Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Summertime Tofu Tacos

With the crazy summer heatwave we were having last week, most nights I couldn't make myself cook anything hot.  That said, I fired up the stove-top Sunday night to put together this meal. 

T and I were at the beach when I started to consider what we'd do for dinner.  I threw out sausage tacos OR..... tofu.  I sorta summed up the gist of what I'd do, and he was intrigued!  High five!  Tofu Tacos it would be!

When I posted the photo on fb, & got an inquiry about how I made them, I decided I might as well throw it on the lil blog here.  So- here it goes... my Tofu Tacos (serves 2-3 people)

For the tofu:
Step 1: Take 1 pack of Extra Firm tofu (liquid drained) and slice into 1/2" slices.  Take paper towels and blot out as much moisture as possible (this helps if from being mushy later).  Then cut them in 1/2 again (to make the sticks like the picture).  Again, blot out as much moisture as possible and set aside, spread out on a plate.

Step 2: On wax paper (or foil, a plate, whatever) mix together approx (I never measure when I'm winging it, so these are my guesses- def add or remove spices according to your preferences) 
1 and 1/3 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 big TB chili powder
1 big TB paprika
few shakes garlic salt
few shakes cayenne pepper
few shakes onion powder
1 big tsp cumin

Step 3: Whip up an egg while you heat some olive oil in a skillet.  I don't use a ton, just enough to coat the whole bottom of the skillet without any blank spots.  
Coat the tofu sticks in the egg then drop into the coating mixture.  I find that its easiest to do like, 5 sticks at a time, and then roll them gently to coat all the sides.  Place them on a dry plate while you do the next 5 or so, till you're done.  Just work as quickly as possible here since 1) Your oil is on the heat and 2) You don't want your breadcrumbs to get soggy.

Step 4: Pan saut√© them and use tongs to flip them after about 2-3 minutes or so.  Just keep rotating them until all sides are golden.  Flip gently so the coating doesn't all fall off (this is where tongs are best).

For the toppings:
I used CORN tortillas (so much better than flour in my opinion) slightly heated in the toaster-oven (or wherever).  Tip: If they break apart while eating, just double them.

Shmear of: I make this combo of Mayo and all the spices listed above from the tofu breading (minus the panko), plus some lime juice-- its delish and creamy.  Adds a TON of flavor.  Just mix it till its orangey-red, and smear on the tortilla

Jar of 'medium' salsa (obvs if you make your own you get super bonus points)

Bagged 'Mexican Cheese blend' (Actually, queso fresco would be amazing--- unless you're vegan, then I guess just substitute accordingly)

LOTS of fresh cilantro (if you love it, like we do- if not, boo sad for you)

Sliced romaine lettuce

Fresh lime squeezed on top

Green onion (optional)
Jalepeno (optional), etc etc!

I made grilled chayote squash to go with it, which was BANGIN (just peel and slice in 1/2" slices (remove little seed spot with a spoon) sprinkle with season salt, pepper and olive oil) then grill for 5 mins on both sides. (I used a grill pan inside which worked great)
Thats it!  I think written down it looks like way more than it really is!!  The fact that it's tofu actually makes these super awesome for the hot summer since you don't feel grossly full afterwards.  
Oh- and my summer 2013 beer accompaniment of choice: Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy

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