Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Tofu Chicharrone Nachos (and a missing cat)
This post has certainly been a long time coming! My life has been a bit chaotic over the past week which started when our cat went missing for 2.5 days. After frantically searching and calling for him we resorted to a mailbox drop in the hope that someone in the neighbourhood would give us news of where our dear friend was. A couple of hours after dropping off leaflets, poor Monty turned up looking and smelling awful. We had no alternative but to take him to an emergency 24 hour vet which probably saved his life as it turned out that he had a severe Urinary Tract Infection caused by an E-coli bacteria. Days later (and plenty of dollars too) he has almost fully recovered so life can continue to go on...
When Michael posted Tofu Chicharrones from Viva Vegan last week, they went straight to the top of my "Make Now" list. It's fantastic when bloggers give recipes from cookbooks on your shelf a glowing review and add their comments about making the recipe (in this case what was most helpful was upping the amount of marinade as the tofu really soaks it up). When the cookbook in question has a limited number of pics in the centre, seeing someone else's photo of their finished result can give you that extra incentive to try it out.
Michael and Cindy served their chicharrones in a healthy fashion which looked delicious and appeared to be a wise move, however as my boys had been nacho deprived for a very long time I decided to reward them with a calorie and fat-laden dinner. I generally cook quite healthy meals, opting to cut back on oil when a recipe calls for an excessive amount to be used and prefer to bake rather than fry. It was rather frustrating but not surprising that they both rated it as their favourite dinner I have cooked lately.
I flicked through Viva Vegan to see what else could be incorporated into this meal and decided to make the Simple Latin Tomato Sauce and the Cashew Crema for our vegan sour cream. When making nachos I usually make a tomato, kidney bean and vegie chunky hot salsa for one of the toppings but I couldn't find anything similar in Viva Vegan. The Latin tomato sauce recipe sounded like it could fit in so I decided to make this with a few changes. The main alterations I made were 2 cobs of corn kernels, a diced red capsicum, a bit of chipotle chilli powder and some tomato paste to thicken up the sauce.
The Cashew Crema was a big hit amongst us all too! My previous home-made vegan sour cream attempts have been tofu based and aren't too bad but this cashew crema tore the others to shreds.
My completed plate of Nachos consisted of a layer of corn chips topped with some melted cheezly, the tomato sauce and tofu chicharrones with cashew crema and guacamole on the side. Yum!!!
The left-over chicharrones were used in a tofu scramble and they worked really well here too. Didn't get a pic of this so you'll have to take my word for it ;-)
Simple Latin Tomato Sauce (Adapted from Viva Vegan)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 minced garlic cloves
1 small brown onion, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons died oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chipotle chilli powder
1 x 400g tin diced tomatoes
2 cobs corn, kernels
1 red capsicum, diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until sizzling, then add the onion and fry for about 5 minutes until the onion becomes golden and transparent.
Stir in the oregano, cumin and chipotle chilli powder and fry for 30 seconds or until becoming fragrant. Pour in the tin of tomatoes, tomato paste, corn kernels and capsicum and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.
Add the lime juice, season with salt and pepper to taste and remove from the heat.