Sunday, November 8, 2009
Country-Fried Tofu with Golden Gravy
I didn't grow up in a southern household. Far from it! I grew up in an immigrant household in Canada, but I lurve me some awesome southern food. In fact, everytime I visit my friend Jen in Chicago, we always hit up Soul Vegetarian as my first meal there (yeah I know Chicago isn't the south but their Soul Veg is the tops!).
You can probably tell by my posts that I'm really into North American comfort food. Don't get me wrong, I have extremely diverse tastes in cuisine but I always come back to comfort food. I'm not really sure why! Maybe because I didn't grow up with it so it was always a novelty and something special. Because of my love for comfort food, how could I resist making Country-Fried Tofu with Golden Gravy (Page 285)? This recipe is marked as fast, and it really did come together quickly. You can cut down the time even further by using a sauce pan for the gravy instead of the same pan as the tofu.
The tofu is dredged in cornstarch which is common in Chinese cuisine, but a bit different than most fried tofu recipes. The cornstarch gives it a light crispiness that really can't be accomplished with a flour dredging. The seasoning is simple for the tofu, just salt and pepper. Might sound boring but it's not especially with the gravy.
Ah the gravy. So simple to make but so comforting and tasty. The gravy starts like a regular gravy with aromatics, roux, stock but where this shines is the use of chickpeas. The chickpeas give the gravy extra creaminess, taste and nutrition. I opted not to blend the entire onion mixture as I wanted some onion chunks it. Also depending on how salty your stock is, you may or may not need to add in a touch more soy sauce.
Together, both items worked perfectly — crispy fried tofu with a delicious, rich, smooth and silky gravy. The gravy was so good that I kept dipping into it as I was frying my tofu. It would also be fantastic with biscuits for a real southern-style breakfast. Thankfully I doubled the gravy so I know what I'll be having tomorrow — biscuits and gravy!
— Ms. Veganorama