Vegetable sizzlers are a family favorite- vegetables and potato patties in tomato sauce spread on a hot cast iron tray, drizzled with a butter-vinegar mixture for that special sizzle.
Enter the I Diet. This is week 5 of the 8 week plan, and I have lost 8 lbs. The diet is great in terms of nutrition, satiety and all that, but it leaves much to be desired in its vegetarian menu plans. I've been tweaking most of the recipes to make them more taste bud friendly. Thus, the spicy tofu stir fry morphs into the quasi-familiar Indo-Chinese sizzler.
You do need some kind of cast iron tray for this. A fajita tray, sizzler tray, or even a cast iron griddle will do, as long as you have a server that you can safely put under it.
1 package (14 oz) firm tofu, pressed for 30 minutes, cubed
1 lb broccoli, stems and florets trimmed and chopped
1 lb green peppers, chopped into bite size pieces
6 oz carrots, cubed
6 oz mushrooms, sliced thick
1 tsp canola oil
4 leaves cabbage (important- do not omit)
3 tsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp chilli garlic paste
1- 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp or more cilantro, chopped
salt and black pepper to taste
– Parboil the carrots and broccoli until they are cooked through but still firm. I microwave them on high for 2 minutes with a few drops of water, then quickly dunk them in cold water to stop cooking. Drain.
– Saute the mushrooms in a non-stick pan until they release water. (I didn't use oil.) Then add the peppers and saute some more. Finally add the carrots and broccoli along with 1 tbsp soy sauce. Stir around for a minute or so.
– Remove the vegetables.
– There should be some broth left over in the pan. I added the tofu cubes to this broth and let them steep in it until they absorbed the flavor. You could do that, or cook the tofu your favorite way- pan fry, steam or broil.
– Toss the vegetables and tofu together with the ginger and cilantro.
– Stir together the remaining soy sauce, hoisin sauce and chilli parlic paste. You can add any broth left over in your veggie pan to this, as well as a tbsp or two of dry sherry/water.
Now comes the fun part.
Heat the cast iron pan on the stove. Brush the oil over the pan with a silicone brush/ crumpled up towel. Wait until the oil barely starts to smoke. Lay down the cabbage leaves over the tray, covering the whole surface with a single layer of leaves. Heap the vegetable tofu mixture on top. You should start to hear the sizzle. Make sure your family and friends are at the table before you drizzle the sauce over. Voila..smoke and sizzle!
Carefully transfer the hot tray to the server. Be careful while serving/eating from the tray- hot cast iron is not friendly to the skin. Serve some rice on the side and enjoy!