Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cheezy Tofu Potato Skillet with Classic Cafe Hash Browns

After seeing my Mom off on her train, I was thinking about what I was going to make myself for breakfast brunch. It's a 25 minute drive from my house to the train station, so I had some time to think about it.  I have been wanting to make a skillet out of Tamasin Noyes' American Vegan Kitchen.  The Cheezy Tofu Potato Skillet on page 30 caught my eye, but she warns in the description that it's not a quick fix.  She's right.  It's not, but it's well worth the effort.
First, I made the Classic Cafe Hash Browns on page 44.  However, I used two russet and two sweet potatoes for the potatoes.  The hash browns had a wonderful flavor, but took longer to cook, I'm guessing because of the sweet potatoes.  In the end, it didn't matter because I just let them cook on medium/medium-low while I pulled the rest of the skillet meal together.
After the hash browns were made, it was pretty simple.  I sauteed the green pepper, onion, and spices.  I think the oregano flavor was too bold for me.  That may have been because I didn't have any fennel, but I don't really know.  Next time, I'll probably leave it out all together.  I won't miss it. 
I was being REALLY lazy and didn't want to get my garlic dicer gadget out, so I used Penzey's dried garlic, which is in perfectly formed little cubes.  Instead of sauteing it with the peppers and onion, I threw it in with the tofu, thinking that the moisture from the tofu would plump up the dried cubes.  It seemed to work wonderfully.
I put the onion/pepper mixture on top of the hash browns.  Next, I added a layer of Nacho Cheese Teese.  I put it between the peppers and onions and the tofu layer.
I piled on the tofu, diced tomato, and diced onion.  I put a single round of Nacho Cheese Teese on the center of the top of the skillet before popping it into the oven under the broiler.
When it came out of the oven, it looked pretty perfect to me.  I mean, how much more delicious can a dish look?
Two hours (at least) after I started preparation, I dished up my plate and made myself a fresh cuppa joe and got ready to eat.  I did add some taco sauce to my plate.  It was most excellent.
I will probably leave the cheese out of this next time.  I'm not a big vegan cheese fan.  Don't get me wrong, the Nacho Cheese Teese was good.  But, I don't think I've eaten a vegan diet long enough to fully embrace cheese substitutes.  I'm so used to not eating cheese at all and there were enough wonderful flavors in this skillet that I am sure the cheese would not be missed.  This is definitely a do again recipe for me.

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