Tofu Poppers and Half Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips

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nachos.jpgThe other night I watched an Alton Brown episode where he made his own baked tortilla chips from corn tortillas in order to make nachos. I was intrigued, but we already had dinner plans for that night. The next morning though, I decided to make my own version of “nachos,” that was light on cheese but high on protein. I made some baked tortilla chips, and while they were cooling, concocted the following recipe for “tofu poppers.” I served them on tortillas chips with sliced tomatoes and salsa as an unconventional brunch, and they were tasty. Not swoon worthy, but tasty. They were also very easy and required little prep time. For DH, who thinks nachos just aren’t nachos without a little cheese, I added a little crumbled Cotija cheese to his chips and melted them in the oven quickly. I stole a bite, and have to admit, the cheese did add a certain salty, vinegary something to the dish.

Baked Tortilla Chips
Ingredients
8 or more corn tortillas
canola oil
salt
Directions
Lightly brush whole tortillas with vegetable oil. Stack and cut into wedges. Place chips in a single layer on a rack and sprinkle with salt, if desired. Bake in a 400*F oven, for about 10 to 12 minutes or until crisp and light golden brown, turning chips halfway through the baking time. Transfer to paper towels and cool completely.
Nutritional Tofu Poppers
Ingredients
2 tsp olive oil (or more, to taste)
4 large scallions, chopped
1 green chili, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 block firm tofu
onion powder
poultry seasoning
salt
corn starch, as needed
nutritional yeast, as needed
1/2 Avocado, cut into cubes optional
1 tbsp toasted pine nuts, optional
Directions
Slice tofu into thin slabs and press between a towel while you prepare vegetables.

Heat oil in pan and saute scallions, green chili, and red pepper. When halfway done, add garlic. When vegetable saute is soft and releases a slightly caramelized fragrance, take off burner. If needed clean pan.

Take tofu slabs and cut into small squares. Combine 1/2 cup (or so) of cornstarch, onion powder, salt and poultry seasoning to taste. Dredge tofu in cornstarch mixture and set aside on a separate plate. When cornstarch has partially absorbed, cover tofu with nutritional yeast and lightly toss so they are evenly covered with nutritional yeast.

Heat 2 more teaspoons of olive oil in the pan (or more, to taste), and when heated, add tofu, trying not to spill flour in the pan. Fry until golden brown, tossing to get all sides. When golden brown, add vegetable saute into the pan, toasted pine nuts, and avocado, heating for 30 seconds to a minute. Serve!

Notes
I tried this recipe in two batches- one without nutritional yeast and one with. We vastly preferred the nutritional yeast version.

A “Seamaiden” Original recipe. Do not distribute.

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6 Responses to “Tofu Poppers and Half Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips”

  1. Gosh, that looks delish. What is nutritional yeast? What brand should I buy? I think it’s time for me to try it. Thanks Sea!

  2. Thanks Ellen! You’ve inspired me to blog about nutritional yeast soon, but for now you can check out this post with an example of GF nutritional yeast at the bottom… It’s good stuff. My non veg DH is a big fan of it as a fried tofu coating.

    http://www.bookofyum.com/blog/?p=114

  3. Freezing your firm tofu first will give it a tougher/chewier texture.

  4. Hi Johanna,
    I’ve tried freezing tofu and then using it in recipes, but somehow I found that I preferred the texture when it was just pressed with a tea towel for 30 minutes. Also, for our marinated tofu, we found that we liked it best only lightly pressed, with some water left in the tofu- gave it a more “juicy” texture, if that makes sense. But my favorite thing about tofu is how very adaptable it is- you can change it to suit your palate. :) Maybe I’ll give the freezing thing another shot at some point. Thanks for coming by! I’m always happy to have visitors.
    -Sea

  5. Are you thawing and pressing the water out before cooking? Also, extra firm seems to work the best, cooked at medium (to cook down the moisture).
    Your food is beautiful…I only wish I had the time to attempt all of them! Thanks for spending so much time posting these wonderful recipes for people you don’t even know. You are a true gf angel!

  6. Hi Johanna,
    I do not freeze my tofu at any step in the process. I do press it in a towel for at least 30 minutes. I generally always use firm or extra firm. Extra protein tofu also seems to be more firm. But, we also like the soft texture of tofu.
    Thank you for the food compliments. You are very, very welcome. Have a great day!
    -Sea

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