If you’re a meat eater, you probably turn your nose up when you hear the word tofu. I honestly did too, even after I went vegetarian. I finally decided to give it a try and I failed miserably at preparing it. It was tasteless, mushy, and boring. It had me reconsidering this whole vegetarian thing. Once I discovered that you need to press as much of the water as you can out of the tofu before you prepare it, I started enjoying it much more.
Tofu really doesn’t have a flavor. It picks up the flavors of whatever it’s cooked with or seasoned with. It’s similar to cheese in that tofu is made from the curds of soy milk. They are pressed tightly together in a block to form tofu. I prefer to use the Extra Firm tofu when cooking with it. It’s really quite versatile.
**If tofu isn’t your thing, try this recipe with shredded chicken, fish, or shrimp instead. If you are really in a hurry, let the grocery store do the work for you. Grab a rotisserie chicken and shred about 2 cups of the meat. Just add the cooked protein of choice to the skillet of cooked shallots and garlic to heat through.
Grilled Tofu Tacos
Prep Time: 1 hr | Cook Time: 25 minutes | Servings: 6-8
1 block Extra Firm Tofu, 14oz.
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp Chili Powder
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Shallot, minced
1/2 tsp Salt
2 cloves of Garlic, minced or grated
1/2 cup Sour Cream
Juice from 1 Lime & the zest from half
Juice from half of a Lemon
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 1/2 cups Cucumber Peach Salsa (click here for the recipe)
6-8 Soft Taco Shells
Extra Limes, for garnish
1. Lay the tofu on a cutting board and slice in half horizontally. Carefully, wrap each piece of tofu in some paper towels and then wrap each piece in a clean kitchen towel. Set the towel wrapped tofu on a flat surface and place a cask iron skillet on top of each piece. Make sure that this is evenly placed.
Tip: If you don’t have a heavy cask iron skillet, place a sheet pan or regular skillet over the tofu and weigh it down with a few canned goods. This draws out most of the water and will help cook to a meaty texture. Let this sit for forty five minutes to one hour.
Pre-heat your grill to 400°-425°.
2. In a large skillet, over medium-low heat, add the smoked paprika and the chili powder. Heating up the spices first releases their flavor. Toast the spices for about 2-3 minutes, tossing frequently.
3. Add the olive oil, minced shallot, and the salt to the spices. Toss and cook until the shallot is almost translucent and then add the garlic. Cook for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.
4. Whisk together the sour cream, lime juice, lime zest, lemon juice, and chili powder. Place crema in a small zip top bag and refrigerate until ready to use. When ready, snip the corner of the bag and use this to pipe on the crema finish.
5. Spray a sheet of tin foil with non-stick spray and place the tofu slices on it. Reduce the heat of the grill down to about 325°-350° or “medium.” Add the sheet of tin foil with tofu to the grill. Grill for 5-7 minutes per side or until both sides have nice grill marks.
6. Once grilled, cut the tofu into cubes and add to the skillet with the shallots and garlic. Place the skillet back over medium-low heat. Using a spatula or the back of a wooden spoon, break up the tofu into crumbles. Cook about 3-4 minutes.
7. Place about 1/4 cup of the tofu on a taco shell followed by 2-3 tbsp of Cucumber Peach Salsa and a drizzle of the Lemon Lime Chili Crema.
Serve hot with an ice-cold Margarita!