Thursday, September 1, 2011
"Tick, Tick, Tick, Boom"
I'm going vegetarian (temporarily) and no, it's not because I just finished watching the entire first season of Switched At Birth on Netflix (how do you even know about that?!).
Real talk, things have been a little cupcakey around here. Maybe a little bacony, buttery and chocolaty too. And that's fine, it's cool, you know, tasty and all that. But I'm getting kind of... sleepy? Sort of coffee all day, take a three hour nap, eh, do it tomorrow kind of sleepy. And a liiittle heavy legged, kinda twice around the block and let's just walk the way back, who's really gonna know when I go out for a run. Honestly this isn't a surprise since it pretty much happens every year about Christmas time, and Halloween... and maybe a little around Easter...
Only this time... it's September. I usually just ride out all the signs of sugar in the gas tank until I run out of candy canes, or reese's cups or whatever tasty delight I have hanging but... there isn't really a holiday to blame.There's only me and my evil clever hands and what is apparently a one track mind stuck on sugar sugar sugar.
So, what's a hungry girl to do?
Jump start my brain (and metabolism) by going vegetarian for a while. It's this cool tricky challenge that opens up my mind vice to a whole new group of recipes that get me out of my comfort zone. Like this one for crunchy tofu tacos. I'd never actually had the guts to really learn how to deal with tofu before, but once I tried it (and fried it) my boyfriend even cleaned the plate. And I didn't even have to lie and tell him there was bacon in there somewhere. He ate it without explanation. I know, I totally made that face too.
And you know what else new and fancy I tried? Kimchi. Spicy Korean sauerkraut. I'd never tried it before because frankly it sounded gross ( I mean, ferment cabbage, really?) but we're being fearless here, mixing it up, and it is amazing. I am in love in fact. Also, unrelated this is a relationship saver. Pro tip.
And since we're already being so awesome, let's wrap those crunchy kimchi tacos in some rustic homemade tortillas which are totally veg because we swapped out the lard for vegetable oil (oh yes, you can do this no matter what those mean purist guys say.). Homemade tortillas are awesomely easy, it just like making pancakes... if you're Fauna from Sleeping Beauty.
If you're feeling all professional and moneybags you can totally get a tortilla press and make these babies all even and perfectly round but I kind of like the shaggy outcast look these rustic misshapen ones have from being rolled out by hand. Pro tip #2: they will hold your taco fillings either way you go. Count on it.
Crunchy tofu tacos, this is happening. Look out September, we're vegetarian! We're breaking through boundaries, we're mixing it up, we're totally getting our mojo back!
Crunchy Tofu Tacos
Originally by Food and Wine
1 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tbsp chile powder
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp Kosher salt
1 cup cornstarch
2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
12 corn or 5-inch flour tortillas, warmed
Hoisin sauce, spicy kimchi, and sliced scallions for serving (maybe a little srirachi i've you're really feeling froggy)
1. Place the tofu on a rack lined with paper towels and drain for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, chile powder, garlic powder and salt.
2. In a medium, deep skillet, heat the oil until it reaches 365°. Add the tofu to the cornstarch mixture and toss to coat. Transfer the coated tofu to a colander to tap out the excess cornstarch. Fry the tofu in one batch, stirring occasionally, until golden and crunchy, 3 to 3 1/2 minutes; maintain the heat near 360°. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the crunchy tofu to a paper towel lined rack and sprinkle with salt. Serve the tofu right away with the tortillas, hoisin sauce, kimchi, and scallions .
Home Made Tortillas
Original Recipe from Just A Rough Draft
3 cups All Purpose Flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 hot water, almost boiling
Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Make a well in the center and add the vegetable oil then the hot water and, with a wooden spoon, slowly incorporate the dry into the wet until the mixture forms a shaggy dough. Once dough is combined, knead dough until elastic, 2-3 minutes. Cover the dough and set aside for at about 30 minutes.
Roll dough into cylinder, about 1" thick. Cut cylinder in into twelve equal segments. Roll segments into round balls and cover with a towel. Heat large grill or skillet over medium-high heat.
Place a ball in between 2 12" squares of parchment paper and roll balls as thin as possible to form tortillas, 10-12" diameter. Place tortilla on skillet and cook until golden brown, 30 seconds to one minute per side. Remove tortilla when cooked and place in a clean dishtowel to keep warm.
Repeat the last step until all your tortillas are cooked.