Oops, hi, I skipped a day or two. Lately I just haven't had my regular desire to eat my own meals. Isn't that weird? But I still love to cook and I'm glad my roommates still love to eat what I make.
All I want to eat are Smart Deli ham sandwiches on flaxseed bread, Odwalla Mango Tango smoothies and Fage 2% Greek Yogurt with honey and almonds. But I want to review one of the best tofu recipes I've found in 2010. Although I have made a few adjustments to the recipe, it is still overall the same deliciously spicy amazing recipe.
First off, Lottie and Doof is a food blog operated by a couple here in Chicago. Even though I'll take recipes from anywhere, I love knowing that I may be eating the same thing for dinner as someone else in my favorite city! There aren't a ton of vegetarian recipes on the website, but what is there is gold. And there are a few good dessert recipes as well. It is worth checking out. My friend Melissa hipped me (am I 80?) to this recipe for Black Pepper Tofu.
(photo courtesy of Lottie and Doof)
Obviously you can click on the recipe and check it out but let me give my own notes. There are a few but I don't think it would in any way compromise what the dish is really supposed to taste like. I just catered it to my own taste buds.
-- I made the tofu exactly as stated in the recipe, it turns out perfectly and I think I will use the cornmeal coating method for various other tofu recipes from now on. It's a pain the ass and takes awhile (especially if you use two blocks of tofu) but it's worth it, trust me.
-- I did not use a whole stick of butter. I used half of one and then supplemented with some olive oil. I really think you could just use all olive oil and a lot less, I'll try that next time. I know the butter gives the shallots, garlic, etc. a beautiful glossy sheen but I don't know how much flavor it imparts especially since the dish is powerfully spiced.
-- I used two jalapenos instead of 4 small red chilies. It's hard to find them at the store I go to, so I compromise.
-- Instead of fresh ginger, I used 1 1/2 T. dried ginger. Whenever I buy fresh ginger, I forget about it and it goes to waste. So dry works best for me.
-- The peppercorns. Wow. Do not use 4 tablespoons. Your mouth will simply fall off. I LOVE spicy food and even 2 tablespoons was a bit much but still very good. Make sure to use freshly ground peppercorns, if you used 2 T. of a finely ground pepper you would die, haha.
-- I just used all regular low-sodium Kikkoman soy sauce. And I may have used a bit less than it says. And I used 2 T. of brown sugar along with it instead of the caster sugar.
-- Green onions instead of spring onions. It's winter, we don't have spring onions now. They work really well though.
OK, I know this looks insane and like I totally fucked up the recipe but really I think I still capture the essence of this meal. My food looked exactly like L&D's recipe in the picture. Oh! And jasmine rice is essential. So flippin' good with this. There is a nice mixture of the green onion, the sheer spiciness of the thick sauce, the pungent warmth of ginger and the chewiness of the tofu. It is a knock out dish and worth the time to make.
I give this dish:
Enjoy everyone! I'll be back sometime this weekend with Buttermilk Lemon Bars and a non-lard KFC biscuits recipe.