Saturday, April 4, 2009

tofu scramble and a cooking tip

Last month, my husband and I took a quick trip into Chicago and we ate at the Chicago Diner and Veggie Bite. Both were delicious and amazing! I highly recommend both places if you're ever in Chicago. The diner was fantastic and we ate there for dinner and breakfast. Veggie Bite was a lunch stop when we first got into the city. I had my fill of vegan junk food (hot dog and chili cheese fries), but the diner was filling delicious satisfying much healthier food. :)

For quite some time now, I've been a tofu scramble snob, basically only using minor variations of my own recipe. For breakfast at the Chicago Diner, I had the tofu scramble, and it was different than what I was used to, but it was pretty tasty. I thought I could make a similar one at home if I tried, and then I remembered Vegan Dad.

Vegan Dad has a scramble recipe that's gotten rave reviews online, and this morning I had a scramble and sausage craving. OH MY GOODNESS, this is better than anything! I don't think I'll ever make another tofu scramble! Seriously, you must try this: clicky clicky clicky!

I don't have any adequate photographs, so you'll just have to check out his blog and his post. Honestly, it was a little creepy how much this resembled semi-runny eggs. I got over that pretty fast, though. :)

In case you're curious, for sausage, I made the tempeh and white bean sausage patties from "Vegan With a Vengeance" with minimal modifications. (I mash mine up really well before turning into patties, though, and use matzoh meal for bread crumbs.)

Stainless Steel Cooking Tip!

I have one non-stick pan left (mentioned in another post). I have every intention of not buying another teflon/non-stick pan once this one wears out (the coating flakes off), because of the reports about the questionable safety of these coatings. Cast iron can be a great nonstick substitute, but I don't feel comfortable using it on my cooktop. I've read this magic trick with stainless steel (which we use regularly) and I finally tried it today, and I've GOT to share it with you!

Basically, you shake some salt onto the stainless pan, and put your oil on top of the salt, and heat as normal. Somehow this makes the stainless function almost like a non-stick pan. (I'm sure a high-fat food wouldn't stick, but tofu still has to be gently worked off. But it's MUCH neater than the tofu messes I've made in that stainless pan before.)

My scientific hypothesis regarding how this works is that the water-soluble salt gets coated with the oil, and then "rolls" around the pan (since salt won't dissolve in oil), like little ball bearings if you will (nerdiest cooking analogy ever? perhaps), and the food kind of skates around the pan on these oil-salt beads. even once everything was stirred together, nothing stuck to the pan.

My hypothesis requires further testing, however.

One word of caution: because you're heating oil that seems to be more "mobile" than ordinary oil, and adding wet tofu, this oil splashes a LOT more than any other time i've put tofu in oil. So just be careful. :)

Maybe I'm the last person on earth to discover this, but here it is, documented for all eternity. Make fun of me if you must. :)