Archive for September, 2009

Mapo tofu

I bought this block of extra firm tofu but wasn’t too sure what to do with it, so I decided to dig into my ASIAN roots and make some mapo tofu. Lately I’ve been steering away from ready-made sauces and really testing my ability to cook by making all my own sauces.

The mapo tofu sauce is incredibly simple:

  • Chili garlic sauce (to taste)
  • Black bean sauce
  • Chicken broth
  • Maybe some cornstarch/flour to thicken the sauce


And add everything else:

  • Diced mushrooms
  • Diced shallots
  • Minced garlic
  • Diced bell peppers
  • Chives
  • Diced chicken breast tenderloin (people commonly use some type of minced ground meat though)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Sesame oil

Actually, I put EVERYTHING together to marinate but the chicken broth; I added that while everything was cooking so it’d simmer.

$ breakdown:

  • $3 chili garlic sauce
  • $2 black bean sauce
  • $3 chicken breast tenderloin
  • $2 mushrooms
  • $1 bell pepper

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Mac & cheese (and bacon)

Kristen loves cheese and bacon so I made her mac and cheese with a bacon-cheddar block!

  • Freshly grated bacon-cheddar (I bought it at Whole Foods)
  • Grated parmesan
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Sour cream
  • Noodles of your choice

The sour cream acts as a kind of glue, kinda like an emulsifier I suppose, and it’s flavorful FAT!  MMM, fat. Anyway, mix it all together while the noodles are still hot. Maybe add a bit of evoo (or butter, even) to make it a bit creamier. The trick is — the more cheese, the better.

$ breakdown:

  • $1 noodles (penne rigate from Whole Foods!)
  • $2 sour cream
  • $4 parmesan
  • $3 block of bacon cheddar

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AKA omnomnomnom.

It’s so sim-po, yet so yummy!

What I used:

4 cheese sourdough bread from my BFF Trader Joe

half a zuchinni

Alouette brand brie cheese (it’s like $4 at Costco for a about a pound)

spray olive oil

garlic salt

I cut the zucchini length-wise so I ended up with 5 flat pieces.  Threw it in a skillet with olive oil spray and sprinkled with garlic salt.  Cook it for a few mins on each side, until its soft when you push your finger into it (twss).  Then spray the pan again lightly with the oil and put in the bread, then brie, then zucchinni, then another small bit of brie to make the bread stick to the sandwich.  Continue grilling like a good ol’ fashioned grilled cheese.  Then eat that melty, cheesy goodness.

the second half

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