Cilantro Guajillo Chili Tofu

cilantro guajillo chili tofu - trust in kimguajillo chili tofu - trust in kim

This is one of my favourite new recipes, and I’ve made it a few times this summer already.  I can honestly say that this is my favourite tofu recipes I’ve ever made, and right now one of my favourite meals period.  And I’m not a vegetarian!

The guajillo chili salsa is a garlicky olive oil sauce with orange juice and cilantro – packed with flavour, which is just what tofu needs.  I make up a recipe of the salsa and keep it in the fridge to use on various foods, including grilled chicken and shrimp.  This time I served it on a bed of greens with grilled fresh zucchini. Another time I made it with spinach and my favourite dressing. 

What you need:

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 head garlic, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • juice of 1 large orange
  • 2 dried guajillo peppers, cut into strips (I use kitchen scissors to do this)
  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed and dried
  • 1 block medium-firm tofu

What you do:

  1. I like to prepare the guajillo chili salsa a while before I need to use it so the flavours have a chance to mingle.  To begin, heat a frying pan to medium heat and add the olive oil.  Add the garlic, pepper and a liberal amount of salt, and stir once in a while.  When it is slightly golden add the orange juice and guajillo pepper strips, seeds and all.  Let this simmer for a few minutes. Set aside to cool, then use an immersion blender or food processor to blend with the cilantro, stems and all.  Season to taste with salt and pepper; I find it usually needs a bit more salt. Refrigerate to use when you wish.
  2. Pat the tofu dry on a towel then slice about 1.5 – 2 cm thick.  Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and add the tofu strips. Spoon about one teaspoonful of guajillo chili salsa on each strip of tofu, then flip them.  Let them fry for about 2-3  minutes on that side, then add another teaspoonful of salsa to the other side and fry that for another 2 minutes or so until it has darkened a bit.
  3. When you remove it from the pan make sure to scrape up any baked-on bits of salsa and spread them over the tofu.  So tasty!

guajillo chili in olive oil - trust in kim

Guajillo Chile Salsa Grilled Prawns

guajillo chile salsa prawns - trust in kim

I got this guajillo chile salsa recipe from chef Eric Fischer at Altamar restaurant.  I decided to alter the recipe a little by using orange juice in place of white wine, and then I brushed these beautiful fresh prawns with it and grilled them.  Freshness is so important with seafood, as is grilling only enough to cook it.  Previously frozen prawns have a tougher texture, and overcooking also makes them tough.  That said, even at the fish counter the prawns may just be thawed after being previously frozen, so buy what you can.

This recipe makes enough salsa to keep in the fridge for a few weeks and use for other purposes, like grilling meats, or topping tacos or empanadas.  It’s not very spicy hot, but full of flavour, so if you like it really hot you’ll want to add a bit of hot sauce.

What you need:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 dried guajillo chili peppers, cut into strips
  • 1/4 cup parsley finely chopped
  • fresh prawns, shells removed but tails remaining

What you do:

  1. Chop the garlic rather than using a garlic press; the press just makes it mushy.
  2. Heat the olive oil to medium high in a frying pan, then add the garlic.  Stir the garlic around so it doesn’t burn, and add a big pinch each of salt and pepper.  When it starts to just get brown around the edges, add the orange juice.  Add the chili strips along with their seeds. Let this simmer for a few minutes.
  3. Remove the frying pan from the heat and put the salsa into a blender with the parsley, or use an immersion blender, as I did. Taste and see if you think it needs more salt.
  4. Heat the grill to medium.
  5. Skewer the prawns.  I like to skewer each one through two parts, as you can see in the picture, so they don’t move around when I flip them.
  6. Brush some salsa on each prawn.  Make sure the rest of your meal is ready to go before you grill these, because they will be done quickly, and you want to eat them right away.
  7. Grill the prawns briefly on each side.  You will know they are done when they change colour from grey to salmon-coloured (depending on the type of prawns you are using). Remove from the grill immediately after they change colour, and serve.

I served mine with a lightly dressed salad.

Enjoy!

Chili Guajillo Salsa

chili juahillo sauce - trust in kim

I learned to make the most amazing guajillo chili sauce at a cooking class at Altamira Restaurant in Tulum, Mexico. Chef Eric Fischer showed us how to make this, and we tasted it with shrimp tacos and nopal cactus empanadas.  I recently served it with Mexican barbecued chicken, rice and beans, and it was awesome. The chef said it is also great if you spread it on chicken and bake it, or on seafoods such as shrimp, squid, mussels or scallops, and then serve it on pasta.

What you need:

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons finely minced garlic

salt and pepper

1/2 cup white wine

2 dried guajillo chili peppers, cut into strips

1/4 cup parsley finely chopped

What you do:

1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, then add the garlic.  Move the garlic around so it doesn’t burn, and add a big pinch each of salt and pepper.  When it starts to just get brown around the edges, add the wine.  Add the chili strips  – I removed the seeds from one pepper, and it was medium- hot, so you can add more or less of the seeds depending on your heat tolerance. Let this simmer for a few minutes.

2. Remove from the heat and put it in a blender with the parsley, or use an immersion blender, as I did. Taste and see if you think it needs more salt.

This should be kept refrigerated until you plan to use it, and should last a week if not more in the fridge.