I was a maniac in the kitchen on Saturday. I was up a bit after 4:00am. By 9:00 I had finalized three new recipes and photographed two of them. When I finally let myself sit down, I had made five blog-worthy recipes, taken photos of them, made a sixth recipe that needs a bit of adjusting, cleaned the kitchen, and vacuumed the house. It was only 2:30 in the afternoon. You, my friends, get to enjoy the fruits of my labor this week.
Because I can’t seem to get enough, I made another risotto recipe (because the nine risotto recipes already on the blog aren’t enough). I delved into the world of gin and developed a pretty new cocktail. I was in a citrusy mood, so I made lime guacamole. I used lime in the aforementioned cocktail, and in the super-easy pineapple and cherry tartlets I made. And since I was on a puffed pastry jag from making the tartlets, I made these Savory Tofu Turnovers.
Have you ever worked with puffed pastry before? Do not be intimidated. It’s really easy, as long as you remember these three things, to maximize the crispy, flaky texture:
1. The pastry needs to be completely thawed, before using it.
2. Though it needs to be thawed, you still want to keep it as cold as possible
3. Avoid stretching the dough when working with it.
Look for frozen Pepperidge Farm brand puffed pastry. It’s vegan, readily available, and very tasty. My tofu filling is a relatively simple tofu scramble, to which I added a couple pieces of grilled asparagus. In place of asparagus, you could use just about any seasonal vegetable. The most important thing to remember, when making changes to the recipe is too avoid anything with too much moisture–unless of course you want soggy turnovers.
- 1/2 block firm tofu (7-8 ounces), pressed*
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup finely diced onion
- 1/2 tsp salt, divided
- 1/4 cup peeled and diced carrot
- 4 ounces cremini or button mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and finely diced
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped roasted tomatoes**
- 1 tbsp Braggs liquid aminos
- 16 asparagus stalks, trimmed
- 2 sheets puffed pastry, thawed (keep refrigerated, until ready to use)
- 1. Place a 10-12 inch skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Saute until the onions soften and become translucent.
- 2. Add the carrot to the pan and continue to saute, until the carrots become tender and the onions are browned.
- 3. Add the mushrooms and remaining salt. Cook until the mushrooms release their liquid and begin to brown.
- 4. Crumble the pressed tofu into the pan. Add the nutritional yeast, tomatoes, and Braggs. Stir well.
- 5. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed. Set aside to cool.
- 6. While the tofu is cooling, grill the asparagus. You can do this on an indoor or outdoor grill. I cooked the asparagus with a pinch of salt on my George Foreman grill. Cool until tender and there are visible grill marks. Cool and cut each stalk in half.
- 7. When the tofu is cool, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 8. Remove one sheet of pastry from the refrigerator. Spread out on a lightly floured surface, and cut into four squares.
- 9. Place about 1/3 cup of tofu and two pieces of asparagus on each piece of pastry.
- 10. With your finger or a pastry brush, wet the edges of two sides of each square of pastry. Then carefully fold the dough over the filling, to create a triangle. Gently pinch the edges of the dough together, to create a seal.
- 11. Place each turnover on the baking sheet and place in the refrigerator, while you repeat steps 8-10 with the second sheet of dough.
- 12. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until the turnovers are golden brown.
- 13. Serve immediately.
- *If you're not familiar with pressing tofu, this is a good tutorial: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/healthy/a18093/easy-tofu-cooking-tips-47012001/
- **I find roasted tomatoes on the olive bar at my local grocery store. If you don't find them at your grocery store, and don't feel like roasting them yourself, you can substitute an equal amount of roasted red peppers.
- If you'd like to roast your own tomatoes, start with a pint of grape or cherry tomatoes. Toss them with olive oil (just enough to coat them). Spread in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast in a 450 degree oven until the tomatoes burst and collapse. Depending on the size and variety of tomatoes, roasting can take anywhere from 10-25 minutes.