Tofu with Broccoli & Mushrooms in Princess Sauce

This worked so well I don’t want to forget it!
I combined a couple recipes from Chinese Cookery by Rose Cheng & Michele Morris and used tofu instead of chicken or pork.

1 box Tofu

Marinade:
1 Tbsp. rice wine
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. grated ginger root

Seasoning Sauce:
1 Tbsp. rice wine
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. sesame oil

6-10 dried red hot peppers
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 small head of broccoli sliced, stems sliced separately
2-3 scallions, sliced diagonally
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup chicken broth

Place tofu in marinade, let stand at least 30 minutes. (I set it up early in the day and put it in the fridge until dinner)

Mix seasoning sauce and set aside. Prepare all vegetables.

Heat 2-3 Tbsp. oil in wok with a couple peppers. Add tofu and stir fry until well browned. Using a slotted spoon, remove tofu, draining oil over wok; set aside.

Heat oil, adding more if necessary. Add garlic, ginger and broccoli stems. Stir fry 1-2 minutes. Add mushrooms and whites of scallions, stir fry an additional minute or two.

Add broccoli, toss. Add chicken broth and cover until water is absorbed and broccoli is cooked.

Add tofu, seasoning sauce and remaining scallions. Stir fry until sauce thickens and is heated through. Stir in cashews and serve.

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Simple Sesame-Soy Noodles

I have no idea where I took this recipe from. When our family first began eating a heavily influenced vegetarian diet I was on the hunt for any recipe that made tofu edible. I served these noodles with a Broccoli, Carrot, Cashew and Tofu stir-fry. The stir-fry was acceptable but the noodles are what carried the meal.

1/2 lb. Udon or Soba noodles
1 1/2 Tbsp. canola oil
2 tsp. dark sesame oil
2-3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. grated ginger
1 tsp. rice vinegar
2-3 scallions, thinly sliced

1. Begin cooking noodles
2. Whisk remaining ingredients, except scallions
3. Drain noodles, place in a bowl and toss with sauce. Top with scallions.

Broccoli, Carrot & Cashew Stir-Fry with Tofu
1 lb. firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 Tbsp. canola oil
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
3-4 Tbsp. dry wine (rice wine works fine)
5 heaping cups broccoli florets
3 large carrots, peeled and cut diagonally
1/3 cup unsalted, toasted cashews, coarsely chopped
Extra soy sauce

1. Heat oil & soy sauce in wok. Add tofu and stir-fry 2-3 minutes.
2. Add wine, broccoli and carrots. Cover and steam 5 minutes over medium heat.
3. Uncover, turn up heat and stir-fry 2-3 minutes more until liquid is absorbed.
4. Toss with cashews and serve.

Paneer

I have easy access to Indo-Pak grocery stores in my area, but Paneer is easy to make. Sometimes it just seems easier to make it than run to the store. (I really hate to shop.)

2 quarts milk or 1 quart half-and-half
2-3 Tbsp. lemon juice (white vinegar makes an acceptable substitution)

Bring milk to a boil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Stir in the lemon juice. Continue to cook and stir until curds rise to the top and a clear liquid remains.

Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.

Strain through a fine mesh sieve, lined with 3 layers of cheesecloth. The whey can be kept and used for the liquid in rice or soup.

Gather up the cloth and form a bundle and hang it on a faucet of over a bowl. Twist and squeeze out the excess liquid, allow to drain up to 30 minutes. I find it is better to not let the cheese get too cold or it doesn’t compress as well in the next step.

On a cutting board, shape the pouch into a patty about 1/2-inch thick. Place a heavy water-filled pot on the cheese to compress it. Leave it stand about 2 hours.

Remove from the cheesecloth and use immediately or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. The cheese may be frozen up to a month.

Baked Thai Style Tofu

Adapted from Simple Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin.

1 block extra-firm tofu, cut into 3/4-inch cubes and patted very dry
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

Marinade
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. dark sesame oil
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Combine marinade. Pour over tofu and peppers. Marinate up to eight hours, toss occasionally.

Sauce
1 Tbsp. peanut butter (natural works best but if all you have is Skippy use it!)
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 scallion, sliced very thinly
2 tsp. fresh basil, chopped
2 tsp. chopped fresh mint or 1/2 tsp. dried

Place tofu and marinade in a large shallow baking dish, it should be one layer. Bake at 450˚ for 15 minutes, tossing once halfway through cooking.

Mix Sauce.

Remove tofu from oven and pour on sauce, toss to coat. Return pan to oven and bake an additional 10 minutes. Remove and let rest 10 minutes.