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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:

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