1 package, 8 ounces, firm tofu
1/4 cup chili sauce
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs, or favorite brand of breadcrumbs
oil (for frying)
choice of dipping sauce
Cut tofu into cubes or slabs; wrap in kitchen towel.
The tofu needs to be as dry as possible.
Coat tofu with chili sauce and then roll in Panko or your favorite breadcrumbs, gently patting the bread crumbs on.
Heat oil, approximately 1/4 inch, in medium frying pan, over medium high heat.
Fry until crisp and golden brown on all sides.
Drain on kitchen towel and serve with your choice of sauce, .
Note: Recipe inspired by a menu item at Little Pine restaurant
1 eggplant, medium size
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
28 ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 450°
Peel (or not peel) and cut eggplant crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices. Arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet fitted with parchment paper. Use 1 tablespoon of the oil to brush the tops of the eggplant slices. Sprinkle tops with 1/4 teaspoon salt and some black pepper.
Roast the slices until bottoms and sides are slightly browned, approximately 10 minutes. Flip the slices over, brush with rest of the tablespoon of oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until crisp and golden, another 5 minutes.
When finished roasting, remove pan from oven.
Reduce oven temperature to 400°.
While eggplant slices are roasting, prepare the tomato sauce. Place 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens, approximately 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Cover bottom of a 11 x 7 inch baking dish with about 1/2 inch of the tomato sauce. Place a layer of eggplant slices on top of the sauce and top with some of the basil. Cover with a thin layer of tomato sauce and repeat until all of the eggplant slices are used up; reserve some of the basil for serving. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs, the remaining salt, lots of black pepper, and drizzle with the remaining oil.
Bake until breadcrumbs are golden and the sauce has thickened, approximately 15 minutes. Let dish rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature. Garnish with the remaining basil.
Note: You will not even miss the Parmesan. It is that good!
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound eggplant, peeled or unpeeled, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced, equals approximately 1 tablespoon
1 cup cooked or canned white beans
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, leaves only
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 cups marinara (pasta sauce)
Pinch of red chile flakes (optional)
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Use 1 tablespoon olive oil to grease a large rimmed baking sheet fitted with parchment paper. Put 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add eggplant and 1/4 cup water. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplant pieces shrivel a bit and are tender and beginning to color, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer eggplant to the bowl of a food processor.
Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet along with the onion and garlic and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently until onions are soft and translucent.
Drain the cooked beans. If using canned beans, drain and rinse them. Add the beans and parsley to the eggplant and pulse until well combined and chopped, but not pureed.
Place the eggplant mixture in a large bowl. Add the onion and garlic and toss. Then add the breadcrumbs and red chile flakes, if using and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings. Roll mixture into approximately 12 balls, about 2 inches in diameter. Transfer meatballs to the baking sheet. Bake undisturbed, until they are firm and well-browned, 25 to 30 minutes.
Warm the pasta sauce. Serve the meatballs, hot or at room temperature along with the pasta sauce.
Serve over pasta, rice, quinoa or steamed greens.
Note: Meatballs can also be added to and warmed up in the pasta sauce.