Thursday, July 09, 2009

Carmelised Tofu With Carrots, Corn, and Currants

By now it should be obvious I haven't been shopping in a while. That's OK. I find it really satisfying to use the last carrot and ear of corn leaving the bins free for a fresh refill. Oh, don't worry, we have plenty of home-canned and frozen items-no one will starve.

We have tons of peas and tomatoes in the garden that are not-quite-ready, but I suspect we'll be enjoying them soon. The rocket has taken off as well...yeah, that was a lame joke, but I couldn't resist. I'm sure I wouldn't have been able to sleep tonight had I not made that joke, so indulge me.

I served this over brown rice. No one complained, or scrunched up their faces, but I could tell they'd have preferred white. I cooked the tofu earlier in the day and kept it covered in the fridge. I also cut the carrots and parsley ahead. Some people can manage rice, tofu and vegetables all on the stove at once, but I can't. Adjust as you see fit.

You Will Need:

1 block extra firm tofu, pressed reasonably dry of liquid
Olive oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar

6 carrots, thinly sliced in ovals on the diagonal (OK I'm kidding, slice them as you please)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup chopped parsley (yes, it is a large amount)
1 ear of corn, kernels scraped off with a knife (about a cup)
2 tablespoons chopped ginger root
Dried currants
Olive oil
Brown rice, cooked

To carmelise tofu:

Cut the tofu into cubes (after patting it as dry as possible first) and heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. I used cast iron. Don't use your best olive oil for this as it will smoke. Over medium heat, brown the tofu on all sides until a nice golden colour. If oil starts to smoke, turn it down. Remove browned tofu to a plate. Add about a tablespoon more oil to the pan and stir in the brown sugar. You can add a bit of salt at this point as well. Make a smooth paste with a wooden spoon and then add the browned tofu. Cook until well-coated and the caramel starts to adhere and brown. Remove again to a dish and keep chilled until ready to use.

For the vegetables:

Heat a bit of oil (a couple tablespoons) in a large frying pan and cook the carrots, garlic, ginger, corn and half the parsley until softened. Add the already cooked tofu and the rest of the parsley and cook until carrots are soft to your tastes. Toss in a handful of currants in the last couple minutes adding more oil and salt if needed. Serve over hot rice.

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