Blue Plate Special #11: Crispy Fried Tofu & Mac ‘n Cheese

Tonight I was feeling nostalgic for a comfort food meal from growing up.  I’ve posted the mac ‘n “cheese” already and the crispy tofu but all together this plate is reminiscent of a regular dinner in our house on Albemarle Road in Cedarhurst.

Mac ‘n Cheese
1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/4 olive oil
1 can coconut milk
2 heaping teaspoons of Marmite
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1 box quinoa macaroni

This sauce is best when made ahead of time. (It is still great when served right away, but trust me on this. It gives the flavors time to meld and for the sauce to thicken.)

Prepare the “cheese” sauce by combining all ingredients in a little saucepan and whisking over medium heat. It will come together quickly. Take off the heat, let it cool and refrigerate it overnight or for at least a few hours. Take it out when ready to use. 

Crispy Fried Tofu with Onions & Broccoli
1 block of extra firm tofu, cut in triangles
1/2 cup rice milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 onion, sliced
1 broccoli bunch

Preheat oven to 400.

Slice up the onion. In a skillet, heat up some oil and add the onions. Season with salt and a lot of paprika. The onions should go until they are caramelized and a little burnt-ish.

Cut up the broccoli and place it on a baking sheet. Toss with olive oil and salt. Bake for about 15 minutes or until crispy.

Boil up the pasta.

Set up the tofu crusting station. First, slice the tofu block in half horizontally. Then cut each half again and then again into triangles. Mix the cornstarch into the rice milk dissolving it completely. Set up a breading assembly line:
#1 – tofu
#2 – milk mixture
#3 – cornmeal (seasoned with paprika and salt)
Dredge each tofu triangle in the milk, coat it well on all sides, and then dip it into the cornmeal.  

In another skillet,  heat up safflower oil, and fry up the tofu until crispy on both sides.

Drain the pasta and add the “cheese” sauce. Mix together and let the heat of the pasta warm the sauce.

Everything should be ready at the same time. Plate it up and enjoy!

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