Blue Plate Special #56: Seared Tofu Scallops with Tomato Butter Sauce, Mashed Potatoes & Wilted Spinach

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This recipe is inspired by a dish I had recently at Darbster, a vegan restaurant in West Palm Beach, Florida. It was so delicious, probably the best dish I had during our vacation. Our server revealed two things about the dish. (1) The tofu is marinated in orange juice. (2) Cornstarch is used to coat the tofu to get the sear on it. I reverse engineered it and this is what I came up with. Super delicious and a new go to in this house.

This is a four burner/pot operation but super easy. If you start by pressing the tofu early in the day, you will only have to wait for the potatoes to boil to make the dish come together in short order.

A small cookie cutter cuts the tofu into scallops. But, truth be told, you can easily make these squares but the rounds make for a great presentation.

This recipe serves 2 people.

Seared Tofu Scallops
1 lb. extra firm tofu
Orange juice, as much as you need to cover the tofu *
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
Small round cookie cutter

*Make sure the only ingredient in your orange juice is orange juice.

Press the tofu for as long as you have time for but at least 30 minutes. Cut the tofu in half and then cut each half in half lengthwise. Use the cookie cutter to cut 8 rounds. Place them into a shallow bowl and cover with orange juice. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.

Sprinkle the cornstarch on a plate. Gently press both of the round sides (top and bottom) of the tofu scallops into the cornstarch and shake off the excess.

Heat the oil and drop the scallops in. When they sizzle and are browned on one side, use tongs to flip them and sear the second side. Take off the heat and set aside until the rest of the ingredients are ready.

Tomato Butter Sauce
1/4 cup tomato sauce *
1 teaspoon vegan butter
1 teaspoon chickpea miso
1 tablespoon water

*Use homemade sauce or your favorite jarred sauce.

Drop the sauce into a pan and turn on a low flame. Add the butter, miso and water. Whisk briskly until everything melts together and the sauce is heated through.

Mashed Potatoes
2 potato (1 per person)
Plant milk
Vegan butter
Salt, a pinch to taste

Peel and dice the potatoes. Cover with water and boil until soft. Add milk, butter and salt and mash until smooth. Adjust to your taste.

Wilted Spinach
1 bunch of spinach
Salt, a pinch

Add spinach to a pan with a teaspoon of water and a pinch of salt. Use tongs to toss around until wilted.

Plate it up and enjoy!

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