Carrot, Onion, and Tofu Stir Fry
I recently had a delicious yet simple stir-fry with carrots, cabbage, and peanut sauce that reminded me of this one. If you’re a peanut-sauce fan, you can sub it in, and I’d recommend adding some napa cabbage in the last moments of cooking to add a nice crunch.
1 14-ounce box firm tofu, cut into dominoes
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
¼ cup vegetable or chicken stock, or water
¼ to ½ teaspoon salt (to taste)
¼ to ½ teaspoon sugar (to taste)
1 teaspoon cornstarch or arrowroot
2 tablespoons peanut or other neutral oil
2 to 3 teaspoons minced garlic (to taste)
2 to 3 teaspoons minced ginger (to taste)
1 pound carrots, preferably a mix of colors, cut into matchsticks
1 bunch spring onions or 2 bunches scallions, white or purple, and light green parts separated from dark green parts, chopped
1 tablespoon black or toasted white sesame seeds
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Cooked grains or noodles, for serving
Drain and dry tofu slices on paper towels. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce, rice wine and stock. Combine salt and sugar in another small bowl. In another bowl, dissolve cornstarch or arrowroot in 2 tablespoons stock or water; stir well. Have ingredients within reach of pan.
Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch steel skillet over high heat until a drop of water evaporates within a second or two when added to the pan. Swirl in 1 tablespoon oil by adding it to the sides of the pan or wok and swirling, then add tofu and stir-fry until lightly colored, 1 to 2 minutes. Add remaining soy sauce; stir-fry until no liquid is visible in pan. Remove tofu to a plate.
Swirl in remaining oil; add garlic and ginger, and stir-fry for no more than 10 seconds. Add carrots and white and light green parts of onions or scallions; stir-fry for 1 minute. Add salt, pepper and sugar; toss together and add soy sauce mixture. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes, until vegetables are crisp-tender.
Return tofu to wok along with sesame seeds and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Stir cornstarch or arrowroot slurry and add it to pan along with cilantro and onion greens. Stir until everything is lightly glazed and remove from heat. Serve with hot grains or noodles.
Maple Chipotle Kale Chips
Kale chips are a fun way to turn this hardy green into finger food. Nagoya works well for this cooking method because can stand up to the heat and leaves are already a great size for chips. I think this sweet and spicy version is perfect for winter. The sweetness is offset by a punch of heat that will keep you coming back. Makes a great side for casual dinner (pork sandwiches or soup in bread bowls).
1 head Nagoya Kale
2-3 Tbsp Olive Oile
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
Chipotle Powder, to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 cloves of garlic (or garlic powder)
1 Tsp Balsamic Vinegar (optional, for an extra sweet and sour balance)
Cut kale leaves from the main stem rosette, then trim to where each leaf begins. Toss kale leaves with remaining ingredients in a bowl, then lay out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees or until crispy.
Celeriac Remoulade (Celery Root Salad)
This salad is a refreshing cool coleslaw-like salad. A food processor makes the job of grating the celeriac much faster.
1/2 cup mayonnaise (or swap in crème fraiche)
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 lb celery root - quartered, peeled, and coarsely grated just before mixing
1/2 tart apple, peeled, cored, julienned
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Combine the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice and parsley in a medium-sized bowl. Fold in the celery root and apple and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour. Serve on napa cabbage leaves!
Fresh Ham Roast
Thaw your fresh ham, and cut off the fat. Cover with a dry rub (for example, garlic powder, sea salt, paprika and fresh ground black pepper). If you have time, put ham in a covered container in the fridge for 4 - 24 hours. The longer it sits with the rub, the more flavors it will absorb (but it can also be started right away).
Cook in a 225 degree oven for 1 hour per pound (until about 145-150 degree internal temperature is achieved). Alternatively, place it in your crockpot with some liquid (water, stock, or wine, about 1.5 cups), and cook on low for 7-8 hours. This way you can start it in the morning and forget it! You can add potatoes, onions, and carrots to the pot roast as well. The meat should fall apart relatively easily with a fork. It’s great on its own, or try it on a sandwich!