In my cooking class at Glendale Community in the spring, I got a bit lazy towards the end of the course and stopped photographing what we made. Frankly, we were onto the meat portions of the course, and it wasn't pretty to look at. I did all the veggie prep for each meal, often making a salad to go along with our actual lesson. I also made the sauces, leaving the meat prep to my classmates. One of these was a sweet and sour sauce that accompanied pork. I've been looking for an excuse to make it again since.
Another thing I'd like to learn to do better is to marinate tofu. I often buy a Teriyaki tofu from Trader Joe's that is ready-made. I know this is something that would be easy to do on my own, and much more economical, but my fear of sauces has long stood in my way.
So, when FBLA announced the theme of "Great Grills" for the August meeting, I figured it was time to give it a try. I was wondering if the tofu would actually soak up the sauce and be flavorful, or if the flavor would just come from the sauce on top of the tofu. I made the sauce from scratch, to taste, and didn't know if it would be thick enough. Also had to guess at whether or not I could pour the sauce over the tofu while the sauce was still warm, or if I needed to cool it separately first. I chose to pour it on right away. Because I'm vegetarian, I'm picky about my grills--I like to keep my food away from the meat jujus. So though our hostess for the FBLA meeting was kind enough to offer a grill to use, I chose to bake the tofu at home prior to the meeting. I was fairly confident in the range of heat to use, but really had no idea how long it would take. All of these technical experiments came together to make a great dish. I was really pleased with the results, and it's definitely something I'll add to my repertoire.
Sweet and Sour Baked Tofu
4 pkgs (8-12 pieces) Firm or Extra Firm Tofu
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Minced Garlic
3 oz Bragg's Amino Acids or Soy Sauce
1 1/2 c Ketchup
1 c Sugar
1 20 oz. can Pineapple Chunks in Pineapple Juice
3/4 tsp Cornstarch
Drain the tofu. Sandwich the tofu in between two plates and put something heavy on top of it. Allow to sit for 20 minutes.
Heat the garlic in the oil. Add all ingredients except cornstarch, including pineapple juice, to saucepan and bring to simmer. I used my immersion blender (stick blender) to pulverize the mixture so the pineapple would stick to the tofu. Add cornstarch just before removing from heat and blend again.
Lay tofu in a baking pan with some room in between each block. Pour the sauce over the tofu. Cover and allow to marinate refrigerated overnight.
Bake at 325 till warm, about 40 minutes, or grill (on well oiled surface) for three minutes per side.