Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Red Pepper & Tofu Risotto - vegan & gluten free

It rained this morning, meaning no construction is happening outside today. It is gloriously quiet! A little bit of sunshine, no barking dogs, and no sledgehammers = a good day

I tried making rolls again yesterday (yes, the same as Monday), and this time I followed my bread-baking instincts. As you can tell from the title of this post, they still did not turn out as well as I wanted. I checked Cookbooker, and no one had reviewed the recipe in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, but one person has reviewed it in How to Cook Everything. Sturlington didn't have good luck with this recipe either, which makes me feel better. 

Last night, I went with something familiar, risotto, and simply changed up the usual add ins. I loved the taste of the paella I made last week, so I used the paprika idea from that and combined it with the smokey flavor of roasted red pepper. Delicious! If you are wondering what to do with the remainder of the jar, I humbly suggest Romesco Sauce

Red Pepper & Tofu Risotto - vegan & gluten free
If you prefer the taste of fresh tofu to that of fried, simply omit the tofu-frying steps and stir in your cubed tofu at the same time as the peppers so it warms up in the rice.

1 C vegetable stock
2 C water
olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
salt to taste
1 C Arborio rice
1 C dry white wine
1 package tofu, drained and cubed*
1/2 - 1 red bell pepper, diced
roasted red pepper, diced**
fresh parsley, minced, for garnish
1/2 C finely grated Romano cheese (optional)

Bring the stock and water to a simmer in a small pot. Once boiling, reduce heat so it's just high enough to keep the broth warm. Once you've put the stock on the stove, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil to a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sprinkle with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent (about 9 minutes). Turn the heat down slightly, so it's between medium and low.

Add the rice and stir frequently until the kernel ends are transparent (about 1 minute). Add the wine and, stirring frequently, simmer until the wine is completely absorbed by the rice. Pour in a 1 or 1.5 cups of stock, and stirring infrequently, cook until liquid is absorbed and the bottom of the pan is dry. Add more stock, about 1/2 C at a time, as needed to keep the bottom of the pan from drying out.  

Meanwhile, heat up another tablespoon or two of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the tofu. Use a spatula to flip occasionally, with the goal of getting nicely browned sides on your cubes of tofu. 

Continue to cook the risotto, stirring frequently, until the grains of the rice are mostly cooked (I test by tasting). Add paprika to taste (a teaspoon?), red peppers, and salt to taste. Cook for a few minutes more, until the rice is cooked through and no liquid remains in the bottom of the pan. Stir in tofu, cheese if using, and top with minced parsley.

We usually have a salad with ours, which is a nice contrast to the creamy risotto.

*For best frying results, you want to get out as much water as possible. I drain the tofu first in the package. Then, I place the square on a clean kitchen towel that's been folded in half. Wrap the rest of the towel around the tofu and press down to squeeze water out. Reposition the tofu onto a dry part of the towel and repeat. 

**I have a jar of roasted red peppers in the fridge that I dip into periodically for dinner. I used a chunk (maybe 1/2 a pepper??), but feel free to add as much or as little as you'd like or have on hand.

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