Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Je me souviens

The big find of our trip? Abu’s lucky stop into a little antique shop in Bar Harbor, Maine. We had just come down out of the hills of Acadia National Park and were poking around, looking for a souvenir, hoping to find a little ice cream (gelato was found instead) and a bathroom. We popped into this great little shop that specialized in Asian and East Asian pieces, and this is what Abu discovered:

Mosque souvenir
Beautiful, isn’t it? Apparently it’s a souvenir from a Spanish Mosque, created circa 1890. The detail work is fantastic, and the lower insert is an actual photograph taken of the mosque. The Arabic isn’t perfect (yes, my love can read Arabic- how cool is that?), so Abu was able to dicker down a bit on the price. We are trying to find just the right place to hang it.

Last night’s diner was courtesy of Debra Madison, sesame tofu. Here it is getting all soaked up:

Tofu again
I know, it doesn’t sound fancy, but it was fantastic! Marinate firm tofu in 2 T dark sesame oil, 1 T light sesame oil (I substituted peanut), 1 ½ T sugar, 5 T balsamic or rice wine vinegar, ¼ t. red pepper flakes, 1 ½ T chopped cilantro, and ¼ cup tamari soy. I used the rice vinegar because our balsamic is very sweet and with the sugar I thought it would be too cloying. When I make it again, I’ll use a bit less soy sauce, because it was, honestly, too salty for me, and I love salt!

Let it marinate for at least 1 hour, drain and reserve the marinade, fry tofu in non-stick skillet for 5 minutes on each side with 1 T. sesame oil. Add reserved marinade and let cook down. Serve over brown rice with sesame seeds and garnish with cilantro.

I also made a quick Sweet Broccoli Stir Fry (my own recipe). You’ll need:
Broccoli florets, green beans, cleaned and prepped, and 4 large sliced mushrooms- either white button or baby bella.
1 T olive or peanut oil
¼ Cup finely chopped red onion
1 medium garlic clove, split
2 T freshly grated ginger
1 T honey (roughly)
¼ to 1/3 Cup Mango or Orange juice (I used mango)
¼ t. ground ginger, if needed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

I was making enough for 2 people

Start by blanching Broccoli and Green Beans for 1 minute then plunge into ice water to stop cooking process. Drain well. Heat a skillet on medium and add oil. When hot, add onion and garlic and stir occasionally, cooking until onion is slightly translucent. Add grated ginger and stir, cooking for 1 minute. Remove garlic clove. Add broccoli, green beans, and sliced mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally, cooking until broccoli just starts to get a bit crispy and green beans are slightly tender. Now add the honey, stir and taste. If needed, add the ground ginger and a dash more honey. Stir to coat. Add the juice and let simmer for a few minutes.

It was FANTASTIC. Seriously, please try.

No pictures of the finished product, cause I was too hungry and just wanted to eat.

Wow. I never even got to talking about the Champagne, which I promised I would do in my last post. Okay, next time for sure.

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