Monday, December 31 Chili-Grilled Tofu with Avocado-Tomatillo Sauce (Candle 79 Cookbook), Grilled Veggies and Daiya Quesadillas Rating: 5

I love the Candle 79 Cookbook. The recipes always turn out as good as they sound and are nowhere near as difficult or complicated as you’d think. We love this one, but don’t make it that often just because it’s pretty rich and I haven’t figured out how to buy half an avocado yet. I always half the recipe since there are just two of us and I still end up with a bunch of the chili marinade and the avocado sauce leftover. I’ll start with the marinade and tofu. I have never been able to find the kind of chilies the recipe asks for, but I have successfully substituted a few different kinds. I’d be careful about using chipotles though, unless you like things really hot. I normally like to marinate tofu for about 8 hours, but this marinade is so flavorful and adheres so well to the tofu, the 4 hours the recipe suggests is ample time. My new trick for getting tofu to hold together without sticking in the grill pan is to bake it for about 15-20 minutes first. I know, it’s cheating, but the grill pan is just to make to pretty anyway, so that’s cheating too. Besides – aren’t the grill marks pretty? (Seth is in charge of that.) A full batch of the avocado-tomatillo sauce uses one avocado, so I buy one and use half of it. Seth uses the other half to make guac to munch on while I cook. It’s not hard to make, but you do need to plan ahead a little bit because the tomatillos need to roast and then cool before going in the blender. I learned while making the rest of dinner that the sauce is really tasty on chips, too so there’s a bonus because there’s always a ton leftover. In the summertime, I serve a corn salad as a side – it’s nice and cool and refreshing. Since it’s winter, I went with grilled mini-peppers (which will be used in multiple recipes in the next week or so), zucchini and red onion. I marinated them in, well, beer mostly. I honestly didn’t measure anything – I just dumped some beer, cumin, oregano, a dash of oil and one or two pressed cloves of garlic into a dish and plopped the veggies in it for a little while. I grilled them in the pan and kept them warm while everything else cooked. The quesadillas were a last minute addition – just to fill out the plate a little (and I had some tortillas that really needed to be used up). I sautéed some sliced onion and then added it along with some Daiya Havarti to the tortillas for quick little quesadillas. Yum.



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