Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tofu Failure and Kitchen Gadget

Isn't this fresh tofu from my local Asian store gorgeous?

I liked the idea of braising the tofu in a Thai-style coconut sauce, with basil, tomatoes, and scallions. I started out by sauteeing red onions, garlic and ginger in coconut oil. Good start, but then unfortunately I ruined it by adding too much stuff. First mistake was adding soy sauce. That is just wrong - much too strong. Should have just added salt. Then I put the tomatoes in too soon and overcooked them to mush. The kicker was when I added Thai Kitchen's Tom Yum soup seasoning. This was lurking in my fridge for who knows how long. I took a big sip of the sauce - blech, fish. I read the label after the fact and saw the shrimp on the list. What a waste of some beautiful tofu.

Favorite kitchen gadget - my immersion blender. I have long used this to puree soups without the mess of going back and forth between blender and pot. Then Vegetarian Times ran an article about gadgets that talked about using the attachments to make a mini-blender. It is perfect for when the regular blender is too big - chopping small amounts of garlic and onion, and making small amounts of sauces. I love sauces of all kinds, but to make them just for myself seems such a bother. But not with the mini blender! I used it to make this extremely simple sauce of roasted red pepper (one large piece from the jar), 1 T olive oil, 1 T mayo, salt & pepper.

The sauce was used for this Spicy Grilled Tempeh and Zucchini from Kathy Freston's 21 day cleanse. Waaaaaaaay too salty - I think the recipe called for 1 T in addition to the 1/4 of tamari. I even cut it back to 1 t, but it was still too salty. However, it was strongly flavored with chipotle, which is a good way to tame the tempeh. They also suggested an interesting slicing technique - slice on the diagonal, so the slices are wider. This worked a lot better than trying to slice the tempeh into thin pieces through the middle.

I love the soups from Dr. McDougall, and the hot and sour is my favorite. It is sort of smoky, I guess from the shiitakes. All the soups are relatively low in sodium (compared to mainstream prepared soups), and yet they taste really good. And of course, they are all vegan, and some are gluten free. Just add boiling water!

Happy Father's day to all the dads!

1 comment:

VeganLinda said...

I love my immersion blender too. I couldn't live without it. :-)