Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Fancy Midweek Dinner For Absolutely No Reason

Well, there is one reason - that I decided to get a roll of polenta. I've been wanting to try it for a while, and finally did. Since it doesn't go by itself, I had to come up with something to put on it, so I figured out something that incorporated vegetables we had in the fridge, it came out quite good: Polenta with goat cheese and caramelized onions on crusted tofu, sitting among fire-colored vegetables. I'd say delicious, but I'm not sure Mark would agree. He thinks the polenta should be enhanced further. I thought the goat cheese and caramelized onions were very good for it. You should try it and see which one of us is right!

I really ought to get some green herbs for decoration...

It's very easy to make:

slice 1/2" slices and fry them in a pan with a tiny little bit of olive oil, spread some goat cheese on top and put in the toaster oven to melt, then top with caramelized onions.

Crusted Tofu:
cut tofu (~9 oz) to 1/2" thick squares, and dry.
In a small bowl combine: 2 T soy sauce, 1/2 T oyster sauce, and 1/2 T mustard.
ladel sauce on tofu pieces, both sides, then dip the edges in the bowl, and transfer to a plate with 1/4 c Italian bread crumbs. Fry in a pan over medium - high heat with a little bit of olive oil until golden brown and crisp.

** I kept the tofu and the polenta in the toaster oven while I worked on the other stuff, to keep them warm, and added the goat cheese just a few minutes before we sat to eat. **

Fire-Colored Vegetables:
Dice 1 red bell pepper, 1 orange bell pepper, and a tomato (or use cherry tomatoes). Saute in a pan over medium-high with some olive oil, adding the tomatoes last. Spice it up with some herbs - oregano, basil, thyme - and salt and pepper.

Caramelized onion:
Cut 1/2 onion to thin wedges and saute in a little bit of butter. When it softens, add a little bit (1 t) of sugar. keep sauteing until golden brown.

It may seem like a lot of things, but really, it's quite simple! I liked it a lot.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Food in Switzerland

First of all, Luxemburgerli:

Sweet, little melt-in-the-mouth thingies. The passion fruit was the best! Can only find them in Switzerland. Fortunately, there's one place in Tempe that sells something similar (the French macaron)!

On my last night, there were no hotel rooms available because of the carnival, so I stayed with Flore, a graduate student in Mathias Koelliker's lab. She was so nice, and made me some ratatouille! She should know how to make it - she's French!

Of course, it was accompanied by a glass of wine :)

Here's how I think she made it:
2 zucchinis
1/2 orange bell pepper
1/2 yellow bell pepper

they were all coarsely chopped, and cooked in a pan, adding them leisurely, one at a time, starting with the onion, of course. Olive oil was added liberally, and also herbes de Provence mix. Simple and quick! Serve with rice.