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Thursday, March 13, 2008

*curry favor.

Ladies and gentlemen, today ... I cooked with tofu. And then I had a thought: What is tofu, exactly? Soy, yes, which I think there's a decent chance I'm allergic to in large quantities (seriously, vegetarian failure), but what sort of soy?

Apparently, "tofu, also known as soybean curd, is a soft, cheese-like food made by curdling fresh hot soymilk with a coagulant". Oh, tofu. It was fun while it lasted.

What'd you have for dinner?
Curried coagulated curd. You?
Oh, you know, food.
Damn.

The ingredients were unusually fresh and tasty looking considering the produce purveyors on the Woodside.



Limes, cilantro, red curry paste, lite coconut milk, green beans, extra-firm tofu, and the white potato's bastard cousin. Brown rice was a-steamin' on the stove, and there was also some vegetable stock lurking somewhere out of frame. 'Twas shy.

Coag-curd in the pan!



PAUSE.

Sis, you were such a dear to give me this pan when you upgraded post-matrimony. It's my only nonstick skillet. It has terrific surface area. But I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate it. Abhorrence. Oil gathers in the circumference ditch, where it promptly loses heat, so food that drifts into the oil boils instead of browning and the more I shuffle the food back to the center the more the oil pops and I curse louder and louder until J is inspired to leave the Angry Fence and make sure I haven't dropped anything tasty. Long story short: For only 10 cents a day, you can buy me some beautiful cookware. It gives us something to aim for in 2010.

RESUME.

The stuff was slow to brown (see uneven-heat diatribe), although the attempt to sauté my face was just peachy. Slowly, though, things started to look sort of crunchy and golden-crusty.



The sweet taters (MISNOMER! There's nothing sweet about a tato tasting like that.)



Sugars ...



caramelized.

Then, coconut milk and broth and the curry paste go in. I'll admit I was liberal with the curry paste, both because I suspect it was old (I think it may have been born before some of my friends' children) and because I love me some spicy.



That simmers for a bit, and then the tofu, green beans, and brown sugar join the fun. If the sugar had any effect on flavor, I didn't notice it.



OK, that might be a smidge judgmental for someone who put half a jar of curry in the pot. The sugar never really had a chance, did it?



Does anybody have a lot of experience with tofu? Because I'd decided the chewiness was a failing of mine, but now that I know it's coagulated ... I'm at a loss. There's sort of a mouthfeel problem I couldn't overcome. The textures were all really great—tender potato, creamy rice, crunchy beans—but something was missing.

Oh my heavens. You know what tofu is? It's unsweetened marshmallow.

NOW I know what it needed. Chicken.

Sigh.

2 comments:

jeannieb205 says:
at: 11:06 PM said...

Didn't everyone vote for you to can the veggie tarian route??? Throw some chicken in that dish and I'm in for scoop!!!

SJ says:
at: 8:19 AM said...

OMG eat some meat already!!

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I am a work in progress. I perpetually need a hair cut. I'm totally devoted to my remarkable nieces and nephew. I am an elementary home cook and a magazine worker bee. (Please criticize my syntax and spelling in the comments.) I think my dog is hilarious. I like chicken and spicy things. I have difficulty being a grown-up. Left to my own devices, I will eat enormous amounts of cheese snacks of all kinds.

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