Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Big Bowl Of Yum Part V: The Yum Strikes Back

Dinner 02/26

A Big Bowl Of Yum Part V

The fifth bowl in a continuing series of dinners inspired by the question "How can we make a dinner out of the things that need to be used in the refrigerator, like NOW?" ;)

Tonight's contestants include: barley, cauliflower (tossed with olive oil, salt & pepper, roasted at 450°F for 15 minutes), leftover boiled potatoes from breakfast, collard greens (shredded, pan-fried with olive oil, salt, pepper and smoked paprika) onions, carrots and garlic.

Previously: Bowl I, Bowl II, Bowl III, Bowl IV

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Fig, Date, Walnut and Blue Sheese wrapped in Cucumber

Appetizer 02/16

Fig, Date, Walnut and Blue Sheese wrapped in Cucumber

I've had this idea kicking around in my green notebook (where I keep my food ideas) for more than a year now, but as our precious supply of Blue Sheese has reached the end (as it is not distributed in the US at the moment), it was time to act.

The basic idea was to make a fondue of sorts -- melt the microplaned blue cheese along with minced dates, figs and walnuts and pour it into a 2oz ramekin (lined with plastic wrap), let it chill in the fridge. Then unmold, and wrap with a piece of cucumber (cut on a the benriner) that had been brushed with a gin and black pepper mixture.

Of course, that alone would have been fine, but of course, I had to go a put it on a stick. ;)

In the end, it was extremely flavorful, but really benefited from having a martini (garnished with some of the leftover cucumber) to cut through the richness of the app...

Friday, February 15, 2013

Paella with Braised Fennel, Sherry-Glazed Mushrooms, Pecan-Smoked Tofu and Red Bell Peppers

Dinner 02/15

Paella with Braised Fennel, Sherry-Glazed Mushrooms, Pecan-Smoked Tofu and Red Bell Peppers

Our usual Paella recipe paired with Pecan-Smoked Tofu, Sherry-Glazed Mushrooms, Red Bell Pepper and Braised Fennel.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Heart Shaped Sugar Cookies

Dessert 02/14

Heart Shaped Sugar Cookies


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hickory-Smoked Tofu with Mustard Cream Sauce and Wilted Spinach, Red Beans and Rice

Dinner 02/12

Hickory-Smoked Tofu with Mustard Cream Sauce and Wilted Spinach

Red Beans & Rice

We've made this recipe a bunch of times before and with good reason, it's delicious. This time around we skipped the corn cakes and make a quick red beans and rice as the base. Also we hickory-smoked the tofu.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pot Pie

Dinner 02/11

Pot Pie

Liz used mini-cookie cutters for the cute crust decorations.

Here's all of the variations on the sheet pan before they went into the oven.

The recipe is more or less the same as the one from Candle Cafe cookbook adapted to whatever you have on hand at the time. Tonight hiding underneath the crust was smoked tofu, carrot, onion, celery, garlic, mushrooms, green beans and potatoes along with a sauce of white wine, veg stock, tamari, cornstarch slurry, salt and pepper.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Ramen with Ho Fun Noodles and Maitake Mushrooms

Dinner 02/04

Ramen with Ho Fun Noodles and Maitake Mushrooms

We had some leftover Ho Fun Noodles from the other day, plus some Maitake mushrooms that needed to be used, so we decided to make ramen with our usual shiitake mushroom broth along with tea-smoked tofu.

The noodle thing has quickly become a house favorite.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Red Tofu with Ho Fun Noodles and Scallion Pancakes

Dinner 02/02

Red Tofu

Ho Fun Noodles

Scallion Pancakes

Hmmm... blocks of tofu in a pressure cooker? Sure, why not!

We caught an episode of Simply Ming where he was cooking with his parents and decided to adapt the recipe and technique and apply it to tofu.

The city of... Tofuville! </powerpuff girls>

Why yes, I do have dreams like Inception where the buildings are made of tofu.

We started by smoking the blocks of tofu with Oolong tea for 30 minutes.

Then we seared the tofu on all sides in the wok to give it a little color and splashed it with 1 tbs. of tamari at the end of cooking.

While that was going, we made a batch of Ho Fun noodles (just like this video recipe shows) using our bag of rice flour.

We started the pressure cooker out with 1 tsp. of canola oil, 1 bunch of scallions cut into 1" pieces, 3 cloves of minced garlic and 1 tbs. of minced ginger.

Next we loaded it up with the seared tofu, 1 bottle of wine, 5 oz. (wheat-free, reduced sodium) tamari, 1 cup of brown sugar, 2 cinnamon sticks, 4 star anise and 1 Thai bird chili and about 1 1/2 cups of our home made shiitake mushroom broth.

We brought the pressure cooker up to the second ring (15psi) and cooked all of it for 30 minutes.

We removed the tofu blocks, strained the liquid into a saute pan and thickened it by adding a slurry of 1 tbs. of cornstarch and 1 tbs. of cold water mixed together and whisked into the sauce.

We cut the chilled Ho Fun noodles into strips and added them to the wok along with about a cup of the sauce to heat through. The noodles were placed in the bottom of the bowl, topped with the tofu as well as a little additional sauce poured over both the tofu and scallion pancakes...

... which were made while the pressure cooker was going -- it was our usual recipe, cut into sixths for plating.

The flavor of the sauce was outstanding, and the smaller blocks of tofu worked better for flavor penetration -- but I can already see two or three ways to expand/refine the dish and that's always a good sign. ;)