Thursday, May 03, 2007

Pepper-Crusted Tofu and Mac 'n Cheeze

Last weekend I watched America's Test Kitchen and they made pepper-crusted filet mignon. Now, obviously the idea of filet mignon isn't exactly appealing to me, but I was intrigued with the idea of pepper-crusting something and just had to try it. I marinated the pressed tofu in some doctored-up (vegan Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard) homemade barbeque sauce, then roughly followed the America's Test Kitchen recipe (sorry, you have to register on their site to see the recipes) for the pepper-crust part. I didn't bother trying to pan-sear the tofu because I thought the crust would just fall right off. I baked it at 450 degrees for 15 minutes per side. While the tofu was baking, I heated the rest of the sauce on the stove over medium heat to let it reduce a bit. I liked the sauce, but my boyfriend said that, while it was good, he thought it was better suited for pork. Having never had pork, I'm not exactly sure what that means. Neither of us had ever had anything pepper-crusted before. I don't think either of us ever will again, either. I strongly disliked the texture and after two bites, scraped the crust off of mine. He thought it was too spicy and scraped most of the crust off of his, too. When I served the leftover tofu, I scaped off the crust first. So, the moral of the story is that I don't recommend pepper-crusting tofu. It was a lot of work for something that was kind of gross.

This is macaroni with cashew cheddar cheese from the Real Food Daily cookbook. The actual recipe calls for spelt noodles, but 1) I already had regular macaroni, and 2) spelt noodles aren't very appealing to me. This was good, but the cashew cheddar is certainly not a cheap recipe to make, as it calls for quite a bit of agar. I didn't use all of the cashew cheddar for the macaroni, and I put the rest in a container in the fridge to let it harden into a slice-able cheese. I had some of said cheese with some wheat crackers for breakfast this morning. It wasn't bad, but I found the cheese to be kind of stinky. It also wasn't quite as solid as it should have been, but that's my fault because I didn't have quite enough agar for the recipe.


YumDC Emily! said...

Goodness! I really need to hope on the vegan mac and cheese boat; your mnc looks SO good.

KleoPatra said...

Laura, my fave comfort foods. You posted some serious "food pr0n" in my book. Looks so amazing!! Wow. And of course, i've never had pork either. Weird to think of that, 'eh?

Veg-a-Nut said...

So sorry your pepper crusted tofu came out nasty, but the mac and cheese looks great.

Jill Renee said...

I made the mac'n cheese tonight as well, and some tips on making the "cheeze":
- if you make 1/2 the recipe, and only intend to use it for melty cheese sauce; it doesn't need all the agar called for.

-you can buy 1.5 oz of agar threads at a chinese market for less than $2
(but then you end up going there and going to town on all the other stuff there....)

we really like the mac'n cheeze.

hope this helps!


Mikaela said...

Love this: "It was a lot of work for something that was kind of gross." Good to know! :D