Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Totally Awesome Vegan Mexi-Dip

I gotta tell ya, this was JUST AWESOME and full of flavor! Who cares that it's totally vegan??? It's a dish even a meat-eater would love!

I must confess, though... I did spread it on a steak fajita!

Ingredients:
1 cup Silken tofu
1 Tbs Olive oil
1 Tbs Flour, sifted fine
1 Tbs Tomato paste
1 shallot, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, fresh
Seasoning, to taste:
Cumin
Salt
Pepper
Chili powder

On stand-by: arrowroot starch

Directions:
In a blender, mix silken tofu with cilantro. It will go in solid, but come out as a liquid. Season to taste with spices (suggested above).

In a sauce pan or skillet on medium heat, combine chopped shallot (optional: minced garlic would work too) and olive oil with a pinch of kosher salt. Let the shallots heat slightly and soften and then add the flour. The heat will cook out the "raw, cereal taste" of the flour and you can then add the tomato paste. You will get a thick red-orange paste. If it is too thick, you can add a little bit of the mixed tofu until you get the consistency right. Let the paste cook until it starts to slightly bubble. This is called a "roux" and is the base of all sauces.

Once the roux has cooked (a few minutes will do, but the longer it cooks the more full the flavor will be), add in the mixed liquid ingredient. Whisk together while the mixtrue cooks--it will look like a liquid. Continually whisk until the mixture just begins to boil--then lower the heat to a simmer and whisk occasionally. The sauce will then "tighten up" into almost a thick gravy.

If the sauce is not as thick as desired, now's the time to use the old stand-by arrowroot starch: put a teaspoon in a 1/4 cup of tap water and mix. Once it is incorporated (and you must do this first or it will clump), then add it to the pan and let it heat. The sauce will now thicken up very nicely as it cooks--likely another three or four minutes more, and then begin to cool down.
Serve in a bowl--spread on tortillas, us as a dip for chips or veggies, or as a glaze for tofu fajitas.

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