Sunday, November 2, 2008
Asparagus, Potatoes and BBQ Tofu
So, instead of a detailed and complicated recipe, today I'm just going to write up a delicious meal of (you guessed it) asparagus, potatoes and tofu.
A Note on Mushy Asparagus.
The first thing I want to touch on here is the asparagus. Seriously, it should be crisp. I don't care who you are or how many teeth you may (or may not) have, asparagus shouldn't be mushy. If you don't like asparagus, did you only ever try it mushy? 'Cuz I wouldn't like it mushy either. It should just go in the steamer long enough to get bright green and cooked, but not NOT mushy. Remember too, that it will cook a little more after you take it out of the steamer (or double boiler) for a bit (because it's still so hot inside). So, asparagus, not mushy. Steam 'til green, throw some olive oil (or butter if you want, or margarine if you want that.) and sea salt. It's freakin' delicious.
A lot of people boil their potatoes before pan frying them. I don't know why. I find them, (again) way too mushy this way. If you absolutely want to, you can, but try it ONCE without boiling them first. Potates are so freakin' cheap that it'll cost you like thirty cents to try it, and I'm sure you've spent more than that on trying something new that won't turn out nearly as delicious as this.
So, start a frying pan going (med temp) with oil (I like using safflower oil, but it's not all that cheap, and any oil will work, though I wouldn't use olive oil since this is gonna get pretty hot, and the olive oil taste won't really coem through with all the shit I'm going to throw on the potatoes, so it's not really cost effective.) and start chopping the potatoes. How big? As big as you want, though I like to get them pretty small, with no edge longer than an inch. Throw all that in there. Let them cook, stirring as often as you remember to. Throw some italian seasoning up in there.
Now, one they've been cooking for a bit and are starting to brown a little, toss in garlic. How much? I love garlic and go one and a half to two cloves per serving. This is a LOT. I love it though. You may be okay with half a clove to one clove per person, though it's going to cook a bit and isnt going to be crazy pungent. Use your tastes. Last toss in soem chopped onion. I use purple 'cuz they're prettier. I chop 'em pretty coarsely and they turn out great.
Once the potatoes are cooked through (if you don't know how to check, it's the simplest thing in the world. Take one out of the pan, and eat it. You can't die from undercooked potato. But since you had to ask how to check, I'm going to remind you that this is coming out of a hot pan, it's hot, and you could burn yourself, dumbass.) they're done. Eat them. I like to garnish with parsley and a couple pieces of the leftover purple onions.
Here comes the fun part:
I always freeze and defrost the tofu. It makes it a bit tougher and more meat-like. Then I marinate it in ordinary BBQ sauce (store bought and homemade are both good, just make sure it's a generally delicious kind) for at least a couple hours, finally just frying it up in a pan and dousing it in the leftover marinade (remembering never to uset he marinade again if you were marinading meat cuz tofu doesn;t have any of the bad stuff that raw meat does. Just to clarify in case of you were planning on substituting.)
Then, serve. Even the boy carnivores in my house couldn't get enough of the tofu.