As of Thursday this was the state of Nikita’s new home. She’s still waiting on getting her kitchen back..
I’m not one to follow trends. However, there’s several trends in food that I can get behind. Donuts are huge right now! Oysters…I’ll pass. Ramen, and why not? Another big trend is bowls. Everything goes into a single bowl. Not all mixed together but lovingly piled on section by section. I assume this idea was created by someone with O.C.D. Judgment aside, I decided to give this bowl thing a try. Oh, and ramen. So this is a twofer. I found a recipe in the January 2016 Bon Appetite magazine and put my own spin on it. This is a busy recipe, normally not my style. But I gave it a go!
The Noodle Bowl: Cook two 5.5-oz. servings fresh or dried ramen noodles. During the last minute of cooking, add 4 cups torn escarole ( I used fresh baby spinach). Drain, rinse under cold water. Toss noodles, escarole, and 3 Tbsp. Roasted Garlic Chili Sauce (recipe to follow) in a large bowl until coated; season with salt. Divide between 2 bowls, and arrange everything else on top.
The following recipes are what I went with for the noodle bowl:
1 bunch scallions
2 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. cumin seed
1 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
Trim both ends of scallions and cut in half crosswise. Pack into a 1-pint heatproof jar.
Toast mustard, coriander, and cumin seeds in a dry small saucepan over medium-low heat, tossing often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add to jar.
Bring vinegar, sugar, and salt to a simmer in same saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Pour brine over scallions and seal jar. Chill at least 1 day before using. Makes 1pint.
Spicy Tofu Crumbles
1 lb. extra-firm tofu, sliced 3/4″ thick
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Fresno Chile, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. mirin
2 Tbsp. Sriracha or gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
2 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger
Arrange tofu slices in a single layer on a paper towel-lined plate and cover with a few more paper towels. Press down firmly on tofu with your hands to expel excess liquid.
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron. Cook tofu, turning once, until browned, 7-10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
Meanwhile, whisk Chile, soy sauce, mirin, Sriracha, vinegar, sesame oil, and ginger in a medium bowl to combine.
Crumble tofu into small pieces and add to bowl; toss to combine. Makes about 1 1/2 cups
Roasted Garlic Chili Sauce
1 red bell pepper, halved lengthwise, seeds and ribs removed
2 Fresno Chile’s, seeds removed if desired
1 head garlic, halved crosswise
2 small shallots, peeled
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 cup ( or more) unseasoned rice vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. honey
Preheat oven to 425°. Toss bell peppers, Chile’s, garlic, shallots, and oil on a rimmed baking sheet to coat; season with salt. Turn garlic cut side down and roast until peppers and chiles are softened and blistered in spots, 10-15 minutes. Let cool.
Squeeze garlic cloves out of their skins into a food processor. Add bell pepper, chiles, shallots, vinegar, and honey and process until smooth. Taste chili sauce and season with more salt and vinegar if needed. Makes about 1 1/2 cups. This is the sauce for the ramen.
Add ins: thinly sliced radish (mine froze so I used cucumbers and carrots) and chopped peanuts
It seems busy, fussy, complicated. It really isn’t! Some food trends are worth trying
Serves 3 to 4
14 oz pkg extra-firm tofu, frozen and thawed
1/3 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
black pepper, to taste
1 large egg
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs or panko
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
2 cups Smooth Pasta Sauce or your favorite, plus more for serving
4 thin slices provolone or mozzarella, about 4 oz
2 Tbsp Parmesan, shredded
1 lb pasta of choice, if desired
Remove the thawed tofu from the package. Place the tofu on a plate, cover with another plate, and put some weight like a large can of tomatoes or a jar of pasta sauce on top of the plate to press. Refrigerate and leave for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight, checking occasionally to drain off any water that’s collected on the plate.
Alternatively, if you’re pressed for time (no pun intended) you can use right from the package. It just won’t have quite as firm a texture.
When the tofu is ready you’re going to create 6 slabs. Cut in half lengthwise. Then take each half, flip it on its end, and carefully cut into 3 pieces.
99, Ames and gigi
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