Really. It’s a problem.
People usually can’t wrap their mind around a vegetarian with such an obsession with barbecue sauce, but alas, you are reading the words of (and then hopefully making the food from) one. I can’t even tell you what it is that I love about it. Everything, maybe? I’m not super picky… if the label even hints that it is barbecue sauce, then get me a spoon. Stat. Lest I use my hands.
And I suppose eating sauce from the jar with my hands is probably not lady like (who is this girl?!).
Luckily, I had some tofu sliced up and ready to go when I grabbed the barbecue sauce this weekend.
I also had some tomatoes roasting in the oven, and some leeks sliced up… and some grits cooking. I didn’t have much of a plan, but this dish came together SO nicely! It was the perfect Sunday night dinner after spending the day planting a garden on my balcony.
|I’ve one to Scarborough Fair….Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme
The BBQ tofu is simple and classic, and the grits are there to catch any stray barbecue sauce. The caramelized leeks on top give it a nice crunch, and the tomatoes daintily sit atop every bite, doling out their burst of sweetness. Also, you can make all the components at the same time… so even though it seems complex, it really is still a 30 minute meal. Huzzah!
with Grits, Roasted Tomatoes, and Caramelized Leeks
- Olive oil
- 4 campari tomatoes, halved with seeds removed (or whatever you have)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup grits
- 1/4 soy milk
- 1 leek, sliced and cleaned
- 8 oz extra firm tofu
- 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
For the tomatoes
- Preheat the oven to 450.
- Place the tomato halves on a lined baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil and a shake of salt, and place in the oven for roughly 30 minutes.
For the grits
- Bring the water to a boil in small sauce pan.
- Add the grits, return to a boil, and then turn down to very low.
- Cook covered, with frequent stirring, for 15 minutes.
- Stir in the soy milk, and continue cooking for 5-10 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste
For the leeks
- While the grits are cooking, heat up some olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat and add the leeks.
- Sprinkle the leeks with salt, and then cook over low for about 20 minutes, until tender.
For the tofu
- Heat up some olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the tofu and allow to sear for about 7 minutes per side.
- Pour in the barbecue sauce, making sure each piece is nicely coated.
- Cook for additional 5 minutes.
My loveliest of loves had a small gathering at her place this past weekend. I eagerly offered to bring some delectable bites upon receiving the invite. I offered with the highest of aspirations and the best of intentions. I set to looking through my fancy cookbooks and selected barley risotto cakes with a smoked onion-chipotle sauce. Yum.
Long story short? It was a disaster. Seven pm rolled around and I had this soupy messy of al dente barley, that laughed at the thought of being formed into a ball. Luckily I had also made cookies (rosemary shortbread cookies, which you will be seeing soon), so I didn’t feel too bad abandoning the risotto balls.
Heres the deal though: I had already made the smoked onion-chipotle sauce, which was like fiery angels dancing on my tongue. Legit, my roommates and I were gathered around the bowl with spoons and dumb smiles on our faces. Except for resplendent R, who hates eating spicy foods after napping. I was so excited to share it, and it really saddened me to pour it into a tupperwear container and store it in the fridge while I went galavanting.
But alas, the plot thickens. Turns out this is the most delicious sauce and it can be put on anything. Or eaten by the spoonful. Whatever. Sunday evening, it made its way onto some pizza, per the suggestion of nebulous N. A sweet potato and kale pizza, to be exact. More to be said on that later.
My suggestion? Go make this sauce. Then figure out what you are going to do with it. It is like a cross between tomato sauce, salsa, and barbecue sauce. And anyone who knows me knows my feelings on barbecue sauce. I could spend at least 30 minutes proclaiming my love of and strange habits with barbecue sauce, but that isn’t a digression we are going to take now. So basically, you could use this sauce on anything that calls for any of the above. I can also imagine that it freezes well, so having a baggy or two of this in the freezer seems like a good idea to me.
Smoked Onion-Chipotle Sauce
Adapted from The Millennium Cookbook
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 red onions, smoked and sliced (or 2 onions, sliced + 2 teaspoons liquid smoke)
- 1/4 dry red wine
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups fresh or canned crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup canned chipotles in adobo
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Saute the onions in the canola oil and red wine over medium heat for about 12 minutes.
- Add the cumin and oregano and sauté for 2 additional minutes.
- Add the honey, vinegar, tomatoes, chipotle, stock, and salt and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Carefully transfer to blender (in batches) and blend until smooth.
- Enjoy immensely!