Saturday, September 26, 2009


I really like tofu. I like trying new recipes for tofu. But I have awful luck with pan-fried tofu recipes. They almost NEVER turn out like they should. So many say "cook 3-4 minutes until golden brown and crispy" but I cannot get marinated tofu to brown in less than 15-20 minutes and it splatters like crazy making a mess of the range and the floor. It might get a little crispy, but as soon as I add a sauce, it gets chewy and soft. I've tried coating tofu in egg and flour or breadcrumbs, but the coating gets soggy or falls off and it sticks and splatters. I've tried "deep" frying, in an inch or two of oil, and it's okay, but both me and the house stink afterward.

Well, I think I made some awesome tofu two nights ago for pad thai. I'm really excited about the recipe, and think it's going to be my go-to method now for crispy tofu.

Crispy Tofu

1 block extra-firm tofu cut into 1/2-inch cubes and blotted dry

1/2 c cornstarch
1 tsp garlic salt
few sprinkles ground pepper
red pepper flakes to taste

Mix dry ingredients. Put tofu in big bowl, pour dry ingredients over top. Gently toss, shake, swirl tofu until each piece is totally coated with the cornstarch mixture. Add more cornstarch if necessary. Heat about a quarter inch of canola oil in a non-stick skillet over med-high heat. I usually add one piece of tofu and see if it really sizzles when added. Carefully slip tofu into skillet, piece by piece, and turn when golden brown (about 3-5 minutes depending on heat). I made two batches because I have a little skillet.

I ate about 1/4 of the tofu before adding it to to the pad thai. It was crunchy, salty, spicy, fried, and delicious. After tossing it with the sauce, it did soften up a little, but still crunched.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

caramel attempt one

I was craving caramel apples last week so I looked up a few recipes. 101 cookbooks website had a delicious-looking recipe
and this one on epicurious looked amazing. I compromised and used ingredients from both, although I can't quite remember the ratio. I added half&half, butter, brown sugar, honey, and salt. I had a heck of a time... the mixture looked really curdled after it came to a boil. I'm not sure if it's because I used half&half instead of heavy cream, brought it to a high temperature too quickly, or because I only made 1/2 cup of caramel sauce. Regardless, it looked gross when I took it off the heat but really came together after setting the pan on ice water and cooling while whisking. I ate it all. I'll keep working on this recipe because I think it'll be worth it once done just right :).