Tuesday, July 19, 2011

working girl food: grilled tofu and vegetables red curry

Summers go this way regardless of my employment status.  When they are on this continent, my girls work and whatever that looks like meal times are whenever they are home or whenever I can run things up to their pool (Sara guards at one of our neighborhood pools, very convenient).  Throw in my part-time hours and even I might use a shortcut or two.  Isn't that why Trader Joe's exists?  Seriously, when Greg took a job in Overland Park, KS years ago and we were contemplating a move I immediately wanted to know if there was a TJ's in the neighborhood.  At the time there wasn't one in that state.  Not saying that's the only reason he ended up commuting for seven years.......

So today's post came about after a lovely issue of Fine Cooking magazine taught me how to make curries and we really enjoyed the ones I tried this spring.  Then on a trip to Trader Joe's with Sara we grabbed a bottle of Thai Red Curry sauce.  Looked good.  Nutritionally was an even trade with my scratch version.  And obviously it would be an excellent trade for getting dinner on the table fast.  First try we pan sauteed tofu and stir-fried vegetables.  Kelly was actually home and the three of us destroyed the entire pan.  Bingo.  I'll make curry from scratch again and maybe even blog about it, but not red curry.  The TJ's bottle is amazing!

A few weeks later when I had mastered the art of pressing tofu we tried the tofu on the grill and the vegetables in a grill pan.  Yep, still a winner.  Sure I'm kind of cheating for a food blogger.  I give you my complete approval to cheat with me.  I won't tell if you don't!  

p.s. Trader Joe's and Whole Foods usually have fresh vegetables all cut up and put together for stir-frying if you are really in a hurry.  And we've tried the TJ's curry marinated chicken tenders from the fresh case and grilled them to top a salad with lettuce, red peppers, red onion, edamame and mango.  Also delicious!




grilled tofu and vegetables red curry



Grilled Tofu and Vegetable Red Curry

extra firm tofu
vegetables you like or 
red onion
carrots
broccoli or broccolini
red, yellow or orange pepper
Trader Joe's Thai Red Curry Sauce
optional:  lemongrass, limes, Thai basil or Italian basil
noodles, rice or brown rice

Drain the tofu.  Cut it into equal-sized planks cutting the block in half and then into smaller pieces.  Lay the planks on layers of paper towels or a tea towel for the greener among us.  Cover the planks with additional paper or tea towels.  Place something heavy on top (big pan, stoneware dish or whatever).  Press for at least half an hour to remove most of the liquid from the tofu.  Brush a little olive oil or canola oil on a baking sheet and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.  Lay the planks on the sheet and brush with a bit more oil (I usually still have enough on my brush and the pan to get this done).  

Cut up your vegetables to fairly uniform thickness and size.  Toss with olive oil or canola oil and just a little kosher salt.  

Grill the tofu over medium low heat about 4-5 minutes per side.  Grill the vegetables on a grill tray or in a grill pan (no worries about them falling through the grates and you can more or less stir instead of painstakingly flip) for 10- 15 minutes until softened and browned to your liking.  

Heat the red curry sauce in a pan on your cooktop or grill or even in a container in the microwave.  Whatever works best for you.  Toss the tofu, vegetables and hot sauce together and serve.  If you can find lemongrass (Meijer always has it).  Sliver a little over the curry for serving.  Or serve with limes.  Or use some of your fresh basil from your garden (grow some Thai basil too next year).  You can serve the curry over rice, brown rice or noodles too.  






vegetables on my grill pan


vegetables and tofu on the grill

don't knock it!

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