Sunday, July 09, 2006

What's for dinner?

After having been online since the very early '90s, let's say around 1992 or so, I've reached the last page of the Internet, which means there's nothing left online to entertain me while I'm waiting for my tofu to marinate. So while I'm waiting for dinner, I thought I'd share with you tonight's recipe, which is from an awesome cookbook -- Simple Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin. If you're looking for a good vegetarian cookbook, 2 out of the 3 cooking members of the G family recommend this one because all of the recipes are fairly easy to prepare and they use a lot of the same ingredients, and in the tradition of Rachel Ray, Lemlin doesn't require you to buy weird ingredients either -- which is a really good thing.

Baked Thai-Style Tofu

The marinade
* 2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce (I use regular soy)
* 1 tablespoon oriental sesame oil
* 1 tablespoon canola oil (I use vegetable oil)
* 1/2 teaspoon minced gingerroot (I don't like ginger, so I usually skip this)
* 1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

* 1 pound extra-firm tofu, cut into 3/4-inch cubes and patted very dry (tomorrow's blog will deal with drying tofu)
* 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips (I used 2 tonight, because I love red peppers)

The sauce
* 1 tablespoon natural-style peanut butter (I use creamy JIF)
* 2 tablespoons lime juice (eh, I used lemon juice)
* 1 scallion, very thinly sliced
* 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh basil, or 1/4 teaspoon dried (I usually use dried, but today I have fresh, and it smells absolutely wonderful)
* 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint, or 1/2 teaspoon dried (I usually skip this one, mostly because I forget to pick it up and I don't have any dried)

1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the tofu and red pepper to coat them evenly with the marindade. Let sit 30 minutes at room temperature or up to 8 hours chilled. Toss occasionally (I deviate slightly here in that I mix the marinade in a small bowl, and then mix it with the tofu and red peppers right in the baking dish).

2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the tofu mixture and any remaining marinade in a large shwllow baking dish so that the tofu rests in one layer. Bake 15 minutes, tossing once with a spatula after about 7 minutes (I use a 9 x 13 baking dish. I have a larger one, but the 9 x 13 is more cozy).

3. Meanwhile, make the sauce by stirring all its incredients together with a fork (::gulp:: I used a spoon). Remove the tofu from the oven. Spoon on the sauce, then using a spatula, tause the ingredients together until everything is well coated. Return the dish to the oven and bake undisturbed for 10 minutes. let the tofu sit at least 10 minutes before serving it.

Bon appetite!

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