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"Chorizo" Tacos

Soft corn tortillas make a perfect vehicle for this tofu “chorizo,” which is so good you’ll find a lot of other uses for it too, says Mark Bittman, author of VB6. Make it as soft or as crisp as you like, but use a nonstick pan for the best results; cast iron is a good second choice. Since it’s easy to double the batch well ahead of time, you might think about making this dish the next time you have a brunch.

Ingredients:

  • Eight 6-inch (15-cm) corn tortillas
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) firm tofu (1 1/2 blocks)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 2 limes (1 halved, 1 quartered)
  • 1/4 cup (1/3 oz./10 g) chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) chopped scallions

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C). Stack the tortillas on a large square of aluminum foil and wrap them loosely.

In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic, and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, 3 to 5 minutes.

Crumble the tofu into the pan with your hands. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan occasionally, and adjusting the heat as necessary, until the tofu browns and crisps as much or as little as you like it, anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.

When the tofu is almost ready, put the tortillas in the oven.

Add the bell pepper to the pan and sprinkle the mixture with the chili powder. Stir and cook, continuing to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the mixture is fragrant, less than 1 minute. Squeeze the juice of the halved lime over all, garnish with the cilantro and scallions, and serve with the tortillas and lime quarters. Serves 4.

More Ideas:

- For a little more kick without being too fiery, try 1 or 2 poblano chiles instead of the bell pepper.

- Substitute 3 cups (21 oz./655 g) well-drained cooked or canned black or pinto beans for the tofu. (If you’re using canned beans, rinse them before draining.)

- Use tempeh instead of tofu. It will be tangier and slightly more dense, closer to the texture of ground meat.

- Small whole wheat tortillas are good here, too. Soften them the same way as described above.

Adapted from VB6, by Mark Bittman (Clarkson Potter, 2013).