Soak raisins, golden raisins, currants and candied peel in small bowl with brandy for 30 minutes.
Slice bread diagonally into 1-inch slices, discarding ends. Carefully pull center from each slice, leaving about 1/2-inch of bread inside crust. Set aside rings of crusts. Tear centers into 1/2-inch pieces and place in large bowl.
Crumble tofu into bowl with torn bread, breaking tofu into bits size of cottage cheese curd. Drain soaked fruit and add to bowl. Add grated citrus peel.
Beat eggs with soy milk and vanilla extract in another large bowl. Pour half of mixture into bowl with torn bread. Stir with fork until bread is moistened and everything is well combined.
Add 2 or 3 bread rings at a time to remaining egg mixture, turning pieces once, when well moistened.
Meanwhile, heat half of butter in large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange soaked bread rings in pan. Spoon moistened bread and fruit mixture into center of each ring, pressing with back of spoon to pack firmly. Cook until toast is browned on bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and brown second side. Remove to warm platter. Repeat until all bread has been cooked.
Serve at once, accompanied by maple syrup or sprinkled with powdered sugar. Or, cool slices of stuffed toast, wrap tightly in foil and freeze. Reheat in 350-degree oven, wrapped in foil, 15 to 20 minutes.
Variation: Use 1/2 cup each dried blueberries and chopped dried cranberries in place of raisins, currants and candied fruit. Soak in Grand Marnier or Triple Sec.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Each of 8 servings, without syrup or powdered sugar, contains about:
395 calories; 433 mg sodium; 94 mg cholesterol; 12 grams fat; 47 grams carbohydrates; 18 grams protein; 0.52 grams fiber.
Times Test Kitchen Director Donna Deane came up with this tofu take on cole slaw. She tosses noodlelike bean curd strips (which are found in most supermarkets and in Asian grocery stores) with red and green cabbage for a tri-color effect. The dressing, made with vinegar, mustard, garlic, mayonnaise and oil is pure American picnic.
1 (6-ounce) package bean curd strips
1 cup shredded green cabbage
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons mayonnaise
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Blanch bean curd strips in rapidly boiling water 15 seconds. Drain and rinse.
Toss strips in large bowl with shredded green and red cabbages, carrots, green onions and basil.
In separate small bowl, whisk together garlic, white wine and Sherry vinegars, mustard, mayonnaise and salt. Slowly whisk in oil until thick and creamy. Stir in pepper to taste and season with salt if needed. Toss with bean curd and vegetable mixture.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Each of 6 servings contains about:
141 calories; 386 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 12 grams fat; 4 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams protein; 0.40 grams fiber.
TOFU CITRUS SHAKE
A bite of citrus in this refreshing smoothie made it a hit at the Tofu Festival in downtown Los Angeles this summer.
1 (14-ounce) package soft tofu
1 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 teaspoon pineapple extract
3 tablespoons canned crushed pineapple
1 cup crushed ice
Blend tofu, orange juice concentrate, orange extract, pineapple extract and pineapple in blender until smooth. Add ice and blend another 15 to 30 seconds.
Makes 4 servings.
Each serving contains about:
161 calories; 9 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 5 grams fat; 22 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams protein; 0.18 grams fiber.
No, this comes nothing close to a creamy New York-style cheesecake. But if you're watching your fat, this recipe from Dana Jacobi's "The Natural Kitchen: Soy!" is a good compromise. Velvety and touched with lemon, it contains far less cholesterol than conventional cheesecake. It is vital that you use soft tofu for the cheesecake; we tried it with firm tofu the first time in The Times Test Kitchen and the results were awful. The arrowroot powder absorbs some of the moisture from the tofu while adding creaminess.
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup finely ground almonds
1/4 cup unrefined sugar crystals or sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
Combine graham cracker crumbs, ground almonds and sugar in bowl. Blend in butter with fork until mixture clings together when pressed between fingers. Press mixture into bottom of 8-inch springform pan with fingers or back of spoon. Keep working mixture up sides of pan to height of about 1-inch, leaving crust thicker around bottom edge, where sides and bottom of pan meet. Make crust thinner around top edge. Bake at 350 degrees 8 minutes. Cool slightly.
1 pound soft tofu
1 pound tofu cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder