Okay, I haven't made a lot of progress on my new novel yet, but I'm making progress on getting into the right mindset for it. My ever-supportive spouse suggested one possible way to make time to focus on my work would be to "make less interesting food" for dinner. I've taken him up on that offer for the most part, although in the summer time what more do you need than some steamed fresh vegetables, a fruit salad and bread and cheese (and wine)? But now and then I get the itch to cook something just a little bit special and I gave into the urge yesterday.
I'll share my recipe for almond cake tomorrow, a favorite of child and adult alike, but before you have dessert, you have to eat your good food! And my Spicy Thai Tofu is pretty darn good for a home-cooked meal--and gets high marks from Herr Doktor, who's been to Thailand many times. You won't mistake it for a Thai restaurant dish, but it's also far less oily and has a lightness that makes you feel healthy as well as satisfied. The original recipe came from Bon Appetit magazine, but I don't exactly follow the recipe. For example, they say use "3 green onions," but what do you do with the other three? So I just toss the whole bunch in. Same with basil, although I try to buy some Thai basil, which comes in a smaller quantity than your typical California basil which is usually enough for a whole batch of pesto. But why use 1/3 cup when a big old handful tastes much better? So, I'll be giving you the recipe just as I make it, a peek into my kitchen, if you will. And if you're up for a little spice to keep you going until our next Spicy Sunday at Jeremy's, this might be your ticket!
Spicy Summer Thai Tofu ala DGS
Mix together in a medium bowl:
2 large red bell peppers, sliced or cubed 3 Tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger (I use a big knob that probably made 1 1/2 Tablespoons and that was plenty) 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
Mix together in another bowl:
1 14-16 oz. package extra firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
Mix together in a small bowl:
3 Tablespoons soy sauce 2 Tablespoons lime juice 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
Place 2 Tablespoons of peanut oil in a wok and heat to high. Add bell pepper mix and saute about 2 minutes. Add tofu mixture and saute another 2 minutes. Add the sauce and toss to blend about one minute.
1 6-0z. bag baby spinach leaves in two or three batches
Toss until wilted about one minute for each addition.
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil (I do one bunch Thai basil or maybe 1/3 bunch California basil)
Season with salt and pepper.
1/3 cup lightly salted or unsalted roasted peanuts
Serve with rice, preferably brown jasmine rice. Enjoy the compliments!