Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Lesbian That Doesn't Eat Tofu, How is That Possible?

I may have had a bite or two here and there but essentially I haven't ever really had tofu. I know it is the food of my people, so how is that possible. I could list a million reason but the truth is, I find tofu uninspiring, boring and of an odd texture. It sort of grosses me out. This past Wednesday I was invited to our friends Mara and Miryam's for dinner. I love these two people and spending time with them is one of my most favorite things to do. When they asked if I liked tofu I had to admit I had really never had it, other than a bite off of a plate of a friend who had ordered tofu. "A lesbian that has never had tofu, how is that possible" they both asked. So in the spirit of changing that I said I would love to try it. I will admit I was apprehensive about my tofu debut. Miryam made grilled tofu kabobs and I enjoyed them, I enjoyed them quite a bit, so much so that I agreed to take a kabob home which I divided up into salads I made for myself for my work weekend. Yes, I even like the cold tofu. So, I took the adventure one step further when Tina invited our 15 year old niece, recently gone vegetarian for dinner. Informed of this invitation at nearly 9:30 last night I did a quick internet study, I needed extra firm tofu and I needed it then. I sent Tina off to the store so I could continue my study. Following what seemed to be very good directions I drained the tofu, placed it on a plate and put our cast iron skillet on top. 30 minutes later, nearly a cup of liquid had oozed from this weird mass. I cut it into cubes and marinated it in traditional BBQ sauce, GF of course. 16 hours later the cubes were swelling and I threaded them on to skewers with onions, mushrooms, and peppers and then grilled them. They were stunning and according to Taylor, who surely knows a great deal more about tofu than I do, they were very tasty and the best tofu she had ever had. I liked them as well.

But, I have to admit the highlight of the dinner was a gluten free curried couscous. That's right gluten free couscous. I first read about this product over at Gluten Free Girl and was immediately intrigued. It is a corn and rice based product made by Bacchini. I love couscous and it is one of those things I do miss a great deal. I am not really a fan of quinoa which is considered a top choice gluten free substitute for couscous. You can imagine my delight when I learned about this product. The down side of course is that it is impossible to find and I had to order it from a spot in Seattle. This is a menu I will repeat, grilled tofu and couscous.

Gluten Free Curried Couscous

1 1/2 cups Bacchini gluten free CousCous
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups boiled water
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup minced parsley
3/4 cup dried cranberry, or any dried fruit you like
1 cup blanched slivered almonds, toasted
1 bunch scallions, sliced, white and green parts
1/2 cup diced red onion

Place couscous in a medium container with a tight fitting lid. Melt the butter in the boiling water and pour over the couscous. Cover tightly and allow the couscous to soak for 5 minutes, fluff with a fork. Whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, curry, turmeric, salt and pepper. Pour over the fluffed couscous and mix well. Add the carrots, parsley, dried fruit, almonds, scallions and red onion, mix well. Serve at room temp. Of course you can vary the additions to anything you like!


GF Gidget said...

I just laughed so hard! You are hilarious! Were you at least wearing "sensible shoes" while making your first "fu" creation? We wouldn't want to completely ruin the stereotype, now would we?

Jenn/CinnamonQuill said...

Ha, glad you got over your tofu virginity. The only times that I have not been satisfied with tofu are when it is used in sweet dishes and, tofu chocolate pudding DOES taste like *tofu* chocolate pudding. To me, at least.

But right now, I'm not sure if I'm more in the mood for curried couscous or those tofu kebabs...why don't you just come over and make dinner for me, deal?

And! Thank you for the kind comment over at CinnamonQuill. Kind of made my day. :)

Jill said...

If you freeze your tofu first, then squeeze out the excess liquid before using it (don't just let it drain, get physical and woman-handle the block) it acquires a spongy, chewy texture that holds up really well in sauces. I use thawed tofu in thai curry dishes and like it a lot. I had it that way in China quite a few times too.