I was catching up with a wonderful friend today and ended up talking about cooking.
On my way home I came up with a dinner idea that I thought I'd share.
I think its one of those meals that is easy but can look rather impressive. And surprisingly light. It takes a little time to cook but if you check out my tips, is quite doable after work. Which is always a priority for me.
And before I go on, although I love making souffle, this is actually a fake souffle. But you don't have to give away all your cooking secrets ;)
Large field mushrooms with a deep cup (1 per person)
Silken firm tofu
Basil pesto (Optional but recommended. You could try olive tapenade instead)
Shaved parmesan or romano cheese
Eshalots and sliced almonds to serve
Steamed vegies as desired (optional)
Tip 1: Don't be scared of tofu. It takes on the flavour of the ingredients around it and this version is light and fluffy like souffle. Don't tell anyone it is tofu - truly, they won't know if you don't tell them!
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Tip 2: No matter what you have to do when you get home from work, turn the oven on as soon as you get in to heat it up.
Pop or cut the stem out of the mushroom. Chop up and toss in the bottom of the mushroom cup or put aside for another meal.
Place the mushrooms in a baking dish and spray with olive oil.
Cook until mushrooms are going soft. Time depends on how thick the mushrooms are and how many you are cooking.
Tip 3: If you are busy, pop the mushrooms in the oven, as above, as soon as you can. Don't let them cook until they disintegrate. They need to be cooked through, but firm. They can always sit on top of the stove cooked for a while if you're busy. Just top and place back in the oven when you are ready.
Meanwhile... In a mixing bowl, mix an egg into the silken firm tofu. For 2-4 mushrooms half a pack of tofu is enough. Use the whole pack for more large mushrooms.
Tip 4: You need to have the right sort of tofu. I find silken firm tofu in the chiller section of my local supermarket with the other tofus. If you have any trouble check with an Asian food store. Silken firm tofu has a consistency a bit like junket, if you remember that. I sometimes find the store fridge cabinets are a little too chilly, so squeeze the packet and check it isn't frozen or dehydrated.
Snap the coarse stem ends off the asparagus. Place in steamer over boiling water and cook until soft but not soggy. If serving other vegies, cook them now.
When the mushroom cups are soft, remove from the oven. Tip any mushroom liquid out into the baking dish. If using, add a dollop of basil pesto or tapenade into each mushroom cup.
Top with tofu mixture. Try to keep inside the mushroom. Its ok to dome the tofu mix over the cup as long as contained by the rim.
Place in the oven.
Cook until the tofu is firm to the touch.
Serve the mushroom with asparagus, garnish of slivered almonds, parmesan, and basil leaves. Add steamed vegies to the side if desired.
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