Tofu Shakshuka

Oh boy do I have an awesome recipe to share with you guys today.

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I’ve always seen shakshuka online and out and about, and thought the dish itself looked awesome, but the whole egg idea… ughhhh, no thanks.  That’s where tofu is your best friend – reliable, versatile and tasty when cooked and spiced properly.  Cauldron organic original tofu works best in this recipe, and there is no need to squeeze out the excess liquid either, just open the packet and straight into the blender.  Easy.

Not a difficult dish to prepare, and all the ingredients can be found in any good vegan pantry!

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This shakshuka has a bit of spice to it, as I LOVE heat, but feel free to dial down the spice if you’re not a fan.  Serve with some fresh, crusty, buttered bread and your brunch life is complete.

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Ingredients

1 pack Cauldron Organic Original tofu

2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 small white/brown onion, diced

1 medium red pepper, diced

1 large clove of garlic, minced

1/2 tsp hot chilli powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp hot paprika (or sub sweet paprika if you’re not a heat fan!)

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp dried thyme

2 tins chopped tomatoes (400g each)

2 TBsp tomato paste

1/2 cup kalamata olives, halved

small handful of fresh parsley

 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 200C.

Add the drained tofu, nutritional yeast and a few cracks of black pepper to a blender and blend until smooth.  Set aside.

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Blended tofu, ready to dollop

Heat the olive oil in a medium sized skillet and when hot, add the garlic and peppers.

Sauté the onions and peppers on medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Ensure they don’t burn.

Add the minced garlic to the pan and cook for about a minute.

Add the spices, sugar and thyme to the pan and stir to combine.

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Spice up yer life

Add the olives, chopped tomatoes and tomato paste to the skillet and mix well.

Allow the mix to simmer for five minutes.

Take a large tablespoon of the tofu mix and carefully drop it into the skillet, one at a time.   You should end up with about six evenly spaced dollops of the tofu mix in the skillet.

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Plop

Carefully cover the skillet with a lid (or tin foil if you don’t have an oven-friendly lid) and place in the oven to cook for 10 minutes.  If you don’t have an oven-friendly skillet it will be fine to leave it on the hob for 15 minutes or so on low heat, then brown the tofu under the grill afterwards.

After 10 minutes in the oven, remove the lid and place back in the oven for a further 10 minutes, or until the tofu is browned on top.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with cracked pepper, more kalamata olives and some fresh parsley.

Enjoy!

Time to cook: 10 minutes prep, 30 minutes cooking = 40 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 2, relatively simple, just make sure you don’t dunk the tofu too far in the mix, and keep an eye on your tofu when it’s browning

#nowplaying: The Districts – If Before I Wake

 

Tofush & chips (vegan “fish & chips”)

It was a long time coming, but the day had finally arrived.  I would try my hand at making vegan fish & chips, aka Tofush and chips.

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Tofush and chips with mushy peas. No fishies in this dishy.

Not sure why I had put this off for so long – fear of failure?  Thinking it might look crap?  Might taste disgusting?  It’s tofu, I mean, how much like fish can tofu taste?!  Turns out quite a lot, if you wrap it in a nori sheet.

I’ve tried vegan fish and chips at a couple of restaurants in London and always marvelled at how authentic it tasted.  The beauty of tofu is that it tastes like nothing.  It really does!  Which makes it the perfect ingredient to hold onto any sauce that you marinate it in, any spice that you shake on it or indeed, any seaweed that you wrap it in.

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While not the healthiest of dishes (deep fried, whoops), it’s one of the tastiest I’ve ever made for this blog.  Next time I’ll bump up the unhealthiness and try it with beer batter instead 😉

If you wanna go all out and have mushy peas alongside your tofush and chips, check out my recipe on this previous blog post.  Absolutely love a bit of homemade tartare sauce as well – remind me to share that on this blog at some point too!  But for now, enjoy your deep fried, fishy goodness.

Ingredients

1/2 block of tofu (approx 200gms)

1 TBsp lemon juice

2 TBsp olive oil

1/2 sheet of nori

30ml water

30ml plant milk (I used soy)

80g plain flour (plus more to thicken if batter isn’t thick enough)

1 tsp baking powder

salt & pepper

Enough oil to cover the tofush when frying (approx 5cm in height, depending on the size of your tofu).  I use sunflower oil as it has a high smoke point – much better for frying foods

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Instructions

Prepare the tofu by slicing in half, then slicing into large triangles, or any shape that you want your “fish” to look like.  I used the remaining tofu for scrambled tofu the next day.

Press the tofu in paper towels until very little moisture remains.

Add the oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to a flat bottomed dish, big enough to fit the tofu flat in the dish, and mix to combine.

Add the tofu to the dish and marinate for at least half an hour in the fridge.

While the tofu is marinating, combine the water, milk, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper in a small dish and whisk until smooth.  You want the batter to be the consistency of thick double cream.  Keep adding flour until you reach the right consistency (or milk if too thick!).

Once the tofu has finished marinating, it’s time to cut the nori.  You can either cut the nori the same size as the tofu and stick to one side, or do like I did and wrap around the tofu on all sides.

To keep the nori sheets in place I used a toothpick – much easier than fishing around in hot oil if the nori falls off.

At this point, turn on your hob to medium heat and heat up the oil.

Add the tofu with nori sheet into the batter and cover all over.

Check the heat of the oil by dropping a small amount of batter into the oil.  If it floats and starts bubbling then it’s ready to go.  If it sinks to the bottom, give it another couple of minutes.

When the oil is hot enough, carefully place the battered tofu into the oil, turning over after about four minutes to the other side.

Remove from the oil when fried and crispy all over, and place on a paper towel.  Carefully pull out the toothpicks to ensure none of the batter comes off with them.

Serve immediately with crispy chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce.  Enjoy!

Time to cook: 20 minutes prep, 30 mins at least marinating, 10 minutes cooking = 1 hour, (or half an hour not including marinating time!)

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 2.5, got to make sure the batter is just the right consistency, plus the nori sheets can be a bit of a faff to keep on the tofu

#nowplaying: Idles – Divide & Conquer