Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Today we welcome guest blogger Amy Friedman, who combines a love of cooking, a flair for frugality, and a talent for writing. She offers this yummy-sounding stir-fry recipe designed to satisfy both meat eaters and vegetarians:
My husband and I are both meat eaters, but we do enjoy vegetarian dishes. For my husband, veggie dishes have two requirements: hearty and tasty. By “tasty,” he generally means “spicy,” so my many jars of peppers and pepper sauces get quite the workout!
I also like hearty and tasty (although not quite as spicy as my husband), and am also a biiiiiiiig fan of “clean the refrigerator” dishes. You know . . . the last few little cherry tomatoes that are about to die, the half bulb of fennel forgotten in the veggie crisper, etc.
Here’s a lovely tofu stir-fry I invented one evening that fits several bills: It’s hearty and tasty, vegan, cleans the fridge, and makes my hubby the carnivore happy. He generally asks for it every week to ten days, and always takes seconds (and sometimes thirds).
The recipe looks complicated, but it really isn’t. You can be a purist and mince your own ginger and garlic, but I generally use the preminced stuff. Also, once you’ve made it a few times and are comfortable with the proportions, you can throw it together right in the frying pan, if you’re so inclined. Saves on cleanup!
Hearty and Tasty Tofu Stir-Fry
1 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained and cubed
4 or 5 dried tree ear mushrooms, soaked in a bowl of water
1 green pepper
4 ounces fresh mushrooms
1 large or 2 medium onions
Optional: half a zucchini or yellow squash, diced; thinly sliced fennel or celery; sliced or diced broccoli stem (not florets!)
1 T. olive oil
1 c. fresh spinach leaves
About 15 grape tomatoes, or an equal amount of Roma tomatoes, sliced
3 or 4 scallions, sliced
¼ c. soy sauce (shoyu or tamari OK)
About 1 T. mirin
1 to 2 t. pureed ginger (or 1 t. minced fresh ginger)
1 to 2 t. minced garlic (2 garlic cloves, mince, or about 1½ t. garlic powder)
1 to 2 T. peanut butter (I like the crunchy stuff, but also sometimes just use peanut sauce)
1 dollop honey (optional)
1 to 2 T. sriracha sauce, or ½ t. black pepper, ½ t. red pepper, ¼ t. white pepper (you may want it less spicy—experiment with smaller proportions, but don’t substitute Tabasco!)
1. Mix marinade and pour over tofu. Let it sit while prepping the rest of the meal.
2. Dice green pepper (or halves of two colors – looks pretty!), mushrooms
(you can also use presliced for a chunkier dish), onion, and the optional veggies, if you're using them.
3. Heat olive oil in a 12-inch frying pan.
4. Pour marinated tofu plus all the marinade into the pan and spread in a single layer.
Let cook about 5 minutes.
5. While the tofu is cooking, slice up the tree ear mushrooms, then add to the pan, along with the green pepper, mushrooms, onions and optional veggies. Stir-fry for about five minutes, then let simmer for another five minutes.
6. Add the spinach to the pan and stir until it wilts.
7. Stir the tomatoes and scallions into the mix. Cover, and let simmer for about five minutes.
Serve spooned over hot white sushi rice or brown rice.
NOTE: if you don’t have the rice already made, start the rice BEFORE you start this dish!
Note: the Tofuzilla photo is from a poster for the Los Angeles Tofu Festival. We wish we could have attended!