Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lovin' the Long Weekend

OK - who the heck to do we have to petition to change our work week?  Seriously, I totally think it should be changed to a four day work week - is everyone with me on this?!  I never find that the weekends are long the time that I'm finished all the chores and general house-y type stuff that one has to do to avoid the wrath of our strata, it's like 5pm on Sunday so I get a few hours to sit down before I have to go to bed.   Anyways, I am loving the fact that I still have another day off!

This weekend has been a really busy one so far - yesterday we spent the whole day in the garden, and then I spent a few hours prepping food for the weekly cooking.  I had a ton of cooking to do this week, as we're away next weekend so I had to basically do two week's worth of cooking today...I think I was cooking for almost 6 hours today, in addition to the 2 hours yesterday.  I'm definitely finding that incorporating more vegetarian dishes is adding more time to the cooking as the recipes I've chosen seem to be more labour intensive - I think to add more layers of  flavour so the dishes aren't bland.  Anyways, I'm good with it if it means that Hub's cholesterol numbers get better (Week 3 of Cholesterol Challenge!).

For whatever reason, I'd forgotten that I owned the Rebar cookbook - Rebar Restaurant is this great little place in Victoria where they have great vegetarian food, delish baked goods and amazing smoothies.  If you're ever in these here parts, check it out at  I flipped through it and decided to try the Anaheim Black Bean Burgers, Tuscan White Bean Soup with Rosemary and Kale, and the Shiitake Tofu Potstickers.  I haven't tried the burgers yet so will review once I do, but the soup was a little meh.  It wasn't bad per se, but it tasted a little flat.  The potstickers however...those are another story!

These are FANTASTIC.  A little labour intensive, but the end result is worth it.  They'd be great as an appy for a party with a little soy dip - I improvised and did half soy, half rice vinegar and some pressed garlic.  Hubs couldn't believe how good these were...and said "if this is what going vegetarian tastes like, I'm there!" 

Shiitake Tofu Potstickers with Scallions, Ginger and Cilantro - from Rebar Modern Food Cookbook

1 oz dried shiitake mushrooms
1 block firm tofu, pressed (put tofu between two plates, place can/brick on top for an hour)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp minced ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 scallions, finely minced
1/4 tsp red chile flakes
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cracked pepper
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp minced cilantro
round wonton wrappers
1 tbsp cornstarch
4 tbsp water

Place mushrooms in a bowl and cover wiht boiling water.  Put a small plate on top to keep mushrooms submerged, and soak for one hour.  Drain, cool, and finely shop.

Drain pressed tofu and crumble.  Heats oils in a skillet and saute the garlic, ginger, chile flakes and scallions until golden.  Add crumbled tofu, mushrooms, pepper and soy sauce and saute until the mixture is dry and heated through.  Stir in cilantro.

Whisk cornstarch and water in a small bowl.  Take a wonton wrapper and place a teaspoonful of filling in the center of the wrapper.  Brush some cornstarch water along the edge of the wonton with your finger.  Press the edges together to form a half moon, making sure the filling remains packaged within and all edges are well sealed. 

To cook, heat oil in a heavy skillet until a drop of water bounces and sizzles.  Working with up to 8 potstickers at a time, place them in the hot oil and fry for several minutes until golden.  Turn over, carefully add a few tablespoons of water to the pan and immediately cover with a lid.  Fry for a few more minutes to heat through and crispen.  Drain on a paper towel and repeat with remaining potstickers.

My adjustments:  I doubled the garlic, used 3 tbsp of soy sauce, and added the sesame oil as a flavouring rather than cooking the tofu in it...I find the sesame flavour stays stronger that way.  I also steamed these on a plate in an extra large frying pan that I have, to save time and calories.

Give these a try - you won't be disappointed!!

PS.  28K on the schedule for tomorrow - woot!

No comments: