Thursday, September 25, 2008

pies of all sorts

I made a birthday dinner for my friend Martha last night. I spent the day getting my kitchen in order and chopping things with a large knife, and then I got home from orchestra and made a huge mess. This always happens: just when I've finally done all the dishes, I go and make something that gets nearly every single one of them dirty again. Sigh.
Anyway, this was the menu: a vegetable pot pie filled with potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, marinated tofu, peas, and mushroom gravy; fresh green bean, blanched and covered in butter, salt and pepper; apple pie with sharp cheddar baked in and covered with some struedel topping (sugar, flour, and butter). Everything turned out well, I redeemed my favorite pie crust recipe, and there were enough people here that I don't even have too many leftovers. Just a lot of dishes to do.
One of my favorite recent food discoveries is the marination and baking of tofu. I made a broccoli stir fry recently that featured a curry-spiced baked tofu, and I fell in love all over again. Baked tofu has this crispy, chewy texture that I really like, and the marination makes it taste so good! Here are my two marinades so far:

(from the Thai Broccoli Tofu Stir-Fry recipe in my Chicago Diner cookbook, which was excellent) 1/4 cup oil
3 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tbsp onion powder
2 tsp curry powder
2 tbs nutritional yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
This had a nice bite from the curry powder that enhanced the peanut sauce that is the other main part of the recipe.

(from last night. I made this up! I was so relieved and proud that it tasted good. No measurements, of course)
red wine
soy sauce
oil
water
rosemary (I used fresh from my under-utilized plant)
thyme
garlic powder
salt and pepper
(As a bonus, I used some of the marinade in the mushroom gravy for the filling.)

If you've never baked tofu, all you have to do is cut it into small cubes, marinate for a while (I like to do this for about two hours, but minimum half an hour), put it on baking sheet in a single layer, and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, stirring once or twice so that all the sides get crispy. Delicious!

4 comments:

Rosiecat said...

Apple pie with sharp cheddar cheese and strudel topping?!? I'll be right over with my fork.

You are a kitchen rock star these days, Ammie. I shared a slice of your pumpkin pie with Daphna and she heaped many praises on it. Also, your pie pan is clean and ready for another pie whenever I have a chance to give it back to you :-)

ammie said...

It has been kind of a good kitchen week... I actually just found some rhubarb in my freezer, so that pie plate could come in handy :) As for the apple pie, I still can't decide whether it's awesome or merely interesting. I honestly think regular apple pie with cheese melted on top might be better. But maybe not. The verdict isn't in.

PocaCosa said...

You just made me SO hungry!!!

cassalyn said...

YOU'RE MY HERO!!!!