I like meat. I mean I really like it. And the more someone tells me I shouldn't eat meat, the more I like it. I also like being contrary. Don't tell me I shouldn't do something, or that I should like something. However recently I've been trying to eat less meat. Partially for health reasons, partially for economic reasons and partially for environmental reasons.
But I still need my protein, right? So how can I eat less meat but still keep my protein intake up? Originally I was going to go with beans. But beans for dinner keep me up a little later than I'd like. 'Nuff Said.
I was debating if I could deal with the dreaded T word...Tofu...when in a perfect stroke of timing, one of my favorite Twitter buddies did a guest blog entry on how to cook with Tofu! What luck! I went straight to the store and bought Extra Firm Tofu as he suggested. Then I waited a week.
Before I get into it, I should give good plugs to those who gave me the courage to try tofu. @Wannabechefevan on twitter did a guest post on @yumyucky's blog. YumYuck did a week of having men guest blog for her, and here is Evan's Entry. That entry also contained many links to Evan's blog, the recipe I used can be found here.
Following Evans' recipe, I made my first attempt at Tofu! AND I TOOK PICTURES!
Know thy enemy!
This is Tofu, in its packaging, the Container. One of Tofus' natural defenses is the impossible to open packaging. I tugged and tugged at the plastic corner, but it was no good. I couldn't open it. I grabbed my trust meat cutting knife and stabbed the container. I was told Tofu didn't bleed, but this one gushed EVERYWHERE. It spilled out of the container and all over my hands. I felt like Lady MacBeth, but more mainly as I tried to wash the Tofu Blood from my stained hands. Eventually I managed to tear open the outer shell.
This is what Tofu looks like when freed from its oppressive container.
Now, Evan wisely said to wrap the Tofu in a towel before pressing it flatter. This is where I made my first error in my Tofu Adventure. I used Saran Wrap. Evan says by adding pressure to the tofu you give it a meatier texture or something. When I went to put it in the fridge, I realized if I put something on top of it, the tofu would at best get lines from the shelf in the fridge, and at worst, be pushed through it completely. I thought I would be smart by putting a book under the tofu.
And then a 10# weight on top of it. Like so:
What I didn't foresee was the Tofu Blood (which was probably just water) seeping out and getting my books wet. However there is a noticeable size difference between the tofu before and after:
Then I chopped the Tofu while the garlic browned; that's where I made another Tofu Error. I left the chunks of Tofu too large. I should have cut them up smaller. If I cut them up smaller, they'd have browned faster and easier, and they'd also have soaked up more flavor. But that mistake I didn't realize till later. Right now I was happily cooking away.
Dinner was served:
My big mistake as I mentioned earlier was cutting the Tofu chunks too large. Other than that this was surprisingly tasty and not at all scary! I'm even excited to go buy more Tofu and try some of Evan's other recipes.
How about the rest of you? Were you terrified of Tofu too? Are are you a Tofu Zealot with some great tasting recipes to share? Either way, post below, I'm anxious to hear what you have to say.