Sunday, July 12, 2009

Blueberry Barbeque Tofu

July 13th is the Eastern Orthodox feast day for Saint Margaret of Antioch, the patron saint of child birth, pregnant women, dying people, kidney disease, peasants, exiles, and against dragons. Seriously.

(a 15th century German reliquary for a piece of Saint Margaret's body, attributed to Nicolaus Gerhaert)

Most of Margaret's story is pretty standard for a saint. The pagan authorities in her home town of Antioch (in present day Turkey) tried to execute her for refusing to sacrifice to their gods; first they burned her at the stake, then they tried to boil her in a huge pot. T
hey finally got it right by beheading her.
The really fascinating part, though, happened sometime before all this when Margaret was swallowed by a dragon, only to be saved when her ever-present crucifix irritated the dragon's belly and it spit her back up. The Catholic church has even since the middle ages called bullshit on this story, but that did not stop St. Margaret's cult from being one of the most important - she was even one of the saints said to have appeared to Joan of Arc.

This recipe for Blueberry Barbeque Sauce accomplishes several things:

1. the coffee and spices definitely lend a very Turkish flare to the sauce

2. the habanero gets you pretty damn close to dragon-fire levels of heat (Be really careful when chopping it up! And do nooooot touch your face for awhile! Seriously!)

3. Its a really excellent way to use up seasonal blueberries that are probably just going to go to waste in the fridge.

The recipe is for the sauce only - it is enough to smother 2lbs of tofu. I dry fried and then marinated (using this technique) and stir fried my tofu with some onion and sweet peppers. You could also easily use this sauce to make some baked tofu, though baking things in the middle of July is not super high on my list.

Dragon-Fire Blueberry Barbeque Sauce, used to marinate tofu:

  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1/3 habanero pepper
  • 1/3 c. dark beer (guess you'll just have to drink the rest of it!)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tso ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coffee
  • 1 tsp Durango chili or chipotle powder
Put everything in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer for about 45 minutes. Put it all in a blender (you may want to add 1/4 cup water) and blend it up!
(adapted from The Food Network's Michael Symon's sauce recipe)