Monday, May 14, 2012

Crispy Tofu for the Dinner Times

I've been trying to make tofu as delicious and crispy and flavorful as the stuff I fell in love with at Noodles and Company years and years ago. And suffice it to say that I have failed miserably.  I have accepted the fact that I won't be able to make it the same way but I do keep trying to make it in a form that my friends will no longer refuse to try.

Tonight was that attempt. So I made crispy tofu and served it with string beans, broccoli, red peppers and mushrooms that I just tossed around in a skillet to warm them through with little more than a little smidgen of soy sauce.

But the tofu:
I am no expert but I think it's super important to start with some unsoggy tofu stuffs. So I wrapped it in a dish towel, put some heavy plates on top and walked away. I did some dishes, ran an errand, Pinterest-ed. The usual. It was probably draining/ getting squished for a few hours. I don't know how long ordinary people drain their tofu but this is how I do.

I dredged it in a greek yogurt mixture and bread crumbs before pan frying it in a little grapeseed oil. You can use olive oil or vegetable oil or whatever. In the end, while no friends offered to try it--I didn't offer it to anyone on accounta the fact that it's a solo night. But I have no doubt that this would get some of my Midwest lovelies to lose their tofu virginities.

Allow me to get unconventional and give you the ingredients list amid the instructions. Can you handle this? Probably.

You will need these things and you will need to do these things:
1/2 block extra-firm tofu, thoroughly drained and cut into thin slices. Set aside.

In a shallow dish, mix together:
1/4 c. greek yogurt
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

In another shallow dish, pour some bread crumbs. I don't know, maybe 1/2 a cup of bread crumbs. I had a lot left over.
In a small skillet, heat 1/4" of oil over medium-high heat.

And then you assembly line it. Be very ginger because your tofu can fall apart if you go at it like a hulk. Treat it like a lady. Take that lady and coat her in the yogurt, then over into the bread crumbs and then into the oil. I let it cook for maybe two minutes and then flipped it over. I used a pretty small skillet because I don't like to waste all that oil just for the sake for faster food. I believe in slow food. Which is why I like the idea of gardening.
Let her drain on some paper towels. Sprinkle her with some more salt and just the teensiest bit of cayanne pepper. After a few minutes of cooling/ residual crisping, stack on the veggies, admire what you've created, take a picture, and then eat it.

Eventually I did bust out the bottle sweet chili sauce and it was delicious but there's just no photographic evidence.
For the record, I'm absolutely doing this again.


Jamie Light said...

that looks great! and super easy! Perhaps I will try this...

Laurie said...

Hi Libby- I've been reading these last few food posts and gaining an appetite!
What a great way w/ tofu, and french toast and handmade bread! I remembered how you said your job was ending and I wondered if you'd be working a new job as a cook/chef somewhere because you could if you wanted to! This recipe is especially inspiring and good looking! There used to be a small Chinese restaurant in Salina where was made some great fried tofu dishes, but the tofu never looked as appetizing as this!

Libby Marie said...

Thanks, Laurie! Actually, my old job ended but my new job has begun far-far away from food service. And I'm totally fine with that! :)
I love to cook for my family and my friends (and my blog readers) but the majority of the work that I've done since my first job at 16 has all been working in kitchens and that sort of thing and it is not for me. I've learned a lot of helpful skills and I'm good at it--but I don't take any joy in it for whatever reason.
Maybe I'm just a small-batch kind of girl.

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