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Posts Tagged ‘cherries’

Cherry Whiskey Tofu

“This tofu is purple”

That was the response this dish elicited the first time I served it up at the dinner table. I must admit: I really like the vibrant purple this tofu can take on. The secret to a very purple hue: let your frozen cherries defrost a bit before adding them to the pot, so that in addition to cherries you also add a small dose of concentrated – and therefore very purple – cherry juice.

I have many cookbooks. I love cookbooks. I have so many cookbooks that I actually have several cookbooks from which I have never made a recipe. This makes me feel guilty as it doesn’t entirely fit into my “keep what you love, love what you keep” philosophy of household items and belongings. It’s a philosophy borne out of several factors, including (1) the desire to live sustainably and with as little waste as possible, (2) my aversion to clutter, and (3) sheer necessity: Dan, our two cats, and I all exist in a cottage that comprises appx. 500 square feet of space … well, throw in our large deck and gardens and we get a little more space to spread out, but the fact remains that we live in small quarters. We love our small quarters., but small quarters can get cramped very quickly when you’re not paying attention. But I digress….

I have a lot of cookbooks. I am reluctant to get rid of any. Therefore, I have resolved to begin utilizing those poor neglected volumes. First one I took off the shelf? Rachel Ray’s Classic 30 Minute Meals.

Yes, shockingly, I own a Rachel Ray cookbook. It was a gift. And she does have some veggie recipes in there …

My first recipe was a pork chop recipe that I completely overhauled. I was attracted to the use of cherries in the recipe. What resulted is a low maintenance, quick dish to throw together. Serve it alongside a delicious veggie dish, a salad, a soup, or any combo thereof and you’ve got a delicious weekday dinner.

Thank you, Rachel Ray, for the inspiration.

Cherry Whiskey Tofu
Inspired by Rachel Ray’s “Pork Chops with Brandied Cherry Sauce”

24 sweet cherries, fresh or frozen (I used frozen ones that I defrosted. Defrosting the cherries resulted in some juice that I added to the sauce)
19 oz. tofu, drained and pressed (This is the size that I got from Costco)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 shots whiskey
½ cup Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base

1. Preheat oven to 450F. Lightly oil an 8×13” baking dish and set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil is a saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the cherries and heat through, then add the whiskey and let cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and cook for additional 2 minutes.

3. Place the tofu in a single layer in the baking dish. Pour the cherry whiskey sauce over the tofu and bake for 30 minutes. Flip the tofu and bake for 10 minutes more. Remove from heat and serve.

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Crepes

Another weekend, another lovely Sunday morning. This particular Sunday morning, however, I indulged in my lazy day morning ritual – big mugs of earl grey tea and catching up on leisurely reading – a bit longer than usual and breakfast time eventually became brunch time with us not yet eating. I had gotten out of bed with visions of crepes in my head, and when I finally got around to making us our morning meal I was dismayed to remember that all of my vegan crepe recipes require an hour of chilling time in the refrigerator. Well, that simply wouldn’t do – we wanted our crepes now. While what I came up with may not meet the strictest standards of crepes they are, indeed, light, delicate pancakes, and not only are they delicious – they are quick. We filled ours with cherry preserves but the beauty of crepes is that they are so versatile that their limitation is only your imagination. These crepes are not too sweet so they can also pair nicely with savory fillings for a lunch or a dinner.
Crepes
Makes 6 six inch crepes
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
1 dash cinnamon
1 ½ tbsp canola oil
1 cup soymilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp agave nectar
1. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the wet ingredients directly into the dry ingredients (no need to mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl) and whisk until smooth.
2. Heat a small skillet over medium high heat and coat lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

3. Spoon a thin layer of batter into the skillet and spread to cover the bottom. As soon as bubbles form on the batter (about 30 – 45 seconds) flip the crepe over and cook for 30-60 seconds on the other side. Remove crepe from the pan and repeat with the remaining batter. Keep crepes warms by wrapping them in foil.

4. To assemble: spread a light layer of the filling of your choice onto each crepe, leaving just a little room at the edges. Fold each crepe in half and then fold each in half again. Lightly dust with powdered sugar (and cocoa, if so inclined) and serve.

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