Addendum: Tofu Your Way Into Mahmoud's Heart
According to Japanese-Food-for-Health.com, "many people dislike tofu." Mahmoud is not one of these people. When in training season, Mahmoud likes to wake up to a hearty breakfast of tofu scramble, have some salacious sweet and sour tofu for lunch, skip dinner, and order a glass of tofu straight up with an olive for a night cap. This is his secret--the key to his vitality, sex appeal, and what the New York Times once called his "ever-so-appealing smell."
Many a lady has sought Mahmoud's love, and many have failed. Don't be that lady. Follow the recipe:
Easy baked tofu (courtesy of Moosewood's Simple Suppers)
1 cake firm tofu (I usually double, especially when cooking for 3 roommates)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons grated peeled ginger root
1 garlic clove (pressed)
Note: with the ginger and garlic, particularly the ginger, more is always better.
Sweet and Sour Sauce:
Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup to the basic marinade.
In the oven:
I started off making the recipe this way, and don't get me wrong, it's good. However, I find it a little easier and quicker on the stove top. Nevertheless, for the sake of options:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the tofu into slices, cubes, triangles, or sticks. Lightly oil a baking dish large enough to hold the tofu in a single layer. Whisk together the marinade ingredients (or variation ingredients, if using) and rizzle over the tofu. Gently turn or toss to coat thoroughly. Bake uncovered, stirring once or twice, until the oil is sizzling and the tofu is firm and chewy, 30 to 40 minutes. Serve hot, at room temperature, or chilled.
On the stove top:
Open tofu package and rinse the tofu. According to my kitchen guru, Beeks, it is always best to try to drain the tofu of excess water. I usually do this, although sometimes skip it if in a rush. In any case, should you choose to "bake like Beeks," wrap the tofu block in a cloth and place it under a large book (I use the Bible) for about 5 minutes. Cut the tofu into small cubes. I like very small ones because then they get nice and crispy. Heat the vegetable oil and the sesame oil in a large skillet. Add the tofu and sauté, stirring often, for 4 or 5 minutes, until lightly golden. (If you like really crispy tofu you can leave it in way longer). Add the soy sauce and the sweet and sour sauce, lower the heat, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes longer. Add the sesame seeds in about 5 minutes before you're done cooking.
Great served with a vegetable side (like broccoli) and a grain/starch (favorites have included garlic mashed potatoes, coconut rice and saffron rice).