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Tomato-Peanut Sauce over Tofu and Rice

For GreenSheep and anyone else who really likes peanut butter soup.

Adapted from this recipe and this recipe.

Ingredients:

About 2 cups of cooked brown rice.

1 block firm tofu, cubed and browned

2 large shallots, peeled and diced small

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced small

4 large roma tomatoes, sliced in half, seeds and liquid squeezed out, diced small

3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

4 heaping tablespoons crunchy peanut better

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon salt

Pinch of cumin

Pinch of tumeric

1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

Canola oil

Heat canola oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat.  Throw in shallots, garlic, and jalapeno.  Cook until nearly tender.

Add tomato, cover, reduce heat and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add spices and soy sauce, cook for another 3 minutes.

Add peanut butter, and stir until melted and blended.  Remove from heat.

Wait about a minute for sauce to cool down, then stir in basil.

Spoon sauce over tofu and rice.  Goes nicely with a salad.

The Most Insufferable One Yet

You need — no, you have the right — to unlimited narcissism.

I mean, “a billion roving photojournalists…” capturing “the entire gallery of humanity….”?  I don’t know if my eyes can even roll that far up.

They might as well just be direct about it and say: this phone service contract will make you fucking important.  It’s not like they’re being subtle, so they could at least cut away the grandiose nonsense and get to the damn point.

In which I Feel Old.

Right before busy season, my firm always hires about 12 interns to do basic data entry and other low-level audit and tax stuff.  My boss loves using interns because they’re cheap, and my auditor counterpart and I love interns because they’re usually much closer to our age than the other full-time staff, who are generally middle-aged.  And since we won’t have much of a social life for the next 3 months or so, it’s nice to know there will be at least a couple of people in the break room who don’t just want to talk about their kids’ soccer games and their spouses’ health problems.

So I’m helping this new intern with some fixed asset stuff today, and we’re kind of chatting in between his questions, and he looks at the facility list of this client and points to a hotel they own and says,

“Oh!  That’s where my prom was.”

To which I laughingly reply that I don’t even remember where my prom was held, it feels like it was so long ago.

To which he laughingly replies that he’d be pretty worried if he couldn’t remember something from a year and half ago.

To which I…WAIT. WHAT?

“How old are you?”

“I’m 19.”

Holy fucking shit, you guys.   I didn’t even realize that being 19 was something people even did anymore.  I thought that shit went out of fashion along with Dick Cheney jokes waaaaaaaay back in ’07.  But apparently it’s experiencing some sort of vintage revival among people who were born in nineteen-ninety…wait for it…FOUR, Jesus H.

And here I am just talking to this guy like he’s a normal dude, like it’s no big deal, like he wasn’t four fucking years old when Ken Starr jokes were in fashion.

I’ve pretty much been the youngest person in the room ever since I started working full-time at 18.  Even when I went back to school, I took night classes, so I was almost always a good 5 years younger than any of the other students.  So this is kind of a weird thing to adjust to.

I Have Invented a New Kind of Hummus!

Because I am a dumb-ass who mistakenly buys sunflower seeds instead of sesame seeds.

If I were my mother, I would be buying Sudoku books in bulk right now to ward off the Alzheimer’s.

But I am not that prudent.

Or that paranoid.

Or that good with puzzles.

And it’s still really good hummus.  So there’s that.

The food that ate my weekend.

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My love of black-eyed peas is intense, and my love for any sort of food prepared in a fritter format is epic, so acaraje’ seemed like they’d be a slam dunk.

So!  All day Saturday tracking down red palm oil, which all of the recipes insist is crucial to the taste.  If you’re in the Portland area and you need to find the one, elusive store that carries red palm oil, I’m about to be the best thing that that’s ever happened to you.  Give me a call.

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Then!  All day Sunday skinning black-eyed peas.  The most tedious task I’ve ever undertaken in my life.  Just pull and separate, pull and separate, over and over on 500 peas.  And the skins end up all over the place. 

But worth it.  They’re delicious: crisp yet smooth, and gently briny.  Except I don’t really notice the red palm oil, so next time I’m just going to lightly fry them in olive oil and then bake them the rest of the way.  Palm oil’s expensive and clogs your arteries. 

 

My Favorite Sad Song.

I’m working from home today because I’m a little bit hungover, and it’s all overcast and rainy outside, so this seems like a great day to post my favorite song to wallow along to when I’m feeling down.

Ostensibly, of course, this is a happy song about being young and starting a life with someone you love and taking a moment to feel the wonder and revel in all of the potential and possibility.  It was originally written as a jingle for a home mortgage lender advertisement, in fact.

But long stretches of the melody are surprisingly melancholy, and the lyrics are so naively optimistic that you just feel sorry for them.  And then, God, there’s Karen.  Her voice is so tender it’s heartbreaking, and knowing now that she didn’t have so much of life ahead makes listening to her sing those words that much more sad.

Have you guys heard that Kris Kristofferson song “Sunday Morning Coming Down“?  Listening to We’ve Only Just Begun on a gray hungover day makes you feel like the guy in that song.  Like it’s too late for you.

I just spent 3 hours going back and forth across town in the frigid cold trying to track down Indian black salt, which a bunch of vegan recipe sites recommend to give tofu an egg-like flavor.   Whole Foods, New Seasons, Zupan’s, Pastaworks, and every single other high-end shop that carries specialty salts and/or caters to vegans in Portland that I could think of.  None of them had it.

I finally found it for 99 cents/lb at the tiny little halal market 10 blocks from my apartment.

Jesus H.

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