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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Two Days in a Row: Successful Food!

SO...supper was really yummy tonight. It was also ever so easy.  When I use the word "tofu" you will probably turn up your nose.  I know I used to do that, too.  That white slimy, pasty, tasteless bean curd really turned my mental stomach.  But that was then; this is now!

The name I am giving supper is:  Crispy Spicy Asian Sauced Tofu in a Rice Bowl.

Start by taking a 14-16 ounce block of firm or extra firm tofu and drain well.  Place tofu block on a plate that is covered with 4-6 layers of paper towels.  Put more paper towels on top of the tofu then put a plate or pie tin or some other flat dish on top and place a heavy can (28-ounce or so) on top. Let  press for at least 30 minutes. 

For the rice:
Put 1 Tablespoon coconut oil in a heavy saucepan to melt.  Add one cup long grain brown rice and stir well.  Break one ounce (or however much you want) of vermicelli or angel hair pasta into  one-inch pieces and add to the long grain rice.  Stir well and cook over medium heat until pasta is lightly browned and rice is sort of cooked-looking, but not more than five minutes tops.

Add 3 cups vegetable or chicken or beef broth. Stir well and bring to a boil.  Once boiling turn heat down to low and put cover on. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed.

While rice/pasta is cooking prepare the magic ingredients!  Have on hand a bottle of Sweet Chili Sauce for Chicken from your local Asian market.  To 3/4 cup of the Sweet Chili Sauce add 2 Tablespoons of soy sauce or Bragg's Liquid Aminos and 1 Tablespoon of sesame oil.  Stir well and set aside.  (You can lick the spoon to have a little preview of coming attractions; being careful not to lick out the whole bowl at this point....!)

Now for the crispy tofu:

Start a heavy skillet (I used a 12-inch cast-iron frying pan) heating over medium heat with 3 Tablespoons of coconut oil.  While the oil is heating to the shimmering stage, dice your pressed tofu into actual dice-sized pieces or whatever size suits your fancy and place in a large flat pan. I used a 10 inch by 3 inch cake pan.  Put the tofu dice in the pan and sprinkle with a little coarse kosher salt.  Shake pan to distribute the salt. After two minutes toss 2 Tablespoons corn starch over the tofu dice and  shake the pan to completely cover the tofu in the cornstarch.  Add 2 more Tablespoons cornstarch and shake again.  All the cornstarch should attach to the tofu dice.  Put the coated tofu carefully into the frying pan and start it "crisping".   Let is fry WITHOUT TOUCHING AGAIN for 6 minutes, being sure that the pan is on medium not HIGH heat.

At the end of the first cooking time the bottoms should be browned and the tofu should move rather than be stuck to the bottom of the skillet.  Turn the tofu over and cook for 6 more minutes.  Gently break up the browned tofu dice then pour the Sweet Chili/Soy/Sesame sauce over it right in the frying pan.  Stir well to coat the tofu. 

Place a serving of the rice/pasta into a bowl.  Spoon on some sauced tofu and garnish with a little sliced scallion.  Really yummy.  Easy to consume too much...

AND  the reviews are stellar, if you can believe it!  We will be eating this again.  The magic sauce is pictured below:

Monday, December 15, 2014

A New Food Adventure...

While at the local recycling center (a place I LOVE to go....though it is always a bust when I come home with more than I have dropped off....) some months ago I found a book called The Book of Children's Food by Lorna Rhodes which was published in 1992.  Finally last week on a lazy day I pulled out the book and began perusing the recipes.  Several of them looked really fun and yummy.  Due to vegetarian issues, lots of them will only have a chance if we are contributing to a potluck for which I don't mind making two dishes. I really think I will try the baked fish fingers for the grandkids who LOVE it when I bring them fried fish.  Theoretically this will be healthier...

Anyway, recently I purchased a bag of Bob's Red Mill Bulgur and had not broken into it.  After church I decided to do so.  There is a recipe in Children's Foods called Spicy Vegetable Bulgur. I thought we had all the ingredients so I made it while Dear One napped.  Upon querying me about the meal he thought it sounded iffy.  Not to me, so I persevered....

When he woke up from his nap there was a nice bowl (I prefer serving just about everything in a bowl rather than a plate) of Spicy Vegetable Bulgar waiting. He did eat a few bites then put the frozen pizza he had been wanting to eat into the oven...so we were both happy.

To see the actual recipe, go to Grammie's Kitchen and Bedtime Stories.