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Caramelized Tofu


I was sick over the weekend and banned from the kitchen. It was rough–I had no energy to actually think about anything so I wanted to bake to keep myself busy. I don’t do well with too many days of doing nothing. And then today I couldn’t decide what to make for dinner (I’ve been readmitted into the kitchen).  I’ve been playing with a lot of new recipes, but somehow I feel like I have been making the same foods for dinner every week. So I looked at my bookmarks. I subscribe to a bunch of different food blogs on my Google Reader (which changed my life, by the way). Whenever I read a recipe I like, I open up the site itself and bookmark the recipe. It’s one of those never-ending lists.

So it’s fitting that the recipe I chose off the list came from 101 Cookbooks, a blog started by Heidi Swanson, who owned over 100 cookbooks and needed a way to work through them all. So I picked caramelized tofu off my list. It was much sweeter than anything I would normally eat for dinner, but when I ate a bite of tofu with spinach and pecan on the fork, the crunch of the pecan and the unseasoned spinach made it quite tasty.

Caramelized Tofu from 101 Cookbooks

8 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into 1-inch segments
A couple of pinches of fine-grain sea salt
A couple of splashes of olive oil
2 medium-sized cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
3 tablespoons brown sugar (this was a little too sweet for me, next time, I’ll probably do 1.5-2)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (I had a bunch of basil around, so I used that instead–I realize they aren’t the same but it tasted good)
1/2 lb. brussels sprouts, washed and cut into 1/8-inch wide ribbons (I used spinach instead)

Cook the tofu strips in large hot skillet (or pot) with a bit of salt and a splash of oil. Saute until slightly golden, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and pecans, and cook for another minute. Stir in sugar. Cook for another couple of minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Scrape the tofu out onto a plate and set aside while you cook the brussels sprouts.

In the same pan (no need to wash), add a touch more oil, another pinch of salt, and dial the heat up to medium-high. When the pan is nice and hot stir in the shredded brussels sprouts. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring a couple times (but not too often) until you get some golden bits, and the rest of the sprouts are bright and delicious.

Serves 2 – 3 as a main, 4 as a side

4 Comments leave one →
  1. kruleintentions permalink
    12/13/2009 2:25 PM

    a) i love 101 cookbooks

    b) when are we making tofu?? that would be a great distraction for you

    • orangeideal permalink
      12/13/2009 4:14 PM

      Sadly, no time for making tofu at the moment… but it WILL happen!

  2. 12/15/2009 3:07 PM


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  3. stacy permalink
    12/17/2009 5:39 PM

    I had no idea how much you were into food! wow! I love the photos and I love the descriptions.
    I just saw julie and julia over the weekend: so your blog reminds me of the movie.
    I’m gonna have to cook some of your recipes.

    have a great time at the wedding this weekend!


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