Friday, August 15, 2014

A Rustic Tofu with a dash of Indian Spices

I was pulling together a small dinner party on Fire Island last night, and had chicken and shrimp on the menu. One of my guests asked what I'd be having, since I'm vegetarian, and when I shrugged, she suggested Tofu.

Since cooking on an island comes with some complexity (i.e., not all the ingredients I'd have at home), I improvised a dish and thought I'd share it with you.

2 blocks of firm tofu (140 gms each) cut into 12 blocks or so each
2 scallion greens, chopped
1 large onion, cut into chunks
10 medium sized white or button mushrooms, chopped into eighths
1.5 cups of corn sliced off cob or from a can
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt to taste (1 only add about 1 tsp.)

- 2 tbsp chili flakes
- 1 tbsp red chili powder
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp cumin powder

  • In a wok or large pan, heat the oil and toss in the condiments
  • Stir in the condiments into the oil, and then place the tofu cubes in the hot, spiced oil and fry them so that they get a little crust on all sides if possible
  • Take the tofu out of the pan and set aside
  • Fry the garlic and onion in the oil in the pan, and add in the mushrooms, scallion and corn
  • One the mushrooms take on a bit of a light brown/grey sheen, add the tofu back into the pan and let the whole mixture simmer for about 10 minutes on a low flame
Serve with rice or couscous


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Green Casserole with Kale, Cilantro and a hint of olives and cucumbers

Earlier this year, dad and kids decided that they would take over one meal each over the weekend. Dad tend to take on Saturday evening, and the kids Saturday lunch.

Yesterday the kids made Gazpacho, based on Mark Bittmann's superb recipes in the New York Times magazine. We packed some away, since each twin tried a different variety - the daughter chose the tomato-strawberry version, and the son went with the Kale-olive version.

Looking into the fridge this evening, I decided to try something new. Here's an idea for an aromatic new casserole that I'd be happy to recommend any time.

2 cups Kale Gazpacho, prepared as per this Bittmann recipe which makes about 6 cups
1/4 bunch of kale (about 10 large sprigs) or around a half pound
1 white onion
2 tbsp olive oil
5 eggs
3/4 cup self-raising flour
1 cup grated parmesan
Small handful cilantro - about 5 springs

  • Heat the oven to 375 F
  • Thinly slice the onion and sauté it in the olive oil heated lightly in a wok till they are a rich brown
  • Add the Kale and sweat them till they are a bright green, but retain some of their crunchiness
  • Add in a cup of gazpacho and allow to simmer and they will soak in the liquid. Add in the diced cilantro so it blends into the mixture 
  • Transfer to a small baking dish
  • In a bowl, combine the second cup of gazpacho, 5 eggs, parmesan and flour till smooth
  • Pour the batter over the kale-onion mixture and gently mix so that the batter seeps in, but maintain the rich kale-onion mix as the bottom layer of the casserole
  • Bake the casserole for 30 minites or until the top of is a crisp brown