Monday, March 25, 2019

Spicy Buffalo Tofu Fingers from Pescan

A southern restaurant chain used to have buffalo tofu on the menu, and we would drive out of our way just to have some. A few years later they opened a restaurant in our town, but by then, they had removed the buffalo tofu from the menu. As I looked through Pescan: A Feel Good Cookbook by Abbie Cornish and Jacqueline King Schiller, several recipes caught my eye, but when I hit this recipe in the last section ("Party Food,") I knew what I would try first.

The entire cookbook is plant-based and dairy-free (with the addition of seafood in some of the recipes.) I did not make the Avocado Ranch Dressing they have listed with this recipe because I did not have immediate access to nutritional yeast at my grocery store (this is still considered a specialty ingredient here in the south.) Instead I bought commercial Avocado Ranch that does contain dairy, and also made a sour cream blue cheese dip since that is what I think of with buffalo flavor. Please consult the cookbook for that part of the recipe.

Tofu can sometimes be a struggle, and I've had a hard time bringing flavor into baked tofu. I really like the technique in this recipe, and would probably adopt it with other marinades/sauces as well. The only step I added was using my tofu press to remove even more moisture from the blocks of tofu.

Spicy Buffalo Tofu Fingers
(from Pescan)

2 (16-oz) packages super-firm tofu (I used extra-firm)
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup hot sauce (any that lists vinegar as an ingredient; I used Frank's)
1/4 cup sriracha
3 tbsp honey*
2 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves

Preheat the oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the tofu into fingers about 3/4 inch wide on all side and 3 inches long. Lay the fingers on the baking sheet so there is a little space between each one and bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small pot, melt the oil over medium-low heat. Add the hot sauce, sriracha, and honey and whisk to combine. Turn off the heat. Remove the tofu from the oven and brush with the sauce on all sides. Bake for 15 minutes more.

Turn the tofu fingers in the oven and brush with any remaining sauce. Bake for a final 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. If the tofu has not browned after 45 minutes, you can place it under the broiler 2-4 minutes before serving.

*The cookbook is plant-based and dairy-free but I'm noting that honey is still present. If you are completely vegan you of course will want a different ingredient here, maybe molasses or agave.

Pescan: A Feel Good Cookbook
 I like this way of cooking, and having seafood in the mix means the recipes include everything we eat in my house. The pictures in the cookbook are vibrant and really invite you in. Some seem to require a better juicer/blender than I have, and I would probably be more likely to buy nut milks than make my own, but I like the from-scratch mentality for sure.

Other recipes I have my eye on:

Golden Tea for Two
Strawberry-Lemon Chia Seed Jam
Banana Pancakes with Cardamom Spiced Berries
Spring Salad with Green Goddess Dressing
White Bean and Celery Salad with Pesto Grilled Shrimp

This post is sponsored by ABRAMS Books, as part of the ABRAMS Dinner Party. 
Pescan is available March 26, 2019.

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