Saturday, July 19, 2014

Pub Tofu Fish N' Chips, Homemade Ketchup and spicy remoullade

Baby Holly decided to take a long nap today and this is what Jason and I came up with. Yes, it was a Pat and Gina Neely kinda afternoon. The depth of flavor was not deep enough in the tofu according to Jason, but I'm posting this recipe anyway. Why? Because the story is just too beautiful, not to mention that golden crust. First off, there's that ketchup. From a bottle? Nope. A friend of mine invited me to pick tomatoes from her grandpa's garden, and the respect I have for my adult ESL students got even higher. Nearly most of them work in some type of agriculture and many pick fruits and vegetables. I was out there for maybe 30 minutes tops and they do it day in and day out. It's hard not to get emotional about these people as this is my last year teaching them and next wednesday is our last night. Next year I will be starting a new endeavor as a tenth grade English teacher at the school in our district for those who may have made some mistakes or just need to make up some units. I am looking forward to being both firm and nurturing, but most importantly, not treating them like "bad kids."

So back to the ketchup. Just juice, simmer and add spices. It's that easy. Of course it doesn't taste authentic without a bit of sugar or vinegar, but the spices really take it over the top and make it it's own original thing. You can even not call it ketchup if you want-your prerogative. This is only something to do if you have bags and bags of tomatoes for free of course, and a juicer. People also add cornstarch to their ketchup but I just don't think it's necessary when you can reduce it down and get it as thick as you want. Since Holly's been born, I don't measure much and it's been pretty liberating, so here's what I have for you:

Homemade Garden Tomato Ketchup
2 big bags of tomatoes
onion powder
garlic powder

  • Juice tomatoes and pour in huge pot. Bring to a boil on high, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 or more hours, depending on desired thickness. 
  • Add salt and spices to taste. Paprika makes a huge difference!

Spicy Remoulade
onion powder

  • Mix ingredients to your liking.

French fries are from our CSA box, cut and fried.
Tofu batter was also used on zucchini from our CSA box which I devoured and did not take a picture of. I'll just tell you the slices were thin and crisp, with just the right amount of juiciness inside. The flavor for me was spot on with the deep flavor of the ketchup. I did not actually try the tofu but Jason says the slices should be thinner next time and it needed more salt. So here's what I think is a great start to some good Pub Tofu Fish N' Chips:

Pub Tofu Fish N' Chips
2 15.5 oz packs Extra Firm WildWood Tofu
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup AP flour
2 ts salt
onion powder
garlic powder
2-3 cups panko

  • Slice tofu and drain excess water between paper towels
  • Mix remaining ingredients except for panko
  • Dip tofu in batter, then coat in panko. I use two huge tupperwares for each. Deep fry. 
What I will do next time: 3 ts salt (1 Tb). Also, I will make a buttermilk by putting 1 Tb lemon juice in the measuring cup, filling up the milk to a cup and letting it curdle. I think that will take it over the top.
Update: Later on last night I had some of this tofu and it was perfect-especially with the richness of the ketchup. Jason also agreed that it was way better after sitting for a bit to firm up and cool off, not to mention his propensity for salt is much too high anyway. So the recipe is a keeper for both of us. Oh, and it's tricky with zucchini as it doesn't always guarantee a crispy yield like tofu.