Sunday, May 3, 2009

Vegan BLAT (Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, and Tomato)

Well, I told you I was going to try making some tofu bacon, and try I did. It didn't get the pleasantly tough bacon-y texture that the Platonic Form at Bouldin Creek Cafe had, but the flavor was super, and I have a feeling that it was my tofu-pressing impatience that held me back here. I also should have cut the slices thinner. Oh well, room for improvement.

Seeing as how the actual sandwich bit is just basic assembly (and obviously you can switch up any of the vegetables), I think I'll just put the recipes for some of the components along with some other tips as they come to me.

Chipotle Sauce:
1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo (depending on size)
2 tbsp. Tofutti sour cream
Generous squeeze of lime
Dash of salt

First, let me share a tip when it comes to canned chipotle peppers. No matter how small a can you get, there is no way to use up all the contents in one sitting, and the cans are of such a size that they can be pushed to the back of the fridge with ease and, sadly, forgotten. In order to solve this problem, I have begun freezing each pepper (and a bit of the adobo sauce) individually by placing them in an ice cube tray. They reheat really quickly, and it really stretches the utility of each can, as no peppers are left to molder. 

Anyways, combine the ingredients in a food processor, and blend well. Because it is such a small amount, the food processor will not be able to get everything completely combined. This is okay, because you can simply put the resulting sauce through a fine sieve. Large chunks of chipotle skin will be removed, but the flavor will remain. 

Tofu Bacon:
Approx. 1 tbsp. each smoked paprika, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and brown sugar
1/3 package extra-firm tofu
2 tsp. peanut oil, or other neutral oil

After pressing your tofu for about 20 minutes, and pushing out as much moisture as possible, combine your spices, breaking up any clumps of brown sugar with your fingers. Slice your tofu, and coat each piece well, letting it sit for at least ten minutes. 

Heat a non-stick pan over medium to medium-high heat with about 2 tsp. of peanut oil, and add in the tofu slices once the pan is hot. Cook for about 4 minutes per side, and do not be scared of some charring, as the brown sugar will burn a bit. This adds to the bacon-y flavor.

Assemble your sandwich, coating your bread liberally with the chipotle spread. I used slices of herb and garlic Double Oven Bread and toasted them on one one side by cutting the bread thin and putting two slices in each toaster compartment. Genius. 

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