Tofu is an excellent source of protein, calcium and iron. It is also versatile and can be added to just about any recipe because it takes on the flavor of the other ingredients. If you are planning on adding tofu to your favorite summer recipes like I am, Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos, hosts of the Cooking Channel’s hit show, “Extra Virgin” have some great tofu tips that you can use in your kitchen.
“Cooking is an adventure,” says Gabriele Corcos, who, along with his beautiful wife, actress Debi Mazar, have become known as the Lucy and Desi of the modern kitchen on the Cooking Channel’s “Extra Virgin.” Recently, Debi and Gabriele began working with House Foods America, tofu specialists who offer a wide variety of tofu and tofu shirataki products. Having developed an assortment of delicious recipes that incorporate House Foods tofu, here are their personal tofu tips:
Don’t be afraid. Tofu is very easy to work with once you try it. As you learn the range of tofu styles available, you’ll discover how it can add a new dimension to your cooking.
Incredibly versatile. Substitute tofu for heavy, caloric ingredients like sour cream, heavy cream, mayonnaise, cream cheese or ricotta. It can even be used to make a lighter and more delicate dessert such as Tofu Tiramisu.
Not just for Asian cooking. House Foods Tofu and Tofu Shirataki work well with many other cuisines, especially Tuscan. We can be true to our cooking style and focus on simple ingredients and flavors, but with a new twist.
Recipes will specify the style of tofu you need. Soft tofu is best used in dips, smoothies, desserts, and salad dressings. Medium Firm tofu works well in casseroles, soups and salads. Firm and Extra Firm tofu are great meat substitutes and ideal for stir-frying, grilling, deep-frying, crumbled in chili, and much more.
Preparing tofu is easy. Drain as much water as possible, wrap it in paper towels to blot, and slice it according to the recipe. Cut into small cubes if blending or mashing. For most recipes including soft tofu, skip the draining step.
Preserving tofu is easy. Store leftover tofu in a water-filled, airtight container in the fridge. It can keep for two to three days, but change the water every day or two.
Tofu can be frozen. Freeze tofu in its original container or a freezer bag. To thaw, just leave it out on the counter for a few hours (don’t microwave it!). Defrosted tofu’s texture becomes spongy, and it soaks up marinade sauces well and is great for the grill.
Buy premium quality tofu. House Foods uses only non‐genetically modified (non‐GMO) soybeans grown in the USA. All House Foods Tofu products are Non-GMO Project verified and certified gluten-free.
Additionally, we find that House Foods Tofu lends itself to dozens of delicious dishes such as:
- Extra Firm Tofu can be marinated in soy sauce and then chopped into blocks and grilled (or grilled kebab-style).
- Firm Tofu is delicious when crumbled and mixed with ground turkey, onion, and breadcrumbs for tasty meatballs.
- Try Medium Firm Tofu in your next breakfast Eggless Tofu Scramble
- Soft Tofu tastes delicious in a healthy Mango Smoothie that is blended with orange juice, mango, honey, and milk or soy milk.
- Soft Tofu can also be used as a lower-fat, cholesterol-free ingredient in dressings.
- Cube Medium Firm Tofu and toss it into soups or broth (prior to seasoning) as an alternative to meats.
- Mash tofu with cottage cheese, avocado or even mix with hummus for a fun appetizer.
- Create your own tofu burgers with mashed tofu, bread crumbs, chopped onion and seasonings.
Tofu Caprese with Heirloom Tomatoes and Basil-Infused Olive Oil
Created by Debi Mazar & Gabriele Corcos, stars of Cooking Channel’s show Extra Virgin
1 (14 oz) block House Foods medium tofu sliced into 8 even slices
2 tbsp olive oil
2 peeled garlic cloves
2 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced
Fresh basil leaves
Basil-infused olive oil, recipe follows
Press and pat dry the tofu with paper towels. Season the tofu on both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in large non-stick skillet. Add garlic cloves and once they are just beginning to lightly brown around the edges, add the tofu and cook until browned, about 4 minutes on each side. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain and cool.
Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper. Layer the tomatoes and tofu on a platter with freshly torn basil and drizzle with basil oil.
Basil-Infused Olive Oil
2 bunches fresh basil, stems removed
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
Add the basil to boiling water for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Remove to a bowl of ice water to stop it from further cooking. Dry and add to a blender. Add the olive oil, and blend until smooth. Strain oil through cheesecloth into a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the lemon juice right before serving.
Yield: About 1 cup.
For more information and recipes, go to http://www.house-foods.com. You will find these recipes along with many others.
# # # Tofu specialists since 1983, House Foods America Corporation (HFAC) is dedicated to providing the most affordable, highest quality and widest range of the freshest Tofu products. In a taste test conducted by the San Francisco Chronicle, House Foods Tofu was rated #1 among its competitors and described as “creamy,” “tender” and “fresh-tasting.” The company uses only non‐genetically modified (non‐GMO) soybeans grown in the USA. All House Foods Tofu products are Non-GMO Project verified and certified gluten-free. House Foods’ commitment to protecting the environment is evidenced by its solar-powered California facility. For more information visit www.house-foods.com.
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