Saturday, July 7, 2007
UPDATE ON MUSHROOM-LEEK GOURMET TOFU-- AND ANOTHER VERSION, TOO!
Slices of Sundried Tomato/Garlic/Basil/Artichoke Gourmet Tofu drizzled with a peppery extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar
I hope I won't bore you with my tofu adventures! Since I tried making the fresh sage, leek, and dried wild mushroom tofu two blog posts ago, I have talked to various other cooks about it, and wanted to try it with dried porcini mushrooms not soaked beforehand, so that the mushroom taste was more concentrated than in my first version (I soaked them first, then chopped them and added them to the soymilk). The originators of this recipe, on the wishwewerebaking blog, did not soak them first, but they used dried champignon mushrooms, which are not as strong as porcinis. Another friend used them without soaking, but did not specify the type she used-- she thought the results "screamed" mushroom on the first bite!
So, I had to try it myself. I also wanted to try adding the chopped leeks and sage raw, without sauteing, as I had done before. I figured that this would save time and effort, and that the leeks would cook in the hot soymilk, anyway.
NOTE: There are explicit directions for making tofu, written by my friend Brenda Wiley, on my website at this link. Just follow those directions, with my additions below. If you don't want to make your own soymilk, and you have access to fresh unflavored soymilk from an Asian soy product store (most big cities have such a store), you can use that instead. But make sure it is fresh and unflavored!
To the two soymilk maker batches (3 qts.total) hot, fresh unflavored soymilk this time I added:
about 7/8 cup dried porcini mushrooms, crumbled, so that the pieces wouldn't be too large
3 cups chopped leeks
18 fresh sage leaves
(I chopped the leeks and sage more finely in the food processor)
I added these to the hot fresh soymilk in a large pot BEFORE adding the coagulant, let it come up to over 180 degrees F, and added the coagulant (2 tsp. nigari powder dissolved in 1 cup boiling water) slowly, covered the pot and let it sit 10 minutes. Then I stirred gently again and began ladling out the curds as instructed.
(See that last blog post for pictures of the process, including my weighting set-up for pressing the tofu, and some of the ways I used the results.)
BTW: I made this batch with 1 Tbs. (3 packets) nigari powder for coagulant, but I think I will use only 2 tsp. (2 packets) again next time. The extra nigari made the curds smaller, and I don't think that makes as nice a tofu.
Version #2 of the Mushroom/Leek/Sage Tofu
I thought the tofu was good, the mushroom flavor stronger in a subtle way, but I think I would saute the leeks and sage again next time. I think the leek and sage flavor came through better with the sauteed version, and the leeks did not "crunch".
We just had some for a snack with real tamari (the liquid that drains off miso) from our local miso maker-- a treat!
I made this early last week, just 1 block using 1 batch (1 1/2 qts.) soymilk. I added (for 1 1/2 qts.) :
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes in oil (I rinsed the oil off with hot water and chopped them small after measuring)
1/2 cup marinated sliced artichoke hearts (also rinsed and then chopped pretty finely after measuring)
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. dried basil (didn't have any fresh-- if you do, use 2 Tbs. chopped)
One thing I noticed was that the acid from the tomatoes (and any residual marinade on the artichokes, I guess) started curdling the soymilk before I even added the coagulator. But I added it anyway. I also noticed that the curds were smaller as a result. The tofu was a bit fragile from all the stuf I loaded into it, but tasted great! I might cut the tomatoes and artichokes down to 1/3 cup each next time.
We ate this cold drizzled with a very peppery extra-virgin olive oil and just a dash of balsamic vinegar. Yum...
As I mentioned before, I did not store the tofu in water, as I don't want to destroy the flavor, and we ate it all up within a day or two. I just placed it in the fridge on a plate, covered with plastic wrap.