Friday, February 24, 2006


Whatcha’ Cooking This Last Weekend of February 2006?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Broccoli Risotto Torte

Broccoli Risotto Torte (Serves 6)
8 oz. broccoli, cut into very small florets
(I used 1 ½ cups chopped roasted asparagus)
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large yellow pepper, chopped (didn’t have, omitted)
2 T. olive oil (1 T)
4 T. butter(1 ½ to 2 T)
1-1/4 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
4-1/2 cups stock/broth (4 cups veggie broth)
salt and pepper to taste
4 oz. fresh Parmesan cheese, coarsely grated (1/2 to 2/3 cup mozzarella and 2 oz. crumbled goat cheese)
4 eggs, separated
Cooking spray

1. Blanch broccoli for 3 minutes then drain and reserve.
2. In a large saucepan, gently saute onion, garlic and yellow pepper in the oil and butter for 5 minutes until they are soft.
3. Stir in the rice, cook for a minute then pour in the wine. Cook, stirring the mixture until the liquid is absorbed.
4. Pour in the stock/broth, season well, bring to a boil then lower to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Meanwhile, spray a 10" round deep cake pan and line the base with a disc of waxed paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
6. Stir the cheese into the rice, allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes, then beat in the egg yolks. Stir in broccoli.
7. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks and carefully fold into the rice. Turn into prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour until risen, golden brown and slightly wobbly in the center.
8. Allow the torte to cool in the pan, then chill if serving cold. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and shake out onto a serving plate. (I served this hot, as I don't really like cold eggs. The leftovers are good, and this would make an excellent brunch dish with a salad [or fruit salad] and crusty bread.)

Note: this cut a lot easier once it had cooled for more than 2 minutes (I was hungry and couldn't wait!)
Fresh from the oven

Friday, February 17, 2006

Thai Tofu Curry

I made this beautiful Thai Tofu Curry dish one recent cold winter night. The wiggly golden tofu sticks were paired with stir-fried broccoli and mushrooms, simmered in a red curry paste, garlic, and coconut milk sauce. All of this was laid atop a bed of delicate, but hearty, steamed brown rice, and topped off with shredded cabbage and cashew pieces with a twist of lime. My dinner was loosely based on the following recipe:

Thai Tofu with Red Curry Sauce over Coconut-Scallion Rice

10 dried kaffir lime leaves -- or 1 1/2 tsp lime zest
1 1/4 cups coconut milk
2 3/4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups jasmine rice -- or basmati or regular long-grain white rice
2/3 cup cilantro
2 large garlic cloves -- halved
1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts
1 tablespoon fish sauce -- or 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup canola oil -- or corn oil
3 tablespoons hot chile sauce -- or 2 tbsp chile paste
16 ounces firm tofu -- patted dry and in 1/2" cubes
1/2 bunch broccoli -- in small pieces, about 4 cups
1 cup minced scallion
2 tablespoons minced cilantro

Soak lime leaves in 1 quart very hot water 30 minutes.

While leaves soak, bring the coconut milk, 2 1/4 cups water, and salt to a boil. Add rice. Cover and simmer 25 minutes.

Drain the lime leaves and chop into pea-sized pieces. In a food processor or blender, process lime leaves (or lime zest), cilantro, garlic, and peanuts. With the machine running, add fish sauce and 3 tbs oil, then the chile sauce. Set aside.

In a wok or nonstick skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil. Add tofu, cook until the pieces form a golden crust on the bottom. Turn, and let tofu crust on the other side. Transfer to a plate.

In the same wok or skillet, add the broccoli and 1/2 cup water. Cover and steam 2 minutes. Add lime-peanut paste, and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Add tofu and toss to coat. Stir scallions into the rice. Serve with tofu, garnished with cilantro.

"Vegetarian Planet"