Monday, August 07, 2006

Coffee Roasted Tofu and Seitan, Bosc Pear and Fingerling Potato Ragout

Dinner 8/7

Coffee Roasted Seitan (and Tofu)
(recipe, sort of, below)

Bosc Pear and Fingerling Potato Ragout
(recipe below)

Fig and Tomato Salad

Where do we even start with this one? ;)

The Seitan/Tofu recipe is based on the duck recipe in Marcus Samuelsson's "Aquavit" (p. 139)

We made both seitan (homemade from the other night) and tofu. Why? I wanted to see which version worked the best... turns out they're both fabulous!

As for a recipe (serves two) -- you'll need a half a block of extra firm tofu cut into four cutlets and/or one package of seitan (or 8 oz. homemade) cut into long chunky strips about 4" long.

First step: 1 cup of hot coffee, 1 tsp. of cardamom, 1" stick of cinnamon. Mix together and allow to cool. In a container big enough to allow all the ingredients to sit in one layer (or a large ziplock bag), add the seitan and tofu, and marinate for 6 hours. The tofu was scored in a cross-hatch pattern on top and bottom to allow the marinade to soak in better. Drain the seitan and/or tofu and discard the coffee mix.

Then the seitan and tofu were both smoked for 20 minutes with 1 tbs. cherry wood and 1 tsp. of ground Ethiopian coffee (this is not in Samuelsson's recipe at all, but it worked here).

Next, they were pan-fried in canola oil with an added splash of tamari at the end.

Finally, the tofu was braised briefly with 1 cup of and unfiltered/unfined zin port, 1 tsp. of cardamom and 1" piece of cinnamon. In Samuelsson's version, whole coffee beans are also added at this step. We didn't have any whole beans handy -- plus, with the smoking, it had plenty of coffee flavor at this point.

The seitan was then wrapped in phyllo, cooked in a 400F oven for 10 minutes until the phyllo was golden and covered with the port/cardamom/cinnamon reduction sauce.

They were served over the pear/potato ragout, which was amazing in of itself...

Pear and Fingerling Potato Ragout

(adapted from Marcus Samuelsson's "Aquavit")

1/2 cup Port or Madeira (we used an unfiltered/unfined zin port)
1/2 cup dry red wine (again, unfiltered/unfined)
1 tablespoons agave or honey substitute
1 sprigs fresh tarragon
1 ripe but firm Bosc pears, peeled, halved and cored
1/2 cup soy cream (either Silk or a soft tofu/soy milk combo)
1/2 cup veg stock
1/2 tablespoon soy margarine
1/4 pound fingerling or Yukon Gold potatoes
1 endives, trimmed, cored and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch wide strips


1. Combine the port, red wine, agave and tarragon in a medium saucepan. Add the pears and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the pears are slightly softened. Remove from the heat and let the pears cool in the cooking liquid.

2. With a slotted spoon, remove the pears from the cooking liquid; set aside on a plate. Combine the soy cream, veg stock, soy margarine and 3/4 cup of the pear cooking liquid in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the liquid is reduced by half.

3. Meanwhile, put the potatoes in a small saucepan, add salted water to cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly and cook the potatoes for 18 to 20 minutes, until just tender. Drain and let cool slightly, then peel and cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds.

4. While the potatoes are cooking, cut the pears crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices. Set aside.

5. When the sauce has reduced, add the pears and potatoes and heat through. Fold in the endive and serve.

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