Sunday, January 8, 2012

Vine and Dine - Candle 79 - Chile Grilled Tofu with Avocado-Tomatillo Sauce

The title of this post alone pretty much says it all: chile avocado tomatillo. My passion for southwestern ingredients has been fully satisfied. I could just stop here and be done, but I won't.

As a HUGE fan of most things southwestern and chile related it was not surprise that this version of Vine and Dine would make me very happy. The biggest bummer was that I totally spaced out that is was V & D week. SO I did not get to marinate my tofu for any length of time. I did simmer it for about 45 minutes hoping to speed the process. I think it was fairly successful. I'm certainly not going to complain.

This is the third recipe I've made from Candle 79. This book is really growing on me. One thing that often throws me with many recipes is the measurement of fresh herbs. I am never 100% sure if they are measured before or after chopping. I usually guess well, but still, I would like to make sure.

I'm still in heaven from the intermingling flavors of the dueling sauces. Guajillo chiles are a beautiful smoky wonder. The chile sauce is divine in its own, but pair it with the Avocado-Tomatillo Sauce...bliss. The smoky earthiness of the chile sauce and the bright, slightly acidic Avocado-Tomatillo Sauce combined to make a perfect party in my mouth.

I chose Wildwood tofu for this dish. It is a very firm tofu that holds up well on the grill. I tend to use this brand mostly when I know it will be served with a very flavorful sauce as it doesn't really absorb marinades  as well as some other brands. It was a dream on the grill, perfect for this dish. I had some left over black beans simmered with tomato and cumin. I combined them with some quinoa and made a little quinoa cake for the base. I loved the texture with the tofu. Wow I'm chatty tonight. I better stop so you will hang in there to read Fred's wine review! But just look at those vibrant colors!

Here's Fred!

I showed my wine guy, (one of many, I feel like such a wine tramp) tonight's recipe and he said this is a no brainer. A semi-dry Riesling would be soft with the avocado and just sweet enough with the chili. We chose a "Jean Baptiste 2009 Riesling Kabinett (German)". It is definitely a fun wine but after the first bite the wine became sweeter, really too sweet for this dish. I said wrongo bongo, I ran to the wine cellar (small fridge in front room) and grabbed a French "Trimbach Riesling, 2008". This is from the alsace region in France. It borders France and Germany in a mountainous region that compares with Napa Valley in that it also is on a fault line with a a lot of different soil types in a small area. It is known primarily for its whites, so there you go. Although this wine was much drier, it became sweeter after another bite, niccccce... What a complimentary wine, floral, minerals, fruitier smelling than it tasted, yeah!! I know, unsweet Riesling, hot cold, bitter sweet, but I gotta say this worked great. The Jean Baptiste was fantastic as a desert wine for this venue. One thing that I have learned, in my research for "Vegan" wines it is hard to find the association between centuries old wineries and please don't kill our animal friends. Start from the basics, don't use words like vegan, fining, or processing. Keep it simple and use "filtering" when asking questions to the winemakers,  this does not confront and make it an attack on age old processes. I have found many more sites available to me this way when I search with filtering as the term. Cheer on! 

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