Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tofu a la King Crowned by Transatlantic Zodiac Ensemble

When Transatlantic Zodiac Ensemble take their Eastern European folk infused klezmer grunge rock on the road inevitably they wind up in Saint John (Canada) crashing at saxophonist Martin Davidson's parent's house. It is here that his mom astounds the whole band with an amazing meal of chicken a la king over homemade biscuits. As mom wouldn't part with the recipe (OK, OK I didn't even try) I was forced to create my own version, replacing the protein with a mother with one that is a bastard child.

Tofu a La King (adapted from Food Network Kitchens)
(printable version)

-olive oil
-1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
-1 yellow onion, minced
-1 garlic clove, minced
-6 Tbs. flour
-1/4 cup sherry
-3 3/4 cup veggie broth
-1 Tbs. dried parsley
-1 tsp. dried thyme
-salt and pepper (to taste)
-pinch cayenne pepper
-pinch nutmeg
-7 oz. shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
-1/4 cup skim milk
-1 block tofu, thinly sliced
-10 biscuits

1. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and 1/4 cup of butter. Saute the onions and garlic until softened and translucent. Distribute the flour evenly over the onions. Stir with a wooden spoon for about two minutes.

2. Whisk in the broth and sherry. Bring to a boil. Add the parsley, thyme and tofu. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. In another saucepan, heat the remaining butter. Drop in the mushrooms and cook for five minutes. Season with salt and pepper, cayenne and nutmeg.

4. Add the tofu mixture to the mushrooms. Stir until combined. Whisk in the skim milk. Taste and adjust adding salt and pepper if necessary.

5. Make the biscuits according to the recipe. Break in half and lay out on a plate. Spoon the tofu a la king overtop. Eat like royalty.

Transatlantic Zodiac Ensemble is all I listened to as I made this dish (after all, they were the inspiration). They are a seven piece that, aside from the aforementioned fusing of many different styles of music, write lyrics that "cryptically weave descriptions of the heart with contemporary moral and social issues." TZE has a busy few months as they are continuing to promote their debut album It's a Mean Season for Silver Linings with a Newfoundland tour from the 20th to the 30th of April and an appearance at Evolve in July. Check out "Port Mouton Bay" and a live take on "It's a Mean Season for Silver Linings."

For more TZE go to: Facebook, Sonicbirds, Twitter or Youtube.