I guess you could say I was a little out of my element? The BBQ and I aren’t exactly the best of friends…
A few months ago the Recipe Redux theme was ‘Start Smoking in the New Year’ – (yeah, I’m getting in a little late) hence the BBQ idea popping up:
The New Year is heating up with smoke and spiciness. From boldly flavored smoked salts to actual smoking techniques, subtly smoked food is on-trend. The same can be said for spice as we savor heat from harissa, sriracha and smoked paprika. Show us the healthy dish you’re heating up with smoke and/or spiciness.
My first thought was my Vegetarian Chilli but then I thought I should try something new. I follow a few American nutrition and food blogs and quite often see a recipe call for ‘Liquid Smoke’, but I have never been able to find it anywhere in Oz. So the cheat’s way was out…then I wondered how I would go about doing it the proper way. But how to smoke food without a barbecue? This just opened up a can of worms..and a trip to the hardware store… and a house smelling like ribs. Got there in the end.
Smoked Tofu, Almonds & Green Beans.
Once upon a time I found a block of smoked tofu in a health food shop. It was delicious, and expensive, and I never bought it again. So here is an attempt to recreate it! And an impressive option for all you vegetarians and vegans going to summer barbecues, only to face a sad bowl of ice berg lettuce and bread rolls with tomato sauce. I feel ya. Take this and everyone will want to be your friend. I mean, it’s not going to pass as sticky ribs anytime soon, but who wants to have to eat with their fingers and get sauce all over their face anyway?
Get your smoke on..
1 x block of tofu, cut into slices
1 x cup wood chips (I used hickory)
1 x aluminium baking tray
a lot of foil
Soak the wood chips in water over night. Layer the bottom of the tray with the wood chips and a little bit of water, then sit an elevated tray inside the aluminium tray for the tofu slices to sit on. Wrap well in foil. Place in the oven and leave it in there for 3 hours.
SIX HOURS later and I took my tofu out of the oven.
To be perfectly honest, I was really disappointed that it wasn’t ‘smokier’. Seeing as how I had committed half my life to this recipe, the tofu was a bit of an anti-climax. Ahh well, you live and you learn. The end result was delish – read on for the saviour – the tahini dressing and green beans are a win for sure.
And the rest…
2 cups green beans
1/2 cup roasted almonds, chopped
100g fresh rocket leaves
2 TBS tahini
1 TBS lemon juice
salt & pepper
Top & tail the beans and saute them in a bit of olive oil. Add them to a big bowl with roasted almonds, rocket and tofu.
Combine the tahini, lemon juice and s & p in a small bowl and then pour it on over. I added a little warm water to the dressing to thin it out a bit, but whatever goes.
(I will certainly not hold it against you for saving six hours and not trying this one at home).
The end x