Monday, September 21, 2009

Spicy Tofu with Snow Peas

Let the joyous news be spread! After years of fighting with the Lords of the Tofu, I have finally defeated them. Good grief, for the life of me I could by extra firm tofu, extra extra firm tofu or a frickin' cement block, and if I put it in my wok the damn thing would break apart and become tofu dust.

But today, by merging wisdom found on the Internet with wisdom found in the head of my friend Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, I finally succeeded in making tofu, that kept its shape, and was so damn good that David and I cleaned out the wok, and there wasn't a bit of roasted garlic or a fleck of tofu essence left in the pot.

I had to summon massive self control to not lick the wok before cleaning it. It was just that damn good.

So here is this weeks HIGHLY nutritious and HIGHLY delicious from The Fairy Chef, who shall also be known as Emperor of Tofu, Defender of the Bean Curd, Lord of Soy.

Spicy Tofu with Snow Peas

1 package of extra firm tofu (I bought the package with garlic and black pepper in it already)
2 tbsp peanut oil
Non-Stick Veggie Spray
1/4 lb Snow Peas
4 cloves garlic
4 tbsp Brandon's Shut Your Mouth Sauce (optional--recipe can be found on this blog)
Seasoning Salt

First of all, open the tofu package and drain out all of the liquid. On a cutting board, first cut the tofu into thin strips, then slice those strips into squares that are roughly 1/2 and inch on each side.

Next, lay out the pieces of tofu, closely together side by side, on a clean dish towel. Next cover the tofu with the other the other half of the dish towel. Place a heavy glass baking dish on top of the towel containing the tofu. This will soak up extra moisture from the tofu. Believe me...this made all the difference in the world. Leave it covered and pressed for about 10 minutes.

While all that business is going on, pre-heat your oven to about 450 degrees. You can also mince the garlic and wash your snow peas and set aside.

After about 10 minutes, uncover the tofu. Spray a large baking pan with your non-stick vegetable cooking spray. If you don't have the spray, you can grease the pan using butter or olive oil that you dab on a paper towel. But, you will cut down on fat and calories by using the spray.

Lay the tofu in the pan. Next sprinkle the tofu with seasoning salt. Then, sprinkle the tofu lightly with Brandon's Shut Your Mouth Sauce.

Place the tofu in the oven, uncovered for five minutes. Flip the tofu and let bake for another five to seven minutes.

After you've turned the tofu, place your walk or large skillet on the stove. Heat the peanut oil in the wok until it is piping hot. Add the garlic and let it caramelize (don't add anything else to the wok until you see the garlic start to brown around the edges). Then, to the oil and garlic add your tofu. With a spatula flip the tofu as it fries in the oil. Do this for about three minutes and then add the snow peas. Continue to flip the mixture (DO NOT STIR...FLIP LIKE PANCAKES!) for about five minutes. I like my snow peas still kind of crunchy, if you like yours less crunchy, then fry for about eight minutes.

Remove the stir fry from the heat and serve with brown rice. If you want to take up the heat a notch, set out a bottle of Sri Racha sauce, or, as I recently learned that some people call it, "Rooster" Sauce because of the rooster on the bottle.

It is damn good, and you can make this entire dish, that fed two voracious people or non-gluttons for $5-$7.

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