Celebrating something special? Whether you are planning a small plates/grazing menu, or looking for tasty finger foods or hot appetizers, you are going to love my Tofu Satay skewers!
Last weekend I celebrated the launch of From Vegetables with Love – Recipes & Tales from a Yogi’s Kitchen with a party in Los Angeles. Two of my girlfriends, Hari Bhajan Kaur and Dharam Dev Kaur, were each celebrating the fruits of their projects too! We, the dynamic trio, had supported each other over the last months during the different stages of our projects (my cookbook From Vegetables with Love, Hari Bhajan’s Talk of Snow poetry collection and launch of her Yogamint.com website, and Dharam Dev Kaur’s successful courses, “What Sparks Joy” and “Grieve with Grace”).
Since my celebration was about my cookbook, I got to make the food! The menu? Tofu Satay skewers, mini Jalapeño Pancakes (the recipe on the link is a variation), mini Potent Potatoes, and Yogi Baba’s Oatmeal Pecan Cookies. HBK provided veggie crudités and yummy dip, DDK provided Yogi Tea and Agua de Jamaica (delicious Hibiscus punch), and her helper used the recipe from my cookbook to make the Yogi Baba cookies.
I did all the basic prep the night before, marinating the tofu, chopping all my fresh ingredients, making the Satay Sauce, and cooking up the spicy masala for the potatoes. The next morning I first scrubbed all my potatoes (I had 10 pounds of small russets… about 30 potatoes), rubbed them with oil, and popped them in the oven to bake. I soaked my skewers in water (important step so they don’t burn up in the oven!), skewered my marinated tofu cubes, and they followed the potatoes into the oven. I found these nifty little skewers in the Asia Market a few miles from my home. Perfect size! Here are the tofu skewers after their first bake (second bake with satay sauce is optional):
While all that baking was going on I whipped up my Jalapeño Pancake batter (really helped to have all those veggies prepped the night before), pulled out my giant iron skillet, and got to frying up close to 100 mini 2-3″ pancakes (I usually make these about 4-5″ in diameter for easy reheating in the toaster).
When the potatoes were nice and tender I took them out of the oven and let them rest until cooled enough to handle, then sliced them each in half and scooped out the insides. Then I mashed the potatoes with a big fork and mixed in the masala prepared the night before. This “stuffing” would go back into the potato skin shells, but not before I crisped them up. I sprayed all the potato skin shells with coconut oil and put them back in the hot oven for another 15 minutes or so, until their edges were ever so slightly charred. These would be “finger food” and I wanted the shells to hold their shape. Also, that extra crispiness would give great flavor and texture.
When I make any kind of stuffed potatoes, I usually use more potatoes than I need for servings so there will be enough stuffing for the tops to be rounded. Today I needed every potato that I baked to also be a serving. I remembered that I had some Poha (flattened rice available in Indian markets) in the pantry. Poha is absolutely perfect for adding to any mashed potato type of dish. It makes it a little fluffier, and adds extra bulk (which is exactly what I needed). I took about 2 cups of poha and soaked it in enough water to cover it for 3-5 minutes, then squeezed out any extra water and combined it with the potato-masala mixture. What did I have? Exactly enough to generously fill every single half potato shell. They were perfect!
I started cooking about 8:00 in the morning and was done by 11:00 AM. Whew!! Then all I had to do was pack up my car and drive 115 miles to Los Angeles to complete the final steps of cooking and get ready for the event.
It was just about 1:30 PM when I arrived at Dharam Dev Kaur’s house in L.A., where the party would be that afternoon, starting at 3 PM. The potatoes just needed reheating. Easy. I brushed the tofu skewers with some Satay Sauce and then sprayed them all with coconut oil to give a little extra glow and sizzle. They would bake another 15 minutes or so at high heat, and then be kept warm in the oven with the potatoes and pancakes. Thank God for a kitchen helper! Gloria saved the day by prepping all the garnishes that I would add when I plated everything for serving… which would be after my presentation at the party was over. I had just enough time to quickly freshen up and change my clothes.
Here are some shots from the party!
Time to set up the serving platters and get those garnishes going! I had about 10 minutes to get everything ready. The jalapeño pancakes welcomed a scattering of sliced green onions and were served with a dish of organic catsup for dipping.
I arranged the Potent Potatoes on a giant platter and garnished with finely chopped red and green bell peppers, along with sliced green onions. I refilled the platters 3 times!
The Tofu Satay skewers looked spectacular on a bed of purple cabbage leaves and julienned carrots, garnished with cilantro and slivered serrano chilies. They were served with extra satay sauce, either for dipping or drizzling.
All in all, the event was a great success, and folks lingered for an extra hour, chatting, enjoying the food and refreshments, buying cookbooks and poetry books, and simply enjoying a cozy wonderful time!
You will find the recipes for the Tofu Satay, Potent Potatoes, Jalapeño Pancakes, Yogi Tea, and Yogi Baba’s Oatmeal Pecan cookies, in the cookbook! Here is the recipe for how I made the Tofu Satay skewers (a little different than in the book). Enjoy!
Tofu Satay Skewers
Yield: 16 5-inch skewers
For Marinated First-Baked Tofu
2 14-ounce cartons firm tofu
2 tablespoons Crystals Louisiana Hot Sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
16 6-inch bamboo/hors d’oeuvre size skewers
Drain tofu and cut into 1-inch cubes. Arrange tofu in 2-quart plastic container or baking dish (with lid). Combine remaining ingredients in bowl or in blender and pour over tofu. Add just enough water to cover. Add lid and let marinate overnight or at least one hour.
Soak skewers in hot water for at least 5 minutes. Line a baking tray/jelly roll pan with baking parchment. Skewer tofu, 4 cubes on each skewer and arrange in rows on the baking tray. Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes, turning each over about half way through. Remove from oven.
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
1/3 cup smooth almond or peanut butter
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3 tablespoons light honey or other sweetener
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons crushed red chiles or 1 teaspoon cayenne
Mix all ingredients together (except coconut oil spray) in bowl with whisk, or in blender.
Brush baked tofu skewers with Satay Sauce and spray with coconut oil. Bake at 400 on top tray of oven for 10 minutes, or until they are tinged very dark brown on the edges. Serve with remaining Satay Sauce.
Enjoy every bite, with love!