Here is the tofu recipe I tried out this past week!  Sorry I didn’t get any pictures this time around…but it was pretty yummy!

Tofu with Mushroom Ragu

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 pound mixed mushrooms, like creminis, shiitake, oyster, white button
1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
1/2 carrot, finely chopped
1/2 celery rib, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon corn starch
2 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound tofu, patted dry and sliced into 4 pieces
Chopped Parsley, for garnish (I didn’t use it and I didn’t miss it)

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat, then add the garlic, mushrooms, onion, carrots, and celery.  Begin to sweat the vegetables, season them with salt and pepper, then add the tomato paste.  While the veggies are sweating, mix the cornstarch and the vegetable stock in a medium bowl to create a slurry.  Add that mixture to the vegetables reduce the heat to medium low.  Cook that up for another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick saute pan (over high heat) heat up the canola oil.  Slide the tofu into the pan and cook for 3 minutes per side, or until browned.  To serve, place tofu on your plate and top with the mushroom ragu.  Use the parsley as a garnish if you wish.

I actually really liked this meal.  My dad nibbled at it and didn’t hate it.  I had a lot of leftover ragu that I think would taste good over pasta too, and my dad ate the sauce over his meatloaf that night.  I found that if you let it sit for a bit for digging in the tofu tastes a little better.  I chopped my tofu up and ate it with the sauce…almost like a stew.  My only note of caution: make sure to really use a large skillet for the tofu, rather than one that will just fit the tofu.  The reason?  If the pan is smaller in diameter, the oil lays a little deeper. When that happens the tofu absorbs that extra oil and the texture of the tofu is affected.  For one, the edges don’t get as crispy and the inside is a bit mushier.  You’re probably thinking “Fine, just use less oil.” which makes sense, but you’d have to add more anyway or else the tofu would get a bit too crispy [read as: the tofu would burn].

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