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.

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