Today we’ve got a vegetarian (vegan, actually!), beer-i-fied version of a classic: chicken marsala. Tofu replaces chicken for a healthy variation full of soy goodness. And, of course, we’re using beer instead of Marsala wine. I chose Dogfish Head’s Palo Santo Marron for it’s dark, sweet, malty deliciousness. This caramelly, wood aged, brown ale also has a lovely thickness to it (at 12% ABV, it ought to), which lends itself well to making the sauce for this flavorful dish. You definitely don’t want to use a light, high carbonation beer for this. A Belgian Quadruple style would work well here, if you can’t find the Palo Santo, but seek it out if you can–the depth of roasty flavor and sweetness is hard to match in another brew. This recipe serves 2-4 depending on how hungry you are. And if you are confused by the scant amounts of food in the pictures, good eye! I prepared a half recipe just for myself (because the boyfriend has a severe aversion to tofu).
1/4 c. plus 2 tsp. cornstarch, divided
1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 block extra firm tofu, drained and pressed to remove excess moisture, and cut horizontally into 8, 1 inch pieces
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 shallots or 1/2 medium onion, finely minced
1 tsp. dried thyme or 2-3 tsp. fresh thyme
10 oz. sliced white or cremini mushrooms
3/4 c. Palo Santo Marron (or similar beer)
1 c. vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
Combine 1/4 c. cornstarch and flour with salt and pepper in a bowl. Heat 2 Tbsp, oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Dredge drained and pressed tofu slices in flour mixture, turning to coat on all sides.
Place slices in hot oil. Cook the slices until crispy and golden brown on all sides, watching to make sure they don’t burn. Remove from pan and place on a plate, covered with a paper towel. Set aside.
Add 1 Tbsp. oil to pan. Add shallots and thyme to the oil and cook over medium heat until the shallots or onions are translucent and golden brown. Add mushrooms and cook 5 minutes, until tender. Add beer and mix thoroughly. Allow the beer to reduce for a minute or two.
Create a roux in a measuring cup, combining broth, remaining 2 tsp. cornstarch, and tomato paste. Add this mixture to the mushrooms and cook about 5 minutes until thickened.
Serve with the tofu slices over your favorite mashed potato recipe.
And if you too have a severe aversion to tofu, or a soy allergy, I’m sure this recipe would work just as well with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Be sure to pound the chicken breasts down to a uniform thickness before dredging and frying. Enjoy!!!