Friday, July 11, 2008

Steamed Earl Grey Artichoke, Miso Roasted Potatoes, and Soy-Yuzu Tofu

artichoke potatoes and tofu

This is the kind of stuff that Optimistic calls comfort food. She grew up eating healthy like this, and from time to time we have to bust out the potatoes and veggies to keep her optimistic, so to speak.

This is all original, so we can post the whole recipe!

Part One: Miso Roasted Potatoes

1 Tablespoon each of Honey, Yellow Miso, Cider Vinegar and Olive oil, (you might want to do two tablespoons of oil, it will stick less,) mixed together and set aside.

3 or 4 peeled cloves of garlic chopped in half
10 pearl onions, peeled, ends cut off
About a pound and a half of potatoes, cut up into dice. Nice waxy ones would be killer, but all we had were starchy plain old Russets. (We always have some Russets around. They keep remarkably well in the fridge, although Jeffrey Steingarten swears that they will convert more of their starch to sugar if left in the fridge... To be absolutely honest, I've never noticed a negative effect, or an overly sweet russet, but then again, they don't stay in there for long, because potatoes of any sort are in trouble if Optimistic is home.)

Toss the potatoes, onions, and garlic into an oven-proof pan. Pour the miso dressing over the potatoes and toss until evenly covered. I tend to line the pan with foil, and make a little packet, because this makes cleaning the pan easier. Close the packet and cook for 20 minutes in a hot oven (425 degrees or so.) Then open the packet carefully, shake the potatoes around, and finish until the potatoes are cooked, probably 20 to 30 minutes more. They will brown a little as well. They may stick to the foil.

Part Two: Earl Grey Artichokes.

Right after you open the packet on the potatoes, start the artichokes.

Steam the artichokes in whatever fashion you employ at your home, just add a tablespoon or two of Earl Grey tea to the steaming water. Steam the artichokes until a knife goes in easily. For monster chokes like these, that'll be about thirty minutes. Stop every ten minutes and add a little more water. The addition of the tea (with its tamarind-citrus evoking oil of bergamot,) does remarkable things to the flesh of the choke. They get so tasty that we eat them straight, without salt or mayo.

Part Three: Soy-Yuzu Tofu.

1 half pound of tofu, drained well and cut into 1 inch rectangles.
Marinade: 2 Tablespoons each of soy sauce, Nigori (unfiltered) sake, and worchestershire sauce (they make a vegan variety which is pretty good, but I do have a preference for Lea and Perrins, anchovies and all) plus two or three dashes of Yuzu concentrate and a crushed garlic clove.

Put the tofu slices into a container with the marinade. Let them sit for a while (the last 20 to 30 minutes while artichokes are steaming is pretty good, it only needs to sit for 10 minutes or so.)

So, about ten minutes before everything is done, heat around a tablespoon of oil in a non-stick skillet, take the tofu out of the marinade and cook the tofu for five minutes per side, until brown. After you flip the tofu, you can opt to pour in the reserved marinade and let it thicken a bit into a sauce, but this isn't necessary, the tofu will be plenty tasty on its own.

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