Tuesday, January 26, 2010

South of the Border

I look forward to my new adventure in Northwest Arkansas(Winslow) but it is not without a heavy heart that I leave my home in Dallas. I have never been a big fan of Dallas but like anyplace I go I like to think I bloom where I am planted. When we moved here 12 years ago I was struck by how different the Mexican immigrants seemed than the Cubans and Puerto Ricans I lived amongst in Ft. Lauderdale. The language was not so rapid fire and the people not so flashy. I have come to know so many Mexican immigrants here and know that my life is so much more rich because of it. And my palate has been enriched as well.

I made a mole poblano some years back with turkey that I brought to work for one of our common meal sharing days. It was a long process but turned out great and was well received. The Mexican women I worked with loved it and it was important to me that they did. Not only were they a loving and warm group to work with but all were great cooks in their own right. When you are welcomed in to their hearts, you are fed well! I thought I would make a vegan mole today but am having trouble envisioning tofu in mole sauce that does not look like something my neighbor's dog left behind. I took an informal survey at Gloria's yesterday and the consensus is that if you don't have time to make your own, Dona Maria's is the best brand of mole to go with. Maybe next week.

Tonight, a vegan tofu scramble from The Post Punk Kitchen that I am adapting into Chilaquiles. Chilaquiles is one of those recipes that utilizes leftover bread (tortillas) and maybe whatever else you have on hand.There are lots of variations. This one is based on eggs. In this case, scrambled tofu which has been a real revelation for me. I never thought I would ,but I LOVE it! And I like the idea of having breakfast food for dinner. With a nice bottle of Shiraz.

8 Corn Tortillas, stale or dried out in the oven for a few minutes

1/4 cup Olive Oil

1 Medium Onion , chopped in 1/2 inch chunks

2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms

2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound extra firm tofu, drained

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

juice of 1/2 lime

Vegan Sour Cream for garnish

Salsa of your choice for garnish

Spice Blend

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed in your fingers

1 teaspoon ground paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon salt

Slice the tortillas into one inch squares. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat until hot but not smoking and fry the tortillas until crisp. Drain on paper towels and drain all but about 2 tablespoons of the oil. Saute the onions in the oil for about three minutes until soft, add the mushrooms and saute for five minutes more. Add the garlic and saute for a few more minutes then the spice mixture for about 15 seconds. Add 1/4 cup of water and deglaze the pan.

Crumble in the tofu and mix well without crushing . Let the tofu cook for about 15 minutes gently lifting the tofu and incorporating into the spice mixture. Add the lime juice and nutritional yeast, stir and then add the fried tortilla strips. Garnish with "sour cream" and salsa of your choice.

Buen Provecho!

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