Welcome back Food Partiers! I hope your summer has been fun. I have been out and about Solo Travelin’, as well as watching my business (and hopefully yours too) rise up from the Covid ashes. Back in the writer’s saddle, we’ve got stories for you from lands afar, and right next door. A couple things happening in September…
1. Next week we’ll report on a new effort by the Palo Alto Unified School District to reintroduce scratch cooking (plant-forward) back into the school lunch program. A new professional development program has begun at the district, using Iron Chef competitions to pull creativity from the staff, and build new recipes for the students. After joining forces with this noble effort, I am very proud to be involved and share progress with you.
2. After that, we’ll be a Travelin’ Solo around the high country of Idaho. The Food Party! did a month long trip out to these majestic mountains and plains, and we’ll report on places to camp, eat, visit and go WOW!, along with a review of new outdoor cooking equipment and ways to make solo trips easy and fun.
3. September finishes out with two reviews of newly opened restaurants in the hood. Care for some hand-pulled noodles from Highland Noodles in Milpitas? Maybe you’d prefer the exotic faire of Aurum, a modern Indian bistro in Los Altos?
Until then, here’s a classic recipe for your Labor Day BBQ. You can bet that at least one of your guests will be a plant-forward eater this year, if not more. Surprise them with this delicious and easy BBQ Tofu.
BBQ Tofu with Lime
1 16 oz package extra firm tofu
1 bottle your favorite BBQ sauce
2 - 3 limes, juiced
Slice the tofu into 4 slabs, place on a dry dishcloth on a flat surface like a cutting board or baking sheet. Fold the cloth over the tofu to cover or place another cloth on top. Top with another flat surface and a weight, like a big bag of flour or a few jars, and press the tofu for 20 minutes, removing excess water. This is an important step to lend the correct “meaty” texture to your tofu. Don’t skip it, especially if your tofu is sold soaking in water.
While pressing, mix your BBQ sauce with the lime. The juice “wakes up” the bottled sauce, giving it a fresher flavor profile.
Remove tofu from the towels; puncture with a fork, and cover with marinade. Best to let sit overnight but give it at least an hour of marinating if you have time.
Preheat grill. Remove tofu from the marinade and place over medium heat. Low-ish and slow is best for tofu because it gives time to caramelize the outside (without burning) and dehydrate the tofu even more, creating a lovely meaty texture. Try for 10 minutes per side at least, flipping only once if possible. Look for the grill marks before flipping. BBQ Tofu is also delicious the next day, so make plenty.