Monday, May 4, 2009

Crunchy Marinated Mexican Tofu and Corn Fritters

Here's how this meal evolved -- we had friends over for dinner Saturday night and at the end of dinner, I had 3 cooked ears of corn on the cob that no one ate. I rarely actually eat leftover corn on the cob unless I cook it into something else, but what? Not enough for soup, wasn't really in the mood for salad... then genius struck. CORN FRITTERS!! My mom used to make corn fritters when I was a kid out of a can of corn niblets and flour and eggs and things, and we loved them. I set out to find a vegan corn fritter recipe and found a bunch, but some just had too many ingredients, and a lot called for a bunch of other veggies, and I JUST wanted corn fritters.. so after reading a bunch of recipes from various sources to get an idea of what goes in 'em, I made one up. It turned out FANTASTIC!

... of course you can't just eat corn fritters for dinner. (ok ok, you can, but you SHOULDN'T because they aren't a balanced meal) I thought maybe tofu of some sort would go well, and decided to make up some sort of Mexican-ish marinade for the tofu, and then bread it and bake it. It also turned out absolutely delicious. I thickened the leftover marinade into a sauce that I drizzled over the top (and dipped my fritters in). I served sauteed broccoli and carrots on the side, and it was a complete, and completely yummy dinner.

Crunchy Marinated Mexican Tofu
1 cup vegetable broth
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp liquid smoke
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, diced
1 lbs tofu, drained and sliced into 1/2 inch slices
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp cornstarch

1. In a small bowl whisk together everything but the tofu, bread crumbs, salt and cornstarch. Place the tofu slices in a lidded container, pour the marinade over it, and refridgerate overnight (or until you become impatient and want to cook your damn tofu already).

2. Oh hey tomorrow! How's it going? Preheat the oven to 425. Remove the tofu from the fridge, and pour the marinade off of it into a small pot. Set aside.

3. Mix together the panko and salt on a plate. Retrieve a baking sheet and either spray with nonstick spray, or use a silpat sheet. Press each piece of wet tofu in the bread crumbs, flip, press the other side in (you're trying to stick the breadcrumbs to the tofu) and place on baking sheet. Once they're all ready to go, lightly spray each piece with oil (helps it brown and crisp!). Bake for about 45 minutes, or until firm, golden brown, and crispy.

4. Meanwhile, during the last 15 minutes of cooking, bring the remaining marinade to a boil. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with just enough water to dissolve it, then whisk it into the boiling marinade. Simmer for about 5 minutes, whisking often, until the sauce gets a ketchup-like consistency.

5. Apply sauce to tofu. Eat.

Corn Fritters
3 ears of corn, de-eared (about 1 1/2 cups of corn niblets if you're going frozen or canned)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup chickpea flour
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
1 1/4 cup rice milk
Oil for frying

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.

2. Add the rice milk and whisk until the big lumps are gone.

3. Fold in the corn. Allow the batter to sit for at least 5 minutes before frying.

4. To fry, in a cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet, heat enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan (about 1 cm of oil). It's ready when it looks "wavy," or if you put the bottom of a wooden spoon into the oil it bubbles around the wood. Scoop 1/4 cup of batter per fritter and pour into the pan, spreading it a little as you pour. Cook until the edges look bubbly and brown, then flip, and cook until that side is golden brown. Drain on paper towels or bags, and sprinkle with salt immediately after removing from the oil.


Erin said...

This entire meal sounds delicious! Corn fritters are a great idea for leftover corn.

Carolyn said...

Just found your site after clicking through from the Tofu-n-Sproutz site. These are definitely going on the list- I love me some corn anythings almost anytime of year (just had grits for b-fast).

And ohmygod now I know what I am! Haven't quite given up the eggs-cheese-butter unholy trinity yet (well actually I haven't bought butter in a long time), but your days are numbered, cow products! We gots cheezes now! And I think I'm on the last box of eggs, especially since the cholesterol is still over 230.

The quest for absolutes in anything can be exhausting, including the quest to be more vegan than the next guy. Maybe if more people just adapted the approach you offer in your definition of megatarian, instead of insisting on the typical all-or-nothing modern American approach, we'd eventually collapse the factory farming industry and begin to see a little light of sanity at the end of this tunnel.

Ann said...

Just clicked over here from veggieboards. I'm always looking for new and interesting recipes. I have never even heard of liquid smoke! Can you get it anywhere? The meal sounds delicious. I will be marinating some tofu later!

megatarian said...

Liquid smoke is usually near the BBQ sauce at the grocery store. It comes in a few different flavors, though I've honestly not noticed a big difference between them.

Hope you enjoy it :)