Please Vote: Barbecue Braised Tofu

A while back, I received an email about an interesting contest, The Mystery Ingredient Blogger Showcase. Sign up to receive a mystery ingredient and then come up with a recipe to be entered into a competition. I was hopeful the mystery ingredient wouldn't be a lobster or bacon and luckily, it wasn't. The mystery ingredient? Colman's Mustard. Yesss. I LOVE mustard. I wrote this post about all the mustards I have. And the one that was missing? Colman's. But not any more!

Next up, I had to think of something creative to use with the mustard (they sent standard mustard as well as powder). I thought for days and finally settled on tofu braised in barbecue sauce. Not least because I'm always trying to find a way to make tofu a lot more palatable. And braising is a great way to prepare it because it really soaks up all the flavor of the liquid, so there's no soybean taste at all. And freezing the tofu before cooking gives it a great texture not unlike moist chicken.

Barbecue_Braised_Tofu

And this barbecue sauce? It's delicious. I just started with a good base of mustard sauce and added what I knew would make it better. It yielded a pint of sauce, so I had plenty leftover to top on a blackeyed pea burger and I'll use more to make my jackfruit barbecue. And, it turns out that the tofu actually made a really good slider (better than naked entree), particularly when topped with a curry pickle.

barbecue_braised_tofu_slider

Anyway, I entered my recipe and a photo and eagerly awaited the news I received yesterday--I'm a finalist! From here on out, the rest of the work is up to friends and fans. I need your help to win by clicking this link to vote for me. Just scroll down past the contest details and vote by clicking the button next to my entry (the third one down). Please? The grand prize is a trip for two to England, but I'd be happy just to win any of the prizes.

You can vote multiple times, but only ONCE PER DAY. So, yeah, I'm going to be reminding people to vote every day for the next two weeks (I apologize in advance).

Scroll to the bottom of this post to get a great coupon for Colman's mustard so you can make this yourself! (Or any of the other great recipes on the contest site.)

Barbecue-Braised Tofu
serves four

1 package of freezer-prepared firm or extra firm tofu*, 14-18 ounces (instructions follow)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup vegetable broth
4 tablespoons Colman’s Mustard Barbecue Sauce (recipe to follow)
lemon juice (optional)

Slice the block of tofu in half and then cut in half again to have 4 tofu “steaks” and set aside.

Heat oil in a large, deep skillet or braising pan on medium-high. Once the oil is hot, add the tofu and cook until browned on each side.

Remove pan from heat and place tofu on a paper towel to drain. Remove any crumbs from the pan.

Pour the broth and the barbecue sauce into a small bowl and whisk to mix well. Once the pan has cooled some, add half the broth/sauce mixture and return to low heat. [If it sizzles and burns off quickly, the pan is too warm.]

Add the tofu back to the pan and add the remaining liquid. Simmer over low heat until the sauce has reduced to desired consistency (15-20 minutes), turning the tofu occasionally so that both sides absorb the liquid.

Serve immediately or re-heat in short intervals in the microwave. Top with braising sauce and a squeeze of lemon juice. Pairs well with pickles and slaw as well as steamed vegetables and makes an excellent sandwich with curried pickles.

*Note: this can be made with tofu that has just been drained well and not frozen. Freezing only affects the texture, not the taste of this dish.

Colman’s Mustard Barbecue Sauce
yield: one pint

½ cup finely diced onion
1 clove minced garlic
¼ cup olive oil (or other vegetable oil)
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
¾ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup honey
½ cup Colman’s Mustard Powder
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon sriracha
1 teaspoon ginger powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin

Saute onion and garlic in oil over medium-low heat in a large saucepan until onions are soft and transluscent, but not crispy, about 10 minutes. Add in tomato paste, vinegar, and honey and stir to blend well.

Add remaining ingredients and simmer, covered on low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Freezer-Prepared Tofu

Freezing tofu changes the texture to give it a meatier feel. To freeze, first open and drain the packaged. Then remove additional excess water from the tofu by putting the block between two plates and weighting it (I use a stack of two bowls. After about 15 minutes, remove the weights and squeeze the two plates together and drain sideways into a sink.

Place the drained tofu in the freezer overnight or at least 8 hours. For quick thawing, set out and check after a few hours or defrost in the microwave.

Colman's Mustard Coupon

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