identity crisis and operation liquidation tres

>> February 26, 2009

clearly i'm having a blog identity crisis, noting the number of times i've changed my layout in the past month. i think this one will stick, though. i'm a fan. thoughts?

as my "operation liquidation" continues, today featured 2 very yummy meals (and a breakfast that wasn't all that special). for lunch i thawed some of the maryland crab soup i saved from christmas-eve-eve. thawing soup is always fun. when about half of the brick was melted, i maneuvered the still-frozen portion back into the tupperware to save for lunch on friday. one of my roommates was in the kitchen during this time (the physics of this is remarkable, given the size of my kitchen), and i have no doubt that she thinks i'm disgusting and weird. the frozen chunk of crab/broth/veggies was really strange. but it tasted like magic. and christmas. 

so then for dinner i reheated the batch of tofu paprikash i made last night. it was a inspired by a chicken paprikash and a tofu gumbo... a hybrid of veg, non-veg, creole, and polish goodness. i'm a huge fan. i don't really recommend making enough for leftovers, since the tofu loses its texture when soaked in the sauce overnight. my suggestion is to make an ample amount of sauce, but only prepare the tofu for what you're eating that night. since the tofu doesn't take very long, it's still a quick heat-up. 

tofu papri-gumbo

1 tsp. canola oil
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 - 2 tbl. sweet paprika (i only had regular, so i added 2 tbl. of sugar)
1/2 tsp. ground caraway seeds (do NOT skip these)
1/4 tsp. dried bay leaves (or 1 and take it out later)
1/4 tsp. dried marjoram
1/4 tsp. chili powder
3/4 tbl. flour
1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste

4 oz extra-firm tofu, drained and cubed

make the sauce: heat the oil in a saucepan. add the onion, peppers, celery, and garlic. cook over medium heat, stirring continuously until the onions begin to brown. add in the spices and flour. quickly stir to incorporate and heat for another minute. add the vegetable stock and season with salt and pepper. bring the sauce to a boil. turn down the heat and allow the sauce to a simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until the sauce is thick and the veggies are very tender.

when the sauce is just about done, spray a skillet with oil and heat over medium-high to high. add the tofu in one layer. flip the diced pieces after about 2 minutes, until a nice brown crispy skin covers the sides. transfer into the saucepan and stir to coat. can be served with rice or a nice piece of crusty bread... whatever you've got lying around and want to "liquidate."




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