Saturday, March 6, 2010

Friday part 3 - Squash Sesame Noodles with Fried Tofu

Ok is anyone still with me? Friday was a big day for cooking, it just turned out that way.

Not long after I finished the pretzels, it was getting to be dinner time! A while back, Jenean made a garlicky puree of this big squash we had - the squash itself had a really dense, dry texture, making a very thick puree (she roasted it first, then put it in the food processor). Because it was so thick, she didn't end up needing all of it for her recipe (a yummy baked penne with ricotta, the squash puree and mushrooms), so we had some in the fridge, waiting for someone to need it.

Meanwhile, I was sending my friend Lettuce (code name from 1st grade has finally come in handy!) some fast and easy Mark Bittman recipes I've saved but never made... and realized I could make this one with the leftover sqaush. My favorite thing about Mark Bittman recipes is that once you get the idea, you don't actually have to look at the recipe [sheepish foot shuffling and shrugging]. The idea I got from this one was to make sesame noodles (like, the kind where the main ingredient is peanut butter, plus things like toasted sesame oil, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, etc.) with pureed roasted squash in it. So here's what I did:

In a blender I whirred up about a tablespoon of chopped ginger with a little rice wine vinegar and some water, maybe 1/2 a cup, trying to break up the ginger.
Then I added some of Jenean's squash puree, maybe 2 cups. It was already really garlicky, otherwise I would have added some fresh chopped garlic along with the ginger.
It was super thick so I added some water.
Then some natural style peanut butter - maybe 1/2 cup, it was all I had left, might have put more if I had more...
Then some toasted sesame oil (a tablespoon or more), soy sauce, and a little more water till it was sauce consistency. It was really tasty just like this - sweet, salty, nutty, gingery, garlicky and... squashy.
Then I threw the pasta in the boiling water - we had some whole grain pasta which seemed like a good match for the sauce.

Then I cubed up my tofu after dutifully drying it off, 1 inch cubes.
In a really hot pan, I put in some olive oil and laid the tofu in all careful like.
I chopped up some more ginger, because I was worrying things weren't gingery enough.
I'll admit it - flipped those little cubes of tofu one at a time. There were 24 of them, I counted. Once they were flipped I threw in the ginger, tossed it all around, drizzled in some soy sauce.

I let the pasta cook past the al dente stage - that's how Cook's Illustrated says to do it, let it get nice and soft - then it's good hot OR cold. I drained it (saving some of the cooking water) and threw it back in the pan and tossed it with some olive oil and some more toasted sesame oil (I can basically never get enough of this stuff), then poured in the squash sauce, some of the pasta water till it was nice and loose looking, and then threw in the fried tofu and some sliced scallions. It sure turned out orange. I think we got a lot of beta carotene up in there. Jenean and Axel F cleaned their plates.

1 comment:

  1. Elaine's DadMarch 7, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    Any left overs??

    Your blog looks great and your recipes are greater. Mom loves your parentetical comments. I thnk they're ok.