March 23, 2009 at 4:36 pm (A (4 stars, love, favorite), Dessert, Jewish, Other, Website / blog)

I’ve been trying out recipes for Passover this month, and came across Marcy Goldman’s “Trademark, Most Requested, Absolutely Magnificent Matzoh Caramel Crunch“.  Given the title, it was hard to resist.  It was pretty easy to make, and came out well, except that the caramel ended up quite shiny and hard–more like a toffee than a caramel.  Hence, Derek dubbed the dish “Toffikomen”, a play on toffee and afikomen. Read the rest of this entry »

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One fine burrito

March 23, 2009 at 4:18 pm (A (4 stars, love, favorite), frozen tofu, My brain, Tofu)

I threw together a burrito the other day with some frozen, marinated tofu that was leftover from the tofu I prepared for chili.  Derek loved the burrito so much that he insisted I blog about it, even though it wasn’t particularly original.

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 lbs tofu, frozen, thawed, and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 Tbs. peanut butter
  • 3 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce (from a 14 ounce can)
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 avocados, sliced or diced
  • 6-8? ounces cheddar cheese, grated
  • about 1 cup smoky chipotle salsa or salsa verde from Frontera Grill
  • 6-8 leaves Romaine lettuce
  • 6-8 regular-size flour tortillas

For the tofu:

Preheat the oven to 350.  Add 1 Tbs. of oil to a cookie sheet. Mix together peanut butter, garlic powder, soy sauce, and tomato sauce. Work the marinade mixture thoroughly into the tofu crumbles, using your hands.  Pour the tofu onto the cookie sheet and cook for about 15 minutes per side, until crispy but still moist in the middle.

Makes 6-8 small (but filling) burritos.

Although the combination is not particularly novel or healthy, I agree with Derek that the burrito was certainly very tasty.

Derek Rating: A

Rating: A-

On a second attempt I cut the avocado into slices and sprinkled on top fresh minced garlic, salt, and lots of lime juice.  We ate it with a salsa verde, and the sour tomatillos and lime juice went great together.  Delicious.  I just need to record the amounts and make this a real recipe now!

Update May 15, 2010:  I made 2 pounds of tofu and it made about 7 small burritos.  I served them with 2 avocados that had been sliced, doused in lime juice, and sprinkled with salt and fresh garlic.  Two avocados was just about right for 6-7 burritos.  The main problem was the burritos looked really tiny.  So although they’re high calorie and quite filling, Derek thought I should have made two burritos for everyone.  I’ve got to figure out a way to make them look as large as they actually are!  We ate the burritos with Frontera Grill green salsa and lettuce.  They were yummy.  Some raw onions might have been a nice garnish.

I served everyone one burrito, a small side of roasted carrots, a bowl of Locro, and for dessert a small bowl of vanilla ice cream with salted caramel sauce.  I was very full by the end of dinner!  Derek, however, ate two burritos.

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March 23, 2009 at 3:45 pm (Beans, Indian, unrated, Website / blog)

I’ve been told that to make authentic dosas requires a special, ultra-powerful blender.  Apparently a standard American blender just can’t grind the soaked rice and dal to a fine enough consistency.  That’s why I was excited when I found this recipe for dosas made with real dal but rice flour instead of soaked and blended rice.  No special blender needed, apparently.

The first time I tried the recipe I placed my stainless steel bowl full of dosa batter inside a cast iron pot, covered it loosely, and set the pot next to the radiator (which was on low). I also left the batter a bit longer than the 12 hours the recipe calls for–maybe 14 hours?  When I got up in the morning the dosa batter was *huge* and really frothy and poofy, plus it smelled really sour–some might say foul. Actually, the whole apartment smelled like the sour batter.  I was worried that it was full of bacteria, so I ended up tossing it. The second time I tried the recipe, I just left the bowl on the counter for 12 hours exactly.  The batter still had that strange smell that it had last time, but this time it was closer to “odd” smelling than “foul”.  It wasn’t all foamy and frothy, and so I decided it was fine.

For cooking the dosas, I tried Kittee’s trick of rubbing the skillet with a cut onion, and I was kind of able to spread my dosas with the back of the spoon, but the dosas ended up too thick.  Besides being too thick, they looked reasonably authentic.  The dosas tasted the same as the batter smelled–slightly tangy and strange.  It didn’t really bother me, but I wouldn’t say I liked the odd taste.  Derek didn’t care for them at all.  My friend Katrina said she thought they were  pretty good.  I’d like to figure out if the smell was coming from the fenugreek seed or the urad dal.  I’m going to make fenugreek tea to find out what it tastes like.

We tried cooking up the dosas and letting them sit overnight, then taking them for lunch the next day.  Although they seemed crisp at first when I bit into one I discovered that they were extremely tough (not crisp at all).  They weren’t really edible that day.  However, I left one dosa sitting out for about 3 days, and eventually it did get really crisp. The strange smell had faded completely and it tasted like some kind of chip.  I liked it.

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