Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gourmet the Meatless Way

On  a recent trip out west, we stayed at this lovely house near the ocean. The owner must be a true foodie, for that kitchen was the best-equipped rental I've ever encountered. Spices galore, a stockpile of pots and pans, great appliances, and cookbooks.

One in particular caught my eye. It contained recipes from inns across the country. I decided to give the baked French toast a try.

WOW. It was easy and with fresh ingredients, it was fantastic. That prompted me to buy the book, and when I got home, the book was waiting.

I was trying to find a way to make this meat-heavy cookbook more vegetarian friendly. So I started with one of the fish dishes -- sesame crusted salmon. I tweaked, and this is the result:

Sesame-crusted Tofu with Apple-Mango Salsa

1 package tofu, drained and sliced into eight pieces
2 Tbl. soy sauce
2 Tbl sesame oil
2 tsp. rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger

Mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and vinegar in a covered container. Place the tofu slices in this, turning to coat it all. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours to a day.

Meanwhile, make the salsa.

1 mango, peeled and diced
1 apple, peeled and grated
1/2 jalepeno, seeded and minced
1/2 poblano, seeded and minced
1 Tbl. fresh cilantro
1/4 cup diced onion (Vidalia works well)
1/2 Tbl. brown sugar
1 tomato, seeded and diced

Mix ingredients in a bowl and cover. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Now for the cooking:
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I use plain whole wheat)
2 Tbl. black sesame seeds
2 Tbl. white sesame seeds
salt and pepper to taste

Mix together in a shallow pan or bowl.

Heat non-stick pan or iron skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge tofu through the bread crumb mixture, then fry in the lightest layer of oil for about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to your plate, top with some salsa, and enjoy!