Tofu and Peppers with Polenta

  Don't let the polenta turn you off- it's microwave polenta, like the kind I made for this recipe, except this time it's a firm polenta.  Also, if you're not a fan of the regular texture of tofu, you might want to give this recipe a try.  The tofu is baked in the oven, which firms it up a lot. 


4 cups of water
1 1/4 cups of corn meal
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter
Cheese (optional topping)

  Mix the water, corn meal, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 8 minutes.  Stir polenta and microwave for another 8 minutes.  If polenta isn't firm at that point, microwave in 2 minute intervals until it reaches the consistency of pudding.  Remove polenta from the microwave and stir in butter.  Transfer polenta to a greased 8x8 square or 9-inch round pan and refrigerate until the tofu and peppers are about to come out of the oven. 
  Cut tofu into squares and fry in butter on both sides until a crispy brown crust forms.  Top with cheese (if desired- we used slices of Gouda) and allow cheese to melt before moving to plates to serve.

Tofu and Peppers:
  I followed this recipe from Bon Appetit, with a few changes.  I can't get medium tofu here so I used water-packed firm tofu (and we prefer firm anyway).  We didn't have enough lime juice so I used half lemon and half lime juice and instead of cilantro I used a tablespoon of dried thyme in the marinade. Because I didn't use cilantro, I also didn't use a blender to mix the sauce that you drizzle on finished dish.  I used both red and green peppers and a regular white onion instead of a red one.  Oh, and spray the tin foil that the tofu goes on with a cooking spray, otherwise it sticks and can be tricky to get off in whole pieces.

  Because the tofu needs to marinate and the polenta takes a while to cook in the microwave, it might sound tricky to work out the timing so that everything is ready at the same time, but here's what worked for me:
-Preheat the oven for the tofu and peppers
-Mix up the tofu and pepper marinade and get the tofu marinating in the bag
-Start the polenta cooking in the microwave
-Chop the peppers and onion, mix up the sauce, and prep the baking sheets
-Have the polenta cooling in the refrigerator before putting the tofu and peppers in the oven
-When the tofu and peppers have about five minutes left to go, heat some butter in a frying pan, then slice and fry your polenta.  It should finish shortly after the tofu and peppers come out of the oven.
-Sever the peppers over the tofu and fried polenta and drizzle with sauce and ENJOY!


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