Saturday, September 25, 2010

Roasted Vegetable and Tofu Curry

 This is an easy meal to make, tasty, and inexpensive.  Plus, it's a good way to use up vegetables you may have on hand.

  • 1 lb package firm tofu
  • ½ head cauliflower
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 Tbl vegetable or olive oil
  • ½ large onion (or 1 medium onion), diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbl Curry Powder
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup raisins or dried currents
  • 2 Tbl cornstarch
  • ½ cup water
  • Salt, to taste  
  • Cooked rice
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Remove excess moisture from Tofu:  Slick Tofu block in half cross-wise so that you have two slaps of Tofu about ¾-inch thick.  Lay down a section of newspaper the put a paper towel on top.  Lay the Tofu slabs on top of the paper towels.  Place another paper towel on top and another section of newspaper.  Then lay a cookie sheet on top of that and weigh it down with cans from the pantry.  Leave for about 20 minutes.  Then cut Tofu into chunks (not too small)
  3. Meanwhile, wash and cut vegetables into chunks (not too small).
  4. Spray a rimmed cookie sheet with vegetable oil spray and lay out all of the vegetables and Tofu in a single layer.  Spray top of vegetables with oil spray
  5. Roast vegetables and Tofu in Oven for about 20-25 minutes, turning over halfway.
  6. While vegetables/tofu are roast, make sauce:  In a large pan, heat oil and then add onions and bell pepper, saute until onion starts to turn light brown.  Add garlic and continue cooking for another minute.  Add Curry powder and Cinnamon and cook for about 30 seconds to bring out flavor.  Add two cups chicken stock and bring to boil.  Mix cornstarch with ½ cup water and gently pour into boiling sauce stirring constantly so as to avoid clumps.  When thickened, remove from heat.  Taste and add salt to taste.
  7. When vegetables and tofu are roasted, add them to stock and gently stir so that all of the vegetables are coated with sauce
  8. Serve with hot rice
  • For a fully vegetarian meal, substitute apple juice for chicken stock.
  • For a more meat-atarian meal, substitute chicken for Tofu.  Use beef stock, add a dash of Thai fish sauce, and saute some bacon to sprinkle on top - so as to use as many animals as possible.
  • Try other vegetables (whatever you have on hand):  Eggplant, potato, squash, etc.
  • I like Madras curry powder - but any good curry powder will do
  • Try serving with Couscous instead of rice

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I've been having a hankering for gumbo lately. My wife an I were at Fish City Grill a week or so ago so I ordered a cup of gumbo. Unfortunately, it had a burnt flavor; so, I sent it back (something I very rarely do). They replaced it with a cup of crab bisque, which was quite good - but it didn't satisfy my gumbo hankering.

The weather cooled down a bit; so, I decided to make some gumbo. As usual, I looked up several Gumbo recipes and then concocted my own.  So, here is my Gumbo recipe inspired by Alton Brown, Emeril Lagasse, Paula Dean, & Rachel Ray.

BTW, the shrimp and oyster Po'boy's at Fish City Grill are very tasty.

  • 2 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp ground thyme
  • ½ cup oil
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ red pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 boneless (half) chicken breasts (about 1 - 1½ pounds), cubed
  • 1 pound cooked andouille sausage, cut into ½-inch slices
  • 2 cups frozen okra
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Cooked rice
  • Filé powder
  1. Mix rub ingredients together and then mix with chicken cubes, being sure to coat each cube.  Refrigerate until ready to use
  2. To make rue:  In a cast iron (or other heavy) dutch oven, mix together ½ cup oil and ½ cup flour.  Place in oven preheated to 350 degrees and bake 1½ hours, whisking 2 or 3 times while baking.  Rue should be a nice creamy chocolate color.
  3. Remove dutch oven from oven and place on stove top over medium heat.  Add onion, pepper, and celery (the holy trinity) and saute until onion is transluant
  4. Add stock, tomatoes, and water and whisk thrououghly.  Continue cooking over medium heat, whisking frequently, until thickened.
  5. Meanwhile, in a frying pan, fry sausage until browned, remove sausage and add to gumbo
  6. Then cook chicken in the oil rendered from the sausage, when cooked through add to gumbo
  7. Add okra and bay leaves to gumbo
  8. Simmer for 30 minutes (or longer)
  9. Remove bay leaves and serve with cooked rice and Filé powder (to sprinkle on top)
  • Kudoes to Alton Brown for the idea of baking the rue - it's so easy to burn when doing it on the stove top
  • I prefer red pepper over green, but green pepper will suffice
  • Any smoked sausage (like kielbasa) can be substituted; although, I prefer something spicy
  • This gumbo is not very spicy, so add some tabasco sauce if you want to spice it up a bit