Thursday, January 15, 2009

Smothered Tofu Steak and Onions

I found a teaser Cuisine magazine in our mailbox the other day and in it a recipe for Salisbury most favoritest of tv dinners as a kid! Probably because I rarely got tv dinners. I was a true granola girl who's favorite snack was straight vinegar scooped up in lettuce leaves til my lips were white (pretty sure my innards have been preserved for life).
The recipe I found did not come in a frozen lump made with untold icky things in it. Nor did it call for cans of condensed soup, or anything else I couldn't easily sub out (sugar becomes agave nectar). Then, in the same day, I came across this vegan recipe that looked vaguely similar to the aforementioned steak recipe. I figured I'd better give this one a go first, or I'd make the steak and never look back! That said, I did not make this vegan...or even vegetarian for that matter. I used organic chicken broth in the sauce since I had a quart of it open in the fridge. The original recipe calls for water, so just use that if you be veggie....oh and vegetarian Worchestershire sauce too I spose, since regular has wee little fishies in it. :-)

Making this last night I came to a startling realization...I'm NOT going to stop using the Lee & Perrins Worschestershire sauce, even though it's got high-fructose corn syrup in it. Painful though it is to finally admit that to myself. Last night I mixed up the balsamic and my organic non-L&P worchestershire sauce, had the forsight to taste it....bluck! So THAT'S why I've not being liking stuff that's called for Worchestershire sauce lately!! I've been using the organic one with no HFCS and it is so not the same. So bring on the HFCS I say...guess I'll have to make an exception in this one case. Somethin' else'll surely kill us before a Tbs here and there of Worchestershire sauce....

I improvised with amounts for the sauce, since several people said they'd double the sauce next time they made it. Same amount of onion, just added more vinegar, Worchestershire, broth/water, and cornstarch. I thought the sauce was really tasty (especially over the mashed potatoes), but the tofu needed some extra love. Not sure what I'd do to it next time. Maybe garlic powder and thyme, or marinating the tofu in something first?

Smothered Tofu Steak and Onions:

Ingredients (use vegan versions if that's your preference):

1 package extra firm tofu
2 tablespoon olive oil (divided)
1 lg. onion, sliced root to stem
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth or water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup extra chicken broth or water
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Slice Tofu into 6 even cutlets about 1/2 inch thick. Place on paper towel to drain. I press as much water out as possible by weighting it down with pans, cutting boards, etc., so that they're able to get crispy when pan-fried.
Heat non-stick pan. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Add onions when oil is hot. Sauté onions until golden brown and caramelized (about 10+ min.) remove onions, set aside.
Salt and pepper tofu steaks on both sides.
Add other tablespoon of oil to pan. Add tofu and fry until golden brown on both sides (about 8-10 min.)
Add onions back to pan. Add balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and stir.
When all combined add slurry of 1/2 cup broth/water and cornstarch to pan. Stir until thick. Add water to thin out if too thick. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Plate atop a nice pile of mashed taters and a side of veggies...braised kale with garlic in our case.

Serves: 2-3
Next week...the Salisbury steak! ;-)

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