I've been trying to keep a block of tofu in my freezer so I'm always ready to cook some. Before I learned how to freeze tofu, I'd be tempted to pick up some at the grocery and cook it the same night. Now that I'm prepared, I find that yellow block staring at me whenever I open the freezer, challenging me to try something new and exciting.
Okay, even if it's not the tofu speaking to me, I want to try something new more often. Sometimes that's a little scary and there have been a few times I was ready to cook a frozen pizza if my meal didn't turn out. My proposed solution? Try something different that's much like something familiar.
So tonight, I give you not-fried not-chicken with smashed taters and gravy and green beans.
I drained, froze, thawed, and pressed a block of firm tofu. I sliced it into 1/2-inch slabs short ways, which gave me about 9 slices. Some weren't perfect. I made a marinaded this all day and then breaded and oven baked it.
Marinade: 4 tablespoons soy sauce; 2 cloves of garlic, pressed or smashed or chopped; a few drops of hot sauce; and a little water and nutritional yeast or broth to thin things out and spread across each tofu slab. I noticed in making this that the first pieces of tofu got all the sauce and were over-flavored but other pieces were lacking in the marinade. It's easy to tell which ones got the flavor because they darken with the soy sauce and the others stay white.
Breading: 1 cup bread crumbs, 1 cup crushed cornflakes, 1/4 cup flour, 1 teaspoon each: paprika, basil, sage, pepper, and salt.
Preheat the oven to 400F. This time I really did preheat the oven. I also made sure everything would be ready to serve as soon as the tofu came out of the oven.
Press each tofu slab into the breading mixture. If you'd like to dip the breaded slab into egg, then re-bread, more breading will stick to the tofu. I found that mine were plenty breaded with what stuck to the tofu, and once I tried to dip breaded tofu into egg and the breading fell off into the egg, pretty much making the process unsuccessful.
Spray the tops of the tofu with cooking spray. Again, this is a step I've been skeptical of the last time I did an oven-baked no-fry, but I bought some better quality cooking spray and have been pleased with the results. Bake for 10-12 minutes, the flip, spray again, and bake another 10-12 minutes.
These guys smelled like fried chicken, without the gross chicken smell. Topped with a little vegetarian gravy made from a pouch mix and served with the potatoes and beans, this is a regular Sunday dinner.