Monday, July 27, 2009
Tofu, Green Beans, and Fennel Bulb
I have so many green beans in the fridge at the moment I have room for little else. I'm still too weak for any serious canning and my freezer is bursting at the seams with fruit, so here's one way to make a dent in the pile.
I started putting together the various elements of this dinner at 6AM and with a bit here and a bit there, I managed to pull dinner together by 6 PM. I did not try any, but as it was cooking Danny wandered into the kitchen and said :
"That smells really good."
He never does that. Moments later, Mr. Eat the Blog walked in the door and said pretty much the same. They both had seconds. There's a small amount left for Mr. Eat the Blog's lunch at work tomorrow. I served it over rice, but it would do fine over rice noodles, or what have you. I would have cooked the green beans a bit less if only adults were eating it, but as children sometimes don't chew as carefully as they ought to, I gave them a few more minutes in the pan.
You Will Need:
3-4 handfuls of fresh green beans (more or less) trimmed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger root (I peel mine first)
1 large onion, sliced in spears
About 4 ounces fresh mushrooms (I used Baby Bellas) chopped
1 bulb of fennel, sliced as thinly as possible
1 handful fresh mint, trimmed-divided in 2 parts
1 handful fresh basil (the purple kind is best if you have it) trimmed and divided in 2 parts
1 tablespoon black bean garlic paste
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 cup cooking oil
1 block tofu, pressed dry of moisture, cut into blocks and stir-fried in about 2 tablespoons oil until golden on all sides. This can be done well ahead.
Make the tofu, and keep chilled until needed.
In a large plastic bag (or a bowl) combine everything except the tofu, mushrooms, fennel, mint and basil. Mix well and seal. Chill several hours before cooking.
About an hour before you plan to cook, add the fennel to the bag and let sit.
Stir fry and add the mushrooms, half the bail and half the mint. In the last five minutes, add the cooked tofu to absorb the flavour of the sauce.
Serve over rice sprinkled with additional fresh basil and mint. I offer hot sauce, chili paste and hoisan sauce at the table as well.