Friday, November 26, 2010

Gingersnap Gravy with Tofu-Schnitzel Cutlet

I decided this was a great afternoon to re-post one of the odder sounding foods from my German heritage: Gingersnap Gravy.
Yes. Spicy, sweet, ginger-molasses cookies... mushed up in gravy. Could we get any stranger?
Welcome to Day 26 of blogging Vegan Gravy.

Anyway, gingersnap gravy? Sounds crazy 'till you try it! I admit, as a kid I turned up my nose for years. Cookie-gravy. Not interested. And besides, gingersnaps are my LEAST favorite cookie in the world. But, you can guess the rest of the story - once I (finally) tried it, of course, I was just as enamored as I am with all the other gravies out there.

So, if you're still not convinced, don't think "gravy" exactly, OR cookies - think "spicy sweet-and-sour sauce". The tomato juice, vinegar and broth definitely temper the "sweet cookie" flavor. You'd never know they were in there if you weren't whipping up the gravy yourself.
Besides, it's the perfect thing for next year's Octoberfest.
I'll even throw in the "Schnitzel-Style Tofu Cutlet" recipe that goes so great!

Gingersnap Gravy

1 small onion, chopped fine
2 tbsp. margarine
1 cup tomato juice
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup brown sugar
10 vegan gingersnap cookies, crushed fine
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp onion powder

In a small skillet, cook onion in the margarine until very soft, put a lid on the pan if onion starts to brown too much.

Meanwhile bring tomato juice and broth to a simmer in medium saucepan. When onion is very soft and somewhat browned, add to saucepan and broth. Add brown sugar, cookies, vinegar and onion powder. Simmer on medium, stirring with wire whisk frequently, until cookies have dissolved and thickened the sauce. (If you want to run through a blender at this point, for a smoother gravy, that's your choice - it's good either way).
Pour over 'Schnitzel', red potatoes or German veggie-meaty item of your choice...

Tofu-"Schnitzel" Cutlet

2 pounds extra-firm tofu, sliced in 3/4 inch sliced (frozen-thawed-pressed is best here, but regular firm, straight from the package works too).
OR you can use tender homemade seitan/gluten cutlets here, though they won't absorb much, if any, of the marinade.

1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup broth
1 tbsp marmite or soy sauce
1/2 tsp liquid smoke (or Bacon Salt)
- - -
1/2 cup whole-wheat (or rye) flour
2 teaspoons caraway seeds, crushed if possible
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 cup non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 cup dry whole grain breadcrumbs
oil to fry, I prefer coconut oil here

Slice tofu approximately 1/2″ thick.
Marinate overnight in Marinade.

On a plate, mix together flour with spices.
In a bowl, stir together milk and liquid smoke.
Place breadcrumbs on another plate.

Drain tofu slightly, leaving it a bit damp. Line up your plates for 'dipping': Flour, milk then crumbs.
Dip tofu in flour mixture, then milk, then breadcrumbs, coating on all sides. You may need to press the coating on a bit.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and carefully place tofu "cutlet" in hot pan. Fry on each side, approximately 4 - 5 minutes, until golden. Repeat with remaining tofu.

Keep warm in a single layer in the oven.
When all are finished, serve with Gingersnap Gravy.
To serve this the way I remember from growing up:
Surround with steamed new potatoes dressed with margarine and parsley, and some good sauerkraut (NOT canned, acceptable from a glass jar, but the 'fresh' stuff straight from the deli is my preference) .
Alternatively, I love this with steamed broccoli, kale, beets and a fresh carrot salad. Any of those fall veggies work well here.


Islaborg said...

I am german and have never heard of this, heh. :) However, I LOVE sweet and salty combos, so this sounds fantastic!

Susan G said...

I definitely missed sauerbraten after going veg!

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

Well, the "Schnitzel" is traditionally German, but making it with tofu? Heh. Not so much.

Islaborg said...

@Tofu Mum: Sorry for the late reply. You are right, Schnitzel can be found everywhere here, sometimes even vegan, but I was actually talking about the gingersnap gravy! :)