Saturday, January 25, 2014

Buffalo Baked Tofu

I finally belong to a book club that actually meets regularly and discusses the book that most, if not all, the people in attendance have read. I'd made a few attempts at book clubs before, but they never lasted long, for one reason or another. This group, we call ourselves simply, The Good Book Club, meets about every 4-6 weeks and we have a regular crew of about 8 women, and a few others that come from time to time. We actually do discuss the book, and we eat dinner together. This typically takes place on Sunday evenings, although we mix it up once in a while, and we take most of the summer off, but may get together just to hang out or see a movie. I like this group more and more each time we meet and we've had a pretty good streak of books. Some that stand out in my mind: The Dog Stars by Peter Heller; The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery; A State of Wonder by Ann Patchett and The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. In full disclosure, I never finished this last one because I was finishing up my yoga certification at the time, but what I read I liked. It's a true story of a serial killer during the 1893 World Fair and includes lots of interesting detail about the history of architecture in Chicago and other cities at the time.
I do hope our momentum of both books and building friendships continues into 2014. The next book we will discuss is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I saw her Ted Talk and liked what she had to say, and have been wanting to read the book. We are also pairing our next meeting with a clothing swap.
As for our next book, I'm a little bit behind schedule on reading it and also having a less than pleasant time walking Zuree multiple times a day in the single digit temperatures we've been having. Given this situation, I decided to make the best of the walking and also meet my deadline by listening to my reading assignment via audiobook. I loaded it onto my phone and now have 10 hours of listening enjoyment to accompany me while Zuree stops, smells, and meanders. Given my average walk is 30 to 45 minutes, and I walk her three times on the weekend and twice during the week (the dog walker gets the third shift), I will have the book completed in no more than 20 walks, or a little over a week! Perfect. This book would have taken me a lot longer than that to read. It's very interesting, but definitely not like a novel that I would get lost in or wouldn't be able to put down.  So all is well in our polar vortex and both dog and mama are happy.
In the winter I crave lots of warming foods, like curries and similarly spicy things. I've made this buffalo baked tofu several time and like the texture and flavor quite a lot. I like the texture even better as leftovers, cold. I often have it on top of a salad or as a snack. I have found that buying fresh, locally made tofu makes a big difference, but I know of only one place to get it around here, so don't always have it on hand. 

Buffalo Baked Tofu
1 package of firm tofu
4 tblspns nutritional yeast
4 tblspns panko bread crumbs
6 tblspns hot wing sauce
2 tspns salt
1 tspn chili powder

1.  Press the tofu (do this ahead of time).  Place a couple of paper towels on a plate and put the brick of tofu down. put another paper towel on top of the tofu and another plate on top of that. Take a large can 64 oz can of tomatoes (or something similar) and put it on top of the plate. Put the whole contraption in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. A couple of hours would be better, but 30 minutes is just fine.
2. Preheat the oven to 375 and put a little oil into a baking dish. Remove the tofu and cut it into pieces about "1/4 thick and 3X3".
3. In one shallow bowl, pour the wing sauce. In another mix the bread crumbs, nutritional yeast, chili powder, salt and a little pepper.
4. Take each piece of tofu, and dredge it first in the wing sauce and then in the bread crumb mixture.
5. Bake for 30 minutes. The original recipe I used called for flipping the pieces halfway through but I found all the coating would come off, so I just leave it.