Braised Tofu with Zucchini
I have to say that even though we got dumped on again (with snow) on Monday/Tuesday, today the sun has been out and it’s absolutely gorgeous – I can only hope we have the 70 degree weather they are predicting for this weekend!
Ok, that’s my last comment about the weather (for now) – I promise! One good thing about the weather, though, is that I’ve been able to use the oven for a lot longer than normal, which is a wonderful thing considering this dish was completely hands-off in the oven for two hours!
I mentioned a while back that I was reading Tim Ferriss’ book, The 4-Hour Chef, which I wasn’t quite sure about at the time I posted that. Even though it got off to quite a slow start, I have to say I’m quite enthralled with it at this point. I didn’t get much from the beginning of the book that talks about learning, mostly because he doesn’t do a great job of illustrating his points. However, he excels at this teaching technique within the recipes themselves.
Nearly all of the recipes are non-vegan, however, I’ve learned more about technique, the science behind cooking, and how to translate skills from one dish to another in these few pages than I did in entire seasons of Good Eats (I still love you Alton!).
One dish that Tim talks about making is a cheater Osso Bucco. Literally, this dish means “bone hole”, but the braising technique is something that I thought would translate well to tofu. I usually pan fry or bake my tofu, and the braised tofu was like nothing I’d ever tasted.
I was worried that the texture may be too spongy, but it was tender and succulent. The two hours in the oven with the veggies gave it a tangy flavor and a melty texture that was almost cheese-like. You could swap out the zucchini with carrots if you wish, but I really liked the mild flavor of the zucchini paired with the acidity of the tomatoes.
Tim was right when he said this method would impress your friends and make it look like you slaved away – and you can giggle to yourself knowing that all but 15 minutes of the total time was spent doing anything on your part 🙂
- 1 med Zucchini
- 1 15oz Block Extra Firm Tofu
- 1 med Tomato, diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp Oregano
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ⅛ tsp Ground Pepper (2-3 turns of pepper mill)
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 cup Dry White Wine
- Morning of: Press your tofu with a tofu press or between two plates lined with paper towels.
- Hours Before Meal: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut Zucchini into 4-6 pieces lengthwise. Layer them on the bottom of a dutch oven to create a bed for the tofu.
- Slice the tofu in half width wise and then slice half down the middle to create 4 steaks. Layer these on top of the zucchini.
- Add in the garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper and then add the diced tomato - squeezing some of the juice onto the tofu as you do so. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and pour in the white wine.
- Cover the dutch oven and bake for 2 hours. Cool for 10 minutes and serve.
Do you have any dishes that you pull out to impress friends at a dinner party?