Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Chilled Tomato Somen

Lucky me, I got to work from home today! I made myself a nice fresh lunch. Chilled Tomato Somen from Japanese Light is a hybrid of Japanese and Italian cuisine. The tomato topping is like an Italian bruschetta with the addition of soy sauce. The somen noodles are Japanese and have the perfect consistency for a chilled salad. The author, Kimiko Barber, mentions that this dish was inspired during a stay in an Umbrian farmhouse while visiting Italy.

I used a box of imported Italian chopped tomatoes. It would have been better if I used fresh vine-ripe tomatoes as suggested in this recipe. But it still came out okay because these tomatoes still kind of had their chopped shape. I just hate the whole process of peeling tomatoes!

Chilled Tomato Somen
(Serves 2)

1 pound very ripe vine-ripened tomatoes
1 garlic clove, peeled and grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
7 ounces dried somen noodles
plenty of freshly ground black pepper
fresh basil and flat leaf parsley, cut into strips

Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water and immediately plunge them into ice water. Peel, halve and discard the seeds. Chop them coarsely and mix with the grated garlic, salt, soy sauce, and olive oil. Refrigerate the tomato sauce while you cook the somen noodles.

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add the noodles. Stir to ensure that the noodles stay separate. Add a glass of cold water when the water is about to boil over. Return to a boil, drain and rinse under cold running water. In a large mixing bowl toss the noodles with the tomato sauce. Divide the noodles between two serving plates, season with pepper, garnish with the fresh herbs and serve.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Steamed Eggplant with Spicy Miso Dressing

This Steamed Eggplant with Spicy Miso Dressing from the Japanese Light cookbook is a quick and healthy meal. And it was fun for me because I have never made anything with miso before.

I am not sure from the recipe if I was supposed to use regular or Chinese eggplant. I happened to be at the Asian market so I bought two Chinese eggplant because I have not tried them. They are much smaller in size and I had a bunch of extra dressing so I think that I should have purchased regular Italian eggplant.

Didn't I have a really healthy dinner? I had this eggplant and the Shimeji Mushrooms and Ginkgo Nut Parcel. I ate the entire recipe full of eggplant and one parcel of mushrooms. It was neat to eat veggies in a way other than stir-fry.

Steamed Eggplant with Spicy Miso Dressing

2 medium eggplants
1 garlic clove, peeled and grated
1 (1-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 shallot, minced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon medium-colored miso paste
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

Cut off and discard the eggplant stems and quarter them lengthwise. Soak them in water for 10 minutes to reduce the bitterness. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Steam the eggplants for 12-15 minutes or until they are soft in the middle. Lay them out flat on a chopping board and fan them to cool down.

Mix together all other ingredients for the dressing. Transfer the eggplant to a serving dish, drizzle with the dressing and serve.

Shimeji Mushrooms and Ginkgo Nut Parcel

I chose to make this Shimeji Mushrooms and Ginkgo Nut Parcel from the Japanese Light cookbook just because it looked like fun. I love mushrooms and the recipe includes photographs of wrapping up the little tin foil parcels. I haven't made anything like that in a while. The only problem was, I had no idea what shimeji mushrooms were. Long story short, they are also known as beech mushrooms. I found them in a package in the refrigerator section of the Asian market.

I wasn't all that impressed with these. It is a simple recipe with pure and simple flavors. Everything tasted fresh and healthy. I just wanted . . . something. Maybe more garlic or some soy sauce. After I ate half of my parcel I mixed them in with the Steamed Eggplant with Spicy Miso Dressing so that they could have some of the dressing on them. Maybe they would have been better if I ate them with a stronger flavored main dish.

Shimeji Mushrooms and Ginkgo Nut Parcel

2 packets shimeji mushrooms
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed with the side of a knife
12 ginkgo nuts* (sold ready to use in vacuum packs or cans in Asian markets)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 thick slices lime

4 (12-inch) squares of aluminum foil

*if using the canned variety, rinse off the brine

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the base off of the mushrooms and separate them (or if desired, keep them in little clumps). Heat a skillet over a moderate heat and add the garlic to the olive oil to flavor. Remove the garlic when it turns golden. Increase the heat and quickly saute the mushrooms and ginkgo nuts; season with the salt.

Divide the mushrooms into four equal portions and transfer each portion into the center of an aluminum foil sheet. Add a lime slice to each one and gather up the corners to make parcels. Make the parcels as roomy as possible so as not to crowd the ingredients. Put them on a baking sheet and bake them for 5 minutes. Serve unopened and let your guests enjoy the fragrance as they open them at the table.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Sliced Tuna Soft Tacos

When preparing the Seared Tuna Steak with Daikon this weekend I decided not to cook all the tuna at once. I have a bad habit of that. I know I can never eat all the food in the recipe and I want to half it, but I forget that at shopping time! So I ended up with way more tuna than I would eat at one setting. Perfect for Leftover Tuesdays which I am hosting this month.

At first I planned to make another Japanese dish with the leftover tuna. I had my eye on another recipe in the Japanese Light cookbook. But I changed my mind and decided to make the Sliced Tuna Soft Tacos which I found in the March, 2007 issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine.

Of course I could have thrown together my own version of tacos, but I was intrigued by the one featured in this issue. It is made with cabbage! I like cabbage every now and then. But I've never had it in tacos before. Also, the spice blend used as a rub on the tuna is very different from what I prepared the other night. The tacos were very flavorful. I really enjoyed the combination of cabbage and tuna together with the spices.

There is an avocado, cream and lime sauce which is part of the recipe which I am on the fence about. The lime and creamy factor was really nice and added a bit of zip. But I didn't really taste the avocado. Maybe mine weren't ripe enough. I'm also not a big fan of making a fuss with a sauce in a food processor and all that. It was an impressive addition, but I probably would not make it again.

Find the recipe for Sliced Tuna Soft Tacos on the Every Day with Rachael Ray Magazine website.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Orecchiette with Cool Chickpeas

This recipe for Orecchiette with Cool Chickpeas is my favorite so far from the On Top of Spaghetti cookbook. I think it is my favorite because it surprised me. I'm always surprised when recipes are quick and simple to prepare and yet they end up having very complex flavors.

I wanted to try this recipe because of its use of chickpeas. I am trying to add more legumes in my diet as a form of protein. And lets face it, pasta and chickpeas by themselves do not seem to be too tasty. Not bad, but nothing special. However MARINATING the chickpeas as suggested by the authors Johanne Killeen and George Germon is an absolutely brilliant concept.

Would you believe me if I told you my chickpeas were sweet? Well, they were. And notice that there isn't even any sugar in this recipe. The sweetness comes from the sweet natural flavors of the mint and red onion. And on my first bite I was so surprised by the sweetness that I forgot about the hot pepper that I added. The heat poked through surprising me twice! If you like it spicy, make sure to keep the seeds and add them into the marinade.

I made a few modifications to the written recipe. I used a very high quality Greek olive oil. I knew this would not be cooked and the oil ended up providing flavor but also not being too thick or sticky. I omitted the parsley in the marinade and the lemon wedges for garnish. I also added a bit of extra mint for garnish. I hope you all try this for yourselves!

Orecchiette with Cool Chickpeas
(serves 2 to 3)

1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped red onion
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon or more finely chopped fresh hot pepper
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 large fresh mint leaves
8 ounces dried orecchiette or pasta shells
Lemon wedges (optional)

In a large bowl, combine the onion, olive oil, hot pepper, chickpeas, parsley and lemon juice. Slice the mint into a fine chiffonade and stir into the chickpeas. Allow to marinate at room temperature for at least 20 minutes or up to an hour.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt and drop in the pasta. Cook, stirring often, until al dente.

Drain the pasta and toss in the bowl with the chickpeas. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb the flavors. Serve with a crusty loaf of bread to dip into the sauce and lemon wedges to spritz each serving, if you like.

Seared Tuna Steak with Daikon Dressing

I almost cried when I had my first bite of this Seared Tuna Steak with Daikon Dressing from the Japanese Light cookbook by Kimiko Barber. I used sushi-grade tuna and I think that was key because I love my tuna rare. The marinade is so simple and really compliments the natural flavors of the tuna. I'm definitely going to have to make this for my mother the next time she comes down to Florida to visit me because I know she will love it too.

I made a few changes to the recipe in the book: I used sesame oil instead of vegetable oil and I omitted the arugula because I could not find any at the grocery store. The daikon called for in the recipe I found at an Asian grocer and I didn't even look at my local store so I am not sure if it is widely available or not.

Seared Tuna Steak with Daikon Dressing

4 tuna steaks, each weighing about 4 ounces and cut 1 1/4-inches thick
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
handful of arugula leaves
8 chives, finely chopped

for the marinade
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons sake
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced

for the daikon dressing
1/4 cup grated daikon (Japanese white radish)
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 teaspoons lemon juice

In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together for the marinade. Add the tuna steaks and let sit for at least thirty minutes. Turn tuna steaks once or twice.

While the tuna is marinading, mix all of the ingredients together for the daikon dressing in a small bowl.

Remove the tuna from the marinade the pat dry with paper towels. Brush one side of the tuna with half of the oil.

Heat a griddle pan or heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Make sure pan gets very hot before adding the tuna. Cook tuna for two minutes and brush the raw side of the tuna with the other half of the oil while cooking. After two minutes turn over and cook for another two minutes. (Tuna will be rare. If you like it more well done you can cook the second side up to five minutes.)

Transfer steaks to a cutting board and slice. Arrange slices on serving plates. Spoon dressing over tuna slices and top of a few arugula leaves. Garnish with chopped chives.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Thai Pink Grapefruit Salad

This salad has one of the most unique flavor combinations I have ever tasted. And I probably would not have even tried it if I wasn't looking for salads for Weekend Cookbook Challenge #14: Salads. I am not a big salad person but I like grapefruit, coconut and mint so I thought I'd try the Pink Grapefruit Salad with Toasted Coconut and Fresh Mint from Quick & Easy Thai by Nancie McDermott.

This salad is naturally tart and acidic since grapefruit is the main ingredient. But it is also salty from the soy sauce and dried shrimp, hot from the Thai chili peppers, sweet from the coconut and sugar, and fresh tasting from all of the mint. It is so amazing. I was so impressed with myself that I made this. It seems like it should be too complicated to make something with such complex flavors. But it was simple! The hardest part was peeling the grapefruit.

Look for the round up of this month's Weekend Cookbook Challenge hosted this month by Tami from Running with Tweezers.

Pink Grapefruit Salad with Toasted Coconut and Fresh Mint
yum some-oh

3 tablespoons shredded coconut

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

2 cups bite-sized chunks peeled, sectioned pomelo or grapefruit

2 tablespoons dried shrimp, coarsely chopped, or 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped roasted, salted peanuts (optional)

1 tablespoon coarsely chopped shallots

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh hot green chilies or dried red chili flakes

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint or cilantro
leaves of boston lettuce or bibb lettuce for accompaniment

Toast the shredded coconut in a small, dry skillet over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, tossing often, until most of it turns a rich, soft brown. Turn out onto a saucer to cool.

In a medium bowl, combine the lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar and stir well to dissolve sugar and a form a smooth sauce. Add the pomelo, toasted coconut, dried shrimp (if using), shallots, chilies, and mint, and toss gently to combine everything well. Transfer to a serving platter with lettuce leaves on the side, and serve at room temperature.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Rigatoni with Caper and Almond "Pesto"

I know, I know. Another pasta recipe from On Top of Spaghetti. But they are all just so simple and fun to make that I can't help myself. For the Rigatoni with Caper and Almond "Pesto" I didn't even have to cut anything up. Just throw a bunch of things in the blender to make the pesto while the water was boiling for the pasta. Perfect for a Friday night after a long work week.

Even though the recipe is very simple, I somehow messed it all up. The first problem was that I had a hard time finding the capers. This recipe calls for salted capers and I could only find regular capers. I soaked them anyways.

Then, I screwed up and only added 1/4 cup of capers instead of 3/4 cups as the recipe calls for. Of course I didn't even notice that until now. Proof I'm at that point where I need to get glasses.

My mint leaves were very tiny and I was not sure what size mint leaves are supposed to be. So even thought the recipe calls for 6 to 8, I'm not sure I added the correct amount. I would have liked more mint in the pesto. Especially since I chose mint to be my herb of choice for Weekend Herb Blogging.

Look for the roundup of Weekend Herb Blogging at Anna's Cool Finds who is hosting this week.

But even with my screw ups I am happy I tried this recipe. Many people probably won't try this it because it has anchovies in it. On top of that it has capers which many people also don't like. I didn't even taste any anchovies. They got pureed and mixed in with all sorts of flavors.

While I'm glad I made this recipe I probably will not make it again. Only because I am not a big fan of any kind of pesto. I prefer a tomato or cheese based sauce with my pasta. But that's why I like this book so much, it gives me ideas to change it up now and then.

Rigatoni with Caper and Almond "Pesto"
(serves 4 to 6)

1/4 salted capers, soaked for 15 to 20 minutes in cold water
6 anchovy fillets
1 1/2 ounces (1 cup) ground blanched almonds
2 tablespoons fin unflavored bread crumbs
1 plump garlic clove, peeled and trimmed
6 to 8 large fresh mint leaves
3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pound dried rigatoni

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

Drain the capers and dry on paper towels.

Combine all the ingredients except the pasta in a blender jar. Blend until you obtain a chunky puree. Set aside. (You may cover and refrigerate the pesto for a day or two. Be sure to bring it to room temperature before you cook the rigatoni.)

Salt the boiling water and drop in the pasta. Cook, stirring often, until al dente. Drain the rigatoni reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Transfer the pasta to a heated serving bowl. Toss with enough pesto to coat the rigatoni. Add a little pasta water, a tablespoon at a time, if the sauce seem too thick. Server right away, passing any remaining sauce at the table.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Reminder: Use your Leftovers this Weekend

Just wanted to post a reminder for those who want to participate in this month's Leftover Tuesdays food blogging event. Use some food that you have leftover from a result of your cooking (or other dining) between Wednesday, February 21 and Monday, February 26. Make something new with those leftover items and blog about this new creation by Tuesday, February 27.

Review the details for more information. Look for the roundup here next week!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Mini Strawberry Trifles

It's strawberry season! At least it is in Florida anyways. So how does strawberries with pound cake, vanilla pudding and fresh whipped cream sound? Sounds yummy to me! These Mini Strawberry Trifles are from Cupcakes! From the Cake Doctor - a book that is becoming quite handy for quick and easy but really elegant desserts.

This month's Fruit of the Month is Strawberries! Look for the A Fruit A Month roundup hosted by the Beyond The Usual blog at the end of the month.

Mini Strawberry Trifles
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups cold milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
8 foil liners for cupcake pans (2 1/2-inch size)
1 small (10.75 ounces) loaf frozen pound cake
2 tablespoons cream sherry
1/2 cup chopped fresh ripe strawberries
8 whole medium-size ripe strawberries, for garnish

Prepare the instant pudding according to the package directions, adding the cold milk as directed. Stir in the vanilla. Immediately place the pudding int he refrigerator to chill until it is needed.

Meanwhile, place a medium-size mixing bowl in the freezer for 1 minute. Pour the cream into the chilled bowl and mix on high speed until the cream has thickened, 1 1/2 minutes. Add the sugar. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes more. Place the whipped cream in the refrigerator to chill.

Place the foil liners on a serving platter and set aside.

Place the frozen cake on a cutting board. Slice the cake thinly into 16 slices that are about 1/4-inch thick. Cut a 2-inch round out of each slice, yielding 16 rounds. Generously brush one side of each round with the sherry.

Place 8 rounds, sherry-side up, in the foil liners. Dollop 1 tablespoon of pudding on top of each cake round. Place 1 tablespoon of chopped strawberries on top of the pudding. Then, dollop with 1 tablespoon more pudding. Place the remaining 8 cake rounds on the top of pudding, sherry-side down. Cover the platter with plastic wrap and chill the cakes until time to serve.

Just before serving, slice the whole strawberries. Top each trifle with a heaping tablespoon of whipped cream and garnish with 2 or 3 of the nicest strawberry slices.

* Stores these "cupcakes," covered in plastic wrap or in a cake saver, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Andouille Shepherd's Pie

Today is Mardi Gras! I am celebrating Fat Tuesday with this super spicy Andouille Shepherd's Pie. I found the recipe in Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Tastes cookbook. I have had this book for many, many years but I have never made anything out of it. One of my New Year's Resolutions was to make at least one recipe in each of my cookbooks. This one is perfect for a Mardi Gras feast! Also, I was challenged to make some type of pie this month!

This meal was a labor of love. I spent 2 days making this Andouille Shepherd's Pie. I have not made mashed potatoes in over a year and I forgot what a pain they are. To make the entire entree I think I used 5 bowls, 3 pots/pans and countless measuring cups and spoons. It was definitely alot more work than I am used to. And I'm not posting the recipe here because it is three pages long and I don't feel like typing it all.

First step is to peel and cut up six pounds of potatoes. Then you boil them and mash them together with butter and whipping cream. There are 9 different spices you combine together to make a bowl full of seasoning mix. Then come the veggies. Julienne and chop red, yellow and green peppers, carrots, garlic, celery and onions. The, julienned veggies get tossed with some seasoning. The chopped veggies get sauteed and then mixed in with an evaporated milk and egg mixture. Then off to the fridge for some cooling. That was where I stopped for day one.

Tonight I had to grind up the andouille sausage and them mix it together with ground beef and bread crumbs. Then all of that got mixed into the chilled veggie and egg mixtures. Spread all of that on the bottom of a 13x9 pan, top with the julienned veggies and then spread the mashed potatoes over all. Bake for 50 minutes. The juices from the meats boiled up and spilled over the edge of mine and started smoking when they landed on the bottom of my hot oven. So I pulled it 10 minutes early so that I wouldn't be eating a smoky dinner.

I'm glad I went through all that work. This dish is amazing! It is one of the spiciest things I have ever eaten. It made me sweat! Really. I had sweaty armpits and a moist brow! That has never happened to me before. But it was perfect because the potatoes cut the heat. This can feed about 10 people though. I made two leftover lunches and still have 2/3rds left. I'm going to bring it to my friend to feed her family dinner.

Check out the roundup for Waiter, There's Something in my . . . Pie! hosted this month by Cook Sister later this month.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Banana-Coconut Soup

A few weeks ago I saw this recipe for Banana-Coconut Soup on Paula's Party on The Food Network. I love that show and watch it on Friday nights if I am home. She had a guest chef present this recipe and he just talked about it instead of making the entire thing. I knew it was the perfect soup to try for February's Focus: Soup's On! hosted by A Veggie Venture.

What I thought was so unique was the use of bananas in this soup. But it doesn't really taste too much like banana. It is really sweet and tastes alot like coconut. I made a big mistake by pouring myself a huge bowl. This soup is definitely meant to be served in cup-size portions. It is really good though and I would have loved to have some really, really spicy shrimp to eat with it. I felt that I'd need something spicy to balance the sweet.

You can find the recipe for Banana-Coconut Soup online at the Food Network website.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Numbing and Hot Chicken

I'm in love! In love with another cookbook. Thankfully my current favorite, On Top of Spaghetti, won't get too jealous. I can cook one dinner from each of them each week. The Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook: Recipes from Hunan Province by Fuchsia Dunlap is really sucking me in. I spent a few nights before bed this past week actually reading this cookbook. I read the forward, the intro and about the Hunanese pantry and have learned alot.

While flipping through the recipes, Numbing-and-Hot Chicken was one of the first that caught my eye. Maybe it was the photo or maybe it was because the word "numbing" is in the title. The numbing attribute is intriguing to me. It ends up that this dish calls for sichuan pepper which I happen to have since sichuan peppercorns are #72 on Food & Wine's Top Tastes to Try in 2007. In fact, I heard about this book from the F&W 100 list. Hot Hunan Shrimp is #49 and the blurb recommended this cookbook by Fuchsia Dunlap.

Tonight is Chinese New Year's so I decided try this out tonight and make an event out of it. I had so much fun going to the Asian grocery store to stock up on ingredients. After I got home, I took a deep breath and went at it. I cranked up the music and went to chopping up my chicken and veggies but it didn't take nearly as long as I thought. My wok has been very under-used so it was very happy tonight double-frying the chicken and then stir-frying it all together.

I only got confused at one part in this recipe. "3 scallions, white parts only" are called for. But the instructions say to "cut them into 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inch pieces". Anyone who knows scallions know that is about as long as the white part is in total, let alone cutting in into pieces. And the picture had some green in it so I cut the greens into the 1 1/4-inch pieces and diced the whites into smaller pieces.

Numbing-and-Hot Chicken
ma la zi ji

12 oz. bones chicken thigh or breast half, if you prefer, with skin
1 small red bell pepper, thin-skinned if possible
1 fresh red chili, or 1 tsp. dried chili flakes
3 scallions, white parts only
1 tsp. whole sichuan pepper
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 1/4 cups peanut oil for deep-frying

For the marinade:
1 Tbsp. Saoxing wine
1 Tbsp. light soy sauce
1/4 tsp. dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp. potato flour mixed with 1 Tbsp. cold water

For the sauce:
1 Tbsp. light soy sauce
1 Tbsp. clear rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. potato flour
3 Tbsp. chicken stock or water

Cut the chicken as evenly as possible into bite-size cubes. Place the chicken cubes in a bowl, add the marinate ingredients and mix well; set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.

Discard the stem and seeds of the pepper, and cut into small squares to complement the chicken. If using a fresh chili, slice it thinly, discarding the stem and seeds as far as possible. It the scallions are slender, cut them into 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inch pieces, otherwise slice them on a steep angle. Crush the Sichuan pepper using a mortar and pestle. Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.

Heat the oil for deep-frying in the wok over a high flame to 300-400 degrees F. Add the chicken and stir briskly for about 30 seconds, until the pieces have separated and have become pale; remove from the oil with a slotted spoon. Allow the oil to return to 350-400 degrees F, then fry the chicken again until golden; remove and set aside. Drain off all but 3 tablespoons of the oil.

Return the wok to the heat and, working quickly over a high flame, tip in the red bell pepper, fresh or dried chiles, scallions, and Sichuan pepper and stir-fry briefly until they are wonderfully fragrant.

Stir in the chicken. Give the sauce a stir and tip it in to the wok. Stir briskly as the sauce thickens. Finally, off the heat, stir in the sesame oil and serve.

#72: Sichuan Peppercorns

So far, #72 sichuan peppercorns are the most fun ingredient I have tried from Food & Wine's 100 Tastes to try in 2007 list. Not because it is unique like the truffle teas or funky like the charcoal peanuts. The fun part is that your tongue goes numb when you eat one of these peppercorns. And in a really different way. It's like only the top layer of your tonque goes numb, not like getting a novicane shot or anything like that.

Sichuan pepper is one of the most ancient Chinese spices and it is know for its tongue-numbing and lip-tingling effects. I only had one and it must not have been enough to tingle my lips, but I am intrigued! I have seen this ingredient all over the place lately but I am not sure if that is because I have just started paying attention to it or if it is becoming more popular in food. Sichuan pepper doesn't taste anything at all like black pepper. And it's not very hot like a red chile pepper or something like that. But they are fun and I look forward to making more recipes with them. So far, I made Numbing-and-Hot Chicken and it was super yummy!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Spinach with Black Pepper and Garlic

I had a bag and a half of spinach leftover from a complicated recipe I never had time to make last week. This morning I was flipping through cookbooks and found this recipe in Quick & Easy Thai by Nanci McDermott. Spinach with Black Pepper and Garlic (pank spi-naht paht gratiem prik thai) is really easy to make so I threw it together for a quick lunch in between errands. I normally don't sit down to a big plate of spinach, but it actually was quite filling.

Spinach with Black Pepper and Garlic
pahk spi-naht paht gratiem prik thai

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
8 to 10 cup loosely packed fresh spinach leaves (about 20 ounces)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup water

Heat oil a wok or large skillet for about 1 minutes. Add garlic and toss well in the oil. Add the spinach and gently toss to coat in the oil. Add the fish sauce, sugar, pepper and water. Toss well and keep tossing until all the spinach is wilted and tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn onto a deep plate, sauce and all. Can be served hot, warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Dinner for One

I love to celebrate holidays. Not a celebration in a party or anything like that. But with the food! So this Valentine's Day I decided to take some suggestions from the February/March 2007 issue of Fine Cooking magazine. Apparently this magazine has been around for about five years but I have never seen it before. I'm glad I saw it this time because I really like it. There are TONS of interesting tips and of course plenty of recipes.

There is a special section in this issue dedicated to making the perfect rice pilaf. I am a big Rice-A-Roni girl because it is so easy and tastes to good. But actually making my own . . . very intriguing! There are four pilaf recipes but I decided to go with Rice Pilaf with Sage, Parmigiano & Prosciutto. It was perfect because I had some sage leftover from the sauteed chicken I made last week. I think sage is becoming my favorite herb because each time I use it I find another combo of flavors it goes with. It tasted good but it smelled great! I want to buy a candle to burn in my house with the smell of the sage, butter, garlic and shallots.

While I enjoyed the rice pilaf and could have made a meal out of it, the main treat for my dinner was the lamb chops. Lamb Chops with Lemon, Thyme & Mustard Butter was the simplest way to make lamb chops elegant that I have ever prepared. Simply make a fancy butter the put some on top of broiled lamb chops! It was super flavorful. I am not a big lemon fan and this sauce had just the perfect lemon flavor without it being overpowering.

Rice Pilaf with Sage, Parmigiano & Prosciutto
Serves 6 to 8

2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 lb. very thinly sliced prosciutto
    (about 5 slices), cut crosswise
    into 1-inch-wide strips
4 Tbs. unsalted butter
3 Tbs. chopped fresh sage
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
1 tsp. kosher salt; more as needed
1 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano, coarsely
    grated on the large holes of
    box grater (about 2/3 cup)

In a 3-qt. heavy-based saucepan with a tight lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Cool half the prosciutto in the hot oil, stirring occasionally, until browned and crispy, 1 to 2 minutes. With tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the prosciutto to a paper towel to drain. Repeat with the remaining prosciutto.

Add 2 Tbs. of the butter to the pan and reduce the heat to low. When the butter had melted, add 2 Tbs. of the sage and cook for a few seconds, and then add the garlic and shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and salt and stir well to coat each grain with oil. Toast for a full 5 minutes, stirring regularly to keep the grains separated and to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan (the rice may turn opaque before 5 minutes is up, but keep going).

Add the wine, stir well, and cook over medium heat until the wine is mostly reduced, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth, stir once, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 18 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit, still covered, for 5 minutes.

Once the pilaf has rested, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Cut the remaining 2 Tbs. butter into several pieces and, using the fork, gently fold it into the rice with the remaining 1 Tbs. sage, the Parmigiano, and the cooked prosciutto. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Announcing Leftover Tuesdays #2

Rachel's Bite is happy to be hosting February's Leftover Tuesdays blogging event. So make sure to include a meal which will allow you to get creative with your leftovers when you make your shopping list next week!

How it works: The basic idea is 1) to have a leftover item on hand as a result of your cooking (or other dining) between Wednesday, February 21 and Monday, February 26; 2) make something new with those leftover items and blog about this new creation by Tuesday, February 27. I will post a round-up by the end of the week.

To Enter: Post your blog by midnight EST on 2/27/07 and send an email to rrubin at i-spangle dot com(replace the “at” and “dot” with their respective symbols, please) with the subject “Leftover Tuesdays”. Please include the following information:

Your name and location
Your blog name and URL
URL for your Leftover Tuesdays entry
A 100 x 100 jpeg photo if you would like it included it in the roundup

If you use Technorati tags, please use "Leftover Tuesdays" and "leftovers" for this event.

Thanks to David at Cooking Chat, the founder of Leftover Tuesdays, for letting me host this one.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Hot Sour Soup and Cucumber Salad

I'm reviewing some recipes from Kylie Kwong's Simple Chinese Cooking for Paper Palate at The Well Fed Network. They sent three recipes and tonight I tried out the Hot and Sour Soup and Chilled Cucumber Salad. They were both really good, even though I didn't have all the ingredients for the Hot and Sour Soup. It calls for "black cloud ear fungus". I'm not sure that I want to add that even if I can find it at an Asian grocer. I will probably get some since I have to go there to get something for the third recipe.

Update: My review has been published.

This soup was really good and very easy to make so I'll make it again with this extra ingredient to check the difference. Also, the cucumber salad called for 5 small cucumbers and I got those tiny cucumbers. I think it just meant regular cucumbers that are small in size. I had way too much dressing! I'm timing my article to be published in time for Chinese New Year next week. I really like her style in explaining things in the recipes. The book just came out February 1, 2007.

Valentine Wishes From a Food Blogger

I received a Valentine today from Jenny of All Things Edible. As part of the 2nd Blogger Postcards Around the World a whole bunch of us food bloggers signed up and Meeta from What's For Lunch Honey assigned us to someone to send our postcard to. I sent mine out a while ago. Jenny blogs from Ottawa, Ontario Canada. How cool is that!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

#105: Charcoal Peanuts

I just had to try these. When I saw Charcoal Peanuts listed on the web exclusive list of 15 extra Tastes to Try in 2007 I had no idea what they were. Now that I have ordered them and tasted them, I still don't know what they are!

About the size of a large olive, charcoal peanuts are black and airy. Inside is a peanut, but it is wrapped in the crunchy black coating. At first taste you only notice the peanut and don't get the point for the black coating, but a slight sweetness is noticed once you finish eating it. For some reason it reminds me of the black sand beaches in Hawaii. They are not Hawaiian however, they are from Japan. They are available at Grateful Palate for $9.95 and you get about twenty in the package.

Since I know I won't make all 100 of Food & Wine's Tastes to Try, I am borrowing some from this web list to try and make it closer to 100. One of the neatest things about trying to hit all 100 is finding unique food like these.

Spaghetti and Potatoes

Tonight was a movie night for me. I really needed some rest time after my hectic week. I was thinking about ordering a pizza, but that just seem right. I decided to check out On Top of Spaghetti to see if there was something simple I could throw together, and I found a whole bunch of options. I settled on Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Potatoes, Sage, and Gorgonzola since I had some sage leftover from the chicken I made the other night and some Gorgonzola left over from a different pasta I made from this same book.

Pasta and potatoes is something I have had before, but not with Italian seasonings. I've mixed noodles with potato curry a few times. I thought I came up with potatoes and pasta together! But this recipe is a new way for me and it is just as easy. The end result is a nice creamy pasta. The Gorgonzola is stronger in this pasta dish then the other recipe. I think the spinach in the other balanced it out. This one seemed to be missing something . . . maybe some pancetta. That would make it perfect!

Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Potatoes, Sage, and Gorgonzola
(serves 6 or 8)

4 small Red Bliss potatoes (8 ounces total), peeled and cut inti 1/2 inch cubes
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces) crumbled Gorgonzola
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons finely minced fresh sage (do not substitute dried sage)
1 pound dried spaghetti alla chitarra or spaghettini
10 to 12 turns of a pepper mill

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

Combines the cubed potatoes and at least 6 quarts of water in a large pot. Bring to a rapid boil and cook the potatoes for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, with a fork, mash the butter, Gorgonzola, and sage together in a serving bowl large enough to accommodate the cooked pasta. Set aside in a warm place.

After the potatoes have boiled 5 minutes, add a generous amount of salt to the boiling water and drop in the spaghetti. Cook at a full rolling boil until the pasta is al dente. Drain the pasta and potatoes in a colander, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

Transfer the potato cubes and pasta to the serving bowl. Gently toss the Gorgonzola and butter. Grind the pepper over, add 1/4 cup of the pasta water, and toss again. Add more water if necessary. The sauce should be glossy, with the consistency of heavy cream. Serve immediately.

Anthony Bourdain Guest Blogging Hilarity

I LOVE Anthony Bourdain. Many of us have enjoyed is quick wit and humor through his books and television shows. And now he has taken to blogging! Well, not really, but he has been guest blogging at his friend and fellow author Michael Ruhlman's blog. At the end of January he provided a funny, tell-it-like-it-is assessment Top Chef: Observations and Comments by Anthony Bourdain. On Thursday he turned his attention to The Food Network. His Post, Nobody Asked Me But . . . he provides "some thoughts on the Newer, Younger, More Male-Oriented, More Dumb-Ass Food Network". These crack me up. I hope he keeps this up.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Sauteed Chicken with Fresh Sage

Tonight I made Petti di Pollo alla Salvia (Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Fresh Sage). This is from Trattoria, one of my favorite cookbooks. It is a meal that I have not made in a long time. It's funny because after I first made it the first time I swore I would make it again and again. I am not big on repeating recipes because there are so many good ones out there still to discover. But this was one of the first "impressive" dinners I had ever made. Up until that point I had made a lot of spaghetti and broiled alot of meat. Accomplishing the recipe brought me alot of joy and pride. The first time it came out perfect. The second time I burned the sage leaves and the third time something was missing. So then I tired of it.

Now it is about twelve years since that last attempt and I am enjoying it again. It feels good to pull out a recipe from the past every now and then. I am as amazed as I was back then. The ingredients are so simple, but the chicken turns out with an amazing flavor. It's one of those things you can't believe that you made yourself. Sage is a gorgeous herb and it smells so wonderful when it is fresh. But while cooking it with the chicken it crisps up just a little bit. You can't believe how wonderful it tastes. I realize that even though the ingredients are simple, you should take your time making this. Don't cook it with too much heat because you may burn the butter or sage. Watch the chicken until it browns but do not overcook.

I hope you all try this one! Look for the roundup of Weekend Herb Blogging at Kalyn's Kitchen hosted this week by Kalyn herself.

Petti di Pollo alla Salvia
(Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Fresh Sage)
Serves 4

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
28 fresh sage leaves
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 lemons, halved, for garnish
Marinate the chicken with the lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of the oil and the sage leaves. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat drive. Strain the marinade into a bowl and remove the sage leaves, reserving them.

Melt the butter and 2 remaining tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over moderately high heat until hot and bubbly. Add chicken and cook until one side is browned, about 5 minutes. Turn breasts and season the cooked side generously with salt and pepper. Tuck the sage leaves around the chicken and cook until the chicken is browned on the bottom and just white throughout, about 5 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to scorch the sage.

When done, place the chicken on a cutting board and season the bottom side with salt and pepper. Slice the chicken breasts on the diagonal into thick slices. Place them on a serving platter with the sage leaves placed over the chicken. Cover loosely with foil.

Discard the fat from the skillet and heat it over moderately high heat. Add the reserved marinade and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. The sauce will boil almost immediately. As soon as it reduces to a brown glaze (less than one minute), pour the sauce over the chicken. Garnish with lemon halves and serve immediately.

Tag: Five (Foodie) Things Most People Don’t Know About Me

I’ve been tagged by Sarina, The TriniGourmet, with this meme to list Five (Foodie) Things Most People Don’t Know About Me.

There isn't much that most people don't know about me. I don't hide things, but I suppose I can list a few things about my food passion!

1. One time I sucked the brains out of a shrimp. I was in Spain. I was there with a girlfriend who grew up in Hong Kong. We were eating tapas after a night of drinking. She assured me it was a delicacy. I ended up sick for 2 weeks and couldn't eat shrimp for 18 months after that.

2. I keep my freezer filled with ice cream and frozen candy bars, but I rarely ever eat them. After a few months things get freezer burn and I throw them out. But then I get some more.

3. One of my favorite snacks is garlid and herb alouette spread on a cracker, a dollop of fig jelly on top of that and topped with a slice of prosciutto. I try to make everyone try it but usually I am the only one to keep eating it. Some people think the creamy garlic, sweet jelly and greasy meat is a nasty combo. I think it's heaven.

4. I can eat an entire a can of black olives (jar of green olives) in one sitting. I do this about once I week.

5. I like to put salt on everything, even pizza, spaghetti and sometimes even fruit.

I tag the following five to come up with their list, if they so chose . . .

Paula at mango&lime

David at Cooking Chat

Meeta at What's For Lunch Honey?

Elizabeth (the mommy chef) at Mommy Cooks

Michael at Cooking in Kansas City

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

A Midas Feast

I just couldn't help myself. This recipe has such as great name I had to make it. According to Lynn Alley, author of The Gourmet Slow Cooker: Simple and Sophisticated Meals from Around the World, The Midas Feast is one of the earliest recorded one-pot meals. And since I'm a history buff, that held some appeal to me to. How many other people had made a "Midas Feast" before? It's sexier than asking how many people have made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

It might not look to pretty, but boy is this good. If you like lamb chops, you will probably like this. The taste of the meat reminds me more of lamb chops than a leg of lamb - I can tell a distinct difference in the flavor between the two. The little bit of honey added into the red-wine sauce add a sweetness that surprises you as you are eating. It is a really interesting combination.

I love that this recipe cooks in the slow cooker. But notice that there is a bit of work before getting all the ingredients into the slow cooker. I think it was about 40 minutes of prep and stove-top cooking before going into the crock pot. The end results were way worth it!

The Midas Feast
Serves 4 to 6

1 cup brown lentils
2 teaspoons aniseed or fennel seed
2 teaspoons cumin seed
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 pounds lamb stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cups dry red win or Midas Touch ale
1 cup chicken stock or water
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups cooked barley (optional)

Rinse the lentils thoroughly and place them in the slow cooker.

Combine the aniseed and cumin in a mortar or coffee grinder and grind to a coarse powder.

Heat a large saute pan over the medium-high heat and add the oil. In batches if necessary, add the lamb and cook, turning occasionally, for 7 to 10 minutes, until thoroughly browned. Using tongs, transfer the lamb to the slow cooker, arranging it on to of the lentils.

Add the onion to the pan and saute, stirring frequently, for 10 to 15 minutes, until browned. Add the spice mixture to the onion and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine to the saute pan and stir to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until the wine is reduced by one-third. Add the stock and honey and stir well. Pour over the lamb and lentils in the slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, until the meat is very tender. Add the salt and serve the stew over the barley.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Profiteroles for World Nutella Day!

I can't remember the first time I had Nutella. I know it wasn't until I was in my mid-20s. I think it might have been at a grocery store as a sample because all I ever knew to do with it was spread it on toast. When Sara from Ms. Adventures in Italy and Shelly from A Home in Rome declared World Nutella Day to be February 6, 2007, they challenged us all to come up with creative ways to eat this wonderful "chocolaty hazelnut spread".

I had never even thought of using Nutella in a recipe. Since I am not the "make my own recipe" kind of gal, I did a search online. I really wanted to make a Nutella and banana sandwich, but I figured I would go with something more challenging and make the sandwich with whatever is left in the jar. Aren't I crafty?

Giada De Laurentiis has several recipes listed on the Food Network site which use hazelnut spread. I settled on making Profiteroles with Ricotta Mascarpone because they looked so elegant. I'm not much of a baker, so if I am going to bake I want to make something really neat.

I was surprised how nicely the Profiteroles turned out. Light and perfect looking. And those came from me? From my little bowl and oven? I do suggest serving these the same day that you cook them. I knew I wouldn't eat all 12 so I made everything the night before and then brought it into work and assembled it there the next day. I had stored the Profiteroles in an air-tight freezer bag but I noticed they had considerable more moisture in them the next day. They seems to have a nicer crispness to them the evening before.

Profiteroles with Ricotta Mascarpone
Serves 4

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons plus 3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 large eggs
1 (8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (such as Nutella)
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line a heavy large baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. Combine the water, butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar, and salt in a heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until the butter melts. Add the flour and stir over medium heat for 1 minute. Cool 5 minutes.

Crack 2 eggs into a measuring cup. Use a wooden spoon to beat the eggs into the dough, 1 at a time. Spoon 10 or 12 (1 1/2-inch) mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl to blend. Gently brush the egg over the dough mounds (do not drip the egg onto the baking sheet).

Bake the pastries until they are amber brown, about 50 minutes. Allow the pastries to cool completely.

Mix the mascarpone, ricotta, vanilla, and remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar in a medium bowl. Refrigerate until cold. Using a serrated knife, cut the tops off the pastry and set aside. Spoon the mascarpone mixture into the pastries and top with its lid.

Combine the chocolate-hazelnut spread and cream in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds until warm. Stir the mixture. Spoon the chocolate-hazelnut sauce atop the pastries. Sprinkle with the hazelnuts and serve.

Monday, February 5, 2007

#11: Phoenix Pale Ale

Another microbrew in a can . . . Phoenix Pale Ale from Sly Fox Beer is #11 on Food and Wine's 100 Tastes to Try. This is definitely the coolest can out of the three on the list. But I liked it less than #12 Dale’s Pale Ale.

This is the strongest of the three beers and I just don't like my beer that strong. However, I have learned a very important lesson. Strong beer needs to go with strong food. When I drank the Phoenix Pale Ale by itself I wasn't happy with it. But when I drank some with dinner while eating the Red Rice and Chorizo, it tasted really nice. It was as if I somehow was finally able to taste the flavors that are normally overpowered when drinking alone. There was something about the powerful flavor of the chorizo which balanced off the strong hops in this beer.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Red Rice with Chorizo

I didn't mean to make so many Rachael Ray recipes this weekend. Yet here is another one from the February, 2007 issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine. I originally planned to make this Red Rice with Chorizo around Valentine's Day -- because it's "Red". But my Superbowl plans fell through tonight and I wanted something quick.

I was excited to try out this recipe because I ordered some chorizo from La Tienda. It's the real thing - imported from Spain. Actually, the chroizo I ordered is dry-cured and I'm not quite sure if I was supposed to use it or not. But i was dying to make something with it and this recipe seemed simple.

Using the dry-cured chorizo added a tougher texture to the dish. It was less sausage-like and more pepperoni-like. I enjoyed it quite a bit. It is a quick and easy recipe that yields a very tasty meal.

This recipe makes alot of food. I think it can feed six instead of just four. Also, I think there is a typo. The recipe calls for a 15-ounce can of sliced black olives. I could not find one. The regular size can, which is a 15-ounce of something like soup, only contains 6.5 ounces. I used that one and it was the perfect amount.

Red Rice with Chorizo
(4 servings)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 ounces chorizo, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
1 1/2 cups red salsa
2 cups thawed frozen corn
One 15-ounce can sliced large black olives
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

In a heavy medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and stir for 1 minute to coat. Stir in 1 1/2 cups water and the salsa and bring to a boil, stirring once or twice. Cover the pot and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.

Fluff the rice and stir in the corn. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in the olives and cilantro.

A Simple Tofu Snack

Last week my local grocery store had a "buy one get one free" special on some very high quality organic tofu. I had one recipe calling for firm tofu anyways, so I took the extra free one. While flipping through the February, 2007 issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine, I noticed a recipe for Salt and Pepper Tofu. While the name may not be too appealing, it is included as part of the Lucky Day feature about two sisters celebrating Chinese New Year with dumplings and dips. The tofu is cut into cubs and served with a variety of dips. I thought I'd try it and use up that extra tofu.

Unfortunately I did not have much success with this dish. I think the idea for this recipe is a good one and the problem was in my execution. I rarely fry things and I think I used way to much oil and also did not let the oil get hot enough. Since tofu absorbs what it is cooked with, it ended up being too greasy for me. I did try some raw and was surprised at how some simple salt and pepper can really transform the tofu. But to me, frying something healthy like tofu kind of defeats the purpose.

Three dipping sauces are suggested to go with the Salt and Pepper Tofu cubes. I made the Chili-Soy Sauce and felt it had too much oil in it as well.

Salt and Pepper Tofu
(Makes 32 pieces)

1 pound firm tofu, drained
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying

Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes and season with salt and pepper.

In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add half the tofu (don't overcrowd the pan) and cook, turning once, until golden on both sides, about 4 minutes. Drain on a paper-towel-lined plate. Repeat with more oil and remaining tofu. Serve with dipping sauces

Chili-Soy Sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon red chili sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce