Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tofu Parmesan Florentine

I knew I wasn't going to use an entire block of tofu on the Peanut Tofu recipe, so I figured I'd want another great tofu recipe to try with the remainder before it went bad. I looked no further than Mary Ellen's blog. Mary Ellen has some great tofu recipes because she really experiments with it when her husband is out of town (since he doesn't like it). I know that I make some of my favorite experimental recipes when my husband is out of town, as it really gets the juices flowing to know that if you fail, you can always eat cereal or ramen for dinner and not disappoint the husband! Anyway, Mary Ellen's Tofu Parmesan recipe looked fantastic. I made a couple of changes (I added some Parmigiano cheese and removed the dreaded mushrooms), but I loved this recipe. The husband declared it a "definitely make again" which is really saying something for a new tofu recipe. The key was that since Mary Ellen didn't list specific amounts on the spices for the breading, I went a little heavy on the cayenne (which I used instead of pepper flakes). Wow, the flavor of that spice, combined with all the other intense flavors, made me forget that I was eating "boring" tofu. The tofu turns an amazing golden color with the light pan fry because the square shape has more consistent contact with the pan than most other proteins would. After I pressed the tofu dry, I cooked the spinach first and used it as a bed for the tofu, sauce & cheese, which I then placed in the oven just until the cheese melted. This is not exactly healthy fare, but it is a healthier way of enjoying the flavors of chicken parmesan that I love so much without the deep fried chicken.

Tofu Parmesan Florentine (adapted slightly and halved from Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations)
1/2 block extra firm tofu
1/4 c bread crumbs and 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano mixed with the following spices:
Spices: salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, onion powder, cayenne
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c marinara
1 bag baby spinach
1/2 c shredded cheese; I used mozzarella
1 tsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 375. Slice tofu into 1/2 inch slices. Press between two cutting boards with paper towels to remove most of the liquid. Heat olive oil over medium heat in non-stick pan. Saute spinach until just starting to wilt. Place in 11x7 baking pan, set aside. Dip tofu in egg, then in bread crumbs and add to hot pan. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Place on top of spinach in baking pan. Top each slice with marinara sauce and cheese. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted & bubbly. Serve over hot whole wheat pasta. Serves two.

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