It seemed to me that it would be a shame to go an entire month not eating meat and leave out the quintessential vegetarian “food”: tofu. So, in my enthusiasm, I planned an entire meal revolving around the stuff:
First was going to be tofu-cashew croquettes, followed by the main course, a tofu Parmesan sub. We’d need a nice frosty beverage, and I was going to with the “Tall and Tangy Tofu Thangy,” which, despite it’s absolutely ridiculous name, is rated 4 out of 5 stars. For a little zip, I was looking at this roasted pepper and tofu dip. Then last but not least, the chocolate tofu pie, based on a recipe by one of my favorite TV personalities/chef, Alton Brown.
Let’s pause right here because I want to make sure everyone knows exactly what we’re working with. According to our good friends at Wikipedia:
Tofu or bean curd is a food made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. Soft/silken tofu (嫩豆腐 or 滑豆腐, nèn dòufu or huá dòufu) is undrained tofu that contains the highest moisture content of all fresh tofus.
But in the end, Megan convinced me that one recipe would suffice (and cost significantly less) than the entire meal. I decide that large amounts of chocolate had the potential to mask any of the tofu’s mysterious-ness, so I decided to go with just dessert, preceded by our home-made pizza (Megan topped her’s with pineapple, mushrooms, olives and chopped up “meat” balls, while I just went with the “meat” balls).
Why does the pie need tofu? To be vegetarian, it really doesn’t. But to be vegan, it needs the tofu as a thickener, since you wouldn’t be able to use any dairy products. Anyway, here’s AB’s simple recipe:
- 2 cups chocolate chips,
- 1 block silken tofu
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 prepared chocolate wafer crust
Place a small metal bowl over a saucepan with simmering water. Melt the chocolate in the bowl. Stir in vanilla and almond extract.
Combine the tofu, chocolate mixture, and honey in the blender jar. Liquefy until smooth. (I didn’t have immediate access to a blender, so I just sat on the couch and stirred for what seemed like four hours)
Pour the filling into the crust and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until the filling is set.
A few hours in the fridge and voila! You’ve got the tofuiest dessert this side of the Rio Grande. Actually, probably both sides of the Rio Grande, but that’s not important.
What is important, is how it tasted. Short answer: not great. I had high hopes, but there was a distinct aftertaste that I can only attribute to the tofu. I tried a bit of the “raw” tofu before I added the chocolate and even thought it’s supposed to be tasteless and odorless, something was just off. Carbon monoxide is also odorless and tasteless, but that doesn’t mean we should go mixing it into our chocolate. And then there was the texture. It was just… tofu-ish. It may have been better frozen.
In summary, it didn’t win me over. We’ve got just nine more days of going without meat. As it turns out, we’re also going to be going those nine days without tofu.