Grilled Tofu and Pepper Tacos
Vegan and gluten-free dish in 30 minutes. Makes 12 small or 8 medium-size tacos “The secret to delicious Mexican vegetarian food is to amp up the flavors and use lots of contrasting textures,” says food blogger Michael Natkin. “These tacos—filled with grilled tofu and sautéed peppers, all basted with tangy achiote paste—have serious street-food flavor. They are meant to be eaten in just two or three bites.” Achiote, made from annatto seeds, is available as a paste at markets that carry Hispanic products. Natkin likes the El Yucateco brand because it’s free of synthetic food coloring.
1½ oz (about 4 tsp) achiote paste (also called annatto) ½ cup vegetable oil 1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp Tapatío or other bottled hot sauce 1 tsp kosher salt 10 oz extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/3-inch slabs and patted dry 1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch slabs 1 medium onion, thinly sliced 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 2 red bell peppers, ¼-inch strips 1 yellow bell pepper, ¼-inch strips Fresh lemon or lime juice (optional)
3. Repeat with the zucchini, brushing the slabs with achiote oil and grilling until well-marked and tender, about 3 minutes per side. Allow the tofu and zucchini to cool and then cut both into 1 /3-inch diced pieces. 4. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of achiote oil. Add the onion, garlic and bell peppers and sauté until very soft.
5. Add the tofu and zucchini to the pepper mixture. Taste and adjust the seasoning. It may need more salt, a little lime or lemon juice, or more heat.
6. To serve, wrap the tortillas in a damp, clean dishtowel and microwave until soft and warm, about 2 minutes.
24 (4-inch) or 16 (6-inch) soft corn tortillas Guacamole, Choice of salsa 1. Break up the achiote paste in a small bowl with a fork and mash in the oil, a little at a time, until it forms a lumpy paste. Mix in the cumin, hot sauce and salt. 2. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. Brush the tofu with the achiote oil on one side and grill, oiled-side-down, until well-marked. Then do the same on the other side.
7. Make stacks of 2 tortillas each. Top with a moderate scoop of the filling and a spoonful of guacamole and salsa. Pass the hot sauce to the more adventurous. Source: Adapted from Herbivoracious: A Flavor Revolution, with 150 Vibrant and Original Vegetarian Recipes, by Michael Natkin (Herbivoracious.com).