Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Brown Rice and Tofu Salad

Dear KDP Fans (Hi Mom),

It's been far too long.
I've been in an amazing directors workshop for the past 3 weeks, meaning I never had time to make food, much less blog about it.
Things happened in the past 3 weeks (including the now infamous String Cheese and Toast Dinner ). Our dear Mags officially turned old and celebrated by eating cookies and drinking whiskey (true story). Juneau has apparently had the worst summer ever and I still haven't bought an AC.
All in all, it's been busy. But here's a make up, back log post about a salad that I didn't really like.

Too much cookies and whiskey
Baked Tofu (From The Moosewood)
16oz firm tofu
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 garlic clove- minced
2 Tbsp fresh ginger- minced
1 1/2 c bread crumbs
2 Tbsp parsley
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp white flour
6 Tbsp cold water

-Cut the tofu into sticks- so you have about 24 total. Arrange them in a single layer in a baking dish
-Mix together the soy sauce, rice vingear, garlic and ginger. Pour over the tofu sticks, let marinate for at least 30 mins.
-Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly oil a baking tray.
-In a large bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, parsley, salt, pepper and spices. In another bowl, mix together the flour and water.
-Dip each marinated tofu stick in the flour mix and coat well. Then dunk it in the breadcrumbs mix and make sure it's covered. Arrange the sticks on the baking tray. Bake for 30 mins, until crisp and hot.

Brown Rice Salad 
1 1/2 to 2 cups short-grain brown
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped scallion
1 small or 1/2 large red or yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped or shredded celery
1/4 cup finely chopped or shredded carrot
baked tofu
6 tablespoons miso paste
3/4 cup warm water or sake
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon mirin or honey
1 tablespoon rice vinegar, or more to taste
2 sheets of nori, lightly toasted (optional- I don't actually know how to do this and forgot about Google for a second).
2 tablespoons black or white sesame seeds, toasted.

- Cook rice. Drain, rinse in cold water, drain again, then combine with vegetables and tofu in a large bowl.
- Put black pepper, miso, water or sake, sugar, mirin or honey, and vinegar in a small bowl, and whisk together. Taste, and add more vinegar and a pinch of salt, if needed.
- Combine rice mixture with miso dressing with 2 big forks, fluffing rice and tossing gently to separate grains. Crumble nori (if you figured it out) over salad and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Verdict: While I'm sure this was a stunning brown rice salad, I am not a huge fan. Too salty/soy saucy, I usually ended up just eating the tofu. The tofu is good (thus proving that if you add bread crumbs to anything it will make it taste like bread crumbs).
I also realized that I was so underwhelmed by the final product that I never took pictures. 
Imagine it looked like this:

In more uplifting news, Passion Pit has come out with their new album Gossamer, you can hear it on NPR First Listen for a few more days.
I'm in love. These are not only my cooking jams, but also my walking, working out, working, rehearsing and living jams. I'm like the blonde that listens to an audio tape that tells her to breath in and out, but my life line is Passion Pit. It's incredibly textured and each song rings of extremely detailed and precise work.
It's also about a failed romance, so I'm adding it to my "Sit in a hammock, drink PBR and cry" list.
You know the one.
Someone else described this album as a "tortured beast, wrapped in a hard candy shell"
Totally my groove.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Not the best food blogger.

Welcome to the dark, seedy underbelly of the food blogging craze. 
Sometimes I don't eat homemade, vegetarian, healthy and highbrow meals. 
Sometimes I make myself string cheese and toast for dinner. 

Didn't even melt it. 

In other news, I'm in an intensive workshop and haven't had time to cook, much less post. 
But never fear! Things will happen soon. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Gettin' creative with salad.

I eat a lot of salad, especially now that it's too hot to turn on the stove, I'm too busy and poor to make something new every night. 

So I mixed a couple of recipes from The Moosewood New Classics, threw in some left overs, got some beets and tomatoes to add color and voila! 

A curried tofu and corn salad that's worthy of any high class vegetarian/vegan restaurant. 

In other news, I'm in major lack of grill depression. I don't have the balls to put one on my fire escape, so if you have one in NY,  I will trade many, slightly charred, tasty things in exchange for a grill take over. 

Curried Tofu (from Moosewood New Classics)
1 packet firm tofu
1 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves- pressed
1 c onion- minced
1 jalapeno- seeded and minced
2 tbsp curry paste
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp braggs liquid aminos

-Press the tofu for 15 mins. Cut into bite sized pieces.
-Heat the oil in a skillet, saute the garlic, onions and jalapeno until the onions are golden, about 15 mins. Mix in the curry paste, turmeric, cumin and soy sauce.
-Add the tofu to the skillet and cook on low heat for 10 mins, stirring often, until heated through.

Curried Corn (adapted from Moosewood New Classics)
1 c shallots- chopped
1 jalapeno- seeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves- minced
2 tbsp olive oil
4 c frozen corn
1 tbsp curry powder

The actual recipe calls for coconut milk. I omitted it because I didn't want to the corn to be over saturated with liquid going into the salad (read- I didn't have any). 

-warm the oil in a sauce pan, add the shallots and jalapeno and saute for 3 mins. Stir in the curry powder and saute until the spices darken, about another 3 mins.
-stir in the corn. Saute until heated, add salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble curried tofu and corn salad (a Hannah original (patent pending))
1 c quinoa

3 bell peppers- chopped
grape tomatoes- sliced in half
4 beets- chopped

-Put everything in a big bowl. Mix around. 
-season with salt, pepper, sriracha and curry powder to taste. 

I've been on a major RadioLab kick. 
I spend most of my commute listening to podcasts, but I've run into the unfortunate problem that sometimes Ira Flatow's soothing voice and dense topics on Science Friday puts me to sleep and I get too distracted by the various MTA characters/subway drama to really commit to an episode of This American Life. And the TAL stories often make me cry, which can be mildly embarrassing and unwanted attention getting at 10am on a Wednesday. 

RadioLab is the perfect medium, a mix of science and story, weird soundscapes that jolt one awake and make you stride that fine line between being intrigued and thinking too much. 
Plus, I'm in awe of the online community they are making through social media. 

And let's be honest, the only reason I listen to Science Friday is for the rare and priceless times when Ira F gets pissed off.