Disclaimer: The photos here aren’t going to do this dish justice. Unfortunately, I have yet to figure out the lighting situation here in my new kitchen and way too well lit deck at dinner time. Things will improve! I promise.
From the minute I knew I would be spending my late Spring and Summer in Maui, all I could think about, other then the tanning, was grilling. I’ve never grilled before, but there was something about the prospect of cooking food over fire on a deck with a view of the ocean. Grilled food tastes good, reminds us of long lazy days outside, and also seems to bring things back to the primal. There is something about cooking over open flame that feels raw and elemental.
This of course lead me to the local book store here in Maui, and a search for the perfect grilling book ensued. Let me tell you how totally disappointing that was! Every single book I found, and this is no exaggeration, sported a testosterone driven cover, complete with bold manly fonts, faces and massive slabs of dead carcasses charred beyond recognition. What the hell is up with that? I realized that this is really what grilling culture is in the United States. But it isn’t me, nor is it my take on food.
What I have found is some inspiring magazines that have open the creative doors for me so to speak and I’m letting myself be guided by that. I’d like to grill my way through the next three months in a mindful, beautiful and artful way. Which is my way of saying that I would like to infuse this grilling experience with a bit more estrogen or gentility. Is that OK to say? I don’t care… I’m saying it anyway.
So on with the grilling. This was my third attempt at grilling a meal, and although the others were decent, they weren’t great. This one was delicious!
1 block of extra firm organic tofu cute into cubes
1 head of broccoli
1 red onion
fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
Spicey hot BBQ marinade
1. Jon likes big taste and its also important to marinade tofu in something that can really soak it with flavor so I dug around in the refrigerator and found a gluten free spicey BBQ sauce and just poured it over the cubes of tofu and let it sit for a couple of hours. I only used this for the tofu itself and not the vegetables.
2. Wash and cut the broccoli into manageable florets, and cut the red onion into 8ths, or any other size you find manageable and easy to skewer. Place both in a large mixing bowl.
3. No measurements here; simply pour some olive oil in a small mixing bowl, add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste, but generously. I would say that I used 1/2 cup of olive oil. I poured half of this mixture over the veggies and mixed them all by hand until they were all coated. The remainder of the oil and lemon mixture should be put aside to use while grilling on both the veggies and the polenta.
4. Take the tofu and the veggies and begin to place them on the skewers in whatever order tickles your fancy.
5. When it comes time to grill them, place them over medium to high heat and let them cook for about 10 minutes, making sure to turn them every so often and brush a bit of the olive oil mixture on the veggies as they cook.
::Polenta And Tomatoes::
1 tube of precooked polenta
1 ripe tomato
olive oil mixture from the previous recipe
1. Slice the polenta into 1/2 inch rounds and set on a plate.
2. Slice tomato into hearty slices, a little less then 1/2 inch and set on a plate as well.
3. Grill both for about 2-3 minutes while coating with the olive oil mixture and then turn over to grill for another 2-4 minutes. It also helps to spray the grill with some PAM or non stick spray.
::Garlic Cilantro Black Beans::
1 can of organic black beans
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 bundle of cilantro washed and chopped
1. In a sauce pan, heat about a tbsp of olive oil with garlic. Sautee until it begins to brown slightly.
2. Add beans and some salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
3. When beans are thoroughly heated, turn off the flame and add the chopped cilantro. Mix well and cover until ready to serve.
::Putting It All Together::
Take about three rounds of the grilled polenta and arrange in a overlapping stack on the plate. Add a slice of grilled tomato on top and then ladle the garlic cilantro beans over both. I really believe that presentation is as important as the meal itself. A feast for the eyes as well as the palate and tummy make for an overall amazing meal. Play with presentation, its a mindful practice in and of it self.
Once the polenta, tomato and beans are set, add a couple of skewers to the plate and voila! Gorgeous meal.
The amounts I used here served both Jon and I and gave us some left overs of beans and skewers. I used the leftovers the next day to make various other dishes.