Sunday, August 24, 2008

Blackened Tofu-liciousness

There is the most annoying character on Project Runway this season (OK, there are multiple annoying characters, but this guys is the worst). Blayne makes everything "licious", except when he writes it down he always spells is licous. I'm so petty, but it so annoying. Anyway, his super crispy fakin' bakin' tan must have gotten me in the mood to blacken some food!

I recently snagged my dad's beautifully seasoned cast iron mega-skillet and haven't been sure what to make first. Had some hamburger buns and guac in the fridge, so knew it was time to try to copy Taco Loco's amazing blackened tofu burger. I grabbed Ole' Faithful, the Joy of Cooking, and flipping around came to their Cajun Dry rub recipe. I didn't measure exactly, but it was more or less a teaspoon of each: dried thyme, dried oregano, paprika, and black pepper. Plus a 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, and a healthy sprinkling of ground chili peppers. I pressed the firm tofu for about 1/2 hour while I prepared the seasonings above. Cut the block of tofu into 3 "steaks", dipped them in a couple Tbsps of melted butter then dredged the tofu in the seasonings. Heated the pan up to 6 on my electric stovetop (this is really hot on my stove), turned on the exhaust fan, then let those little puppies hit the super hot iron skillet. I drizzled the tofu with the remaining butter (about a tsp was left) and cooked for 3 minutes on each side. Perfectly blackened, and didn't smoke up the house a bit! It turned out great, but was missing the noise of 101 traffic, sketchy parking, scarce seating and ocean breezes of Taco Loco. Sigh.

The Tofu
The Burger

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lazy August Days

Haven't been cooking too much of note, too hot and too lazy to put anything fancy together. Haven't been eating out though, either, so that is good for us and our budget. I'm bummed that I didn't grab a shot of the greek salad the hubby made this weekend, it was beautiful. That is his "go-to" salad, and it rocks.

VWAV Fronch Toast (unadorned)

So yesterday I made creme brulee french toast (stillllll working on perfecting the recipe for this one) and vegan french toast from VWAV. That was delicious. With maple syrup and earth balance on top, the vegan french toast tasted just like french toast sticks. In a good way. Oh man, even the hubby ate 2 pieces before he went to the traditional stuff.

Killa Breakfast Scramble
I guess we were on a breakfast kick, because we had a scramble for dinner. I had some cooked red potatoes in the fridge, so I just browned them in a skillet with onions and garlic, threw in some beaten eggs and YUM! Topped with cheddar cheese, cilantro and a little dollop of sour cream. Really good for a hot august night, but seemed funny eating breakfast on the patio at night ;)
I was happy because it didn't look like a pile of brown mush. That seems to happen most of the time when I scramble a bunch of stuff together.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Soyrizo Scramble

Ah, when the hubby comes up with a recipe, he really does it right. We had a similar dish as a daily special at the Naked Cafe in Solana Beach.

The Soyrizo Scramble
makes 2 brunch servings
3 eggs
2 corn tortillas, torn into pieces
1 T canola oil
1/2 pkg soyrizo (Trader Joe's has a version now)
1/4 C chopped cilantro
1/2 C feta cheese
1 avocado, sliced

1.) Beat eggs until well mixed, he usually does this in a pyrex measuring cup. Add the tortillas to the eggs.
2.) Fry up the soyrizo in 1 Tbsp canola oil over medium heat. When crispy and brown, remove to paper towel covered plate.
3.) Scramble the egg/tortilla mixture. Fold in soyrizo, remove from heat. Fold in feta cheese and cilantro.
4.) Serve with slices of avocado on top.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Sleepy Saturday Night

After a very full day, the hubby and I are enjoying a lazy evening. He got up super duper early to get sod from home depot, we didn't need much but he wanted to beat the rush. By the time the bean and I were up at 8, the sod was laid in the patio and we were all ready for breakfast. I made breakfast sandwiches: whole wheat toast filled with scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, and Morningstar farms sausage patties. Oh and ketchup. Plenty of ketchup. The little one only had eggs and ketchup. We all really love the organic ketchup from Trader Joes. Soooo tasty. Of course, eating al fresco always improves ones appetite.

After trying in vain to purchase a baby bike seat at the local sporting goods store, we returned home for lunch: leftovers from last night. I made a modified Bisquick impossible quiche/pie. I used garlic sauteed kale for the veggie, and it was really tasty. The kale wasn't bitter at all (the hubby's usual complaint), and came out like a mix between broccoli and spinach. Served it up with crispy parmesan potato wedges and we were happy campers. The baby managed to pick out every bit of the kale and just eat the eggy bits. Too funny.

We all crashed out for a nap, then headed down to the beach with my mom. She hadn't been to the beach in years, and it was just a gorgeous day. The water was warm, but the waves were a little choppy for swimming. The little bean charged the water, we have to keep her from diving in completely. She really loves digging in the sand, too, and now that she's older she isn't interested in sampling it.

Dinner was at Kealani's hawaiian restaurant. Mom and hubby enjoyed mahi mahi with rice and mac salad, and I had the teriyaki tofu with the same sides. I was so nervous, because tofu at non-asian restaurants can be ever so awful. What a relief, cooked to perfection and not drowning in sickly-sweet teriyaki sauce. I really liked it and even got to eat the mac salad. There is a chain in San Diego that has meat IN EVERYTHING, including ham in the macaroni salad. Well, they might have iceberg lettuce salad or something, but that doesn't make a meal. We finished off the meal with malasadas, which were super fresh and piping hot. 3 people well-fed for under $25. (The baby gorged herself on rice and malasadas, but that doesn't really count).