Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tofu Attempt #1

Bit the bullet and dove into a vegan dinner tonight.  (After signing up at PCRM's website for the 21 Day Vegan Kick Off, starting Jan. 1, 2010....if interested, it's free:  You will be sent via email daily recipes, info about veganism, tips, online interviews, etc.  PCRM is Physicians For Responsible Medicine, if you aren't aware...)

Tofu's marinating in an Asian marinade, corn waiting to nuke, wasabi-garlic mashed potatoes are made (cooked faster than I thought...first time making mashed potatoes, you know any other almost-60-year-old women who have never made them?  Sheese.)

[Watching the Susan Boyle story on television.  Isn't that a dream come true, real fairy tale?  The refrain of the song she is singing that was written for her is "I can finally say I'm free.....I am who I was born to be."  You can't help tearing up and feeling so happy for her.]

Well, while I wait for the tofu to get ready to grill on my new cast iron skillet, here's what it looks like soaking up the flavors (mirin, tamiri, rice vinegar, Asian chili sauce, sesame oil, fresh chopped ginger, garlic):

And here are my first-time wasabi-garlic mashed potatoes....

And voila, dinner....

Ok, now the truth....this was the first time I used the cast iron grill pan.  They said to heat it over a high flame for 3 minutes (after having applied vegetable oil).  Oh my God.  Can you say s-m-o-k-e?  And after only a minute?!  I had to open all of the windows, get the whole-house fan going and the vent over the stove and still the fire alarm sounded.  Eeeek.  (Isn't Canola oil vegetable oil?  Or was the 3 minutes over high heat too much?)  The air is finally clearing now, two hours after I polluted it.

Plus those beautiful grill marks?  Uh, burnt.

But after I scraped the tofu from the pan and finished cooking it, I added some water and cornstarch to the marinade and it made a wonderful Asian sauce. (Not pictured.)  Sweetened up the charcoal taste of the grill marks just fine. However, live and learn.  I'm not going to cook the thick slices the recipe called for from now on....I'm going to slice it much thinner so it soaks up more marinade and cooks more quickly (on a lower heat.)  And now I have half of it left to cube and warm up in a stirfry this week.

Corn was great;  potatoes were good.

And all in all, I did it!  I am a tofu cook. 

Kind of.