Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fried Tofu Stir Fry

It's not like we don't eat, but I realize it's been a good while since I've posted a recipe.  When something awesome strikes, I'll write it up for you, but we've been eating stuff you'll find in past posts, mostly.

This is a recent stir fry with an illicit fall red pepper.  It was awesome, but not super-different.  I usually just stir-fry the tofu, but this time after I drained it, marinated it (mirin, soy, fish sauce, sriracha, onion, garlic, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar) and drained it again, I tossed it in corn starch and shallow fried it (like the banh mi recipe).  I stir fried some chopped up veg - broccoli, onion, carrot and the aforementioned pepper - and added some of the marinade.  That's really it.  Dinner. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I took the head off a chicken

No pictures, but this is not a post for the super-squeamish.  Just a warning.

Like everyone in the mid-90s, I was a vegetarian teenager, which meant that I ate a lot of grilled cheese and zero beans or nuts.  I didn't eat tofu and had never heard of seitan or tempeh or any other vegan protein.  I was also once so anemic that I had to routinely drink the water spinach was boiled in for the iron (not recommended).  So when vegetarianism wasn't working for me, I went back to meat.  Sort of.

I'm the kind of meat eater who isn't looking to expand my horizons.  I have a friend who loves rabbit and duck, but the cuteness factor gets to me (my mom grew up with a pet duck).  I've never been able to eat anything on a bone, and this means Sous Chef Brian has used a fork to take meat off a chicken wing for me.  

So I don't eat a ton of meat, in overall quantity or in range. 

I'm also pretty upset about factory farming, so I try to buy meat from local farmers and feel like I have a sense of where it came from.  This is easy, with beef, we have great farms we can buy it from.  With chicken, the real limit is that at the farm stands and similar locales, most of the time you're getting a whole chicken.

So in reality, while I say I "make food out of food," what I actually do is make food out of vegetables.  I don't take meat from a non-food state and bring it to the table.  The meat I'm working with has generally been all fooded up before I see it. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Potato Cauliflower Soup

I've been traveling for work, which means I have once again taken many pictures of hotel carpeting.  I don't do a ton of traveling but this past month or so has been exhausting.  I spent more time elsewhere than I did here.   So I've seen an array of conference center rugs. 

Coffee Rings
It also means I haven't been cooking, because you know, I've been elsewhere, and that I came home and had no idea what was in the fridge or freezer.  So I had to do a serious overhaul/cleanout/accounting for what's what like I did a while back.

Thanksgiving Centerpiece
The magical part of doing that was finding soup in my freezer.  Chicken soup and butternut squash soup and potato cauliflower soup.  Finding soup in the freezer isn't like finding frozen tofu or leftover pasta sauce.  With soup, you're already there.  It's dinner.

Piercing Array
Before I left, I had made up a lot of potato cauliflower soup.  I don't find a lot of use for potatoes, and potato soup has a guilt-laden heaviness to it that stems from the clear association between potatoes and saddlebags--an association often forgiven in the face of french fries.

Still, somehow soup sounds like I'm pretending.  "Oh, it's healthy, it's soup."  "No, it's potatoes." But when I found myself with these potatoes, I also found myself with a head of cauliflower.  And if there's one thing cauliflower does well*, it's pretending to be a potato.

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