Wednesday, November 5, 2008

World Vegan Day / Lazy Saturday Part 1: Tequila-spiked barbecued tofu with grilled onions and tomatoes

November 1: November 1 2008 was my first time to celebrate World Vegan Day as a vegan. I spent the weekend out of the concrete jungle and closer to nature. Well, I spent the weekend in a beach house but we never even ventured out to the beach. We mostly just slept, ate, played pusoy dos, read, and watched the 4th season of The Office.

When you're not facebooking or blogging because there's no internet (or phone line for that matter), you can't help but become more domestic. With an 8-6 job and a cupcake-baking (mid)night job, I sometimes forget how enjoyable it feels to cook something that was meant to be eaten by me and my family. When you're in a place where skyscrapers don't exist, the air does not smell of car fumes, the ocean is a 10 minute walk away, and there are palm trees in your garden, you can't help but bring out the ol' Weber grill and do some outdoor cooking.

World Vegan Day Menu
Tequila-spiked barbecued tofu
Grilled onio
ns and tomatoes
Sauteed talbos ng sayote / chayote tendrils

Lentils with onions and fennel seed
Ensaladang talong / grilled eggplant salad

Tequila-spiked calamansi juice

We brought over a bottle of tequila, left over from my birthday feast; my brothers and I planned to drink all Saturday night, but whaddaya know... something in the cool provincial air made us go to bed at 9:30 and watch The Office on my mac. The tequila did not go to waste, I found good use for it in the kitchen.

Tequila-spiked barbecued tofu with grilled onions and tomatoes
I can't really give a recipe out here because I just mixed things in willy-nilly.

Essentially, in a bowl, mix in some chopped garlic, 1/4 c. freshly squeezed calamansi juice (or citrus juice of choice), about 1/2 c. of soy sauce, 1/2-1/4 c. canned pineapple-orange juice, and 1/4 c. of tequila. Mix everything together with a spoon, and taste. If it's too sweet, add more soy sauce. Too salty, more juice. Too alcoholic, a combination of soy sauce and juice. After adjusting, add a splash of oil. In that, dunk in some well pressed chunks of tofu, and let marinate for as long as possible. I marinaded mine for about 15 minutes.

Stick the marinaded tofu into barbecue sticks (make sure to soak the sticks in water so they don't burn) and place them on a platter and spoon the marinade over. With the bowl of extra marinade, add in some sliced onions -- sliced into rounds, don't break them up! After this, slice some egg tomatoes into halves, and remove the seeds and the pulp; set those aside.

Place the tofu on a well-oiled and heated grill, preferably on an angle so you get nice grill marks. Spoon marinade over the tofu. After 5 or 10 minutes, flip the tofu over. Spoon some more marinade. After 5 minutes, transfer the tofu to a plate.

Carefully lay the onions on the grill, spoon some marinade over, and let cook for about 5 minutes. Carefully flip over (use tongs) and spoon more marinade. Cook until brown / black / crisp around the edges, and transfer to a plate.

While the onions are cooking, you should have added the tomato halves into the marinade and let sit for about 5-10 minutes. After the onions have cooked, place the tomatoes on the grill, cut side down. Spoon marinade on top. Flip after 10 minutes, and spoon more marinade on top. Cook for 5 minutes, and transfer to the tofu plate.

Pour the leftover marinade into a saucepan and simmer. In a small bowl, mix 2 tbsp. of flour or cornstarch and 2 tbsp. of water. Add this flour / cornstarch mixture into the marinade, and stir until it gets thick. Voila, instant barbecue sauce!

It probably took me 30-45 minutes to prep, cook, and serve the food. Don't you just love the fact that "undercooked" tofu won't kill you while undercooked animal flesh will? Meanwhile, the dead animal (for my omni family) took ages for the blood and rawness to cook out...

Kinda related to World Vegan Day / Lazy Saturday: I found Diet for a New America at a secondhand bookstore last week, for only P110 (US$2.30)! And it looked as new as any other book. I've been reading it regularly and it is just so riveting. It's a perfect read for a perfect World Vegan Day. I love that it presents well-researched evidence that the animal cruelty industries don't give a sh*t about us consumers; they're are out to make us fat and diabetic and give us heart disease and cancer, while torturing animals in style.

More on World Vegan Day Dinner in my next post...

1 comment:

Celine said...

these pictures are absolutely mouth-watering!
and I'm with you: baking and/or cooking for others has got to be the most rewarding thing to do. I miss having more people around to do so more often.
looking forward to the next installment of this...

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