Wednesday, August 27, 2014

palak tofu with fire-roasted tomatoes.

i've found it: my new favorite greens dish. while i would never dissuade you from my trying my earlier saag tofu recipe, this newer version comes together much quicker and with fewer ingredients, making it an ideal weeknight recipe. from start to finish, this dinner will take you no more than forty-five minutes to throw together. 

i piloted the recipe using spinach but look forward to trying it out with kale or chard next time around. serve with some rice, dal, and naan for a hearty, well-balanced meal.

palak tofu with fire-roasted tomatoes
adapted from pinch of yum

for the palak:
1 tablespoon oil
1 red onion, minced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1-2 teaspoons fresh ginger
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 14-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes, drained
1 huge carton of spinach or other greens (you can use as spinach as you want, but i would suggest no fewer than 8 handfuls)
1 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
½ cup water
1 teaspoon salt, a few grinds of pepper

for the tofu:
8 ounces extra firm tofu, drained and cubed
1 teaspoon oil
salt and pepper

prepare your tofu by first removing all of the excess water. you can do this by wrapping it in paper towels and setting a plate or something heavy on top of it for a couple of minutes. repeat as necessary until it feels firm and dry.

heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. once your oil is hot, toss in the cubed tofu and pan fry until lightly browned on both sides. when it’s cooked, add a pinch of salt and pepper, stir, and then dump into a small mixing bowl to cool (note: you could also do this step in advance to save time).

in the same skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium heat. sauté the onion until soft, about 8 minutes. push the onion to the side of the pan and add the cumin seeds. stir the cumin seeds around in the middle for about a minute so they can crackle and pop.

add the garam masala, ground coriander, ginger and garlic. sauté everything together for 2-3 minutes. add the fire roasted tomatoes and sauté for another 5-10 minutes.

now add the spinach, a few handfuls at a time, to the mixture. to help the leaves cook down, keep scooping the tomato mixture over the greens. when all of the spinach is cooked, add the fresh cilantro to the skillet. sauté for another couple of minutes.

transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor. pulse a few times until you get the desired consistency. I like mine mostly smooth with a few chunks (not pureed). return the mixture to the skillet, and stir in the water. add the salt, pepper, and tofu. simmer for 5-10 minutes. serve immediately.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

red wine honey cake.

"it's been way too long since my last post" would be a severe understatement. rather than starting off by making excuses about my unannounced five month blogging sabbatical, i'll jump right to the chase (and save the excuses for my next post, which hopefully won't take another five months to publish).

the chase: make this cake!

red wine honey cake

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons grams baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon grams salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon grams ground ginger
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups olive oil
1 cup of your best honey
3/4 cup dry red wine

place a rack in the middle of the oven; heat to 350 degrees. grease a 10-inch bundt pan, including center tube, if you have one. i just used a deep 9-inch square baking dish.

in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.

in another large bowl, whisk eggs well. whisk in the sugar, oil, honey, and wine until well combined. whisk in your dry ingredients until smooth. pour the batter into pan and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. transfer pan to a wire rack to cool for about 20 minutes. remove from the dish and allow to finish cooling. slice and serve!

Friday, December 27, 2013

squash, pomegranate and hazelnut salad.

you can make this incredibly versatile dish with any squash or vegetables you have on hand. the sweetness of the pomegranate, the crunch of hazelnuts, and the bite of the dressing pretty much make the salad. 

salad with butternut squash, pomegranate and hazelnuts
adapted from food52

for the salad:
5 cups greens (i went with a mix of kale and spinach, but arugula and chard would work well too)
2 cups butternut squash, cubed
1 leek, just the white and light green parts, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cups pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup cilantro

for the dressing:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste

preheat the oven to 375 degrees. toss the squash and leeks in 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper on a baking sheet. the leeks and squash require different amounts of time to roast, so try to keep them separate on the sheet. roast the leeks for about 20 minutes and the squash for 30-35 minutes. check on the vegetables regularly and toss as needed to avoid burning.

while the veggies are roasting, place the hazelnuts in a shallow baking dish and toast them in the oven for 4-6 minutes (or until golden). alternatively, you can toast them dry in a pan on the stove top for about 3-4 minutes over medium heat. let the nuts cool, chop them roughly, and set aside.

make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, mustard, lemon, maple syrup, salt and pepper. in a large serving bowl, pour the dressing over the greens and them well with your hands until they are coated in the dressing and take on an almost wilted texture. add the pomegranate seeds, hazelnuts, and cilantro.

once the squash and leeks have finished roasting and have cooled for 10-15 minutes, add them to the salad. give the entire dish a big toss, add some salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Friday, December 13, 2013

rustic apple galette.

preparing a crust from scratch is intimidating. there are so many unanswerables: how do you strike just the right level of buttery flakiness? what's the ideal baking temperature? how long should you cook it to ensure that the crust is cooked through but the toppings aren't charred?

luckily, this galette recipe - which beautifully accomodates both sweet and savory toppings - sidesteps many of the common challenges. it comes together easily and is ready to use on the spot. all you need is a food processor, 4 ingredients, and 15 minutes. 

i went with an apple topping this time for dessert, but if i were to venture into the savory world, i'd eagerly spring with some caramelized onions, chard, and goat cheese. 
rustic apple galette

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons cold salted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup ice water

4 apples
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey, preferably wildflower

in a food processor, combine the flour with the sugar and butter and process for about 5 seconds. sprinkle the ice water over the flour mixture and process until the pastry just begins to come together, about 10 seconds. you should still be able to see small pieces of butter in it. transfer the pastry to a work surface, gather it together and pat into a disk. if there are extra clumps that aren’t sticking, pat them into the dough and then wrap the pastry in plastic or wax paper and refrigerate until chilled.

halve and core the apples and slice them crosswise 1/4 inch thick. you can peel them if you want, but you don’t have to. in a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon.

preheat the oven to 400°. on a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. arrange the apple slices on top of the dough in concentric circles or in slightly overlapping rows. drizzle the honey and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the chopped apples. fold the pastry edge up and over the apples to create a 1-inch border.

bake the galette for about 40 minutes, until the pastry is lightly browned and crisp and all of the apples are tender. baking time will depend on the verocity of your oven! transfer the pan to a rack and let the galette cool. serve warm or at room temperature.