Sage Infused Tofu in Roasted Peanut Sauce for TGRWT #21

It's been quite some time since we've had a new challenge from the cutting edge folks at TGRWT, otherwise known as They Go Really Well Together.  The latest is a pairing of sage and roasted peanuts, being modestly hosted by Greg of Humbling Attempts at Creativity.   Go to the TGRWT site for some of the stranger challenge combinations from past months.

Greg mentioned a few other food items that share volatile compounds (the basic operative principle here) with BOTH sage and roasted peanuts, among which were:  Basmati rice, butter and kecap manis sauce, which is a medium sweet soy sauce.   Those were the  additional flavor compatibles I included in this dish.

For the  tofu infusion,  a block of tofu was first frozen (I usually have one in my freezer) for the sponge-like  absorption quality it gives and for the texture.  After defrosting in boiling water, slicing into thirds, and squeezing out the excess, I put the tofu into a a little hot bath of sage water (about 15 fresh sage leaves, chopped), to soak up flavor.

Meanwhile, the vegetables were stir-fried in butter, starting with aromatics,  garlic and shallots, before adding chopped red and orange bell peppers and sliced green onions at the end.  Next time I'd maybe add some shitake mushrooms to that, and possibly green pea pods.  While things are frying, the sauce can be prepared.  In a food processor, pulverize remaining ingredients (except cornstarch) with some of the sage water, enough to thin it out, adding more as needed.  The sauce will thicken considerably when heated.

Roasted Peanut Sauce
roasted peanuts (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon of Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses 
1/2 teas. salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch

When the tofu has finished infusing, strain and cut into chunks, reserving the remaining sage water.  Blend 2 tablespoons cornstarch into some of the water, and add to the vegetables with peanut mixture, stirring over medium heat to thicken.  Stir in the tofu and mix well.  Garnish with fresh sprigs of sage and serve with Basmati rice.

I think the flavors combined very well.  The only thing I'll do differently next time (and there will be one) is to make the sage infusion stronger.  It was only mildly discernible in this, and could stand being more of a presence, since tofu has the wonderful capacity to carry other flavors.  I need to do more research on making herbal infusions.  If anyone has any ideas, please let me know in the comments.


Graziana said...

I never tried the sage-peanuts combo, though I love them both, thank for the idea!

Joanne said...

I love anything having to do with peanuts in any shape or form. This looks absolutely delicious!

Pam said...

I don't care all that much for tofu. I think I need to try the freezer tip.