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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dinner Tonight:Grilled Tofu

Nothing like firing up the grill on a nice spring afternoon. Burgers, steaks and dogs are the perfect grilling fare. How does tofu on the grill sound? I am sure the few people read this blog are navigating to the X button in the upper right hand corner of their screen but I urge you to pause for a moment. While grilling tofu may not have the same appeal as a thick rib eye steak you may be surprised with the results of a nice chunk of grilled tofu.

First thing you want to achieve when grilling tofu is a nice crust on the outside. To do this you must properly drain the tofu. I put the block of curd between two plates and placed something heavy on top. Every few minutes pour off the liquid until there is non left. Cut the tofu into bite sized chunks after draining is complete. Being that tofu is very sponge like its a perfect vechile for absorbing a marinade. I simply used fresh lime juice and soy sauce. I let it marinade for about 3 hours carefully tossing occasionally.

I then skewered the tofu and put them on a HOT OILED grill. I emphasize this because tofu can easily fall apart. I cooked them about 8 minutes in each side(turn carefully).

I served mine in a Asian inspired sauce consisting of Oyster Sauce that I thinned out with a little chicken stock and rice wine. I also put a couple of dashes of hot sauce and thickened the sauce with a slurry.


*For grilling purposed use extra firm tofu

* Tofu is very versatile and urge you to try your favorite grill recipes(especially ones for chicken and fish)with tofu instead of meat.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Vegetable Spotlight: Fiddleheads

Fiddle me this. Have you ever walked into your local market and blindly purchased a product soly because of its odd appearance? Well I have, quite a few times actually. Recently I purchased a small spiral green which I later found out to be Fiddleheads.
This odd looking vegetable is actually a baby fern. Its harvested only in the spring and its very popular in New England and parts of Canada. The flavor of a Fiddlehead is very 'grassy' even after cooked for a long period of time.
When preparing a Fiddlehead its important to wash well and parboil them. There were a few cases food illness outbreaks in British Columbia in the 90's after individuals consumed some raw of lightly cooked Fiddleheads. Do not be swayed by this though. Its no different than say chicken right? If you eat raw of undercooked chicken you will probably get ill as well. This is what making offbeat foods fun to eat.
I prepared some Fiddleheads for my wife and I very simply.

1/2 lb fresh Fiddleads
1 Tablespoon of Butter
2 Cloves of Garlic chopped
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

First thing you should do is wash the Fiddleads thoroughly under cold water. Then add them to boiling water and boil for five minutes. Remove from the boiling water and pour water out. Boil some more water then and cook for five more minutes and remove.
Melt the butter in a skillet and add the garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add the Fiddleheads and cook for ten minutes. Salt and pepper to tastes and squeeze the lemon over the Fiddleheads before serving.
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