Chile-Rubbed Tofu with Fried Potatoes and Tomato Sauce

The Guajillo (wha-hee-oh) chile is the most common dried chile in Mexico after the Ancho. The flavor of the Guajillo is distinct, slightly fruity with a strong piney, berry under taste. Guajillo flavors dished easily so a little goes a long way. This chile is between a 2-4 on the heat scale of 1-10. Guajillo, combined with the Passilla and Ancho, form the holy trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces.

Suggested Use:
A mildly hot chile. Use in sauces, salsa, soups and your favorite chile. A little goes a long way.

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5 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound firm tofu, cut into 8 equal-sized pieces

Potatoes and Tomato Sauce:
4 medium red-skinned potatoes
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, minced
3/4 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of crushed red pepper
One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar


PREPARE THE TOFU In a small skillet, cook the garlic, anchos and guajillos over moderate heat, turning, until the chiles are toasted and the garlic is lightly charred, about 2 minutes for the chiles and 5 minutes for the garlic. Transfer to a plate.

Heat the 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet until shimmering. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Peel the garlic cloves and add them to the skillet along with the toasted chiles, the pineapple and orange juices and the oregano. Simmer over moderate heat until the juices have reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree. Season with salt. Spread half of the chile rub all over the tofu, cover and refrigerate overnight. Refrigerate the remaining chile rub separately.

PREPARE THE POTATOES AND TOMATO SAUCE In a saucepan, cover the potatoes with cold water and boil over moderately high heat until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and let cool.

Preheat the oven to 425°. Cut the potatoes into 1/2-inch-thick wedges and transfer them to a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle 4 tablespoons of the olive oil over the potatoes and toss to coat. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer, season with salt and pepper and bake for 20 minutes. Turn the potatoes and bake for 15 minutes longer, until crisp.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the paprika, cumin and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the diced tomatoes and water and simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 7 minutes. Add the vinegar and sugar and season the sauce with salt and pepper.

Light a grill. Scrape the marinade off the tofu and generously brush the slices with vegetable oil. Grill the tofu over moderately high heat until nicely browned, about 3 minutes per side. Serve the tofu with the crisp potatoes and tomato sauce. Pass the reserved chile rub at the table.

Make Ahead The chile rub and tomato sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Serves 4.

Recipe by Ryan Poli via