Yes, Nika, I'm talking about you. Tess, you're pretty sharp too but this is about the eldest sister. Anyone who knows my sister is also aware that she is the logical, rational, brain of the family. So, it's no surprise then that I should reference her blog for some food inspiration, updates on my fabulous niece or tidbits about running and financial investments. Anyway, I saw a couple of recipes that I am quite certain I never would have made had my sister not highly lauded them on her site. I mean, tofu with brussel sprouts doesn't exactly scream my name. But, the weirdest thing happened. I made it, I loved it, I made it two more times that week. Crazical. So, I'll give you Nika's recipe, followed, of course, with my substitutions and theories.
Caramelized Tofu (From 101 Cookbooks)
7 – 8 ounces extra-firm tofu cut into thin 1-inch segments
a couple pinches of fine-grain sea salt
a couple splashes of olive or peanut oil (I used peanut)
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 lb. brussels sprouts, washed and cut into 1/8-inch wide ribbons
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. Divide brussels sprouts and top with tofu mixture.
Serves 2 – 3 as a main, 4 as a side
Notes: At first, I thought it was too sweet. Then I got into it, but I decided that when I have sweet notes in my food, I like heat to complement it. So the next time I made it, I added crushed red pepper AND I added 2 T. sugar to the tofu and then 1 T. to the brussel sprout so they would caramelize too. It was goooood. I also had to cook the tofu longer than 4 minutes, maybe 6-8 minutes. Finally, it fed N. and me but I could have eaten more so I think 2 main course servings is more my speed. But that's why I'm a lot bigger then my sister!