I’d like to open my birth month, June, with a recipe #fail. Otsu…which is now Yuck-su to me.
This is the first recipe from 101cookbooks.com that I have loathed. Hated it. Can’t stand it. Won’t make it again. I think I have made nearly every recipe Heidi Swanson has posted on her delightful website. It’s my “go-to” site. It’s the site that I direct people to when they are like, “you can’t eat anything good if you are a vegetarian” and it sucks them in every…single…time. I dare you not to like Heidi OR her website 101cookbooks.com. This recipe however, for me, didn’t suck me in. It. Just. Sucked. From the surface it looks like something I would eat myself into a food coma by; however, I felt it lacked a certain freshness I was expecting from the sauce. It just tasted salty to me and sorta, I don’t know, blah. The cucumber was a strange random addition at the end. I’m posting this because I think with a few additions or subtractions even, this might be a great dish…so go out there and tweak it to suit your tastes. Sorry Heidi, this one failed for me. I still love ya, but this one is getting black listed from my repeat list.
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- Fresh ginger, cut into a 1-inch cube, peeled, and grated
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 3/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup unseasoned brown-rice vinegar
- 1/3 cup shoyu sauce (wheat-free soy sauce)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 12 ounces dried soba noodles
- 12 ounces extra-firm nigari tofu
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced
- 1 small handful of cilantro sprigs, for garnish
- 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Make the dressing by combining the zest, ginger, honey, cayenne, and salt in a food processor (or use a hand blender) and process until smooth. Add the lemon juice, rice vinegar, and shoyu, and pulse to combine. With the machine running, drizzle in the oils.
Cook the soba in plenty of rapidly boiling salted water just until tender, then drain and rinse under cold running water.
While the pasta is cooking, drain the tofu, pat it dry, and cut it into rectangles roughly the size of your thumb (½ inch thick and 1 inch long). Cook the tofu in a dry nonstick (or well-seasoned) skillet over medium-high heat for a few minutes, until the pieces are browned on one side. Toss gently once or twice, then continue cooking for another minute or so, until the tofu is firm, golden, and bouncy.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the soba, the ¼ cup cilantro, the green onions, cucumber, and about ⅔ cup of the dressing. Toss until well combined. Add the tofu and toss again gently. Serve on a platter, garnished with the cilantro sprigs and the toasted sesame seeds.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged 101 cookbooks, 101cookbooks.com, brown-rice vinegar, cayenne, cilantro, cook, create, cucumber, food processor, ginger, honey, lemon juice, lemon zest, noodles, onions, recipe, seasonal cooking, sesame oil, shoyu, soba, tofu, vegetarian
Some nights I just don’t feel like cooking. Really. Yes, even me. Which is why I’m thankful that I am competitive enough to make a game out of what I can scavenge from the fridge to pull dinner off. Mr. Wonderful loves anything in the family of pizza. So naan is a great quick pizza crust and Costco has the best deal on naan in the free world. Enter naan from freezer and let the creative juices flow. The most difficult part about this recipe is the patience it takes to caramelize the onions…chop them up and toss into a fry pan over very, very low, for a very long time. You can vacuum, do dishes, watch some YouTube videos in the mean time. Hell, get crazy and read a real book.
Here’s a quick flatbread recipe as rummaged from the fridge/freezer/pantry:
Grilled Asparagus, White Bean and Caramelized Onion Flatbread
- 1 very large onion, any type, chopped finely into half circles (approx 2 C raw)
- 1 bunch asparagus trimmed and washed
- 1 C Provolone cheese, grated (goat or gorgonzola cheese would be better here, but none in the fridge, alas)
- 4 C white beans, cooked or 2 cans, drained-reserve this liquid in case your hummus is too thick and you can drizzle some in (I pulled these from my freezer-reserve 3/4 C to sprinkle on TOP of flatbread, the rest will be used for “hummus” for the sauce on the flatbread)
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2-3 T Tahini (or just use a little of the juice from the beans if you don’t have this in your cupboard)
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano or a handful fresh
- 1/2 tsp dried cumin
- 1/2 tsp dried chipotle or red pepper flakes, omit if you are not pro-heat
- 2 T lemon juice, fresh squeezed preferred, but that little plastic lemon kind won’t kill you here
- salt to taste, this will take more than you think…white beans have little flavor
- 2 pieces commercial naan bread
Cut up onion, toss in hot frying pan with a swig of EVOO, then turn way, way down to low. Here is where the patience comes in…now, wait. Stirring every 15 minutes or so. Caramelized onions take TIME. Like, an hour or so. Good news, you don’t have to do anything to them except poke around at them every quarter hour….seriously quit your complaining.
Take the following ingredients and zap them in the food processor until smooth:
white beans (minus 3/4 C for topping of flatbread)
pinch of salt
You just made white bean hummus which is the “sauce” for the flatbread.
Asparagus should be washed, trimmed and tossed with a splash of EVOO, then turned out onto a hot grill, or in a grill pan until just warm, they should be crispy, semi-raw still, they will be cooked again in a hot second.
Fire the naan for a few minutes in a 400 degree oven to crisp it up just a little.
Apply “sauce” to naan bread, then onions, reserved white beans, asparagus and top with provolone cheese. Toss back into hot oven until cheese melts. Season with a bit of black pepper.
Posted in Bread, Leftovers, Less is more, Quick Cooking, Recipes
Tagged caramelized onions, cheese, chipotle, cook, create, delish, EVOO, flatbread pizza, food processor, freezer, garlic, grilled asparagus, lemon juice, lemon zest, Mr. Wonderful, mr. wonderful approved, naan, oregano, Provolone, recipe, red epper flakes, salt, seasonal cooking, tahini, vegetarian, white beans, yum