With the colder months, spend your free time gearing up for the weather with healthy comfort foods from Alexander Weiss, season one winner of FOX’s hit cooking competition series for kids, “MasterChef Junior”. Alexander recently partnered with House Foods to create nutritional, yet tasty recipes, with tofu and tofu shirataki noodles – perfect for the coming winter months.
First, whip up Alexander’s Tofu Fritters. Simply combine House Foods Premium or Organic Tofu Soft with flour, baking powder and whole milk. Then season with smoked paprika and toss with red bell peppers, scallions and chili flakes for a flavorful bite.
Or, put a healthy twist on a classic dish by creating his Tofu Pot Pie. Mix peppers, onions, carrots, shallots and celery with House Foods Premium or Organic Tofu Extra Firm. Place in a ramekin topped with puffy pastry bake all together for 15-20 minutes for a healthy indulgence that’s sure to be a hit at the table.
½ pkg House Foods Premium or Organic Tofu Soft, patted dry with paper towels
¾ cup all purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
3 1/2 tbsp whole milk
Salt & pepper
½ cup fresh corn, stripped off the cob
3/4 cup red bell peppers (about 3 large peppers)
3 tbsp sliced scallions, or chives
Pinch of chili flakes
Canola or grapeseed oil for frying
Preheat 3-4 in. of oil in large pot or deep fryer at 325 degrees.
Char/burn whole pepper’s skin on all sides on gas burner over high heat. Once done, cover pepper in heatproof bowl and set aside for 10 minutes. Rub under cold water to remove skin. Remove core, seeds and any white membrane and dice into small cubes and set aside.
In large bowl, mash tofu with fork. Whisk to smooth tofu and mix in baking soda and flour until well combined. Add milk and beat until smooth. Season with salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Fold in corn, peppers, scallions and chili flakes with spatula.
Drop batter into fryer using 1 ½ in ice cream scoop or two spoons. Fry for approx. 5 min or until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on plate lined with paper towels. Season with salt and serve.
Tofu Pot Pie
1 pkg House Foods Premium or Organic Tofu Extra Firm, drained, pressed and diced into small cubes
3 Tbsp butter
¼ c all purpose flour Olive oil
1 Tbsp butter, unsalted
1 red bell pepper, diced small
1 large yellow onion, diced
1-2 small carrots, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 shallot, minced
1 large Yukon gold potato with skin, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
A few sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
A few sprigs of fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried rosemary)
1 ½ c vegetable stock Handful crimini mushrooms, sliced
½ c fresh or frozen peas Salt and pepper to taste
2 sheets readymade puff pastry, chilled (but not frozen)
Flour for dusting
Egg wash (2 egg yolks beaten with 1 tsp brown sugar and 1 tsp milk)
Melt 2 Tbsp of butter in a small pan. Add in flour and cook until slightly browned and flour is cooked through, stirring constantly to avoid clumping. Set aside (should look like thick paste). This is called a roux.
Heat about 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a pot over medium high heat. Once hot, add tofu and brown on all sides, seasoning with salt and pepper. Once browned, remove and set aside.
Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil and 1 Tbsp of butter over medium low heat. Once hot, add pepper, onions, carrots, shallot and celery and begin to sweat them. Season with salt and pepper and cover with lid for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once vegetables have sweat down, increase the heat to medium high and add potatoes, cooking an additional minute or so. Add in garlic and cook until fragrant. Add tofu, thyme and rosemary.
Move vegetables to one side and add in the roux. Incorporate the vegetables and add the vegetable stock, stirring to combine. Add in mushrooms and peas and cook an additional minute. Set aside to cool and prepare molds in the meantime.
To prepare molds:
Roll out puff pastry on floured work surface, about ¼ in. thick. Cut circles that are about 1 ½ to 2 in. large and fill ramekin. Fill ramekin to the top with vegetables and tofu mixture.
Using a pastry brush, brush some of the egg wash on the rim of the ramekin and place the circle of puff pastry on top of the ramekin, crimping the edges to seal. Brush top with egg wash and season with salt and pepper
Make a small slit in the middle of the pastry and bake for 15-20 minutes at 375 (or until golden brown). Remove and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.