Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Griddle Production Line Days

Kitchen Play List:  Luke Morley ~ Loving You 
                                 The Kinks ~ Autumn Almanac
                                 Evanescence ~ All That I'm Living For
                                 Shakira ~ Eyes Like Yours
                                 Jace Everett ~ I Gotta Have It
                                 Robert Palmer ~ Simply Irresistable
                                 Shelby Lynne ~ The Look Of Love

Those of you that have been following my ramblings will know that I am currently learning to love certain foods like Aubergine, Tofu and Avocado. It's purely a texture issue as I am the same with whole cooked mushrooms. It must be the meaty texture thing! I truly am getting there with the experimenting I'm doing in the kitchen. I have found that I do like them all but only if prepared in certain ways. 

I remember watching in horror as a 'representative' vegan prepared a meal for 4 non vegans on a television show. His starter was slabs of raw tofu and avocados sandwiched together and presented on a plate. I do know people that would've sat happily and eaten it but it would have sent me running from the room which is what the non-vegans almost did. So over the last few years I've come to the conclusion that with tofu I do love it but it has to be part of something! I make fritatta's, vegan omelets. scrambles, burger, patties and use it as a binder for other recipes. All I can eat happily. 

Then I started to experiment with baking slices of tofu after having a slice of Pesto Tofu as part of a brunch my friend D put together on New Years Day. I really liked it and it inspired me to try making my own. I have baked slices from raw, after being soaked in marinates and being coated in sauces. And so far they have all been really good. So my conclusion was that I could eat tofu as long as it wasn't raw! A couple of weeks ago I tried griddling it on my stove top griddle pan and using a scant brush of oil on it, I tossed the slices on and they firmed up lovely. 

It's the same with the magnificent aubergine/eggplant. I like it cooked and not in massive quantities. I like it to be part of a dish..not the whole dish until recently, when I had griddled aubergines and they were so succulent and well cooked I finally found my aubergine love! That lead to me trying out another cooking method in a Donna Klein recipe and I was so happy to have found a mainly aubergine based dish that I truly enjoyed eating! Hooray! 

I am still working on the Avocado love. lol. Hopefully in time....

And the point to this blog is this...This week I found myself with a glut of pressed tofu and aubergine in the fridge. So I sat down and wrote down some ideas that had popped into my brain at 3am!! I got out my griddle, not at 3am, but later that morning and started a production line of griddling. Beware house had filled with smoke without me

I spent about an hour cooking the tofu and aubergine slices until my kitchen looked like a factory. The aubergine slices I cooled and then boxed them into a airtight container and stored them in the fridge until I needed them. And the tofu slices cooled down and dried nicely. I cannot eat slimy tofu so it suited my tastes greatly and was perfect for the recipes I wanted to use them for. I waited until completely cooled and I stored them in an another airtight container but left them out of the fridge and they kept just fine that way. 

The two recipes that I used them for will be posted on here in the next couple of days. I thought it would be better if I broke down the assembly of them. lol. Both turned out to be spectacular recipes so it is worth all the forward planning and work. And i have to say it was comforting to know they were all cooked and waiting to be used. It's opened up a whole new cooking realm for me to experiment in...