My mom is coming to visit tomorrow!
I only see my mom about once a year, if that, and I haven’t been equipped to cook for her since I moved out of her house 8 years ago. She’s the one who taught me how to cook, and she appreciates a lot of the same foods that I like. So I’m pretty excited to impress her with some delicious food!
I’ve decided to make saag paneer, which is an Indian dish featuring greens (saag) and cheese (paneer). I make the paneer out of tofu, and since it’s best to prep that the night before cooking the meal, I’m going to show you what I do tonight, and then we’ll make the rest of the dish tomorrow.
First, the tofu needs to be pressed. I cut a block of extra-firm tofu in half (so I’ve got two thinner rectangles), wrap each of them in paper towel, set them in a colander, and use something heavy to give them a smoosh. You can also use a tofu press if you’re lucky enough to have one, or place them on a flat surface with something heavy on top and let them press out for a longer period of time, but this method seems to work fine for paneer. Once the tofu is pressed, cut it into cubes and set them aside while you make the marinade.
I put the following dry ingredients in a sealable container:
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
Then I add the wet ingredients:
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (any colorless vinegar will probably be fine, just don’t use balsamic unless you want some funny colored paneer!)
I mix this thoroughly with a fork, then taste it. It should have just a little bite to it. If not, I add more vinegar and/or mustard as needed.
TI put the tofu in the container and stick the lid on it.
Then I dance around the kitchen with it. Preferably while blasting Pentatonix’s a cappella cover of “Video Killed The Radio Star” from The NBC Sing-Off. The idea is to get the tofu thoroughly coated with the marinade. If you can’t or don’t dance, for whatever reason, you can just shake it a lot, but I promise it’s better if you do it to music.
The container then sits in the fridge overnight.
Editorial Note: I regret that I was unclear in my post last night with the seitan-shake. I did not drink that and I do not recommend that you drink it either! I drank about 3 sips and then poured it down the drain! I have amended the post suitably to reflect the totally just kidding nature of that post.