Chili tofu

Now with this you can put it over rice or noodles. I still wasn’t sick of ramen so I used dry pack ramen noodles. The chili tofu is hot though so if you can’t stand the heat find a substitute. Cooked vegetables work well or even just a touch of soy after the tofu is browned in pan. For the chili tofu you will need the following.

Tofu

A 16 oz package of tofu – Extra firm – tofu normally they come in 16 oz portions so no worries about over shooting and if you don’t want to make a full batch just replace the water in the tofu container before putting your remainder portion and that should give you about a week of time to play with it.

2 t of vegetable oil to help lubricate a wide shallow pan for the tofu

2 T chopped garlic

1/4 C sweet chili sauce or (1/8 C water, 1/8 C sugar, 3 T red chili flake)

1/4 C ketchup or (1/2 C tomato paste, 1/2 C white wine vinegar, and reduce to half)

Your seasonings of choice in my case.

Set your pan up and place on medium high heat. Oiled and ready we then move to the tofu and for this you will need a plate and a couple extra paper towels to make it easier on yourself. Open the package and drain it before setting it on the plate and pressing the paper towels lightly in to it. What this does is help remove some of the excess water so it will be easier for you to saute without breaking in to chunks.

What if it breaks in to chunks anyway? Use less sauce smaller pieces will not need so much to represent the same heat level. Other then that no changes so go for it. Next take your knife of choice and chop it up first in to planks before going in to cubes.

cut tofu

Behold cut tofu. Now after chopping your tofu up toss it in the pan.

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You should get some sizzle as you drop it in so after that if you have to fuss with it you can set up your sauce to be poured in later. It will take some time to get a nice even browning or you can be like me.

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After about ten minutes let it flip and toss in your garlic. If you want it to be more browned what you do not want to do is try to scrape it from the bottom of the pan within the first few minute you will have more of a chance of the tofu cubes breaking if that happens. After the garlic gets some browning time you want to add your sauce.

What if I let the garlic cook to long or everything seems dry in the pan?

Great question, now with tofu because it is so porous their will always be some absorption and the garlic will help with that so if you need a little more liquid  as soon as your going dry you can add a couple drops of oil to finish your browning. Or if you say my ingredients I also had a lemon and an orange. They were on sale and I don’t get a lot of fruit so you can add the juice of a couple citrus.

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I like mine a little hotter then normal so this is with an extra teaspoon of chili powder with the citrus juice to produce that red color. As soon as you finish this if you let things cook until they stick the pan still the juice will help bring those particles back up to add some flavor to your sauce. Add your mix of sweet chili sauce and ketchup to the pan and let it reduce a little making sure to get all the flavors together to properly introduce each other.

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Ketchup has been used in dishes like this for many years, and old fans of Iron chef will remember the Chen ken min had a delicious prawns in chili sauce recipe that worked with ketchup as a base. If you don’t feel comfortable though you can pull back on it or make a quick version from the ratio I put up.

So after your sauce is ready its thick, full bodied, and delicious you need to have something to serve it with. For things like this I gotta go with the incredible edible egg. High in protein and adds just the right match to spicier things over rice or noodles in my opinion.

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Lightly fried egg and spicy tofu over noodles. Enjoy, if you like anything I have been up to comment and if you know someone that could enjoy one of these please show them the way to my little corner of the internet.Oh and before I forget you can actually catch me at the twitter thing call me old fashioned if you like but I am at oneguyportland on the twittery thing. Have a good one everybody.

Apple onion salad with garlic mustard dressing

This is a nice dish that will work well with the pork dish for next week. If you are vegetarian no fear this works just as well as a light potluck dish. For two servings you will need the following.

Salad: One green apple, half a white or yellow onion, salt and black pepper to taste, one lemon to juice. In this picture the orange and lemon are already zested because I used the zest for making my own bath salts. Like put in the bath and make everything smell nice as you relax and mine is all natural. Salt, teas, extracts, zests, etc. So ya mine are already zested if you have a moment you can use the zest as a garnish on top.

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Dressing: A tablespoon mustard paired with one of honey or two tablespoons honey mustard, one teaspoon chopped garlic, a pinch of cocoa powder.

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So core your apple chop it in to quarters before slicing and toss it in a pan on low heat. Next you want to take your half onion and slice it up julienne style making sure to do it a little thicker then normal julienne. tossing it in the pan we will mix it together and let the flavors meet each other as the onion begins to sweeten. Sweating on medium low with a touch of butter or oil of your choice if you do not have a non stick pan.

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Mix up your dressing as everything is sweating just mixing it all up before tossing a portion in to toss with the reminder of the dressing on the side to taste.