Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Care for some snapper?

We did! And we're glad we did! :)

This is a long overdue post from a couple of weeks ago - with Navarathri and travelling and all, things have been really hectic and I'm woefully behind with my food postings. But things are back to being relatively normal, so the postings shall flow again! :)

A couple of weeks ago, the guy at City Fish convinced me to buy some of what he called "super fresh" snapper - so much better than the cod, he said! Well, that sold me - anything better than fresh cod must be good, real good! And this worked really well for dinner a couple of nights later since Megan got all excited in anticipation of a seafood meal :)

We poked around several recipes online before finally settling on a version of blackened snapper that sounded pretty happy. Simple seasoning, delicate fish, "herbalicious" sauce topping - all goodness!

Blackened snapper with tomato-dill sauce

Servings: 3

3 fillets skinned snapper - 8 oz each
2 T olive oil
a handful of chopped parsley

1 T cayenne
1 t kosher salt
1 T garlic salt
1.5 T onion powder
1 t ground black pepper
1 T fresh thyme

3 roma tomatoes - peeled and chopped
1/2 red onion - finely chopped
3 cloves garlic - smashed
1 T coriander powder
1 t cayenne
2 T chopped dill
kosher salt
1 t olive oil
1 t turmeric

Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onions+garlic. Once browned, throw in the tomatoes and spices and cook for about 12-14 minutes till the tomatoes are cooked and blended. Mash the tomatoes with a wooden ladle and let the sauce simmer for a few more minutes. Finally toss in the chopped dill. (I *love* the explosive smell when the dill is thrown into the sauce - so overpowering!)

Fishy fishy
Mix the seasoning ingredients till well blended.
Brush the fillets with olive oil and rub all over with the seasoning. Place the fish in a large greased skillet and cook over low for about 4-5 minutes. Drizzle a few more drops of olive oil as the fish cooks. Flip the fish over and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
Place a fillet on a plate and spoon the sauce over it. Let it sit for a couple of minutes before serving - the fish was delicate enough to immediately start absorbing the flavors of the sauce!
Top with the chopped parsley.

Our first side was pretty simple - oven roasted fingerling potatoes dusted with salt, pepper and some thyme - yum! The other side was even happier - hierloom tomatoes sauteed in their own juices along with some balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Delicious! :)

Our camera was not super happy that day, we only have one substandard picture as testament to a yummy meal!

Wait ... there is more! Megan brought some yummy desserts from Whole Foods - we decided the flan was too rich, but the raspberry tart was tasty and the chocolate mousse was simply decadent!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Navarathri goodies!

Got to love dussehra - dolls, dolling up, socializing, trading stories and catching up (often after a whole year!), eating, more eating ... :)

This year, I chose to experiment a bit with our traditional sundal, snacks and dessert recipes and come up with some variations. I started this post several days ago, but the week has been expectedly packed, I'm glad I'm getting to post about these before Navarathri is actually over! :)

Obviously, we needed a sundal of sorts - can't really do without that! After poking around the stuff we had on hand, I finally decided to make a mixed sundal - green channa, kaala channa, garbanzo and corn! The corn was truly a killer addition - the sweetness totally offset the tartness of the lemon juice and added to the crunchiness of the coconut. Yay for a sundal variation!

Sundal Medley
A zillion servings!

2 cups green channa
2 cups kaala channa

1 can chickpeas

1 can corn
3 red chillies - finely chopped
2 green chillies - finely chopped

1 T mustard
1 T cumin

1 t asafoetida

1 T sesame oil

1 t turmeric powder

3 T grated ginger

10-12 curry leaves

1 cup fresh coconut gratings

juice from 2 lemons


Soak the channa in warm water for a few hours and then cook them till tender. Heat the sesame oil and add the mustard. Once it sputters, add the jeera, red and green chillies, ginger, asafoetida and curry leaves. Add the channa, garbanzo and corn. Sprinkle with turmeric and salt and simmer for a few more minutes. Finally toss with the grated coconut and lemon juice.

Happy, very happy!

So, we needed another snack - hmm ... poha? We often make poha for navarathri - sometimes like upma, sometimes with lemon or tamarind. But lately, the poha at the indian stores have not been thick enough and get all clumpy - I really don't like that! So, I went back and forth between using poha and basmati rice and finally settled on poha. Well, that was a minor mistake. I wanted to make mango poha - with a ton of grated raw mango and it ended up all clumpy! Minor disaster! After a few minutes of panicking, I figured I could salvage it by making patties out of the poha and baking them. Hmm ... worth a try!

Used-to-be-poha patties
another zillion servings!

1 lb poha (thickest available)
2 red chillies - chopped
a handful of peanuts
1 t mustard

1 t urad dal
1 T channa dal

2 raw mangoes - grated

1 t turmeric

10 curry leaves

1 t oil

Heat the oil in a wok and add the mustard. Once it sputters, throw in the curry leaves, peanuts, urad dal, channa dal and red chillies. Once browned, add the grated mango, turmeric and salt. Cook for a few minutes. In the meantime, add some water to the poha to soften it. This often ends up being tricky - I add a little water at a time, wait for it to soak up and then add more. The poha seemed pretty happy till I added the mango mix and then it seemed a little too clumpy.

*grrr*! Time to bake! Heat oven to 450 F. Grease a large baking tray and make patties out of handfuls of the poha mix and bake these in the oven for about 20 minutes. Flip the patties over, douse them with some oil spray and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
Wow! These turned out pretty good. Really, really surprising, but we were pretty kicked about it :)

Ok, we obviously needed a dessert here. I had read about Ganne ka kheer and really wanted to try it out, but I could only land my hands on a can of sugarcane at my fave latino store La Espinola. I proceeded to extract the juice out of the sugarcane stalks (?!!) using a juicer. Well, 45 minutes and achy hands later, I had about a cup of juice - figured that would have to do! Since that wasn't much juice, I decided to maybe make a kheer with nuts as well as the rice cooked in sugarcane. Hmm ... what we ended up with was a lot different :)

Sugarcane-banana cake in cashew-pistachio milk
Many many servings

Sugarcane-banana cake

3/4 cup of basmati rice

1 cup sugarcane juice

3 overripe bananas

5 green cardamoms

8 slices of white bread

I cooked about 3/4 cup of rice in the sugarcane juice + 1 cup of water for about 20 minutes till the rice was completely cooked and soft. I tossed in the cardamom and bananas and cooked for another 5 minutes, mashing the rice+bananas along the way. While the mixture cooled, I ground up the bread slices into fresh crumbs. The last step here was the mix the bread crumbs with the rice/banana mix, pour it into a cake pan and bake for 20 minutes at 350 F.

Cashew-Pistachio Milk


5 cups nonfat milk
1 can condensed milk

a handful of unsalted cashews

another handful of unsalted pistachios

2 T saffron

I cooked the nuts in the milk for about ten minutes. Once cooled, I pureed this milk and set it back on the stove on simmer. Next, I added the condensed milk and saffron kept stirring the milk till it boiled and got thicker. It took another 15-20 minutes of constant stirring before the milk was thick enough for the dessert.

Ok, so the final assembly of our dessert involved submerging a piece of the sugarcane-banana cake in a cup of the milk till it completely soaked up the flavors and got all soft and sweet and yummy! Kind of contrived, a little complicated but totally worth it! :)

Ok, Lakshmi has convinced me, this has got to be my submission for Jihva's Festive Series :) Thanks, Lakshmi!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Delightful squash bisque

One of the best things about Fall - squashes! So many varieties, so many of them, makes me so happy! This was something I cooked up for Stephanie & Shawn a few days ago and never got around to posting. Which would be a crime of sorts since the bisque turned out so rich and flavorful, it deserves a post! :)

The last batch of squashes I got were from (surprise!) Fred Meyer - it was an emergency pitstop for some fruit and I just happened to (literally!) stumble upon this motley assortment of squashes of all shapes and sizes! I ended up buying several delicata squashes that day, one of which went into this bisque that I adapted from a recipe from Best-ever Soups by Anne Sheasby.

Roasted Squash and Garlic Bisque

Servings: 4

1 medium sized delicata squash
8 -10 cloves of garlic
1/2 vidalia - chopped into big chunks
a few fresh thyme sprigs
2 T olive oil
1 T fresh ground pepper
1 t fresh ground coriander
a few orange mint leaves - chopped
kosher salt

Heat the oven to 400 F. Cut the squash in half and rub inside of squash halves with olive oil. Take a piece of foil and place the garlic cloves along with the thyme and close the foil. Place the squash, garlic foil and onions (drizzled with olive oil) in the oven for about 45 minutes.

Once roasted, scoop the squash out of its skin into a saucepan. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skin and throw them along with the onions into the saucepan. Add about 4-5 cups of water (or vegetable stock) and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the pepper and salt and simmer for another 5-7 minutes. Let the soup cool before pureeing it in a blender or food processor.

Once the soup is ladled into bowls, garnish with the orange mint.

*so* much of flavor - sweet squash, pungent garlic, fragrant thyme, coriander, orange mint ... Yum!

P.S.: This was my submission for Julia's (http://asliceofcherrypie.blogspot.com/) fun seasonal event: In The Bag!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Good old black bean burgers

Ever since I tried the black bean burger special years ago at the Hilltop, I've been hooked. I remember how disappointed I used to get when the special disappeared and I had to settle for the cilantro pesto quesadillas (good, but doesn't stand a patch against the BBB!) instead. And then we discovered that the 74th Street Ale House carries the BBB as a regular entree. As does the Columbia City Ale House! Weeeeeeeeee!!!

So, the next natural step in the BBB ingestion process was to attempt recreating the burger. Pretty much all attempts so far have been pretty good. Plus the burger patties freeze really well - and it works better to make a big batch since I need to use atleast a can of black beans when making these.
Well, last night was one of those BBB nights. It has been a few months since I made these, plus the blog doesn't have an entry for it! Which means it was time to embark on making another batch of BBBs. And this time around was the best, by far! All the flavors balanced out, it seemed like the quantities were perfect and the patties cooked really well and held together. And now I *have* to document it for the next time I need to whip up a batch!

Black Bean Burgers
(makes 10 large patties)

1/2 medium vidalia onion - chopped fine
1/3 medium red onion - chopped fine

1/2 orange bell pepper - chopped fine
1/2 granny smith apple - chopped fine

4 cloves garlic

1 jalapeno pepper
1.5" ginger
2 cans black beans

1/2 t allspice
1 t olive oil

1 t cumin seeds


a few drops of habanero sauce

Grind up the garlic, ginger and jalapeno into a coarse paste, adding a little water if needed.

Heat the oil in a saucepan and toss in the cumin seeds. Once they're browned, add the onions and saute them till translucent.
Add the bell peppers, apple, allspice and ginger/garlic/jalapeno mix and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Now add the black beans, salt and habanero sauce and stir.
Lightly mash the mixture with the ladle - not too much! (We still want chunky black beans in our patties :))
Cook'n'stir for a couple more minutes.

Once the mixture cools, take generous handfuls and flatten each into a chubby 4" diameter patty. These can be cooked in batches on a lightly greased pan till browned and crisp on both sides.

We usually eat these with mediterranean flatbread from TJ's. Place a patty in a folded, toasted flatbread, dress it with maybe some horseradish dip (yum!) and some salad.

Wait, we need a salad! Which brings me to my current favorite fruit - pomegranate! *so* good! Uwajimaya currently has some awesome pomegranates, can't wait to go back for more! So, I had to throw those into my green salad!

Yummy mixed greens salad

2 cups romaine/endive/spinach greens mix
8-10 sugar plum tomatoes - sliced
a handful of pomegranate seeds
1 t balsamic vinegar
a few drops of truffle oil
grated beer cheese

Basically, just toss all of these together :) This beer cheese - a new item at TJ's is totally awesome! Milky, yet somewhat firm and bursting with flavor. And it does have a slight beer aftersmell! Which actually tastes good :)

Mmm ... pomegranates!

These BBBs might just have to be my unconventional entry for Marie's sammy event!

This goes to Zorra and Sandra for their Best of 2007 event - the first batch of burgers that I made were pretty good, but it took a few rounds of experimenting before I finally hit the perfect balance. Burger heaven is a great place to be in!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Cabbage koottu - supreme comfort food

Last night felt like a "home" food night - classic south indian, like my mum makes. Since we didn't get a chance to do our grocery trips this last weekend, I started poking around in the fridge to find something I could work with. A cabbage! Yay! I love cutting cabbage! *so* much of fun :)
Cabbage koottu was always a favorite growing up, about on par with onion sambar and mor kozhambu. I love the funny (almost stinky!) smell of cabbage cooking - very nostalgic. Ok, so cabbage koottu it was going to be. I also found some baby brinjals and dutch potatoes that I could work with. I poke around and found this posting on Indira's blog, figured I could rework it a little bit! Thanks, Indira :)

Cabbage Koottu

Servings: 4

3/4 medium green cabbage - chopped into 1"-2" long shreds
1 cup cooked tual daal
2 T channa dal - boiled till cooked (but not mushy)
1 small ball of tamarind

1 t sesame oil
1 t mustard
1 t urad daal
2 red chillies
1/2 t asafoetida
7-8 curry leaves

1.5 T coriander seeds
2 red chillies
2 T grated coconut

Chopped cilantro
a few fresh pomegranate seeds

Roast the masala ingredients and grind to a coarse powder.
Soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup of hot water till the juices can be completely extracted. Squeeze out the tamarind and save the water.
Heat the oil in a wok and add the seasoning.
Once the mustard sputters, add the tamarind water and turmeric.
Once the water boils, add the cabbage and cook covered for 7-8 minutes.
Add the cooked channa daal and stir for a couple of minutes.
Now, toss in the tuar daal along with the masala and salt and simmer for about 5 minutes just so the flavors can blend.

Garnish with cilantro and pomegranate seeds (I've never tried these before - the sweet crunchiness was a perfect complement to the tart and spice of the koottu).

Baby Brinjals and Potato curry

Servings: 4

7-8 baby brinjals
5 dutch potatoes
1 t sesame oil
1 t cumin seeds
1/2 t turmeric
1.5 T sambar powder

Chop the potatoes into long pieces (4 per potato). Cut off the stems of the brinjals and make a plus cut at the tops (just like for stuffed brinjals).
In a wide skillet, heat the oil and toss in the cumin seeds.
Once browned, add the potatoes and sprinkle some water. Cook covered for about 6-7 minutes. I liked the idea of roasting the potatoes instead of boiling them just so they could be more crispy.
Once the potatoes are parboiled, add the brinjals along with the sambar powder, turmeric and salt. Cook covered for about 6-8 minutes till both the potatoes and brinjals are done and have absorbed the spices. You could optionally simmer for another minute (uncovered) in case any water needs to evaporate.

Simple, yet delicious - seems like eggplant behaves best when left to its own devices :)

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The best fajitas *ever*!

I've always been obsessed with cooking and eating and even dreaming about food (probably reasonably obvious from the frequency of this blog!). But I've been noticing an interesting phenomenon - the last couple of weeks have been simply fabulous in terms of diversity of foods I've tried out as well as how well they've turned out! True gastronomic bliss :) And I'm attributing it primarily to this whole food blog obsession. Writing, taking pictures, reading all the awesome blogs out there, getting to know about fellow food bloggers and their cooking styles, this is truly rewarding!

And on that note, I'll have to start writing about the best fajitas I've *ever* eaten. Maybe I should be more specific? Best veggies fajitas I've ever eaten. Whatever! I've only eaten veggie fajitas, though the plan is to attempt some kind of seafood fajitas one of these days :) Have I mentioned how awesome
Celia Brooks Brown's cookbooks are? And how obsessed I am with her 'New Vegetarian' cookbook? A few days ago, after we made the Teriyaki Tofu dish, we continued browsing this book for more drool-worthy recipes - trust me, there are several of them here! But this one particularly stood out - veggie fajitas with haloumi cheese and a bunch of marinated veggies. We only morphed it a little bit - substituting the haloumi with kasseri and crimini mushrooms instead of button mushrooms. Oh, and we spiced up the marinade and doubled the garlic (obviously!) :)

The Best Veggie Fajitas *ever*

Servings: 4

8 whole wheat tortillas
1/2 red onion
1/2 vidalia onion
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 zucchini
10-12 crimini mushrooms (sliced)
8 oz kasseri cheese - sliced long

5 cloves of garlic
1 T sea salt
1 huge handful of cilantro - chopped
1 T red pepper flakes
3 T olive oil
juice from 4 lemons
1 T ginger juice

Grind up the garlic with the sea salt in a pestle till the smell of garlic overwhelms you :) Mix the rest of the marinade ingredients with this in a large bowl. Toss the veggies in the marinade, cover the bowl and stick it in the fridge for about 30 minutes. After the veggies are marinated, toss them in a wok and cook partially covered till the juices are absorbed and the veggies are cooked - about 15-20 minutes.

In the meantime, wrap the tortillas in foil and stick them in the oven at 325 F for about 15 minutes. Stick the sliced cheese in the toaster for about a minute. Once melted, we mopped off the grease from the top and then shredded the cheese into 1" pieces.

To assemble the fajita, just load up a bunch of the veggies into the tortilla along with a few pieces of cheese and fold over.

Obviously, we needed a few sides to go with the best fajitas *ever* :) We had an avocado which went into making a basic guacamole:


1 avocado - mashed up
1 T lime juice
1 t kosher salt
1 t red pepper flakes

Just mix 'em all up! :)

Our next side was a happy, happy salsa:

Tomato-onion-mango salsa

1 red onion - chopped
3 medium tomatoes - chopped
1/2 ripe mango - chopped
1 jalapeno
10 mint leaves
1 t salt

Grind up the jalapeno+mint and toss the mixture with the tomatoes, onions and mango. Add the salt and mix.

Hmm ... we obviously needed a rice to go with all of this, guess that means we're making one more side! :)

Brown rice with olive tapenade and pinto beans

2 cups brown rice (long grain)
1 can pinto beans
15 green olives
1/2 tomato
2 cloves garlic
1 t vinegar
1 t olive oil
2 t cayenne pepper
Chopped cilantro

Cook the rice in 4.5 cups of water. In the meantime, grind the olives, tomato and garlic into a coarse paste. Mix this with the vinegar, olive oil, cayenne and salt to make a tapenade. Toss the cooked rice with the pinto beans and tapenade. Garnish with cilantro. Yum!

Mmmm ... this meal has cilantro + mint = double herb delight! Plus oodles of yummy vegetables! Gots to be an entry for Kalyn's fabulous Weekend Herb Blogging two year anniversary event! :)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Saag on my mind

It doesn't take much for me to crave for greens - quite surprising given I used to run away every time my mum made spinach when I was a kid. All that changed once I came to the States and started my trysts with cooking! I totally fell in love with all greens - spinach, mustard, collard, bok choy, methi. Not to mention the new favorites - beet, broccoli rabe, nettle, the list goes on!

S&S are swamped with the doggies and Stephanie is still recovering from her flu, figured some saag would work wonders for her :) After getting through my crazy car misadventures last night, I needed to make something that wasn't time intensive. Lentils & greens, can't go wrong with those!

Daal Saag

Servings: 4 generous portions

1 cup tuar daal
1 cup masoor daal

1 bunch baby spinach - chopped
1/2 bunch collard greens - chopped
1 onion - minced
1 T grated ginger
1 t turmeric

1.5 t black mustard seeds
1 t jeera (cumin seeds)
2 red chillies
1 t sesame oil

1/4 cup buttermilk
1 t saffron

Cook the daals in 4.5 cups of water till soft (in a pressure cooker or covered on the stove).
Heat the oil in a pan, throw in the mustard, red chillies and jeera.
Once the mustard sputters, add the onions and ginger and cook till the onions turn translucent.
Throw in the greens and turmeric with about 1/4 cup of water and simmer covered till the greens are cooked.
Add the daals and salt, maybe a pinch of cayenne too!

Garnish with a swirl of buttermilk and some saffron. I used the middle-eastern saffron here (not Indian) - it seemed a lot thicker and less intense - definitely has the hay-like smell, but doesn't impart much of a flavor.

Crazy sidenote: I've had the bowl shown in this picture since I was 4 years old! :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Bring on some Balti

I was craving desi food tonight (I blame all those awesome desi food blogs that I've been reading lately!), but didn't quite feel like anything rich or creamy. And I wanted something different. So, I did what I love doing - started reading a cookbook trying to find the recipe for tonight. I got India's 500 Best Recipes as a gift a while ago, but hadn't tried too many recipes from it. Tonight, I stumbled upon the Balti section -this sounded like the best of all worlds - all the desi flavors, but much lighter than authentic punjabi cooking.

The recipe I liked asked for chicken in a green sauce - I started morphing it to work with the veggies I had on hand. Half a ridge gourd, bell peppers, fava beans, broccoli, hmm ... seemed like I could do it! Also, I cut down the apple in the sauce and threw in some green tomatoes instead.

Balti vegetables in Hara Masala Sauce

1/2 ridge gourd
2 bell peppers

8 fava bean pods - shelled and boiled till cooked (only took about 7 minutes)
1 small head of broccoli

1/2 green apple - cut into cubes
3 small green tomatoes
1 shallot - chopped
3 green chillies

1" ginger
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup of yogurt

4 T coriander leaves - chopped

2 T mint - chopped

1 t sesame oil


7-8 chopped almonds

12-15 chopped sugar plum tomatoes

Puree the apple, green tomatoes, garlic, ginger, mint, coriander, yogurt and shallot into a coarse paste.
Heat the sesame oil in a wok and pour in the yogurt mixture. Cook for about 2-3 minutes.
In the meantime, chop up all the veggies other than the fava beans into large chunks (atleast 1"). Toss all the veggies into the yogurt mixture and cook covered on low-medium for about 12-14 minutes till they are fully cooked.

Garnish with the almonds and tomatoes and maybe some cilantro.

Obviously, this dish was begging for some roti to go with it. After poking around my fridge, I finally decided to go with some carrot parathas. After boiling a couple of carrots, I mashed them into the dough (mix of organic pastry and stone ground wheat flours) and added some sumac and garam masala for seasoning. This seemed like an easier option than stuffing the parathas with the carrots, I only have my sheer laziness to blame here :) Turned out decent, so no complaints!

Asma asked for more details on how I made the carrot parathas, so I'm attempting to outline proportions here:

Carrot Parathas

3 cups of whole wheat flour (I usually use the organic flour from the bins at PCC, but regular atta should totally work)

1 T salt
1 T cayenne pepper
2 carrots - boiled and mashed
1 t sumac powder
1 t garam masala
1/2 cup warmed milk
1 T olive oil
warm water for kneading the dough

Mix the spices and carrots with the flour, constantly adding the milk to soften it.
After kneading for about 5-6 minutes and the atta starts getting mixed in, add warm water one tablespoon at a time till the dough gets an elastic consistency.
Now add the oil and continue kneading for about 5-7 minutes.
Cover with a damp paper towel for about 15 minutes before rolling it out into parathas.
Make 1.5" balls of the dough and roll each into a flat circle.
Fold this circle into half and then a quarter.
Roll this quarter out again till it gets the right thickness for a paratha.
Cook each paratha on a tava, adding oil spray as needed (Obviously, you can use butter or oil here :))

Monday, October 1, 2007

Tofu heaven!

My current favorite veggie cookbook is
New Vegetarian by Celia Brooks Brown - I think she, along with Rose Elliott are among the best authors of vegetarian cookbooks. Total aside: Celia's book has one of the best gazpacho recipes I've ever seen, too bad I'll have to wait till warm weather comes around again before I try it out! :)

Sometimes, a noodle dish bursting with flavor and topped with marinated tofu just does the trick. And the New Vegetarian has what seemed like the perfect recipe - egg noodles with glazed green vegetables, topped with teriyaki tofu steaks. I decided to go with a few changes - just soba noodles instead of egg noodles seemed like a good option, 400 calories per serving (that's egg noodles for you!) sounded too heavy for dinner today. Besides, PCC carries some awesome soba noodles that pick up teriyaki flavors really well, we decided it was time to try those again. We ended up cutting the tofu into smaller chunks instead of the giant steak-like slabs since it makes for easier eating with chopsticks :) Also, we had to settle for regular bok choy instead of baby bok choy, and scallions instead of leeks. All close enough to make for a fabulous dish!

The ingredients look marginally exotic, but this was really straightforward and quick to make and a treat to eat :)

Roasted teriyaki tofu chunks with glazed greens and soba noodles

Servings: 2 giant servings

3/4 lb firm tofu cut into 2" long pieces
3-4 shiitake mushrooms

4 pieces of chanterelle mushrooms
8 oz soba noodles

Teriyaki marinade


1/3 cup dark soy sauce

1/3 cup of japanese plum wine

1/2 cup of sake

1 T sugar

Green veggies


1 t safflower oil
3 garlic cloves - sliced

1.5 cups broccoli florets

4 scallions - chopped
3 leaves of bok choy - chopped
2 T fresh fennel

1 t coconut powder (we used this instead of cornstarch for thickening)


1 T sesame seeds - toasted golden brown
a few snipped chives

Mix all the marinade ingredients in a saucepan and heat till the sugar is dissolved. Add the tofu and mushrooms and simmer for about 15 minutes, turning the tofu every few minutes. Move the tofu into a greased baking pan along with some of the sauce and bake at 425 F for 10-15 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the sauce and slice them. Reserve the sauce for later.

Cook the noodles according to instructions - usually 7-9 minutes.

In the meantime, heat the safflower oil in a wok and throw in all the veggies (garlic, broccoli, scallions, bok choy, mushrooms). Saute for a few minutes before adding the fresh fennel. Now toss the reserved sauce and 1/4 cup of water. Simmer covered for a few more minutes. Finally, move the veggies to the side of the wok and add the coconut powder into the sauce and stir quickly before it begins clumping.

Place a nest of noodles on a warm plate, add a bunch of the veggies and sauce, finally top with the tofu pieces (shiny side up :)) and garnish with the toasted sesame seeds'n'chives. Yum!

Ooo ... this might just have to be my entry for Presto Pasta Nights!