Tofu "Meat"balls? - just say no!

Below is a proposed experiment. I won't use the term "miserable failure" because I'll just get more hits than I'm comfortable with but I think you get the gist. Tofu just doesn't have that fleshy, moldable feel like meat and all it did was crumble and never held together despite the milk and egg and cracked wheat. Oh well, cheap experiment. The turkey ones were made in short order so we could have something to eat during the week. Yum. Can't wait. And, neither can Frankie, they're her absolute favorite.

Original Post:
This is more of a note to myself than it is something you might find interesting (but just in case, here it is).

Cooking lately has been more for utility than show. However, I thought of something I have to try. Usually, recipes that try to substitute tofu for meat fail miserably (at least in my hands). That's the result I get when I've attempted some Moosewood preps. Texture just isn't right.

One of my recent modifications to the meatball was so good, I almost got a copyright for my site, I (and the gang here) liked them so much. Basically, I modified the mouthfeel of ground turkey with cracked wheat. And when I made them again more recently, I accidentally added more liquid than usual and had to add a ton of cracked wheat to get them to stick together. I was worried at the time but they turned out pretty awesome. You can't detect the presence of the cracked wheat yet they don't taste like ground turkey either. I made this modification because ground turkey is just too soft a protein and feels too, too . . . just can't describe it. Too tender and soft I guess. From the title of this post, I guess you know where this is going.

Here's my next recipe creation:
tofu, 1/2 lb, firm, crumbled
egg, 1
parsley, bunch, chopped
onion, 1/2 finely diced
milk, couple tablespoons
salt & pepper
enough cracked wheat to keep 'em together in golf ball-sized lumps

How will I cook them? Those who cook meatballs are in two camps: sear the exterior followed by braising and the lazy braisers. I'm a braiser. Just plop them in a basic tomato sauce and simmer for a couple hours. That's how I'll do these.

Why bother with this if I'm NOT a vegetarian? Curiosity mostly and I have this love/hate relationship with vegetarian cuisine. I find it challenging to get good flavors without the aid of meat. I'll let you know how they turn out.


Molly said...

Do tell, Dave...how were they? Inquiring minds want to know. Although I used to be a happy vegetarian, I'll be the first to admit that tofu ain't turkey!

Anonymous said...

Didn't try them yet. Still waiting to get a chance. Stay tuned. I'm not entirely optimistic but I can't resist trying anyway.