Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Marinated Tofu and Chocolate Vinegar

A while back, a friend gave me a bottle of dark cocoa balsamic vinegar.  It looked and sounded nice, but I've never opened it, partially because I'm just not sure what to with it.  Someone suggested just straight drinking some, to get a feel for what the flavors actually are.  So I took a nice little shot of it.  I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it definitely tasted chocolatey, however, not overwhelmingly so.  It was kind of a hint of cocoa flavor at the end. 

Because it has an understated flavor, I decided to marinate some tofu in it.  Tofu doesn't really taste like much, so I wasn't worried that the flavor of the vinegar would get lost or overpowered.  Also, since tofu doesn't really taste like much, it's nice to pair it with some stronger flavors and give it a bit more oomph.  For this, I did olive oil, the vinegar, and garlic.

Put about double the amount of oil as vinegar into the container, then add the garlic, salt and pepper.  Shake to combine.

I cut this tofu into triangles, for a reason that doesn't really exist.  Clearly, you can cut it into whatever shapes you want.  If you have baby monkeys who magically eat tofu, it's really easy to cut into fun shapes with a cookie cutter.  Adults can do that too...I'm not here to judge.

Put the tofu into the container with the marinade.  Don't worry TOO much about submerging it, because you're going to flip it in about 30 minutes.  However, I did give mine a little shake to get the tofu pieces a little bit more covered.  Pop it into the fridge for about half an hour. 

After 30 min, flip it over. 

Pop it back into the fridge for another half hour.  At the end of that, heat a pan over medium heat.  Because there is a lot of oil in the marinade, there is no reason to grease the pan.  I used a grill pan, because I think that the grill marks are pretty, but any pan would be fine.  Add the tofu and cook on one side for 5-8 minutes.  Remember, you can eat tofu raw, so you don't need to worry about cooking it through, just heating it up.

Flip and cook on the opposite side for another 5-8 minutes. 

Now that it's finished you can do whatever you like with it.  I made some sandwiches with mine, just some blue cheese spread, arugula, and the tofu.  Today I'm having the leftovers on a salad.  The basic method of making the marinade can be changed to use whatever ingredients that you have on hand; additionally, you can use this to marinate beef, chicken, whatever you eat.  Super easy, super versatile. 

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