Sunday, August 22, 2010

What does a cooking frenzy look like?

Cooking frenzies have their price... dishwasher can't keep up with me! In the background, you can see I am watching Ina Garten in "The Barefoot Contessa" on... you guessed it... the Food Network.
I had a heck of a cooking frenzy yesterday after pretty much taking a break from cooking on Friday... although I did make some more Zucchini-Banana Bread with Walnuts and Raisins (this time with yellow squash and it turned out great!). I had great intentions of freezing the bread but I don't think it will make it to the freezer... it's magically disappearing. Yesterday I made a pot of chili and a bunch of chicken wings to stock the refrigerator. We had fresh corn on the cob from the Farmer's Market along with home-made pizza for lunch. Yesterday, my big experiment was the vegan meal I've been dreaming up... it with met with some success and some speed bumps along the way.

Orange-Cilantro Basmati Rice
1 cup basmati rice (rinsed and drained)
2 cups water
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
finely grated zest of one naval orange
2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

Bring 2 cups water to a boil; add salt and rice and return to a boil. Cover with a lid and reduce temperature to low. Simmer 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Add orange zest and chopped cilantro. Toss to combine.

***The rice goes well with oven roasted vegetables.***

Oven Roasted Broccoli and Peppers
2 crowns of broccoli, chopped into florets
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive
salt and pepper to taste

Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil (for easy clean up). Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, combine broccoli, peppers, olive oil, salt, and pepper; toss to coat. Spread on prepared roasting pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes (stir half way through cooking time).

*** I made this tofu to go with the rice and veggies. The sauce for the tofu is super good, but I still have a lot to learn about tofu. I also want to learn about seitan and tempeh. Perhaps they would have the texture I am looking for. I am not fond of the tofu, but you might like to try this glaze. It's very yummy and pairs well with the rice and veggies.***

Chipotle-Orange Glaze for Oven Roasted Tofu
3/4 cups orange marmalade
1 1/2 tablespoons chipotle in adobo sauce (diced and mashed up)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon light brown sugar (packed)
Juice of one naval orange (1/3 to 1/2 cup)

Combine the five ingredients in a skillet; stir to combine. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Will reduce and will thicken.

**** This is where my recipe hit a BIG speed bump!

Looks pretty
At this point, I added about 1 pound of extra firm tofu, which I had cubed and drained in a papertowel lined kitchen strainer. I added the tofu to the sauce, stired to coat, and then put the tofu on a aluminium foil lined roasting pan and roasted it in the oven alongside the veggies (noted above). I was disappointed the tofu had the consistency of cubes of scrambled eggs, but the flavors were really good. This recipe is a keeper (at least the rice, veggies, and sauce). Perhaps seitan or tempeh will work better. My friend Harriet has generously invited me to her home to give me a "crash course" in vegetarian/vegan cooking. After eating this tofu, I know I need all the help I can get! Hee, hee!
My lunches for the week.

As I set my camera on the counter, I noticed some interesting shots... Rocky Ford cantelope from the Farmer's Market (from Rocky Ford, Colorado... east of us).  Mini-watermelon (from the grocery store) in the background.
More goods from the Farmer's Market... Palisade Peaches (from Palisades, Colorado)... west and over the mountains from us.  Was going to make jam with these beauties but turns out they are too good for jam... if that's possible!
Another random shot from my cooking frenzy. 
Tub of salad for the fridge... Phew, I am tired... time to go put my feet up and knit!

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