Friday, November 12, 2010

Tofu Piccata With Crispy Shiitake Mushrooms

Happy Friday! I fell a little bit behind this week on Vegan MoFo, but I've got a ton of new photos and and posts ready to go, so catching up won't be too hard. Today, I'm bringing you a recipe for my favorite dish of all, piccata. I make piccata quite often, and I make it differently almost every time! It's great over pasta, polenta, quinoa, or greens. Also, you can use almost any protein you can think of including tofu, tempeh, seitan, Gardein, or chickpeas. It's fun to experiment with and it always turns out to be super yummy.

Tofu Piccata with Crispy Shiitake Mushrooms

This version is a dressed-up, fancier version of a classic tofu piccata that would be great to serve to someone you're looking to impress. The crispy shiitake mushrooms are easy to make, but look really impressive. The tofu is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I like to serve it on a bed of arugula which adds a nice bite, and with pasta to soak up the delicious sauce.

INGREDIENTS:

For the Tofu:
1 block extra firm tofu, sliced and pressed
Ener-G Egg Replacer for two eggs, or 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp olive oil

For the Mushrooms:
3 cups shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp Earth Balance margarine
1 tbsp dry white wine
1 tbsp lemon juice
Pinch salt

For the Sauce:
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tsp capers
1 tbsp Earth Balance margarine
1 tbsp flour

Several cups pasta, cooked
2-3 cups arugula
3 tbsp chopped parsley

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.

Cooking the Tofu

Whisk together the egg replacer (if using) in a small bowl. Spread the flour out onto a medium or small sized plate. Once the oil has heated, dip a piece of tofu in the egg replacer mix, then into the flour and coat completely and as evenly as possible. Place the slice of tofu into the pan. Repeat until all slices are coated and cooking. You will probably have to do this in two batches, depending on the size of your skillet. Flip the slices after 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown. Repeat on the other side. When finished, evacuate the slices into an oven-safe dish and place into the warm oven. This way, your tofu will stay hot and crispy while you finish the recipe.

To start the sauce, de-glaze the tofu skillet with the white wine, using a spatula to get all the bits off the bottom. Reduce the heat to low, and add the vegetable broth. Allow it to simmer slowly while you work on the mushrooms.

The Mushrooms, Getting Crispy

In a second skillet, heat the two tablespoons Earth Balance over medium heat until it has completely melted. Add the mushrooms, and toss them with a spatula to coat. Cook for 5 minutes until they have softened. Add the tablespoon of wine, the tablespoon of lemon juice and pinch of salt, and allow the mushrooms to cook until the liquid is gone, stirring occasionally. Leave them to cook even further, about another ten minutes, or until the edges are brown and crisp. Remove from heat.

While the mushrooms are cooking, complete the sauce. Turn the heat up to medium and add the salt, lemon juice and capers. Simmer for about four to five minutes or until you can see the liquid has begun to reduce. Add the Earth Balance and whisk until smooth. Sprinkle in the sifted flour and whisk until smooth again. If the sauce is still not to your desired thickness, continue to cook until it is. If it is too thick, thin with water, adding one tablespoon at a time until it is at the proper consistency.

To serve, place arugula on the plate, followed by the hot pasta. The heat from the pasta should wilt the greens, so they're nice and tender. Top with two or three tofu slices, then some sauce, and the mushroom. Sprinkle on some parsley, and you're done!

The Final Product!

So it seems a little complicated, I know, but in reality this is a recipe that will get easier with time. I actually never look at a recipe when I make it anymore, and I've never had it turn out less than awesome. After a time or two, start experimenting with your piccata. You can add more lemon, less lemon, more capers, etc. Or, cook the mushrooms in the sauce so they're soft and flavorful. Customize it and have fun, that's the important part.

Enjoy!

4 comments:

  1. That looks A-mazing, I can't wait to make this!

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  2. wow this looks fantastic, i definitely want to make some.

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  3. Planning to try this recipe in the next several weeks! Thanks a bunch!

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