Tuesday, August 14, 2007

White Bean Cassoulet over Fusilli with Hickory Smoked Twice-Fried Tofu, Roasted Broccoli, Soupe a la Bonne Femme

Dinner 8/14

White Bean Cassoulet over Fusilli with Hickory Smoked Twice-Fried Tofu
(recipe below)

Roasted Broccoli

Soupe a la Bonne Femme
(potato and leek soup, from Escoffier)

As we've mentioned before, this is one of our son's favorite dishes, but this really isn't the season for it -- until today, when it was downright... pleasant (mid 70's).

The twice-fried tofu pairs well here with the white beans (cannellini), adding a nice textural crunch to the creamy beans, as well as a hearty smoked flavor to the entire dish.

White Bean Cassoulet

1 medium onion sliced
1 tbs. of garlic, minced
2 tsp. herbes de provence (or thyme)

8 oz. soyrizo (or soaked TVP plus 1 tsp. of cumin)
15 oz. can of cannelini beans
1/2 cup tomato sauce (or fresh tomatoes diced)
smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Hickory Smoked Twice-Fried Tofu (see below)

In a saute pan over medium heat, add 1 tbs. olive oil and the sliced onion. cook until translucent and just starting to show some color, 4-6 minutes. Add the garlic and herbes de provence and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove from pan and place on a plate.

Add 1 tbs. of olive oil and add the soyrizo (or tvp) and saute, scraping the pan occasionally until starting to show signs of carmelization, 4-6 minutes.

Add the onion and garlic back to the pan along with the cannellini beans (and their liquid), tomato sauce and smoked paprika (to taste). Stir to combine, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally so it won't stick to the bottom as it will get quite thick near the end of cooking. Check for seasoning as the beans will probably need some salt at this point.

Add the twice-fried tofu and serve over pasta.

Twice-Fried Tofu

16 oz. extra-firm tofu cut into eight rectangular cutlets
canola oil

Cut the tofu into eight individual cutlets.

If you're smoking the tofu, add the hickory chips to your smoker box and process for 20-30 minutes. Remove the tofu from smoker box.

Over med-high heat add the canola oil and pan-fry until golden brown on both sides (about 8 minutes). Remove from pan and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Or, you can refrigerate the tofu at this point, up to a day in advance.

Slice the tofu diagonally into strips about a 1/4" thick. Add about 1 tsp. of canola oil to the pan, and return to med-high heat, turning occasionally for 3-5 minutes. Lower the heat to low, add tamari to taste (about 1 tbs.) and continue to cook for an addition 1-2 minutes until the tofu begins to get crispy.

If you don't have a smoker, you can add 1 tsp. of smoked paprika right after the tamari.

Try not to eat them all before you add them to the cassoulet...

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