Perhaps you remember several blog posts ago when I followed Rick Bayless’ recipe to make an Oaxacan Omelette. I loved the flavors so much that I used that rich spicy-tomatoey sauce to make a wonderful comforting dinner of braised tofu over brown rice.
- Tofu, one package
- 4 oz Banana Peppers
- 1 1/2 Lbs Tomatoes, I used Roma Tomatoes
- 1/2 Small Onion, chopped
- Olive Oil
- 1 1/4 Cups Vegetable Broth
- Fresh Epazote Leaves, or cilantro if you can’t get Epazote
- Salt to Taste
- Oil for frying
- 1 Cup of dried rice, prepared in accordance to the packaging. (Although I often add a teaspoon of salt, a bay leaf and a tablespoon of fat–either olive oil or butter.)
Brown rice takes a long time to cook, so that is the first thing to start cooking. Then press the tofu to start to remove some of that liquid. Place the tofu between to plates and place something heavy on top, like a large can of beans. Allow to sit for about twenty minutes, pouring off excess liquid as necessary.
Then broil the tomatoes and banana peppers until blackened in places, and tender, about 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. Place the tomatoes in a blender, and puree, taking caution of blending something hot. Peel the papery skin off of the peppers, and remove the seed pod and veins. Cut into 1/4″ strips. Chop about 12 epazote leaves (or 1/3 cup of cilantro leaves), and prepared you chopped onion.
In a large skillet, heat a little bit of olive oil. Add the onion and cook until brown. Add the chile and pureed tomatoes. Cook over medium-high heat until the sauce thickens, about eight minutes. Add a 1 1/4 cups of vegetable broth and the epazote and cook until it thickens down to a nice sauce consistency. Keep warm over low heat.
While the sauce is cooking down, heat up 1/2″ of canola oil in a cast iron pan. Slice the tofu into sizes that that you like. I cut my block into 12 pieces. Lightly coat both sides of the tofu with salt, and lay into the hot oil. Cook on each side for two to three minutes, until golden brown. Remove and place on a paper towel lined cookie sheet. Once all tofu is fried, place in the tomato braising liquid and allow to simmer for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve three or four pieces of tofu over brown rice with a scoop or two of the tomato broth.