Making dinner, a little at a time: Stir-Fried Tofu and Peppers
I’m making Stir-Fried Tofu and Peppers, by Martha Rose Shulman, whose recipes I tend to like: they are on the healthful end of the spectrum.
I prep a little at a time for most recipes, and in this case it is essential. First, I put the block of (firm or extra firm) tofu on a dishtowel, wrap the towel around it, put a small cutting board on it, and then a large (28 oz) can of tomatoes on the board as a weight. This removes excess water from the tofu. That starts shortly after noon, and from time to time I go and wrap the tofu on a fresh section of towel, replace board and weight (the can), and return to my chair.
Around 4:00, I start prep seriously. I make the tofu marinade and the sauce for the dish (in separate bowls, natch). I slice the tofu into the dominoes (you can also grate it, and that’s pretty good), and put tofu into marinade, to be stirred from time to time.
I always make a double recipe, since the tofu I buy comes in 1-lb chunks, and as you can see from the cooking times, all prep and measuring must be done before the cooking begins. A double recipe would call for 4 red bell peppers and 2 green bell peppers, but obviously you can substitute. I used 3 red bell peppers, 2 yellow bell peppers, and 1 green bell pepper: 6 peppers total, for a double recipe. I imagine you could neak a jalapeño or two in there as well.
The times: Stir-fry for 2 minutes (but for a double recipe in a 10″ cast-iron skillet, I went for 8 minutes), add garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 20 seconds, add tofu etc. and stir-fry 2 minutes, then add sauce, cover, and cook 3 minutes: total time is 7 minutes 30 seconds for the recipe, though obviously my cooking times were longer. Still, prep must be complete before you begin.
I always use more garlic than recipes call for (I can’t taste any garlic in the prescribed amounts), and of course I use no noodles or rice: low-carb diet. So the double recipe serves two, in effect, since the calories from noodles/rice are absent.
I’m enjoying a very nice Bourbon Old Fashioned, a favorite cocktail except for having to crush the ice. I possible should get an ice crusher, although the ice-tapper works pretty well once you learn it. (Mine is much older model, but the principle’s the same.)
An Old Fashioned is a cocktail (no water, soda, or other mixer), not a highball: rye (in the original) or bourbon (in mine), a little sugar syrup (easier than a sugar cube), and a dash of bitters over cracked ice.
And I need it after days like today. The news is highly interesting but very draining.
My Paprika Recipe Manager now has 182 recipes, and they are generally low in carbohydrates (e.g., no pasta, no pizza, no bread, no rice, no noodles, etc.). If you have that program, I’m happy to export for you the recipes in their current state. Most are from Cooking.NYTimes.com, but generally modified by me, particularly after I try them and figure out better (for me) proportions and procedures.