Monday, March 14, 2011
Pan-fried Tofu and Broccoli with Tahini Gravy and Colcannon
Tonight's dinner was a little more creative than most (believe it or not, last night's feast was rice puff cereal) as I had some leftover colcannon from cooking earlier in the day. What's colcannon you ask? Well, it's a traditional Irish side dish of mashed potatoes mixed with some chopped greens, usually cabbage, but I made it with Lacinato kale today. Perfect for St. Patrick's Day, nonetheless.
I decided to pair it with tofu because I had some in my fridge and thought it would make a nice contrast to the mash. Normally, I bake my tofu after marinating it in tamari and toasted sesame oil, but since I was feeling impatient and hungry after a long hike, I decided to pan-fry it. This requires a hot skillet (non-stick works best), and enough oil to coat the surface. After sizzling on the first side for about five minutes, I flipped it over and splashed a little tamari on top. I let this cook another 5 minutes or so or until it was lightly browned and crispy. I set the crispy tofu aside, then moved on to the broccoli.
I added just a touch more oil to the pan, dropped in the broccoli (after testing one floret to be sure it was hot and sizzling first), sprinkled it with a pinch of salt, then let it cook until browned. Really. You want some browning because that brings out the natural sweetness. (trust me - it's unbelievably delicious). If you've ever had toasted kale chips, broccoli cooked with this method is just as addictive.
After removing the broccoli, you'll have bits of brown stuff stuck in the pan which you won't want to go to waste. So mix together some water, tamari and a little cornstarch, then pour it into the hot skillet to deglaze all that goodness. Stir it together until it gets thick, then whisk in a little tahini for richness. Pour this silky gravy over the tofu and serve with your reheated colcannon. Dinner served in less than 30 minutes (and gone in about 5).