Bookmarks for 18th August 2012

These are my saved Pinboard links for 18th August 2012:

  • Curried Tofu With Soy Sauce — Recipe and Video – The Minimalist – NYTimes.com – Many of the best soups, stews, and braises start with careful browning that creates a flavor that’s rich and seductive.

    The chances are the last thing that come to mind when you read the above was tofu. But what makes this dish work, as I wrote back in 2000, is careful browning of onions – which takes a while, but it so worth it. (Avoid burning at all costs or the dish will be bitter instead of sweet.)

    When the onions are done, you add curry powder, which also needs to brown – or toast – for 30 seconds or so to cook out the raw intensity of the spice. Then come chopped walnuts or cashews: toast them, too. Between the onions, curry powder, and nuts, there is a tremendous amount of flavor generated up front. I would even go so far as to call it rich and seductive.

    With all of the heavy lifting done in the beginning, the rest of this curry comes together very quickly. You add coconut milk, which satisfyingly changes from white to rich yellow when it hits the skillet and then the tofu. Soy sauce provides most of the salt here, and a little cayenne the kick.

    The tofu may get top billing here, but really – the browning does all the work.

  • Sesame Baked Tofu – Pro Bono Baker – Rich and nutty pieces of baked tofu are perfect for adding to stir-fry or curry dishes, but they are also delicious on their own.  Extra-firm tofu will hold up well to the marinating called for in this recipe, though some types of firm tofu will work fine as well. If you are worried that your tofu is too delicate, wrap the tofu slices in clean tea towels, place a plate on top, and a heavy pot or bag of flour on top of that.  Let sit for half an hour.  As the water in the tofu is absorbed into the towels, the tofu will become sturdier.  Dark sesame oil is made from toasted sesame seeds and gives this dish a deeper flavor.  Light sesame oil can also be used.
  • 28 Cooks – Tofu Jerky – So I was monkeying around on the Internet, browsing recipes and vegetarian websites, and I came across the idea of Tofu Jerky. I've never tried Tofu Jerky, and you know how I was a bit skeeved out by the texture of tofu, but yet I was oddly intrigued by the idea of jerky made out of it. And since I'll try anything once, I decided to give it the old college try.
    I must admit I was pleasantly surprised. Although the texture isn't like real jerky, it's oddly close enough. I also think that the seasonings are distracting enough that this is rather enjoyable. I definitely think that most people, vegetarian or not, would enjoy this as a fairly healthy snack. While I can't see myself making this weekly, I definitely think it will be kept to try again.
  • Caramelized Tofu Recipe – 101 Cookbooks – needed to use up a few ingredients I had on hand before leaving for a trip to Big Sur last week (more on that later, I promise). I ended up throwing together what might become a new favorite meal on the fly – caramelized strips of tofu served over sauteed shredded brussels sprouts. I made it again yesterday for lunch so I could take a snapshot and share it with you.

    Here's how it came together: a quick survey of my kitchen revealed tofu and a cluster of brussels sprouts. There was also a vibrant bouquet of cilantro tucked into the refrigerator door begging to be used. I scanned the cupboards and pulled down a small bag of (already toasted!) pecans and the remnants of a once full bag of my favorite sugar. Garlic? Check.

    Just a few minutes of knife work and a some fast work with a hot pan separated me from my dinner. I cooked the tofu first, then finished with the brussels sprouts. It worked out nicely that only one pan was dirtied in the process.

    Some variations come to mind – throw in some nutty, chewy brown rice. You'll have a nicely balanced plate – vegetables, protein, and some complex carbohydrates from the rice. For those of you I failed to convert to fans with this brussels sprout recipe, spinach would be a nice alternative. With the pecans and the crusted sweetness, a few pinches of curry powder (or five-spice powder) would be delicious.

  • Kalyn’s Kitchen: Baked Tofu Recipe with Soy and Sesame – I had such good success when I tried a recipe for stir-fried tofu, I vowed I would cook it again soon, so this is my second tofu adventure. The recipe is adapted from a basic recipe for baking tofu in Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, and once again I was thrilled with how this turned out. If you're a tofu novice (like me!) this has to be the easiest possible way to cook it, and with only three main ingredients, this is definitely an Easy South Beach Recipe, headed for the section in the recipe archives where I file recipes with five ingredients or less.

    Baked tofu will keep in the fridge for several days, and it's a great addition to salads, stir-fries, or sauteed vegetables. Mark Bittman also recommends serving the baked tofu with some type of sauce, which would certainly be tasty. However, I brushed the tofu with the soy-sesame mixture several times while it cooked, and I thought this was delicious just as is. (I couldn't resist sprinkling on a few black sesame seeds and thinly sliced green onions for the photos, but they're definitely not essential.) I confess, I've been eating it as a snack, and it will probably disappear before I have a chance to try using it in a stir-fry or with veggies.

  • Oat Crisps with Blueberries, Peaches and Crème Fraîche | Serious Eats : Recipes – This recipe from chef Emily Luchetti is deliciously versatile—we'd eat it for breakfast, dessert, or a mid-afternoon snack. Why are we making this now? The cookies are simple to prepare and we're digging the fresh blueberries: with the season passing all too quickly, we want to enjoy them just as they are.

    If you really want to up the ante, swap out the crème fraîche for vanilla ice cream. The thin crisps make great ice cream sandwiches.

  • 1695. Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919). Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989 – Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  • Grilled Shrimp with Honey-Ginger Barbecue Sauce Recipe at Epicurious.com – Of all the ways to prepare shrimp, the grill delivers the best flavor. Although unadorned "shrimp on the barbie" are great, an easily assembled gingery barbecue sauce makes them that much better. You can save time by buying already shelled and deveined shrimp, but our recipe developer, Alexis Touchet, who grew up in shrimp country in southwest Louisiana, thinks shell-on shrimp are better quality. Depending on where you live and what's in your market, you may not have much choice. Freshness trumps all, so don't hesitate to use your nose in deciding which shrimp to buy.
  • What Is AirServer? – AirServer is a powerful Mac/PC application that enables you to stream or mirror your iOS device, such as your iPhone 4S, to your Mac/PC. If your computer is connected to a secondary or alternative display, such as an HDTV or projector, your iOS device can use that display. If your iOS device allows Mirroring then anything you see on that device can be displayed on the big screen.

    AirServer is the most advanced AirPlay/AirTunes receiver app on the market. Mirroring has been fully supported since version 4.0 of AirServer. No other app will let you seamlessly stream audio, videos, photos, and photo slideshows to your Mac or iOS device. AirServer gives you more features for less money, and it keeps getting better. Android fans rejoice: we now support AirPlay streaming to Mac from Android devices running doubleTwist+AirTwist.

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