Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Black Tea Smoked Tofu with Porcini Crust, Jasmine Rice Block, Braised Leek Puree, Wasabi Mashed Potatoes Pancakes with Wasabi Pea Crust

Dinner 12/28

Black Tea Smoked Tofu with Porcini Crust

Jasmine Rice "Block"

Braised Leek Puree

Wasabi Mashed Potatoes Pancakes with Wasabi Pea Crust

Stir-Fried Snow Peas

OK, it's the end of the year, I didn't make dinner yesterday and something just... snapped.

The Black Tea Smoked Tofu was adapted from Ken Hom's "Chinese Techniques" book -- which is right up there with Jacques Pepin's "La Methode" and "La Technique" books

The wok doubled as a smoker with chopsticks as a grate, and to keep the oolong tea/jasmine rice/brown sugar smoke combo circulating around the tofu.

The whole thing took about 30 minutes, but really made a difference with the taste of the tofu.

The tofu was then fried in the wok with a splash of tamari at the end.

The Porcini Crust is adapted from Susur Lee's book "A Culinary Life". Although we do have fresh (frozen) porcini in the freezer, I wanted to see how this was going to work out before committing the good stuff to the project ;) The dried porcini soaked for an hour or so, and was then chopped finely and sauteed along with shallot, garlic, breadcrumbs and truffle oil. It all went into the vita-mix for a few pulses to even everything out.

The Wasabi Mashed Potatoes are adapted from Ming Tsai's "Blue Ginger" cookbook -- mashed potatoes, soy margarine, salt, pepper, horseradish, wasabi powder -- formed into pancakes, then put through a seasoned flour, cornstarch & water mixture and pulverized wasabi peas to form a crust and finally into a cast-iron skillet with oil until golden.

The jasmine rice "block" was formed by lining a wooden maki form with plastic wrap, adding the warm rice and pressing down. The block was cut in half, placed on top of the leek puree and topped with the tofu.

So you're asking, how did it taste?


Quibbles -- usually potatoes and rice in the same dish is starch overkill, but they were such different textures and flavors that it wasn't too noticeable. Presentation would have been cooler with a scallion tying the rice and tofu together. Next time.

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