Monday, April 26, 2010

soft tofu with ginger and peppers

oh, soft tofu where have you been all my life? why did i dismiss you as the useless texture; not as dinner worthy as extra-firm and lesser than silken for baking? shame on me. the introduction into dinner was actually made a couple of weeks ago when kris brainstormed a sort of grilled cheese style sandwich with soft tofu standing in for the cheese (squishy, very near melty, and absolutely delicious). then last week kris (so i guess he's the one to thank for this epiphany) found this article on sfgate (the article is really interesting and inspiring...i, too, can't wait to seek out various ethnic grocery stores and buy all kinds of unfamiliar ingredients to play with. it also made me want to spend silly amounts of money on salt). we decided to try out a couple of the recipes, one of them being a sort of soft tofu bowl. our ethnic shopping adventure hasn't come soon enough so we made some substitutions (which i've noted in the recipe) but the dish was amazing. when i was assembling it i felt like i was making an ice cream sundae with the soft scoop of tofu and various toppings. it got us thinking that you could really take this idea in any direction....and i think we'll start our experimenting soon. this is perfect as a component of a weekday dinner as it comes together super fast. let me know if you try out different toppings or have any yummy suggestions!

very soft tofu with young ginger and sweet peppers

1 teaspoon unsalted butter (margarine)
1 teaspoon fruity extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced mini sweet peppers (about 3 each), preferably a mixture of red, yellow, and orange (we didn't have sweet peppers so we used an anaheim and red bell)
2 tablespoons young ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks (we just used regular ginger)
1 teaspoon orange marmalade
2 cups soft tofu, drained slightly in a sieve
Tangerine salt, or any high-quality salt (used regular, slightly fancy, salt
Fresh black pepper to taste
Drizzle of your best olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped chives

heat the margarine and oil in a small skillet over medium heat, then add the peppers and ginger. Mix well and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture starts to brown slightly. add the marmalade, mix well, and turn off the heat.

drain any liquid from the tofu, then spoon 1/2 cup of tofu into four small bowls. Dust with salt and pepper. drizzle with good olive oil. top with the pepper-ginger mixture and the chives.

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