Jamaican Jerk Curry
There are few things as challenging as a food blogger as having to cook a cuisine for a challenge that you have no familiarity with. While I’m familiar with Jamaica, the bits I know are from books and movies – which is something I need to correct. In looking for recipes I noted a fondness for peanuts and pork, two things that aren’t exactly welcome in my house. However I kept looking and googling for common ingredients, and with that decided to take the base of a few Jerk Curry recipes I found and make them vegetarian friendly. I also decided to make my own jerk seasoning, using this recipe I found on AllRecipes.com, which was easy to make and mostly required standard pantry spices.
This dish was a HUGE hit – can’t begin to explain how much my husband enjoyed it! The combination of sweet and spicy was perfection, and the rice gave just the right amount of texture to the dish. It might have a rather long ingredient list but it was totally worth it, another great find thanks to /52weeksofcooking.
Stuffed Crust OOP Pizza
Time for another fridge cleaning adventure! This time I had some left over mushrooms and pineapple from a stir fry, olive and onion from a lentil soup dish, and a lot of cheese from some baked pasta dishes. I decided that instead of just tossing all of the cheese on top of the pizza I would stuff the crust with a variety of the cheese. I was more than a little nervous regarding this venture since dough and I don’t always get along. I used my bread machine to prep the dough, going with my sour dough oregano standby. Once I rolled the pizza out I debated between the standard under roll to form the crust or to try rolling over, which is the one I went with in the end since it seemed the easiest for stuffing crust.
I was thrilled when I took the pizza out of the oven and realized that all of the cheese stayed within the crust. I had horrible images of trying to take a slice off the stone and there being a huge hunk of cheese left behind. The combination of cheeses gave a variety of textures, with the stringy mozzarella, the sharper Parmesan, and the creamy provolone. This crust is so versatile, I can’t wait til April’s pizza night!
Oregano Sourdough Pizza Crust
Every now and then it feels good to make something that is not super healthy…or even moderately healthy. Normally when doing pizza I make a standard crusty crust or a semi-healthy cauliflower crust, but this time I decided to try something different. I have mentioned my sourdough starter, Gunther, before and decided to give a sourdough crust a try. My bread machine cookbook has a recipe for sourdough, but after a quick glance I realized it need a boost to make it more pizza like. The end result was a delicious deep dish experience that was filled to the brim with toppings.
I’m also hoping that my doctor is not reading this because I have a feeling she would not approve of the insane amount of cheese used in this recipe. Probably shouldn’t eat something like this on a regular basis, but hopefully she can overlook the occasional indulgence.
Marinated Tofu with Rice Noodles
This is a slightly (two weeks) late entry for 52weeks, however it was cooked in time so hopefully it will still count 🙂 When I saw the challenge was for marinating I drew a blank at first, since most vegetables aren’t prime candidates for marinating. While some, like carrots, do alright others tend to fall apart and become a messy yet tasty disaster. Since I still have a fair amount of cherry tomatoes and peppers left, I decided that I needed to marinate either tofu or eggplant and that it was going to have a slight Asian influence.
When Joe and I were in Austria one of our meals had included marinated tofu, the fact that it turned out to be a citrus marinade did not take away from how delicious it was. Knowing that it could be done gave me the confidence needed to try it myself, after recruiting one of my sisters to find tofu since my local stores were out of it. Armed with the extra firm tofu I started to plot out how I could get the tofu to retain the flavor of the marinade without falling apart the moment it hit the wok. I knew that I would need to drain and press the tofu before starting to get out all the water and from there divided the tofu in half to try two methods for the actual marinating step. I’m only going to post the instructions for method 2, since that method worked FAR better than the other.
I have a feeling there are other methods out there for marinating tofu, but I have to say this worked rather well. The tofu had a strong taste to it while remaining as firm as possible for tofu. I’m looking forward to trying out some pre-made marinades and finding out how well those work as well!
Curry Beans and Yellow Rice
When Joe and I first started living together there were a few recipes he kept mentioning from various cookbooks he had received over the years from his sisters. One of the often mentioned recipes was for Curry Kidney Beans with Tumeric Rice, but unfortunately Joe could not remember the recipe outside of the stated ingredients. I started digging around and was eventually able to locate the cookbook in question and the recipe. The first time out I made the recipe as written, and by I made it, I mean that Joe made it. While it was a good meal and very filling, I wanted to see if I could give it an extra pop to make it a better fit for our spice loving family. In the end I found the perfect mix of heat and sweet, while taking a page from the Sandra Lee book for an easy short cut.
This recipe is really about as simple as it gets, and it can be easily adjusted based on the amount of spice desired. The real trick with this recipe is making sure the beans are soft but not mushy, in order to give a nice contrast to the rice.
BBQ Pineapple Tofu Pizza (w/Cauliflower Crust!)
So it’s official: Joe and I are married! While it might have rained on our wedding day, it was still amazingly wonderful and perfect and I’m still giddy thinking about our special day.
I was hoping to have posts up and running while I was out but that didn’t happen and for that I’m sorry. Hopefully I’ll be more on top of things for the honeymoon, because I have some great late spring recipes to share. While I’m still on my quest to use more local and seasonal produce, I’m also trying to reduce waste by reusing leftovers in new and (hopefully) creative ways. This recipe might not be Le Cordon Bleu quality, however it is amazing and delicious and a great way to use up leftover tofu (or chicken). I decided to clean out the cauliflower in my drawer as well after seeing more than a few recipes featuring a cauliflower pizza crust. In the end I used a modified version from Eat.Drink.Smile since I don’t have a ricer and also have a need for large amounts of garlic in my pizza.
This took care of a fair amount of the veggies in my fridge, and I have a feeling that some swiss chard (or kale) also would have gone well on this pizza. The cauliflower crust also goes great with pesto sauce, just add some feta, red onion and eggplants and enjoy a modified take on a Greek Pizza.
Pineapple Fried Rice
This past week I asked Joe what he was in the mood for dinner wise so that I could plan my shopping trip. While most of the answers were pretty standard his request for Pineapple Fried Rice threw me for a moment. While I have had it before at various Thai restaurants I have never attempted it before. So off to google I went to see what I could find, needless to say there are TONS of Pineapple Fried Rice recipes. However most of them involved meat of some form and a good number of them involved peanuts which are not welcome at my house. So I decided to start experimenting going off of a number of recipes I found online that had components that sounded interesting. I’m pretty sure mine is much spicer than any of those online but we like things hot in this house…or at least we appreciate some kick. So this is the final result:
Ingredients for Rice: (serves 3-4)
- 2 tbsp veg. oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp red chili sauce
- 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
- 1/4 cup low sodium veg. stock
- 4 cups cooked rice
- 1 cup pineapple chunks
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 2 tbsp fresh thai basil, chopped
Ingredients for Garlic Tofu:
- 1 tbsp veg. oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 8 oz extra firm tofu, cubed
- Add the veg. oil into a large wok over medium heat. Allow to fully heat up before adding the garlic and chili sauce. Cook for three minutes until garlic starts to turn gold. Add the mixed vegetables and the vegetable stock, cover and cook 5 minutes.
- While cooking, mix the soy sauce, curry powder, and fish sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
- Meanwhile in a frying pan cook heat up the oil for the tofu. Add the soy sauce and garlic and cook 5 minutes until the garlic begins to brown. Then add the tofu and cook another 10 minutes. Set Aside
- Once the vegetables have finished cooking in the wok add the rice and the pineapple chunks, saving 1 tbsp of the pineapple juice. Stir well with the vegetables then add the juice along with the soy sauce curry mixture and blend well. Cook 5 minutes, seasoning as needed, before adding the tofu. Gentle blend in the tofu then serve!
One of the best parts about this recipe is that it can really be tailored to taste. For those that want this even spicier add a small Thai pepper with the garlic, or add more of the thai pepper sauce with the tofu. This is also one of those recipes were the spice builds up over time so this will have a slightly stronger kick the next day, just add a little water before reheating in order to prevent the rice from drying out.