Thursday, March 03, 2005

to be or not to be

to be or not to be a vegetarian? i have been wrestling with this question ever since i took "religion and ecology" as a sophomore in college. as an animal lover, and an informed eater, i reject meat. as a gastronome, i know that no soup tastes as good as the one made with bacon, that no vegetarian dish can get the depth and complexity of flavor that a brisket has.

some vegetarian dishes make me nearly content. one such is the tofu b.l.t. which i modeled after the sandwich at candle cafe on manhattan's upper east side. i used to make and eat it all the time, now i haven't had one in over a year. i will post the recipe here, and hopefully that will inspire the reintroduction of tofu b.l.t.'s into my life.

2 slices high quality wheat or "health bread"
2 pieces "smart bacon"
extra firm tofu
lettuce
tomato
avocado (if it's around the house)
mayonnaise

a day or so in advance, drain the excess water off your tofu by putting it in a dish with a lip, covering it with a plate, and weighting it down with something heavy, like a big can or a big cookbook.

after about an hour, there will be lots of water in the lipped plate, which you will pour off.

cut the tofu into 8 rectangular pieces, lay in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar. sprinkle various italian seasonings on top. now you can either broil the slices, or bake them at about 350 until they firm up and turn a little brown. this is enough tofu for four b.l.t.s

toast your bread.

slice your tomatoes.
prepare your lettuce.
sizzle up your fake bacon.
spread mayo on bread.
assemble (tofu can be hot, warm, or room temp, use 2 slabs).
cut in half.
enjoy.

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