Good morning, ladies and gents! I’ll start off by letting you know that I (Mike) will be doing a little more blogging over the next day or two. Today you get a recipe for the fourth course of our Valentine’s Day Dinner, a seared tofu steak with roasted vegetables and white root veggie puree. To tell you the truth, I am especially glad that I get to blog most of this one because this was seriously one of the BEST tofu dishes I have had. It was certainly the closest vegan comparison I’ve seen to having some huge hunk of meaty protein on a plate.
Just look at that delicious piece of ‘fu! There were a few important parts to the success of this dish. The first was marinating the tofu for a long time. We marinated ours overnight, but two or three days couldn’t hurt, either. Searing the tofu on high heat was another important piece to the puzzle. A nice sear gave the steak lots of color and caramelized some of the sweet marinade on the outside. Finally, a little bit of sauce reduction poured over everything set off the dish perfectly. But enough gushing, lets get to the recipe!
Seared Tofu Steak With Root Veggie Puree
Ingredients (for the puree, two servings):
2 cups turnip, rutabaga, or parsnip, cubed
1 cup potato, cubed
1/2 to 1 cup veggie broth
Pepper, to taste
Ingredients (for the tofu, four servings):
1 block firm or extra-firm tofu
1/2 cup Marsala wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
6 sprigs fresh thyme
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp cracked black peppercorns (or ground pepper)
1. Start by cutting the tofu. You can make them any size/shape you want, but try to keep them around 1 inch thick, or even slightly thicker. You can probably get two good-sized steaks out of a block of tofu, with some trimmings left over for other use.
2. Combine all other ingredients in a Ziploc bag and shake to mix. Add the two tofu pieces to the bag and squeeze most of the air out of the bag before sealing. This seems to be a great way to keep the tofu submerged in the marinating liquid. Let the tofu sit for 24 to 72 hours.
3. When ready to start making the meal, boil the peeled and cubed root veggies for around 25 minutes, or until they are very soft. Drain and mash.
4. Either by hand or in a blender, vigorously mix in the veggie broth. You may only need a small amount of broth or you may need a lot, depending on the specific veggies used. Allysia’s turnip and potato puree needed far less broth than my parsnip puree. Add a hefty amount of pepper.
5. While the veggies are being done, heat a large, heavy pan (cast iron is probably a good bet) to medium-high heat. Remove the tofu from the Ziploc bag, saving the marinating liquid. Sear the tofu in the hot pan, starting with the narrow sides. Let the tofu sear for 3-4 minutes per side.
6. Strain the marinating liquid and add to the pan. Let the tofu continue to cook while the liquid reduces to a fairly thick sauce.
|Allysia’s beautiful plate before adding sauce, complete with some citrus wedges and broccoli!|
7. When the liquid is reduced, remove the tofu and plate on top of a good-sized portion of the puree. Serve a few roasted or grilled veggies on the side for some added color and flavor. Just before serving, spoon some of the sauce from the pan over the plate.
|My tofu steak, with some braised broccolini and carrot.|
When I said before that this was one of my favorite tofu dishes ever, I meant it. Just look at the color and texture on that plate. The sauce was slightly sticky from the reduction, and ridiculously flavorful. It was really nice to use something other than potatoes in the puree. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mashed potatoes, but changing it up is so easy, and the difference is definitely worth it.