Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dinner: A Disaster Saved

My family is furious that I eat tofu because that means FD eats tofu.

I think it's funny.

But interesting.

I like tofu because it's a mystery. What do you do with something that's so wet and bland, something that can take on the property of any flavor it marinades in? And it's a challenge for hardcore meat-eaters. I recognize the environmental impact we can have by eating vegetarian at least once a day. We love meat. We buy local meat. We buy grass-fed. But even our happy grazing cows, chicken, pigs, lamb, turkey, duck, and other animal friends need a break. And I can use a break from them too.

So, I tried this Tofu with Gingered Greens recipe from Moosewood. (Keep in mind I'm an animal advocate. In the most life-cycle of senses...It's the only website that had the original recipe.)

While I've had a lot of success with Moosewood recipes, several friends of mine haven't. I can see why. Seriously. I mean this in the most lovingly way, but a bunch of weed-smoking hippies creating vegetarian recipes? That sounds more like failure more than success, at least to me. High people will eat anything. Right?

From the moment I started this recipe it was a disaster. You know, the kind where your kitchen is smoking and you have the fire extinguisher in hand.

The downsides: I will never again broil tofu in its marinade. (WTF? The smoking pan is still outside on our driveway.) I just decided cilantro wasn't the herb to use. (Again, WTF?)

So here's my revision of Moosewood's Recipe:

Tofu Marinade:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/8 cup rice vinegar
1 1/2 T brown sugar

1 15oz tofu cake--well drained

1/8 cup vegetable oil
2 t grated fresh ginger root
3 cups coarsely shredded bok choy, kale, Chinese cabbage, or Swiss chard (we used turnip greens and kale)
2 T fresh lemon
2 hot peppers, seeded and minced

In a small saucepan, bring the marinade indgredients to a boil. Simmer for 1 minute and remove from heat. Cut the block of tofu into 1/2 inch slices, then cut slices into 1 inch squares. Pour marinade over tofu and let set for 10 minutes.

Get basmati rice started.

Heat skillet to medium-high. Pour in oil. Add tofu. Fry for 10 minutes total or until browned. Put in plate and set aside.

Clean out pan while hot. Set back on stovetop. Pour in oil. Add ginger. Add greens. When greens start looking "bright" add hot peppers. Cook peppers until done and greens until wilted.

Stir tofu into greens until rewarmed.

Serve over rice.

(I thought it needed more of a sauce, but FD liked it as is. I thought it was okay. Like I said, it was a dinner disaster saved.)

While writing this post Dan put on the Oak Ridge Boys. He's very happy.

1 comment:

  1. I just read somewhere in Best Food Writing 2009, that Mollie Katzen, the original creater of the Mooswood Vegetarian Cookbooks, has now went over to the meat-eating side of things.

    The essay explained that this was because she is now able to obtain more humane and healthy meat that is grass-fed, organic, free range, ect, ect. (And maybe she also quit smoking so much pot!)