Mongolian Tofu and Mushrooms

Excuse me for my absence… got a lot going on in FBV land :). I didn’t really do much cooking over the weekend – Nick was busy working and I got a glorious weekend all to myself. I literally got nothing done – NOTHING. But some weekends are made for doing nothing, right?? In the spirit of not lifting a finger at all this weekend, I decided to order in on Friday AND Saturday… I never do that!

Any who, I was feeling a bit inspired yesterday – not too inspired since this dish only took about 20 minutes to make haha. I was inspired by my favorite dish at Pei Wei (judge me if you want, but some of their dishes are irresistible) known as Mongolian Tofu. My version didn’t turn out exactly like you get in the restaurant, but was still yummy. With Nick’s we just pan-fried some chicken in place of the the tofu… and mushrooms – Nick hates mushrooms.

We served our proteins over a bed of Farmer’s Market Fried Rice – you know, just like that recipe I made a couple of weeks ago… except I added some broccoli and carrots to this one. 🙂

Happy Monday everyone!

Mongolian Tofu and Mushrooms:

The Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons chili sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar vegetable oil, for frying (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 large green onions, sliced on the diagonal into one-inch lengths
  • 1 block of extra firm tofu, drained and cubed
  • 1/2 cup sliced button mushrooms

 

The Method:

  1. Make the sauce by heating 2 tsp of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over med/low heat.
  2. Add ginger and garlic to the pan and quickly add the soy sauce and water before the garlic scorches.
  3. Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then raise the heat to about medium and boil the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  4. Remove it from the heat and dip the tofu pieces into the cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides..
  5. Let the tofu sit for about 2 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks.
  6. Heat up one cup of oil in a wok (you may also use a skillet for this step as long as the beef will be mostly covered with oil) over medium heat and add tofu and mushrooms. Saute for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the sauce, cook for one minute while stirring, then add all the green onions.
  8. Cook for one more minute, then remove the tofu, mushrooms and onions with tongs or a slotted spoon to a serving plate. Serve over rice.

 

Grilled Romaine Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette and Asian-Marinated Tofu

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I’ve been a very bad food blogger! Have no fear – I will never do this again… now that I have a new phone and Instagram! Mwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

Ingredients:

Tofu:

  • 1/2 block of extra firm tofu, drained and sliced into 1 inch strips
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp ginger
Salad:
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, halved
  • 6 large kale leaves, torn
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 asparagus spear, sliced in 1 inch pieces
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 4 scallions, sliced thin (both green and white parts)
  • 4 leaves if basil, torn
  • pinch of red-pepper flakes
  • Champagne Vinaigrette
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Smoked salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Heat an indoor cast-iron grill over medium-high heat.

Meanwhile, whisk together all tofu ingredients besides tofu in a shallow bowl. Marinate the tofu for about 10 minutes.

Combine all the salad ingredients into a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt pepper.

Throw the tofu and salad ingredients on the grill at the same time and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Transfer to a large bowl and toss with champagne vinaigrette and sprinkle parm on top.

Serve warm and enjoy!

Forbidden Rice

I’m not going to lie to you – the reason I made this is because the end result is so-freakin-beautiful. Don’t you think?

The fact that Nick happens to LOVE bacon was just an added bonus. I think he and I can both agree that this dish was a winner. How do I know? We made more than enough for left-overs but we ate it all that night. I should probably point out that mine was made with vegan Smart Bacon, and his was made with lean bacon, exactly what the recipe called for.

So this is my take on Food and Wine’s Forbidden Rice Recipe. Of course, I had to make a few changes in order to make it vegetarian for me, but the end result was divine. Enjoy.

Forbidden Rice

1 head of garlic (about 12 cloves), cloves peeled
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for drizzling
2 cups black rice (most markets carry Forbidden Rice in the bulk section)
2 cups water
6 strips of Smart Bacon, cooked and coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
4 scallions, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup edamame, thawed and shelled

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Put the garlic cloves on a double sheet of foil and drizzle with vegetable oil. Seal the foil around the garlic and bake for about 1 hour, until the garlic is soft and caramelized. Let cool, then refrigerate overnight.
  2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, cover the black rice with the water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the rice is just tender. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Spread the rice on a large rimmed baking sheet and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. In a large, deep skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp, about 6 minutes.
  4. Add the 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet after removing the bacon. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in the bacon, black rice and roasted garlic and stir-fry over moderately high heat until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce and season with salt and white pepper. Transfer to bowls, garnish with the scallions and serve right away.