leftover star

It isn't often I try to cook vegan, but a recent guest had my brain in pretzels trying to figure out how to show off my amateur chef skills while conforming to new standards. It came off well enough I actually worked hard to use up the leftovers even after the guest shuffled on home. One night of this leftovers boogaloo, I used a savory soft tofu concoction (originally made for fried squash blossoms) as a filling for light cornmeal crepes. It was a hit, and now this recipe is being promoted up to heavy rotation. Added bonus? It's dead simple.

1 package soft tofu, drained
½ cup fresh ricotta
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
juice of ½ a lime
1 tsp of salt

1 cup flour
½ cup cornmeal
3 eggs
1½ cups milk (maybe more, depending)
1 tbs. melted butter
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. crushed red pepper
½ salt

1 avocado
1 romano tomato, diced
lime juice
salt

grapeseed oil

Prep it.
Start with the tofu mixture. Drain and press the tofu block to get some of the excess moisture out. Be careful here, soft tofu is not as resilient as the firmer varieties and will split under too much weight—which isn't really a problem for this recipe, but it might make a mess of things on your counter. In a medium bowl, mash the drained tofu with a fork. Fold in the ricotta, garlic, jalapeño, salt and lime. Set aside to let the flavors steep.

Mash up the avocado in a small bowl. Mix it with a dash of salt, a little juice from the other half of the lime and toss it with the diced tomato. Set aside.

Whip it.
Put the flour, cornmeal, eggs, milk, melted butter and spices in a blender and frappé that shit, but good. It should be a thick liquid, not a paste—think egg nog more than pancake batter. Add more milk if needed. Heat a 12-inch pan over medium-high heat and brush it with oil (I keep grapeseed around for higher heat cooking). Pour in enough batter to cover the bottom, tilting the pan quickly to spread it thinly and evenly. Let it cook, undisturbed until the top is starting to look somewhat dry. Carefully flip it with a spatula and let the other side cook for a minute. Move the finished crepe to a plate and repeat, stacking the crepes. Brush the pan with more oil as needed.

Roll it.
Once you've finished making the crepes, put a line of tofu / ricotta filling in each crepe, slightly off center. Roll the crepe up from the short side into a wee burrito and place in the pan to heat slightly. You can probably heat 4 or 5 at a time this way. Dress each with some mashed avocado. I served this with a side of refried beans.


Since this recipe started as a clever use of leftovers, I thought it only appropriate to soundtrack it with some breakbeat techno, since these tracks pillage the past to serve the future.