Tequila-Lime Tofu Kabobs

Main Ingredients
lime sesame seeds snow peas tequila tofu tomato
Battle
Topea Sesalime
Course
main

IMG_2238I was going to skip this battle. What do I know about tofu? Not a whole lot, other than that it looks like a block of playdoh, ready to be molded into anything the chef can conceive. This became the problem: many of the other Battle Yum challenges had defined ingredients, and now I am dealing with a chameleon.  A while back, a childhood friend and occasional battler shared a recipe on Facebook using tofu to make tacos. I told her that I was going to steal that idea because it fit into all the categories I place value on when making food: kid-friendly and family appeal. When the day came for the challenge, I just couldn’t follow through. It would be like plagiarism. Not that I don’t look up how to make things, but stealing an entire idea?  I’d have to give myself an “F” regardless of how it turned out OK.

Since tofu often takes on the flavors of the whatever marinade or sauce it cooks in, the challenge for me was to figure what I wanted to do. What did I want it to taste like? And, what was I going to make? I decided on kabobs. It was simple enough to cube the tofu and get some onions and tomatoes accompany them on the skewers. Lime was the key to the flavor. My first thought was to go with a cilantro-lime marinade, because the wife had cilantro left over from her challenge. Then I wondered what else goes with lime? Aribba….Aribba…it was Tequila! With that ingredient, I decided to forgo rule #1, “Make something the kids will like,” and instead focused on making something the wife would enjoy. That meant that it couldn’t simply be a tequila lime marinade, but also needed to pack some heat. In went the cayenne and ancho chili pepper.  As I tasted the concoction, my lips started to burn, and I was afraid it would be to hot.  Did I really need both peppers? I just hoped that it would calm down overnight and when thrown on the grill.

What did I learn?
Tofu KabobsFirst: don’t grill in the dark. While the food was cooked well, I should have grilled the the skewers longer, even if just for presentation purposes. I couldn’t really tell if the tofu had grill lines on them and I was afraid to overcook the tomatoes. I tried a tofu cube. To me, it felt like eating a piece of Freshen Up gum as the tequila lime juice squirted out in my mouth. The tofu packed the heat just at the upper edge of my scale. Fortunately, that is where the wife’s scale starts. I can’t say that I was impressed with my meal. OK, truth be told, I didn’t like what I came up with very much at all. But I took a picture and went to give a kabob to the wife, expecting the worst.

As I looked at her dejected, she took a bit of a tofu cube. I waited while she chewed. She looked up and said “It’s good.” What?  “It’s good. It has a texture similar to chicken and two of my favorite taste combinations are tequila and lime.” What…really? “It’s good. I like it. The tomatoes and onions are good too.” she said. I also learned more about presentation on this meal. I could have packed on the kabobs, maybe things like mushrooms and peppers.  But hey, I’ll take good taste and a thumbs up from the wife.  The boy was out for the evening. I told him about the meal when I picked him up. There was one piece of cooked tofu left. He popped in his mouth, I asked “Well?”  He responded. “Good.” Really?  Really?

Recipe

Tequila-Lime Tofu Kabobs

Preparation

Tequila Lime Marinade

  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (1 lime)
  • Lime zest
  • 1/3 canola oil
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ancho chili pepper
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 green onions minced

For the Kabobs

  • Red pearl onions
  • Snow peas
  • Golden tomatoes
  • Sesame seeds
  • 1 package extra firm tofu

Mix all marinade ingredients and place in sealed container and shake a few times before refrigeration. 

Dry the tofu by placing it on a plate on top of folded paper towel. Then cover with folded paper towel and place a weight on top, like a 10" frying pan. Let sit for 10 minutes. Replace towels and let sit for another 10 minutes. Slice tofu into cubes and freeze.  Best left overnight. Do not worry if the tofu changes color, that is normal.

Place frozen tofu cubes, tomatoes, snow peas and onions into marinade and let sit at room temperature until defrosted. Place items on skewers and grill over high heat. Rotate till all sides of tofu have grill marks. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

3 comments on “Tequila-Lime Tofu Kabobs

  1. Nancy, if you substitute the tequila it’s not a tequila lime marinade! I guess you could just use water which will cut the lime juice but wouldn’t have the floral notes. Your question was interesting so I ‘googled’ it and the best I could find is agave nectar. But don’t ask me where you might find it to buy.

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