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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Impromptu Sweet & Sour

Since Andy & Kate went out to the cinema and dinner tonight and Christie decided to join me for dinner.  I had some stuff from the CSA box AJ brought over (they're house sitting and ended up with a second box to spare), namely broccoli and patty pan squash, and over ripe tomatoes from the garden.  There was spicy tempeh in the fridge, but I thought Andy was going to use it for something so I was opting for some of the super-firm tofu instead.  There was also some leftover brown rice in the cooker from yesterday, we set that to reheat right away.

I'd thought I'd sear the tofu in olive oil and balsamic, reducing the tomatoes to sauce, however, Christie finds tofu to be so intrinsically Asian that going the pan-Italian route with it wasn't going to work.  She suggested something gingery with all the stuff.  I didn't really feel like peeling ginger and wasn't entirely sure the hunk on the wooden block was very fresh, but I remembered we've got a jar of ginger & garlic paste from one of the Desi shops we visit for ingredients.  I described it to Christie and sent her to the fridge to hunt it down.

Peanut oil into the pan and then the tofu for a good fry, white pepper on top.  I let that fry, even stick a little until I could see some golden color on the pieces.  Then the broccoli florets and sliced up patty pan went in along with one and a half large diced, over ripe tomatoes.  I poured in about a tablespoon and a half of soy sauce, at least two tablespoons of sweet chili sauce (the stuff you dip spring rolls in), and a tablespoon the garlic & ginger paste. 

Popped the lid on and let the tomatoes cook down, which didn't take much time at all.  We hung out and chatted.  After stirring things around a bit we tasted and I then added a teaspoon of sugar, the juice from half a lime, and a couple of pinches of coarse sea salt.  A little while longer and we got warmed rice from the cooker and dished up.

It was great!  I was hoping for "good", just something quick and nourishing after yoga practice and a ride home.  It turned out so much better than I'm writing about it here!   I don't think I'll be able to think of standard, syrupy sweet & sour the same, this was so easy.

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