Monday, July 27, 2015

Black Pepper Tofu

This recipe is another winner from the Food52 Genius Recipe Cookbook.  

I am quite proud of these moderately attractive prep photos.  It is not often I take the time to snap pre-cooked photos.  

I prepped everything before I started cooking so that I was all set to go one the oil was heated.  The most "difficult" part of the recipe is frying the tofu, it is a bit time consuming.

Just a warning this is a super spicy dish.  If I were you I would dial the black pepper back a bit.  Maybe only 3-4 tablespoons.

Black Pepper Tofu
Adapted From Food 52 Genius Recipes Cookbook

2 packages of tofu
vegetable oil, for frying
cornstarch, for dusting the tofu
11 tbsp butter
8 shallots, sliced thinly
2 jalapenos, diced seeds removed
12 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp minced fresh ginger
10 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp black pepper *this was too much pepper for me, feel free to reduce it to your liking
a bundle of scallions, sliced into small segments
rice, for serving

1. Heat oil (about 1/4 inch) in a large pan.  Cut tofu into one inch cubes and dust with cornstarch. Fry tofu in batches until golden brown all over.  Remove onto a paper towel lined plate.
2. Remove oil from the pan.  Melt butter and add shallots, jalapenos, garlic, and ginger. Saute until ingredients are shiny and soft.  Add soy sauce, sugar, and black pepper.
3. Add tofu to the pan to reheat and coat with sauce.  Stir in scallions and serve on top of white rice.

All in one pan! Perfect!

This was an awesome vegetarian dinner.  I can totally see serving this for company as well. I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Frizzled Onions

I LOVE frizzled onions.  Love. Love. Love them.  In my opinion they knock the pants off of onion rings any day.  The crispy crunchy outside to onion ratio is perfection.

I just wanted to share this photo for a moment for several reasons. 1. I now have an open concept living room-kitchen.  It is the best thing we have done to our new home. 2.  I am watching an obesity documentary while preparing fried onions.  Oh, the irony.

Frizzled Onions

1 large onion
1 cup of milk  (most recipes call for buttermilk, I used 2% and these were perfect so you make the call)
1 cup flour
salt, cayenne pepper, any seasonings you like

1. Thinly slice up your onions.  I used a mandolin, but you can probably handle it with a large chefs knife.
2.  Place onions in a large container with the milk.  You want something that is flat and wide to get the most onion-milk coverage.  I used a casserole dish, see above.
3.  Mix up flour, salt, and any seasonings you'd like in a large mixing bowl.
4.  Heat about 2 inches of oil in a heavy pot or dutch oven to 375 degrees.
5.  When oil is heated take bit of the onion from the milk, toss it in the flour mixture, and fry until crispy and brown.  Keep doing this in small batches.  Remove the onions into a paper towel lined plate.

Oh I am drooling at this picture.  What a beautiful sight.  Now that I know how easy these are to cook up, my waistline is in serious trouble.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Loaded Baked Potato Lasagna Rolls

This meal is not for the faint at heart.  

Carbs, wrapped in carbs, topped with bacon and cheese. 

Helllooooooo, have you seen a better ingredient list!?

Loaded Baked Potato Lasagna Rolls

3 cups mashed potatoes, how ever you like 'em
12 lasagna noodles
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
chopped parsley for garnish
sour cream, do-do a dollop 

1. Cook noodles according to package directions.
2. Preheat oven to 350.
3. Spread about 1/4 cup of mashed potatoes on to each lasagna noodle.  Place seam-side down in a greased 13x9 casserole dish. *I used the bacon grease! ACK! I'm horrible!
4. Top rolls with cheese and bacon.  Cook until cheese is melted and bubbling.  Top with chopped parsley and serve with sour cream.

Top it with a dollop of sour cream and you got yourself the best damn baked potato you ever did eat.

Serve this up with a gigantic salad because you need some damn nutrients to counter act this wonderful cheesy carb-fest.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Blueberry Mint Iced Tea

I bought a container of 100 black tea bags for 80 cents recently and I have been enjoying brewing up flavored iced teas.

You can feel free to use any berry you have on hand.  I'm sure they will all taste delicious.

Blueberry Mint Iced tea

2 quarts of water, plus 1 cup
10 tea bags
3/4 cup of sugar
1 cup blueberries
a few mint leaves
1 tbsp lemon juice

1. In a medium saucepan boil 2 quarts water and steep the tea bags, allow to cool.
2. In a small saucepan boil 1 cup water, sugar, blueberries, mint leaves, and lemon juice.  Boil until sugar is dissolved and blueberries can be smashed with the back of a spoon.  Mash the blueberries, then strain out the solids using a fine mesh sieve.  Allow to cool.
3. Place tea and blueberry syrup in a pitcher and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Yep.  This is exactly what you need when it is 95 degrees out this summer.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Cauliflower Steaks

I got a new cookbook that I have fallen in love with.  Sure, every time I get a new cookbook I fall madly in love with it.  I read it cover to cover like it's a thrilling novel and I want to cuddle up with it in bed.


Too much information?

Moving right along.

Food 52 is an awesome food community/blog/store.  They have collected a slew of recipes deemed "genius" for one reason or another and put them all in a wondrous and beautiful book.  Warning: once you start exploring their website you will most likely never leave so set aside a whole day and pretend like you are going to buy that beautiful $90 copper pot.

Now that I'm done fawning over Food 52, on to the recipe!

Cauliflower Steaks
From Dan Barber

1 head of cauliflower, 1 1/2 lb
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup whole milk (I used 2% and it was still glorious)
2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cut cauliflower in half and then cut 2, 1 inch thick slices. Set aside.
3. Cut remaining cauliflower into florets measuring about 3 cups.  Combine florets, water, milk, salt and pepper in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and cook until very tender, about 10 minutes.  Strain florets, reserving 1 cup of liquid.
4. Transfer florets to the blender with 1/2 cup of reserved liquid.  Blend until smooth.  Add more liquid as you see fit.
5. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium high heat.  Brush steaks with additional oil and season with salt and pepper. Brown on each side, about 2 minutes.  Finish cooking the steaks in the oven for about 10 minutes.
6. To plate, divide puree* between 2 plates and top with cauliflower steaks.

*Note: You might need to re-warm the puree, but I found that keeping the lid on the blender kept my puree nice and hot.

I know what you are probably thinking.  Did these 2 seriously eat a head of cauliflower for dinner? 

Yes. We did. And it was fabulous and you should do it too.  

I served it with a baguette and some herb butter and it demands nothing more.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Banh Mi Hot Dogs

Lately I have been pondering the hot dog.  I rarely put it on my meal plan even though burger night is a weekly event.  Why not a hot dog night?  Is it perhaps because I know it's terrible for me?  Possibly.  How about if I pile it high with vegetables?  Now, it's a meal.

Banh Mi Hot Dogs
Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

4 hot dogs
4 buns
1 carrot
1/2 cucumber
1 jalapeno
1 shallot
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp sugar

1. Thinly slice shallot, jalapeno, and cucumber.  Use a vegetable peeler to make carrot ribbons.  Place in a bowl with vinegar, water, and sugar.  Allow to sit while you cook the hot dogs.
2.  Before serving, drain vegetables.  Top cooked hot dogs with a hearty scoop of pickled vegetables.
*Feel free to also top these dogs with some cilantro or siracha.

This will totally transform your next hot dog experience!