CASHEW-CRUSTED TOFU WITH GINGERED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SAUCE
From: Celebrating the Seasons by John Littlewood
This recipe and the one that follows utilize a method I use often: slice the tofu into "cutlet" shapes, coat it with a crust, saute, and serve with a sauce. This creates a full-flavored and satisfying vegetarian entree.
Serves 4 to 6
• 1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
• Cashew crust (recipe follows)
• 1/4 cup flour or cornstarch
• 1/2 cup milk or soy milk
• 1/4 cup canola or salad oil
• Gingered butternut squash sauce (recipe follows)
1. Drain tofu well. Wrap in a double layer of paper towels and press out as much moisture as possible. Discard paper towels and slice tofu block into 8 slices (as you would a loaf of bread). Lay another piece of paper towel on work surface, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, then lay tofu slices on salted paper towel. Sprinkle another teaspoon salt on top of tofu and cover with another piece of paper towel. Press down on paper towels (or set a baking sheet on top of paper towel-covered tofu to exert even pressure) for 10 seconds or so to remove as much moisture as possible,
2. Make Cashew crust and place in a bowl.
3. Set up a "breading station"; place flour in a medium bowl and milk in another bowl. Arrange flour, milk, and cashew crust in a row on work surface. Place the dried tofu slices to the left of the flour and begin breading: dredge slices in flour, covering completely. Lightly shake off excess flour, and dredge in milk and cashew crust. Place "breaded" tofu on a baking sheet. Repeat this process until all the tofu is coated.
4. In a large saute pan over medium heat, heat oil until it Shimmers. Carefully lay one piece of coated tofu in the pan to test heat. Tofu should bubble vigorously. Fry 4 pieces at a time. Brown both sides, then remove to paper towels and blot excess oil. Serve with the butternut squash sauce.
Makes about 1¼ cups
• 3/4 cup panko or plain bread crumbs
• 1/2 cup unsalted raw or roasted cashews
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Place all ingredients in a food processor. Process 30 seconds, or until mixture resembles cornmeal.
GINGERED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SAUCE
Makes 2 cups
• 2½ cups peeled and diced butternut squash
• 1½ cups vegetable stock
• 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
• 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
• Salt to taste
Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 15 minutes or until squash is very soft. Blend on high speed in a blender for 6 seconds, until very smooth. Taste and add salt if desired.