Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Cooking from the PPK (sort of)
That's "Post Punk Kitchen," as in vegan chef extraordinaire Isa Chandra Moskowitz's cramped Brooklyn kitchen. Not that I was there... but her Cast Iron Stir-fry with Avocado, Basil and Peanuts recipe magically transported me to her vegan headquarters when Well on Wheels stirred up dinner for friends this weekend.
I chose this recipe because of all the colorful ingredients (look at that rainbow in the pot!), the complimentary flavors (spicy ginger & red pepper flakes, sweet veggies, salty tamari... and oh, that hoisin), and the intriguing textures of crunchy peanuts combined with creamy avocado (coincidentally, one of my favorite sushi fillings).
My modification to the recipe: I cubed the tofu, marinated it in tamari and toasted sesame oil, then baked it in the oven until golden brown and slightly crispy. It takes a little longer this way, but then there's no crying because the tofu stuck to the pan and turned into an unintentional tofu scramble.
I'm really loving this method of tossing the veggies directly into a hot pan coated with a little peanut oil. No need for a wok - you just cook what fits in the bottom of the skillet, transfer it to a bowl, then move on to the next batch. Once everything has had it's moment in the heat and has been cooked to perfection, you return everything to the pan, saute your garlic and ginger, then add your sauce. Stir it all together and test it for tasty goodness.
Serve it with some brown rice and your lovely garnishes and this makes the perfect centerpiece for your dinner party.