I had a delicious meal at Denver's premier vegetarian & vegan restaurant Watercourse Foods, which consisted of a crispy blackened tofu cutlet topped with a dreamy coconut cream sauce, and served over a bed of brown rice and steamed vegetables. Dang was it good. I got to thinking when I arrived home that I could prepare this dish myself and so I did a little experimenting. I came up with a very similar entree, and used the extra vegetables I had in the house to steam. The peanut sauce is so good and versatile. You could really use it on any vegetable or tofu to jazz it up. It turned out great!
Blackened Tofu Cutlet (Baked, Grilled or Fried You Decide)
2 blocks of extra firm organic tofu, sliced lengthwise to make 4 cutlets
bottle of creole blackened seasoning
2 tbsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos, or low-sodium soy sauce
salt/pepper to season
1-2 tbsp oil for frying or baking in a baking dish
1. Take tofu cutlets and season w/ salt and pepper, and coat in soy sauce.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (if baking) or add oil to a fying pan and place on med-high heat (if frying).
3. Drench the cutlets w/ blackened seasoning. You want this on THICK.
4. Place cutlets in a baking dish w/ oil & remaining soy sauce drippings (if baking), or in the hot frying pan (if frying). Bake for 20-30 minutes uncovered, flipping once during cooking. Fry until browned on both sides and remove from oil. **Or you can grill for a few moments on each side if a grilling is an option.
*Serve the cutlets over rice, steamed vegetables and garnish w/ fresh cucumber sticks, julienne carrot & avocado!
** You can also cut tofu into crouton size, or leave as a cutlet and serve over a salad or in a sandwich like a po' boy! The sky is the limit really.
Spicy Peanut Sauce (and Other Variations!)
Yields 3/4 Cup
1/3 cup organic peanut butter (crunchy or smooth-you decide!)
1/3 cup warm water or applejuice
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp Chinese chili paste or other hot pepper sauce (optional)
1 tbsp dark sesame oil (optional)
In a small bowl whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Super easy.
1. Pineapple Peanut Sauce
: In a saucepan, bring to simmer a cup of canned fresh pineapple and stir in the spicy peanut sauce ingredients, omitting the water. (Yields about 1 1/2 cups).
2. African Peanut Sauce
: In a saucepan, bring a cup of canned diced tomatoes to a simmer and stir in the spicy peanut sauce ingredients, omitting the water and sesame oil. (Yields about 1 1/2 cups).
3. Southeast Asian Peanut Sauce
: Use coconut milk instead of water.
**This sauce is so good, I would recommend that you make triple and use it on leftovers.