2.20.2012

tofu in a hole

There's a classic American breakfast food that I never got to try, or even really knew about, before going vegan. Though it's commonly known as "Toad in a Hole," it is really different from the British version of Toad in the Hole. The British version is Yorkshire pudding with sausage. The American version is toast with a hole cut in the center into which you add an egg. I looked it up online and discovered that Toad in a Hole is also known as Egg in a Basket, Bird's Nest, One-eyed Jack, and Gas House Egg. Do you all know about this dish? Do you have a different name for it?

Anyway, this morning the husband wondered if I could try to make a vegan version. I've seen one recipe for a vegan version, but it takes a lot more time/advanced preparation than I had this morning... so I rose to the challenge to create my own. (You should still click that link, though, if not for that recipe than for the list of different names for Toad in a Hole. So cool!)

So, here's my version.
I fried up the tofu with my normal tofu "fried egg" method--I rub a couple pinches of black salt, asafoetida, and pepper on tofu, then saute it in oil till the edges start to get a bit golden. Making the circles left me with some tofu scraps, which I blended with water, arrowroot, a bit of nutritional yeast, and the same fried-eggy seasonings to make a binder that would stick the tofu to the bread.
I mixed a spoonful of the binder with turmeric to make the little yolks on top, but that's only for looks. The binder mixture is in the little green cup.

Then all I had to do was saute the bread:
Once I flipped the bread, I put a quarter of the blended mixture into each hole, then quickly added the tofu circles. A minute or two longer, and it was done!
The arrowroot mixture helps keep the tofu in the hole.

This breakfast was delicious, and I no longer feel like I'm missing out on an American breakfast tradition! So now I'll share it with you.
Tofu in a Hole
Serves 2, is easily doubled/tripled/quadrupled. Black salt is totally worth your time/money if you like an "eggy" flavor to things; it has a sulphur smell that becomes milder with cooking and really helps things taste like eggs. Asafoetida is a powder that smells half garlicky and half oniony, and also helps with egginess. You only use a REALLY TINY amount at a time. Both are available at any Indian grocery store, or online.

1/2 block tofu
4 pieces of bread
1 tsp arrowroot powder
3 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional, if not using, add a bit more arrowroot)
a few pinches of:
black pepper
black salt (optional, but IS the eggy flavor)
asafoetida (optional, but helps with eggy flavor)
turmeric (optional, only if you're doing a "yolk" look)
vegan margarine

Using a glass or small biscuit cutter, cut a hole in the center of each piece of bread. Use the same glass to press into your tofu to make circles that will fit in the bread. You can either cut the tofu into 4 slabs and then use the glass on them, or you can make one big tofu cylinder and cut that horizontally into 4 circles. It's up to you!

In a blender, combine the leftover corners of the tofu, the 1 tsp arrowroot powder (a scant 2 tsps if you don't use nutritional yeast), the water, nutritional yeast, a few pinches of black salt, and a tiny amount of asafoetida. Blend until smooth. This is your binder mixture. While it's blending, sprinkle a bit of black pepper, black salt, and asafoetida over the tofu slices, and rub into both sides.

Heat 1-2 tsps of margarine in a pan on the stove over medium. Saute the tofu circles for about 3 minutes, until the bottom is starting to turn golden. Flip, repeat. While the tofu is cooking, butter one side of each slice of bread.

(Optional, for the yolk [which is for looks only]: Before flipping, take a small spoonful of the binder mixture, and mix a sprinkle of turmeric into it. Put a small dollop in the center of each tofu slab, then flip and cook as directed above.)

Remove the tofu from the pan, add a little more margarine as necessary, then put the unbuttered side of the bread down in the pan. It should begin to brown in 3 or so minutes; check. Once the bottom has browned, flip it. Once you've flipped it, add a quarter of the binder mixture (should be a little more than a Tbsp) to the center of the hole in the bread, then press in a tofu circle (yolk side up, if you did a yolk) quickly. The binder mixture will come up around the edge of the tofu, that's good! Allow to cook until the bread is browned, again, like 3 minutes. You have Tofu in a Hole! Or Tofu in a Basket. Or Gas House Tofu. Whatever.

This parsnip mixture went really well with it:
It's parsnips and walnuts, sauteed with a bit of olive oil, salt and a splash of maple syrup. Yummmm.

2 comments:

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I love it! Going to make some this weekend! Thank you!