Friday, July 24, 2009
I know, appetizing name, but that's what we call them. And we actually quite like them, plus they are super easy to make. The original recipe was by Nava Atlas, and it's posted online (Scroll down or do a page search for tofu). She calls it Shake and Bake Tofu, which sounds somewhat more appealing, but it just didn't stick around here. I've since tweaked the recipe somewhat to suit us, as I tend to do.
One of the reasons this recipe is so quick and easy is that there is no need to press the tofu first. If I think of it, though, I like to do it while I'm preparing the rest of our dinner, since I don't usually use extra firm tofu. Another thing that's great about it, is that it's basically two ingredients, wheat germ and tofu, which I pretty much always keep in my fridge. Even if you don't normally buy wheat germ, it's worth it to stock in your fridge for this one recipe, since it keeps really well.
1 19 oz. block of firm tofu (This is the size block I get at Trader Joe's. You can use a standard 1 1b. block with only 1/4 cup wheat germ and dial back a little on the seasonings)
1/3 cup of wheat germ
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. or so of seasonings of your choice. Use whatever floats your boat. The original recipe called for a seasoning blend like Spike or Mrs. Dash, which works great as well.
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp dill
1/4 tsp basil
If I press the tofu, I slice it into 8 slices, lay a kitchen towel on my cutting board, put the tofu on one half, fold the other half over, and then top with a cookie sheet and a couple of heavy cookbooks. I let that sit while I do any other prep work for dinner I need. This is really not necessary though, so if I'm in a hurry I just slice up the tofu and blot it with a towel.
Then mix the wheat germ, salt and seasoning. I just mix them together on a plate. Slice your eight pieces in half the long way, and dredge the tofu pieces in the wheat germ mixture.
Arrange them on a lightly oiled sheet pan. Bake them for about 20 minutes at 425 degrees, flipping halfway through. Or just bake for 20 minutes, but I find the coating tends to stick to the pan when I do that. When they are done, they will be golden and crispy, unlike the picture immediately below, which is before baking.
Then serve them up with your favorite dipping sauce. I usually offer a variety. Our favorites are probably honey mustard and tahini-lemon. Barbecue, sweet and sour, and marinara are fine choices also, and you could go with plain old ketchup if that's your style.