This is my second VeganMoFo post for 2014. For more information on this month’s theme, see my Cook from Books description here.
I am a huge fan of the blog, Herbivoracious. Run by Michael Natkin, it’s been an ongoing inspiration to me as I continue to learn and grow in the kitchen. I love finding and discovering new-to-me ingredients that celebrate cuisines around the world, and Herbivoracious is packed with them. I especially love how Michael technically and expertly knows his stuff in the kitchen, but still has the ability to think outside the box and has fun doing it. (Check out his King Oyster Mushroom with Roasted Cherries and Sage, his Experiment with Tapioca Maltodextrin and Grapefruit Crudo to see what I’m talking about!)
So when Michael published a cookbook under the same name of his blog, I quickly snatched up a copy and was thrilled that it reflected and embraced the same qualities that makes his blog so great: it celebrates cuisines from around the world, is written with a command of his subject matter without losing his trademark approachability and infuses a sense of playfulness and joy into each and every recipe throughout the pages of the cookbook. I first made his Tea-Smoked Lychees back in 2012, and still love how artful and fun they were to shop for, make and eat.
So on to what I’ve made here: Michael’s Caramel-Cooked Tofu, which will delight any tofu lover and turn any tofu-hater into a believer after one bite. This tofu is seared well in a cast iron pan, then drenched in a thick sauce that’s mostly sweet, a little dark and highly aromatic.
Once it’s ready, you’ll need to wait for it to cool off considerably because the sauce is really thick and holds in the heat (I burned my tongue on the first bite, but it was kind of worth it). I loved swirling the tofu around in the sauce before taking a bite, which is slightly crispy on the outside and warm and soft on the inside, kind of like French Toast. (Just look at those crispy edges to your right!) Jeff and I loved every bite of this dish, which is just one of 150 recipes that Herbivoracious has to offer.
Next up to make: Soba Noodles in Shiitake-Shoyu Broth with Spring Vegetables, Kimchi Jigae with Shiiake and Daikon, Potatoes and Chantrelles in Red Wine, Mango Puffs with Lemongrass-Coconut Pudding and Black Sesame, Apple-Celery Sorbet and Vegetarian Nuoc Cham.