*cue Coming To America* “I was Joan of Arc in my former life… ” …well, really a vegetarian…
Despite the limited resources growing up, *in my Johnny Bravo voice* Momma was pretty creative with her food (and please don’t act like I was the only one watching Cartoon Network…don’t even start me on Adult Swim or Dragonball Z). She made spice cakes from scratch and regular baller ass spreads on Sundays that my siblings and I enjoyed. Fairly recently, I found out that when we were younger, Momma raised us as vegetarians (*in my Peter Griffin voice* saaaaaay whaaaaaaa?). I would have never believed it (especially with my addiction to chicken wangs), but now that I think about it, yeeeeeeah…I recall lots of veggies, pastas (unbelievably I used to vomit from this…and a lot of other foods), and her little technique of browning white rice in the oven. The ish was good. If I recall correctly, she measured her rice, made a flat layer in a roasting pan, and threw it in the oven. She would continually toss the grains for a perfect and even browning. Once she got the brown color of her desires, she would proceed to cook the rice on the stove top. After the water cooked out somewhat, she tossed in frozen peas and carrots. Protein was fried egg whites. Now after Googling “browned white rice”, I found out that this same technique is used to make Armenian pilaf (I need to try that at an Armenian restaurant). Go ‘head, Momma…because it was pretty much like the bombah! *singing and skipping in place* I’ll always love my Momma… I swear she made a way out of no way. Damn!
Welp…in all efforts to reconnect with the vegetarian in me, I included a “recipe”(…well…more like a “how to”…O_o…because you all know I struggle in writing these damn recipes out) for Roasted Curry Tofu & Potatoes. This “how to” has been adapted and Diddy remixed from a class I assisted in at CulinAerie (only the bestest place to be…look to your right for the link) via Chef Susan Holt. Pshhhhttt! Yeah, yeah…I know how you feel about tofu. *O_o* I feel the same way sometimes. BUUUUUUT I find that if you use the extra firm tofu, you will have the meat-like density AND the tofu absorbs the flavors you put in the dish. It is also loaded with protein. *Mmm mmm bish!* Chicken (preferably dark meat), or whatever meat, can be substituted for the tofu, or even some of the wonderful fall/winter veggies (turnips and ish…yum to the umms). Try your hand at this recipe.
Disclaimer: I am not a professional chef (yet…or anything else for that matter), but I am damn sure a helluva cook. *I will cook the eff out of your food.* I love to sensually seduce palates with my culinary creations. This recipe has been tried, tested, and approved by the palates of a few trusting people who provide the feedback I seek. Specific and detailed… Oh! And please nix questions about nutritional value. I don’t know the caloric intake, can’t really tell you how much salt to use (except to taste), etc. This dish just happened to be healthy and very flavorful. I pretty much just put my plate back in the cabinet after eating (serious spit shine on my plate). I’m all for healthy, but I’m also all for you doing you. So do you!
Roasted Curry Tofu & Potatoes
What You Need:
- A package of extra firm tofu
- Maybe about 5 medium russets
- Fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, grated/finely chopped (I use a microplane…they’re fun!)
- 1/2 teaspoon (tsp) of freshly grated ginger
- 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon (tbsp) of curry powder
- 2 pinches of crushed red peppers
- 1 tablespoon of canola oil
- Salt (kosher or sea)* and pepper (Salt your food. Salt it!)
*If I catch you using iodized salt or any variation of that seasoned salt stuff, I will Facebook poke you…with my new knife. Yes. I will get a tad violent. The food didn’t do anything to you. And as a former iodized and Lawry’s $1.99 Pre-priced Seasoning Salt bandit, I HIGHLY DISCOURAGE AND CONDEMN you from using said weapons of palate destruction. With creativity, you can make your own with a bunch of dried herbs, kosher/sea salt, and pepper.
Now What You Gon’ Do Is… :
Preheat oven to 450º. Cut tofu into bite size pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces, BUT do not season (you will season after they are cooked). If you have a microplane, grate (instead of finely chopping) garlic and ginger. No microplane? No worries. Finely chop the ginger, garlic, and parsley. Combine extra virgin olive oil, curry powder, garlic, ginger, and crushed red peppers with a dash of salt. Set aside. In a hot sauté pan, add canola oil. Once the ripple effect happens (indicative of a pan that’s nice and hot), add seasoned tofu to pan. Cook tofu until you get a nice golden *almondy* color. Once browned, add potatoes, parsley, and oil mixture. Toss until tofu and potatoes are coated with the curry oil blend and parsley. Place pan into oven and let roast for 15 minutes. *Indulge in the aromatics…* Turn oven down to 375 º and let roast until potatoes are tender (stick a fork in it). Remove from oven and salt the yummy deliciousness.
Note: If your pan is large enough and oven safe, after browning tofu, you may toss all items in pan and put that sucka in the oven. If not, feel free to transfer to a roasting pan.
My memory sucks pretty bad…probably worse than some of your co-workers, but I think that’s it. Try it out and let me know your thoughts! I’ll take questions, too. Post pics of your final dish…and tag me if you are on Facebook!
© Sheedah Dee