Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Black pepper tofu

Cornflour and tofu

Before you say anything
You should know that I doubted a long time...

I simply wasn't sure if I wanted to share this dish with you guys.
Not because it isn't good.

En contraire.
It's absolutely delicious.
Your tastebuds will scream for more.

But it just isn't pretty.

That's right.
What I'm about to show you ain't the prettiest food you've ever seen.
But sometimes, just sometimes,... the ugliest food is totally the most awesome.

Not convinced? 

What about gaucamole folks? Seriously...
Or mussels; the ugliest creatures of the sea getting all cooked  up alive. Gross... But yumm.
And what about Saag Paneer? The Indian food, yes. Healthy, spicy and damn tasty... But girl, that stuff really does look like shit. Shit on a bad day, that is.

Ok. I do believe I've put things in perspective, haven't I?!

This stuff is spicy, but in a very complex and mature way 
{do I sound like a foodsnob? ...Don't answer that...
Unless you're about to say: 'no, it makes you even more awesome'...
Then you can totally answer.}

It's healthy too.
It has tofu and vegetables.
That's healthy right?

It also has a pretty big amount of butter, but we're not going to talk about that ... 

Black pepper tofu
Serious adapted from: plenty

I mingled everything together to take with me on a picnic.
250 g firm tofu
Cornflour, to dust the tofu
Olive oil, for baking
50 g butter
7 small shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
100 g mushrooms, cut in halves
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin slices
2 red chillies, thinly sliced {I deseed, but it's open for debate}
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
1 tbsp crushed black peppercorns {I used a spice grinder, but a mortar or pestle is way cooler}
1 1/2 tbsp sweet soy sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar, packed brown
8 small, thin spring onions, cut into segments 3cm long

rice; to serve
bread; to serve

one: cut the tofu into 1cm x 2cm blocks and toss them in cornflour, shaking off the excess.
two: pour in enough olive oil to come 0.5cm up the sides of a large baking pan, and bring up to high heat. Bake the tofu in batches, turning the pieces as you go. Once they are golden all around, with a thin crust, transfer to a paper towel.
three: remove the oil and any sediment from the pan and throw in the butter.
four: once the butter has melted, add the shallots, red bell pepper, mushrooms, chillies, garlic and ginger, and sauté for about 15 minutes on low-medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the content of the pan is shiny and soft.
five: when the shallots, vegetables and chillies are soft, add the soy sauces and the sugar, stir. Add the crushed pepper.
six: add the spring onion and stir through, not too long.
seven: serve warm with rice and bread {this last suggestion was made by mr. boyfriend}.

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