Friday, July 20, 2007

Fried Tofu and Fried Okra

Two for one! Actually it is kind of three for one since there is also corn in the picture but that isn't really a recipe. Throw corn in a pan with a little oil and seasoning, in this case, Italian.

I know that okra and tofu aren't very popular ingredients but Kay has loved both of these since she was really little. (She really is a little strange I think!).

I'm not sure why I decided to cook these when I was already starting to get a headache! The recipes aren't hard but it does require you to stand over the stove the whole time and coordinate everything without burning it. I was actually successful this time even though the headache was taking a strong turn towards migraine by the time we sat down to eat! I think that is proof that these are pretty simple to prepare. The sight of all those pans to clean wasn't very pleasant though!

The tofu recipe is my own but the okra one is thanks to Alton Brown. We've tried several versions of fried okra but this is our favorite.

Fried Tofu
1/2 block of firm lite tofu
Equal amounts of all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cornmeal, wheat germ, ground flax seeds, and breadcrumbs (about 1/8 cup of each)
Vegetable oil for frying
Salt and pepper to taste

Drain the tofu and cut into bite size cubes. Mix the breading ingredients (whichever ones you prefer) in a Ziploc bag. Add the tofu cubes and gently coat them with the breading.

Heat a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil in a saute pan (just enough to cover the bottom of the pan) over medium heat. Add the tofu. Allow it to cook about 5 minutes. You don't want to mess with it too much but you should check periodically to make sure it isn't burning. Turn the tofu to brown on the other side.

Remove the tofu from the pan to paper towels to drain slightly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Here is a link to Alton's actual recipe. I followed it pretty closely except I had to adjust the amounts since we didn't have a pound of okra.
Fried Okra
1/2 pound okra
1/4 cup corn meal
Vegetable oil
Salt and pepper

Cut the okra into bite size pieces (more on the small side) and rinse them in cold water. Place the cornmeal in a Ziploc bag and add the okra. Mix to coat.

Add enough oil to cover the bottom of a skillet. Heat over medium. Add the okra in a single layer and cook about 7 minutes. Stir and then cook about 5 more minutes.

Remove the okra from the pan to paper towels to drain. Season with salt and pepper.

Kay: I like these very much. I think everyone should try okra and tofu because even if you think you don't like it, you might! A lot of people think this food is only for vegetarians but I like it even though I'm a meat eater.

Mom (Dana): These are side dishes but one of our standby meals is making several side dishes and calling it a meal! Kay hates it when people on TV say "tofu - eww!" She always says, "I bet they never even tried it"!!

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