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Archive for March 19th, 2010

Tofish ‘n’ Chips

I grew up beside the ocean in Southern California, and because of that it will forever be a part of me.  I love the scent of the kelp, the sand, and the water and am one of those odd ducks that actually approaches a beached kelp pile in order to breathe its scent in deeply and investigate which critter hitched a ride to shore with its torn holdfast.  Yet, since we no longer consume sea creatures, a bit of creativity with botanical foods was called for in order to mimic the flavors of seafood.  Also, since this tofu variant was deep fried, I felt the need to compensate by roasting the chips rather than frying them.  They taste better roasted and are a heck of a lot better for you.

Tofish

Ingredients:

2 cups dried organic soy beans, soaked overnight

3 kombu dried fronds

¼ cup arame kelp

10 dried turkish bay leaves

roasted nori super-fine strips, cut into tiny pieces

lemon pepper

Braggs Sea Kelp Delight seasoning

cheesecloth x 2

candy thermometer

calcium sulfate [3 T suspended in 3 cups 180° water]

tofu mold

Please read the procedure for making tofu prior to attempting this variation to familiarize yourself with the overall process.

To a large stockpot add 5 quarts water and the kelp.  Soak for 30 minutes.  Add heat to the stockpot and bring to just under a boil.  Strain through a cheesecloth to remove kelp.  Return to the stove.

Add half the soaked soybeans to a blender and cover by an inch with the kelp broth.  Blend until liquefied.  Decant into the stockpot.  Repeat the process with the remaining soy beans. Add the bay leaves and bring the soybean slurry to 180°.  Cook for 30 minutes.  Strain through cheesecloth into a clean container.

Return the kelp and bay-flavored soy milk to the stove and bring back up to 180°.  Add 3/4 of the calcium sulfate slurry and let sit for 10 minutes to allow large curds to form.   Ladle the curds into a colander lined with cheesecloth to drain the majority of the whey off.  Transfer about an inch-thick layer of these curds into the cheesecloth-lined tofu mold.  Sprinkle some finely chopped nori, lemon pepper and Braggs Sea Kelp Delight seasoning over the layer then cover with a new layer of the partially-drained tofu curds.  Repeat until you have 3 layers and end with a layer of tofu curd.  Press for 30 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl of iced water and soak for an hour.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Oven-baked Potato Wedges

Ingredients:

Russet Potatoes

olive oil

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper

Directions:

Cut Russet potatoes into wedges and spray lightly with olive oil or for an interesting flavor use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in a 400° oven until golden brown.  This should take 45 minutes to an hour.

Mushy Peas

Ingredients:

one bag frozen peas

12 fresh mint leaves [Or more if you favor a strong mint flavor.]

Earth Balance vegan margarine

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper

Directions:

Put a pot of salted water on the stove and bring to a boil.  Add peas and cook until the peas are hot.  Drain and transfer peas to a food processor.  Add a pat of Earth Balance margarine and a dozen mint leaves.  Pulse until incorporated but not so much so that you have a smooth paste; you want texture.  Season with salt and pepper.

Frying the Tofish:

8 oz AP flour

a bottle of vegan beer

1 cup brown rice flour

Old Bay seasoning

canola oil

Directions:

Heat canola oil to 350°.

Make the batter by whisking the beer into the AP flour and add a tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning.

Place a cup of brown rice flour on a plate and mix in a couple of teaspoons of Old Bay seasoning.

Pat the tofu dry and cut into slices.  Dredge in the seasoned brown rice flour.  Dip into the beer batter and deep fry at 350° until brown and crispy.  Drain on paper towels to absorb excess oil.  Salt while hot and serve with oven-baked potato wedges and mushy peas.

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