Quick Bites: Chef Lee Anne Wong Tofu Cooking Demo
Chef Lee Anne Wong of Top Chef fame demonstrates the many uses of tofu in a demo for House Foods International Tofu at the French Culinary Institute in New York City. Here she shows how to make a Tofu Panna Cotta with Blood Orange and Pistachios. (See below for recipe)
A production of the Culinary Media Network.
House Tofu Panna Cotta with Blood Orange and Pistachios
1 block House Foods soft tofu
1/2 cup honey
1 Tablespoon powdered gelatin
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 cup soy milk, room temperature
Pinch of salt
Zest of 1/2 blood orange, peeled into 1-inch wide strips
2 blood oranges
1 recipe blood orange syrup (recipe follows)
1 recipe candied pistachios (recipe follows)
Fresh mint and tarragon, fine chiffonade
Stir the powdered gelatin and sugar together. Place the soy milk in a small bowl and whisk in the sugar and gelatin, adding in a thin stream. Allow the gelatin to bloom for 5 minutes.
In a blender, combine the soft tofu, honey and a pinch of salt. Blend on high until smooth. Add in the gelatin soy milk mixture and blend again until homogeneous.
Transfer the tofu mixture to a saucepan. Bring the tofu to a simmer while stirring constantly, but not t o a boil, just until the mixture begins to bubble. Whisk once more and remove from the heat. Pour the tofu into 4 ounce ramekins lightly coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until set.
While the panna cotta is chilling, bring a small pot of water to a boil and blanch the strips of blood orange zest for 15 seconds, then strain. Repeat this process twice more, boiling a fresh pot of water each time. Run the zests under cold water, and pat dry with a paper towel. Julienne the strips finely crosswise into 1/2-inch long strands. Set aside and add to the gastrique.
Cut off the tops and bottoms of the blood oranges to expose the pulp and then stand it on one end. Cut away the peel with your knife, following the curve of the fruit. Working over a bowl, gently cut the filets of orange out, slicing between the pith/membranes, being sure to remove the seeds. Squeeze any excess juice from the core into a separate bowl, using the extra juice towards the blood orange gastrique.
Make the gastrique and pistachios according to recipes below. To serve, gently run a knife along the inside edge of the ramekin and invert the ramekin onto a plate. Spoon a few tablespoons of syrup onto each panna cotta and top with several orange filets, candied pistachios, and julienned herbs for garnish.
Blood Orange Gastrique
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
1/4 piece vanilla pod, seeds scraped
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir well and bring to a boil. Cook the syrup over medium-high heat unti it has reduced by 70% and has a syrupy consistency. Remove from the pan and stir in the blanched zest. Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature.
1 cup shelled raw pistachio nuts
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon water
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup Demerara sugar
Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, water, salt, and granulated sugar until smooth. Toss the pistachios and Demerara sugar in the honey mixture, stirring to coat.
Spread the nut mixture onto a parchment lined sheet tray in a single layer and bake until the nuts are golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Allow the nuts to cool to room temperature and then break into small pieces. Store in an airtight container until needed.