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…

Vegan French Mushroom Sauce

I decided to try a new ingredient that I've been curious about for a while now. Brandy.

It's used in a lot of sauces and french cuisine. I've seen it associated with cream sauces, pepper sauces, mushroom sauces. So I thought I'd give it a go and see.

I went with a mushroom and caper based sauce to keep with the french theme.

I've made similar sauces in the past, but the brandy definitely added a new level of nuance to the finished product.

1 pint white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 jalapeno, sliced
2 spoonfuls capers/brine
1 can garbanzos/brine
1/3 cup white wine
1 tbl spicy mustard
1 tsp all purpose flour
1/4 cup brandy
2 tbls olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsps dry savory or sage - one or the other, not both

Saute the mushrooms and onion in the salt and oil until nicely caramelized. This will take some time. At least 15 minutes. Stir it occasionally so they don't get too dark on one side. It's easiest to get them dark enough if you do something else while they're cooking. I busied myself by chopped ingredients for another dish while they cooked.

It's important to get a dark rich color on the mushrooms and onions. This will give the sauce depth. It will also provide sugars in the pan for the wine to pick up when you deglaze.

Once the mushrooms and onions are nicely browned deglaze with the white wine. Cook that out for several minutes. Then add the garbanzos/brine, mustard, garlic, jalapeno, capers/brine, brandy, black pepper and savory or sage.

Simmer to reduce by 1/4.

Sprinkle in the flour. Stir to incorporate. Cook a few more minutes until sauce is slightly thickened.  Then remove from heat and allow sauce to rest a few minutes to further thicken up a bit.