I’m not a huge fan of tofu. Although many people dislike the texture, for me it’s more the taste. The main virtue of tofu, according to tofu lovers, is its lack of flavor. This lack of flavor gives tofu its versatility–you can use it in a variety of dishes, from soups to pastas to desserts. But for me, I definitely do taste tofu. Or, at least, I taste that stanky flavor of the water tofu sits in at the supermarket. Blech!
So when I make anything involving tofu, it’s absolutely imperative that I get every last bit of stanky tofu water out. I’ve tried just about every method for doing this, but I’ve finally settled on using a tofu press. While it’s more expensive than the old cast-iron-frying-pan-and-soup-cans method, it’s much more effective. When you press all the tofu water out, the tofu can better absorb the flavors you add to it. And if you don’t get all the water out, the tofu is too saturated to absorb sauces and other ingredients.
This recipe is adapted from Everyday Food’s Roasted Chicken with Tangerines and Olives. Although the tangerines and olives have strong flavors, the sauce is much more subtle, making it important to adequately press your tofu before you start cooking. By doing so, the tofu takes on the sweet flavor of the sauce, which contrasts nicely with the saltiness of the olives. Serve this dish over couscous or brown rice for a filling Mediterranean-style meal.