Thursday, November 22, 2012

Give The Turkey A Reprieve!

by Hector Diego
It's some sort of buzzard, right?

You don't really want to eat this, do you? There's an alternative--tofu, the other white meat.

I've had a few versions of tofu turkey, and they all involve mashing the tofu and mixing it with other stuff. This recipe is quite different, you freeze the tofu and then deep fry it in spiced batter, then bake it with the gravy. It leaves the other tofu turkey recipes in the dust, in my opinion.

So just like I promised yesterday, here's the recipe for my wife's tofu turkey. As they say in India, it is "too good".

The Mama's Tofu Turkey

2 pounds tofu, thoroughly frozen (for a few days) --first, take it out of the packages and soak it several times in purified water, then place in a freezer container, tightly covered

2 cups chick pea (garbanzo bean) flour
1 cup white or whole wheat flour
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp powdered asafoetida (hing) you get it at a Chinese or Indian store
1/4 black or cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric

Mix together

Add water slowly and mix some more until you get the consistency of pancake batter, start with one cup and increase as needed

In a deep pot or wok, fill to 4-5 inches vegetable oil

Squeeze out water as much as you can from the tofu (remove from freezer several hours beforehand to thaw) as if it were a sponge, cut into half inch slabs

Dip each slab into the batter and fry on medium high heat until golden brown, set aside


Heat 1/4 cup olive oil or ghee (clarified butter or butter oil, you can get it in an Indian store or make your own, just click around for instructions) in a stock pot. Add 1/4 tsp asafoetida, saute 1 cup diced carrots, 1/4 cup diced celery. When the vegetables have softened a little, add the following spices

1 tbsp poultry seasoning (never fear, it's vegetarian)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp marjoram
1 tbsp sage (all of these are dry, not fresh, herbs)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup soy sauce or Braggs

Add about 4 cups water and simmer 15 minutes. Then add 2 cups nuts--whatever kind you have. Let cool overnight if possible (give it a least a few hours), then blend in blender

Arrange tofu in lasagna type pan and cover with the gravy

Bake at 350 until bubbly

Then you serve it with everything else, the stuffing, cranberry sauce, etc. Like real turkey, this stuff will knock you out, so settle in to watch football or something.

You should be proud of yourself. You have given a turkey a reprieve and given thanks to God and creation at the same time. Why should the President have the wonderful experience of pardoning a turkey, but not you? And had an innocent Thanksgiving meal.

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