Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Sister is a GENIUS!!!!!!

Yes, Nika, I'm talking about you. Tess, you're pretty sharp too but this is about the eldest sister. Anyone who knows my sister is also aware that she is the logical, rational, brain of the family. So, it's no surprise then that I should reference her blog for some food inspiration, updates on my fabulous niece or tidbits about running and financial investments. Anyway, I saw a couple of recipes that I am quite certain I never would have made had my sister not highly lauded them on her site. I mean, tofu with brussel sprouts doesn't exactly scream my name. But, the weirdest thing happened. I made it, I loved it, I made it two more times that week. Crazical. So, I'll give you Nika's recipe, followed, of course, with my substitutions and theories.

Caramelized Tofu (From 101 Cookbooks)

7 – 8 ounces extra-firm tofu cut into thin 1-inch segments
a couple pinches of fine-grain sea salt
a couple splashes of olive or peanut oil (I used peanut)
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 lb. brussels sprouts, washed and cut into 1/8-inch wide ribbons

Cook the tofu strips in large hot skillet (or pot) with a bit of salt and a splash of oil. Saute until slightly golden, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and pecans, and cook for another minute. Stir in sugar. Cook for another couple of minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Scrape the tofu out onto a plate and set aside while you cook the brussels sprouts.

In the same pan (no need to wash), add a touch more oil, another pinch of salt, and dial the heat up to medium-high. When the pan is nice and hot stir in the shredded brussels sprouts. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring a couple times (but not too often) until you get some golden bits, and the rest of the sprouts are bright and delicious. Divide brussels sprouts and top with tofu mixture.

Serves 2 – 3 as a main, 4 as a side

Notes: At first, I thought it was too sweet. Then I got into it, but I decided that when I have sweet notes in my food, I like heat to complement it. So the next time I made it, I added crushed red pepper AND I added 2 T. sugar to the tofu and then 1 T. to the brussel sprout so they would caramelize too. It was goooood. I also had to cook the tofu longer than 4 minutes, maybe 6-8 minutes. Finally, it fed N. and me but I could have eaten more so I think 2 main course servings is more my speed. But that's why I'm a lot bigger then my sister!


danikaw said...

Oh man. I ate this 3 times last week. It is really quite surprising how good it is. For the record, I have just been doing 2T sugar and that's enough. I don't think I quite do 1/3 cup pecans either. Maybe 3T to 1/4 cup.

Re: serving sizes, I made it once while G was away and ate the ENTIRE PAN. But generally, I say it serves two, with a side of brown rice or quinoa.

I'm so glad you liked it!

karima said...

Tess and I have now had this dish THREE times. I think it's going to be one of our regulars. Tess, who previously had total disdain for brussel sprouts,downs these babies in this dish.

HLP- other half said...

hmm.. im neither a huge fan of tofu nor brussel sprouts.. the latter were consistently referred to as "baby cabbage patches" by my father back when i was actually in my cabbage patch stage and owned many dolls at the time (remember how their bottoms used to smell of baby powder? that was odd).. anyway, i didnt think it was funny to eat little versions of my doll's unhatched babies.. 20 years later, however, i think i have been convinced to give them a go, once again.. i'll let u know what i think!