March 3, 2013
For the frittata-uninitiated, these are basically quiches without crusts — firm, cakelike omelets cooked slowly over low heat. My first efforts at these resulted in scrambled eggs, but a good frittata actually can be super simple and surprisingly classy for something so packed full of good things. Tips to simplify:
- The right hardware: A big, cured skillet is best for this recipe since the frittata turns out particularly attractive if you sit it under the broiler for a minute or two, and I don’t trust teflon or the “wrap the plastic handle in foil” method not to do nasty things in the oven.
- Butter is better: If your skillet isn’t (or is) well cured, barely-browning some butter in the bottom of the pan right before you pour in the egg mix will help it stay loose and come out a little easier.
- Implements that help: A big, flexible pancake spatula is also a plus here, as is one of those knives that looks like a soft-cheese knife but has very good, small serrations on the bottom for astoundingly excellent julienne-slicing.
- Shortcut: For the faint of heart or accident-prone [me], the baking method also works: butter a deep pie dish, do whatever stovetop prep is necessary to get the veggies where you want them, and pop the whole thing, uncovered, into a 350° oven for, say, 30min.
Spinach, Red Pepper, Onion, and Feta Frittata:
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, halved vertically and thinly sliced
- 2 red bell pepper, quartered lengthwise and sliced very thinly
- 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed out (I up it to 15oz)
- 5 large eggs
- 1/4 to 1/2 c crumbled feta
- optional: 1 Tbsp pre-grated parmesan
- optional: 1/4 c to 1/2 c chopped fresh parsley, or 1-2 Tbsp dried (I omit this)
- 1 tsp italian seasoning (I used 1 heaping tsp)
- Pepper to taste or a pinch of crushed chili pepper (the egg can handle it)
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- Pop the spinach in a bowl in the microwave on half-power to start it thawing. Meanwhile, chop everything. More Frittata goodness
December 2, 2010
Marinades easily, simply, & brilliantly get tofu to “pop” with flavor. If you get the marinade going ahead of time, they’re also fast.
Squeeze or drain the tofu very well beforehand, slice it (see below), put in a watertight lunch container with the marinade ingredients, and refrigerate for 1/2 hour or more (1 hour is better), shaking or turning upside-down every 15-30 min (you can even open the container up and rearrange things to help ensure maximum absorption).
To pan-sear: Cut tofu into 3/4-inch cubes and marinade. Once marinaded, arrange, sans oil, in your favorite super-nonstick, tofu-friendly pan and sear each side until firm and crunchy (should be the color of medium to well-done toast, but not burnt).
To bake: Preheat oven to 400° F. Cut tofu into 1/2 slices, then slice crosswise into strips 1/4 to 3/8 inches wide and 2 to 3 inches long. Prick on both sides with a fork, marinade, then place in a nonstick or lightly-oiled baking sheet, reserving any unabsorbed marinade if serving tofu on its own. Cover sheet with parchment paper or foil and bake 30-45+ minutes (depending on how dry you want it), turning ever 15 min or so. If serving tofu on its own, after baking, add back the reserved liquid and test seasoning to add more sauce or herbs as necessary.
- Timing: I like to put together the marinade before going out on a run or hike; after I’ve cleaned up, the tofu is ready to cook for an easy dinner, along with rice (or pasta) and a salad.
- Tofu: I like Trader Joe’s firm tofu because it’s in 2 containers for easy halving and is more amicable to getting the juice REALLY pressed out of it. For Azumaya tofu I cut out the top label along the inner edge of the tofu container, then use the plastic to press the tofu down while I squeeze from the sides. Instead of squeezing, the tofu-wary &/or faint of heart can just slice the tofu and put it between two plates, bottom plate tilted to drain, with some books on top (takes longer, though).
- Meat Eaters: Most of these are equally superb with tofu or chicken, but if you’re going with real meat, cut the soy sauce down by half, add another tablespoon of oil, and marinade overnight or up to 3 days, depending on how juicy and tender you want the results to be. For longer-marinaded items slated for the barbecue, be careful not to cook at too high a heat, or the juicy middles will stay undercooked while the outsides burn. Easy solution: halve breasts lengthwise-flatwise before marinading. Obviously, always discard marinade used for meat; never use it for anything afterward. If you need additional marinade, make a separate batch that won’t touch the raw stuff.
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November 28, 2010
Originally a pork glaze, this recipe evolved through 2 or 3 of my friends and acquaintances to make something truly wondrous out of the common-or-garden Tofurkey. Great on its own as a normal glaze, it also combines incredibly well with the Tofurkey’s gravy to make a sweet, tasty sauce. (See the end of this post for easy vegetarian side-dish suggestions for a vegetarian “traditional” Thanksgiving.)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small white onion, sliced pretty thin and then chopped stir-fry style
- 3/4 cup vegetable broth (save the rest of the broth for stuffing)
- 1 can cranberry sauce
- 2 Tbsp rosemary
- Zest of 1 orange
- Juice of 1/2 large (or 1 small) orange
- 2-3 large carrots, chopped
- 1-2 lb red potatoes (5-7 of the little kind), chopped into large cubes
1. Sauté the onion in the oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, cranberry sauce, rosemary, and orange zest and juice and bring to a boil, mixing thoroughly.
Reduce heat and simmer until sauce loses its watery texture and just starts to congeal into a jelly-like texture.
2. Remove gravy from heat and make stuffing.
3. Prepare the Tofurkey:
Stuff (or don’t stuff) tofurkey, as you prefer.
Arrange Tofurkey in a medium-sized baking dish, surrounding it with chopped carrots and potatoes.
Pour over everything the vegan “giblet” gravy that came with the tofurkey, then pour the cranberry mix over everything as well.
Cover baking dish with foil. Wrap stuffing in foil, separately, as well.
Bake Tofurkey for 45 min to 1 hour, until vegetables are cooked, adding foil-wrapped stuffing in for the final 30 min.
4. To serve, slice Tofurkey VERY thin. Place vegetables and cranberry gravy into a separate dish.
What to make with this for a simple but “complete” vegetarian traditional-Thanksgiving dinner (some of these aren’t vegan):