Friday, February 18, 2011

A PL&B Original Recipe: Coconut Crusted Tofu

Okay, unfortunately I had no pictures to go with this post, so I had to gank them from various places around the internet (if you click on them, it'll take you to the source).

I am so excited to introduce you to another PL&B Original Recipe: Coconut Crusted Tofu!

This recipe was inspired by some coconut crusted tilapia that Emily made for Brandon and I a few weeks ago. I was so enamored with the fish, that I really wanted to retry the coconut crusting on something else. I thought about doing it on tempeh - which I might still do - but tofu seemed like the appropriate medium. Plus I had some in my fridge.

While eating our coconut crusted tilapia (and celebrating Tu B'Shevat with four bottles of wine) we pondered some life-sized questions. In a Tu B'Shevat Seder, you explore four worlds in representing them with different fruits and glasses of wine:

The Physical World - a fruit that is inedible outside and edible inside (we represented this with a clementine). Plus one glass of white wine

The Emotional World - a fruit that is edible outside and inedible inside (we represented this world with a date). Plus, a glass of wine that is half red, half white

The Intellectual World - a fruit that is completely edible (represented by a fig) and one glass of wine that is 1/4 white and 3/4 red

The Spiritual World - no fruits, just a glass of red wine with one drop of white

What do these worlds mean to you? Why do you think they would be represented by those specific types of fruits?

Coconut Crusted Tofu
over a bed of wilted cabbage
The tofu can also be baked instead of pan-fried. I accidentally burned the tofu because I was using a [too] hot cast-iron skillet. Baking might make them a bit more enjoyably brown instead of dark and crispy like mine were.

1 package tofu
1 cup flour
1 tbs cornstarch
1 egg
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or not - your choice)
oil or clarified butter for pan-frying

half head of red cabbage, quartered and cut into thin ribbons
fine grain sea salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or clarified butter
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
a handful or two of raisins (or chopped dates)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to garnish (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and saute the onion for a few minutes, with a few pinches of salt. Stir in the garlic and cabbage and cook for just a minute or so, until the cabbage softens up a bit. Stir in the raisins and the vinegar and cook one more minute. Remove from heat, remember, the cabbage will continue to get more and more tender even after you remove it from the heat, do your best to avoid overcooking it - where it collapses entirely. Plate your wilted cabbage and garnish with a bit of Parmesan if desired.

Drain and slice tofu as desired, I prefer flat slices as opposed to cubes. Beat egg and put in a bowl that is big enough to dip your slices of tofu. Mix the cornstarch with the flour and pile it on a plate or bowl for dipping. Place coconut on another plate or bowl for dipping. First, dip the tofu in the flour mixture so it’s lightly coated. Next, dunk coated tofu in egg. Finally, coat with coconut and set aside. Heat enough oil (or butter) to coat the bottom of your skillet on medium heat. Pan fry the coconut dipped tofu until the coconut is golden brown then flip and brown the other side. Set on a paper towel or over a cooking rack to drain.

Serve tofu over bed of cabbage.

Peace, Love & Bagels,

(oh and just an aside, what do you think about me doing a post series about "A Week In The Life Of My Stomach"? Got the idea from Ashley
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