Vegan Tofu Stroganoff

15 Jun

I am ashamed to admit that from the opening minutes of last night’s MasterChef I have been thinking – nay, obsessing – about the logistics of this dish.  How to make the beef and sour-cream laden dish vegan?  And, honestly, this dish would not be at all possible without the use of a sour-cream substitute.  You can either make one yourself, or you can use Tofutti’s Sour Supreme.  I really wasn’t sure how this would turn out, but it passed the S clean-plate test, so it must be okay.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 block of firm tofu
  • 1 medium sized brown onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • A big handful of mushrooms
  • plain flour
  • sweet paprika
  • a few spoonfuls of tomato paste
  • Sour Supreme or a home made sour-cream alternative
  • about 2 cups of very light vegetable stock
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fettuccine – home-made or store bought, if desired.

What you need to do:

Start by chopping up your tofu into blocks – as traditional stroganoff calls for ‘strips’ I cut my tofu into strip-like bits.  In a bowl, mix about three tablespoons of plain flour with about two teaspoons of sweet paprika and toss your tofu around in the mix to coat.  In a hot pan with a little bit of water, toss the tofu around a bit in order to ‘toast’ the sides of the tofu.  Set tofu aside.

After this, in the same pan, add the finely chopped onions and garlic to brown off a bit.  When they’re starting to look good, add the tofu in along with about 2 cups of light vegetable broth, and two dollops of tomato paste and, after giving it all a good stir around to incorporate, add in the flour and paprika mix from the tofu coating.  At this stage, put on your fettuccine, if you want it (depending on how long it will take; fresh will obviously be much, much quicker so should go on right at the end.)

This is the most important stage to taste your sauce.  Add more paprika if needed, or tomato paste, or broth (if you like thinner sauce) or flour (for thicker) and some salt and pepper.  Now add your cut up mushrooms – you can cut them in any way, really, but I like to slice.  Along with this, add in about two heaped spoonfuls of the Sour Supreme (or alternative) and carefully incorporate all that together.  Turn the heat down to a simmer, until the mushrooms are nice and soft.  Serve either alone, or, on top of the fettuccine.

Edited to add:  I have just seen that the addition of paprika to the MasterChef Stroganoff is causing a bit of an uprise amongst Russian cooks.  To be honest, the few beef recipes I looked at over the course of the day did include paprika, so that influenced my decision to use it.  However, it seems it may be not a true ingredient – in which case, use at your own peril.  Another small note, most recipes I looked at included either wine or sherry, neither of which I had on hand so neither was included.  A spoonful of sherry or splash of wine could be easily (and probably, tastily) included just before the simmering, or with the first lot of liquid.

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