Saturday, October 31, 2009
Southwestern Spice Rubbed Tofu with Corn Relish
I have always been a marinade/sauce/gravy person and growing up, I was known to constantly drown my food (heh, remember that PSA?). I have never really used spice rubs until last Sunday out of necessity. We often skip doing groceries if I can cobble something together from what we have. We were pretty low on food but I did find a package of tofu, some frozen corn and miscellanous bits of peppers so I scoured the book and settled on these two recipes: tofu with the Southwestern Spice Rub (page 577) recipe and some Corn Relish (page 569) on the side. Yes, that is a small bite taken out of the tofu. I thought I omitted that from the plate but I guess not. :p
The spice rub took only seconds to throw together in my blender (I use one of those Magic Bullet blenders for small jobs like this — totally worth the money IMHO). The taste was definitely what you think of as Southwestern but without heat. I ended up making this as is and didn't add anything else in so I could just taste how it is without alterations. If you want heat, you can easily add some cayenne or even some tabasco or chipotle thrown in. Taste it before you rub on your food and adjust to your liking. Also, this rub is only as good as the chili powder you use since it is the primary spice used. If you use a crappy chalky tasting one, well there's not going to be a lot of flavour and your spice rub is going to suck. I know it's kind of a no-brainer but I wanted to mention it anyway. Okay, back to the food. I used the spice rub on some sliced, pressed tofu and let that sit while I made the relish. I then fried it up in some canola oil until nice and crispy. The rub definitely gave the tofu a Southwestern flair and oomph and tasted great. It would also have been great in a sandwich or a taco.
The corn relish was also super fast to put together. The most time consuming thing is the chopping, which is minimal, and the cooling. I used frozen corn in this and threw in some chopped jalapenos into the mix since I also had them lying around. As is, the corn relish was pretty tasty but I did adjust this one afterwards based on my personal tastes. See, I make pico de gallo a lot (probably a big batch once a week) so I like anything with similar ingredients to taste like that, so I upped the sugar and lime juice a bit. If you can make the corn relish with fresh corn, then do so. As convenient as frozen corn is, nothing beats the taste of fresh corn. This could also be made entirely raw as well and would still be great.
Combined, the tofu and corn relish definitely worked really well together. As mentioned above they would be fantastic in a taco or wrap and the rub would work really well with seitan. Both things came together really quickly. I'd say from start to finish (with pre-pressed tofu or pre-made seitan) you could knock this out in 30-45 minutes. A wonderful light, fast and tasty meal.
— Ms. Veganorama
P.S. Has it really only been two weeks since we started the blog? Seems like much longer!