4.09.2008

It is NOT time for you to go Grasshopper (Smoked Tofu)

smoked tofu [2/5]  smoked tofu [4/5]
In every scientist's life, there comes an experiment that he/she'd like to sweep under the rug. And then, run away crying like a little girl.

However, once we dust ourselves off and think about it, we're usually glad we did the experiment for the opportunity to modify, learn and to know what not to do so we can keep our friends from getting sick.

I marinated my tofu exactly as in Heidi's recipe, fired up the smoker and layered in a ton of apple wood. Then I tossed on the marinated lumps, closed up the grill and measured temps. I used my new data logger, the EL-USB-TC shown below. It was equipped with a "K"-type thermocouple and placed in the dome beside the thermometer I usually use. Below is an image of the data logger and below that, the corresponding temp profile for the 2 hour smoke.
smoked tofu [3/5]

smoke_temp_tofu [tofu 1/5]  smoked tofu [5/5]
The smoke went for a couple hours with a Tmax just above 300F. I closed the dome vent partially to bring it down and finally lifted the lid after two hours to reveal the final smoked tofu shown in the final image.

My wife and I eagerly placed a tender nugget in our mouths. While in some else's home, no member of our family is allowed to say anything derogatory about food served. But, we were home, and no one was around. It sucked. Bad. Texture was nice, but it sucked.

Post-Mortem
1. The lemon in the marinade clashed badly with the smoke.
2. For some reason, I thought a delicate food like tofu required a strong smoke blast. I couldn't have been more wrong. The opposite is probably more like it.
3. The lemon in the marinade clashed badly with the smoke.

Improvements?
With all the cool monitoring capabilities I now have, I can't stop. I'm considering a soy/sesame oil marinade and a hint of smoke for the next run, but I have lots to think about.

If I were on Top Chef, Padma would've told me to pack my knives.

1 comment:

Lorence, Columbus, Ohio said...

"seek not to know the answers, but to understand the questions."
-Caine

Yeah, I know, that's a bunch of hooey.

of course we all know that it's much worse when it's the main course that's screwed up from one of the "experimental" recipes that sound so good on paper. We recently had such a fiasco trying a recipe from Prevention Mag, "Smoked Paprika Potato soup". We wound up ordering a pizza from Sparano's...