Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mustard tofu in a creamy leek sauce

August 20, 2012


Leeks are lovely in creamy sauces - including vegan ones, as demonstrated by Appetite Affliction. We made her mustard tofu with our leek, plus a few fridge-friendly tweaks, this week. (Eek eek...) We got off to a slow start, prepping the cashew sauce and plucking a gazillion thyme leaves before we were ready to heat the frypan. Then it got more lively, coating the tofu coated with mustard powder and herbs and frying them up in two pans at once with sizzling, blackening bits of thyme everywhere. The tofu's cashew-creamy, leek and white wine sauce is cooked in the same pan. Marvellous!

Where AA used rosemary, wholegrain mustard and white wine, we used thyme, Dijon mustard and sherry. I think the sherry was a minor mistake, lacking the bite that the sauce needed but we otherwise got away with it. We took a another cue from AA and served our tofu with quinoa and a handful of rocket.



Mustard tofu in a creamy leek sauce
(slightly adapted from a recipe on Appetite Affliction)

cashew sauce
3/4 cup raw cashews
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon stock powder
1/2 teaspoon savoury yeast flakes
2 teaspoons margarine
salt and white pepper

mustard tofu
2 tablespoons mustard powder
2 tablespoons thyme leaves
700g firm tofu, sliced into 'steaks'
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 leek, chopped into circles
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup white wine
1 tablespoon wholegrain or Dijon mustard

In a food processor, grind the cashews to a powder. Gradually pour in two-thirds of the water while the processor is running, so that the cashews for a smooth paste. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and set it over medium-low heat. Stir through the stock powder and yeast. Stir in the margarine until completely melted, and add salt and pepper to taste. Set the sauce aside and add extra water, a tablespoon at a time, if you find the sauce too thick.

Mix together the mustard powder and thyme, then rub the mixture over the tofu 'steaks'. Heat the oil in a frypan over medium-high heat (we actually spread it across two frypans to cook all the tofu simultaneously). Fry the tofu pieces for several minutes on each side, until they're thoroughly golden and even blackening in parts (see photo above). Push the tofu to one side of the pan and throw in the leek and garlic. Stir the leek and garlic as they cook and soften for a couple of minutes. Add the wine, allowing it to cook and evaporate for a minute, then stir in the mustard and the cashew sauce. The sauce may get very thick, so add a little more water if you want it thinner, and serve it all up!

14 comments:

  1. looks like a very elegant dinner - I love the sound of these flavours. I used cashew butter instead of ground cashews recently and am wondering if it made a big difference to the sauce - I suspect it did but I was feeling lazy

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    1. Hi Johanna! Based on the colour of the cashew butter I've seen around, I wonder if the nuts are roasted rather than raw? That's a flavour I like so it wouldn't bother me. :-)

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  2. We actually decided to make this tonight but then discovered we are missing too many crucial ingredients, so will give it a go later on in the week, thanks!

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    1. You're welcome, K - I hope you like it!

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  3. Oh yum yum YUM! I've increasingly become more enamoured of mustard in recent years and am always looking for new ways to use it. Will definitely have to give this one a whirl!

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    1. Hayley - me too! I grew up in a mustardless home but quite like its vinegary tang every now and then. :-)

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  4. Mmmmm, leek sauce would definitely go well with that nicely browned tofu!

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    1. Leaf - you got that right, even if they're not a very traditional pair!

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  5. Wow!! That looks so classy. We don't use much mustard in cooking, and I usually use only a tiny bit in an involved sauce, but I would really like to try this... Tofu is one of those things I often forget can be so delicious!

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    1. Thanks, Matt! A love for tofu is a foundation for lots of meals, it's a trusty base for so many marinades and sauces... if anything I need to make an effort to diversify my protein sources a bit. :-D

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  6. This sounds lovely! I've been using mustard a lot recently and I always adore leeks so I'm sure I would like this.

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    1. I'm sure you would, Mel! They make a great pair. :-)

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  7. Sorry for taking so long to comment on this! I'm really glad you guys gave this a go and made some of your own changes - love the idea of using thyme instead of rosemary and think I'll do it myself next time! :)

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    1. Thanks again, AA! I have quite the habit of herb-switching to suit our stores. ;-)

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