Friday, May 2, 2014

Tofu and Green Beans in Coconut Sauce

Okay, it's not that bad, but I have been a bit off the whole cooking (and blogging) thing lately. Between the semester winding down, with classes ending, grading to be done, summer plans to make, my son's college applications and decision (!), and trying to get some Actual Writing done so I can get going on More Serious Actual Writing, I haven't had much time or inclination to hit the kitchen. No one is going hungry, but meals chez nous have generally been fast, simple, and/or old favorites long since posted here. I'm anticipating my annual jolt of renewed energy once summer arrives, with its farmer's markets and piles of fresh produce; meanwhile, I've got enough on my figurative plate without worrying too much about the literal ones.

That said, I did MacGyver this tasty dish one recent night. It's not quite a stirfry, and it's not quite a curry: it's one of those things that
 come about when whatever's in the house winds up becoming dinner (hence the unimaginatively literal title of this post). Happily, it turned out to be delicious, and I'm sure it would lend itself to whatever other vegetables happen to be lying around; lightly steamed broccoli and/or snow peas would make nice substitutions or additions. Onward!

Tofu and Green Beans in Coconut Sauce 
The Tofu
~ 1 block extra firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cut into 1/2” cubes
~ 2 tbsp. soy sauce
~ 1 tbsp. each: lime juice, hot sauce (I used Sriracha)
~ 1 tbsp. each: crushed garlic, grated ginger
~ 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
~ 1 tsp. English mustard powder
~ 1/4 cup water

~ Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
~ Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a wide, shallow bowl and add the tofu cubes, turning them a few times to make sure they’re thoroughly coated.
~ Set aside to marinate for at least half an hour.
~ When the tofu has had a nice, long soak, arrange the cubes on your prepared baking sheet.  (Be sure to reserve the marinade!)
Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes turning occasionally to make sure it browns on all sides.
~ Transfer the baked tofu to a plate and set aside, leaving the oven at 400.

The Vegetables and Sauce
~ 1 lb. green beans, washed and trimmed
~ 2 tbsp. canola or other neutral oil
~ Salt and black pepper
~ 1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin matchsticks and then halved
~ 1 14 oz. can coconut milk
~ ½ cup plain, unsweetened soy milk
~ 2 tsp. corn starch

~ Arrange the green beans on a baking sheet (you can just wipe down the one you used for the tofu) and coat thoroughly with the oil and a few grinds each of salt and pepper.
~ Roast at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, stirring them around periodically to be sure they don’t burn.
~ While that’s happening, coat a large, deep skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high flame. Add the red bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until they are slightly charred (but not burned!).
~ Stir in the coconut milk, Thai red curry paste, and reserved tofu marinade. Combine thoroughly, turn the heat to medium low, and cook for about 5 minutes.
~ In a small bowl, combine the soy milk and the corn starch and beat with a fork until smooth.
~ Add the corn starch mixture to the sauce and cook another 5 minutes or so, until it has thickened a bit.
~ Add the baked tofu and roasted green beans to the skillet, mix thoroughly with the sauce, and allow to heat through.
~ Serve hot over short grain brown rice.

No comments:

Post a Comment