Saturday, January 25, 2014

Tofu Benedict

Eggs Benedict is one of those fancy dishes that you've probably never had unless you had to go to your rich friend's wedding shower which was probably catered by the Ritz or something. To me, it falls into the Beef Wellington category in which the food is so fancy it needs a last name. Sole Dubois, Oysters Bienville, and even Fettuccine Alfredo always seemed like the kinds of dishes that were so dignified by the 2-part title that you'd have to pay twice too. The phenomenon will need to be researched, but for now, here's a vegan version that can be made on a Saturday out of mostly pantry ingredients and enjoyed without the need to applaud your rich friend on her new expensive juicer.


When I was little, my mom used to make her version of Hollandaise sauce, which, sorry mom, hardly resembled what Hollandaise sauce would look like if you ordered it at a restaurant. We used it on asparagus only, and it was basically miracle whip and lemon juice mixed together and put in the microwave. It sounds unholy but it was somehow enjoyable. I've done worse things with mayonnaise. In her defense, who's mom ever cooked asparagus for them growing up? The funny part is that I thought for years that it was called "Holiday Sauce." 


No, I've never had Eggs Benedict, but I have seen Top Chef, season 5 where Lia gets sent home on her birthday for a Hollandaise sauce that was too thin. Apparently, you should not be able to see the egg through the sauce at all. Its consistency is very important. Well, to Wiley Dufresne it is. I ordered this on a recent visit to Champs and loved it! There's little not to love about the sound of a toasty english muffin, some mock ham slices, sauteed greens piled under a seared slab of tofu and drenched in a luscious golden creamy sauce. A side of potatoes couldn't hurt this image.


They didn't have any vegan english muffins at my store today, so I opted for an everything bagel. Vegans love everything bagels. I know that in a perfect world, I would have made a beautiful homemade potato hash to go alongside, but these frozen hashbrowns reminiscent of McDonald's breakfast are as easy to throw in the oven as they are delicious.  I'll be an adult someday. 

Tofu Benedict:
serves 4

Hollandaise:
2/3 cup cashews
1 cup vegetable broth
1 vegetable bouillon
2 tablespoons coconut vinegar, or white vinegar
juice of half a lemon
1 onion, sliced into half moons
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon turmeric
3 tablespoons nooch
pinch of salt and pepper

1 block tofu, sliced into 8 slabs
cooking spray
1lb swiss chard, or your favorite green
juice of 1/2 a lemon
tomato slices
2 everything bagels
1 pack of tofurkey roast beef, or whatever kind of ham-style veggie meat you dig.
cilantro, optional

Preheat a large cast-iron skillet over medium high heat to cook the onion and garlic for the sauce. Add the 2 teaspoons olive oil and sauté the onion until nicely caramelized, maybe 6 minutes. Add garlic slices and cook 1 more minute. Turn off heat.
Add onions and garlic to a blender along with the cashews, veggie broth, bouillon, vinegar, lemon juice, turmeric, nooch, salt and pepper. Blend on high until super smooth. 
In the cast-iron pan we're going to cook the tofu. Heat it up to medium high again, and coat with cooking spray. Once super hot, add the slabs of tofu. Flip after 3 minutes and cook of the other side for 2 minutes. 
While the tofu is cooking, chop the chard or greens into manageable sections and wash well. Spin dry. Remove the tofu from the pan once it is nicely browned and add the chard, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Using tongs, flip it around a bit until wilted,which should take about a minute and a half. Remove from pan and spray with a little more cooking spray. 
Place bagels cut-side down on the cast iron pan. Let sear for about a minute, pressing down lightly with your spatula. 
Now we can assemble the dish. Lay flat one bagel half, and top with 2 folded slices of your veggie meat. Now place a slice or two of tomato. Then add a quarter of the wilted chard. On top, carefully arrange 2 slices of tofu. Now pour over the top some of the hollandaise sauce (The heat from the blades in my blender warm the sauce, but if your sauce is cold by now, you can reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave). Don't be stingy, especial since the other components are only lightly seasoned. The sauce is what's going to bring this dish to flavor town. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro, and serve.

1 comment:

  1. This looks like an interesting dish! I have all the ingredients for the sauce except for the cashews... hmmm.

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