cup dry white rice
1 can pinto beans
1 tsp each turmeric, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, crushed pepper flakes, salt, black pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Move an oven rack to a slot two below the closest to the top of the oven. Add tomatoes to a sheet pan. Put shucked corn directly on oven rack. Roast tomatoes and corn at 400 F for 10 minutes. Switch to low broil and let cook 5 more minutes. Remove tomatoes from oven. Switch to high broil and continue cooking corn another 10 minutes.

Peel tomatoes skins with a tongs. The skin should come away easily. Reserve.

Roast peppers directly over the flame of one of your stove top burners. I removed the grill and rested the peppers right on the center of the burner. Turn occasionally for even charring.

Add peeled tomatoes to a large sauce pan. Add tomato skins too. Add peppers, garlic, oil, wine, chili de arbol, jalapeno/serrano, salt, pepper and enough water to fill a 3 quart sauce pan halfway.

Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. Add coconut milk Break up tomatoes with a spoon. Add corn cobs and more water if needed to fill sauce pan to half full again.

Simmer 10 more minutes.

Add rice. Stir to distribute evenly. Cover pan and continue simmering until rice is cooked through. Add beans. Turn off heat. Leave pan on burner. Add remaining spices and more salt and pepper if desired. Cover  again and let sit 5 minutes.

Enjoy immediately.