Braised Tofu in Hot Bean Sauce


As a vegetarian I am always looking for new news to serve Tofu , which , when well cooked is delicious . Here the Tofu is deep fried till crisp and served with a spicy hot bean sauce. The original recipe Asian Home Gourmet called for chicken stock but I use Vegetable stock , the choice is yours.

Serves 4

1 lb 4 oz tofu

1 cup Soy or vegetable oil

4 oz black mushrooms

1 tsp garlic , minced

1 oz Hot Bean Paste

Salt to taste

1 cup Vegetable stock

4 spring onions , sliced into 1 ” pieces

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp sesame oil

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

2 tsp dark soy sauce

1 tsp cornstarch for sauce thickening

2 large tomatoes , seeded , peeled and sliced in strips.

Cut the bean curd into 1/2 inch cubes .

Heat the wok , add the oil and deep fry the tofu cubes in batches until lightly browned. Drain and keep hot in the oven .

Saute the sliced black mushrooms , garlic , salt , hot bean paste , sugar , dark soy sauce , sesame oil and spring onion. Add the stock .

Add the deep fried tofu and thicken with cornstarch mixed with water.

Place in a shallow dish and sprinkle with black pepper and strips of tomato.

Serve with freshly steamed rice.

Baked Sea Bass with Raisins and Pine Nuts


This simple Italian style roasted fish is simple and easy to prepare . The contrast of the raisins and pine nuts with the fish is just sublime . Technically this recipe uses Branzino a fish I have seen more widely available in good seafood retailers. Ask the fishmonger to gut and remove its fins to cut down on preparation.

1/4 cup raisins

4 mediterranean  sea bass ( Branzino if available ) 12 oz each

salt to taste

4 sage leaves , minced

4 rosemary sprigs , leaves only , minced

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup pine nuts

Preheat oven to 375*

Soak the raisins in enough cold water to cover for 15 minutes to soften them; drain them and blot them dry.

Rinse the sea bass and dry well with paper towels.

Place the sea bass in a roasting pan , season it with salt, and sprinkle it with the minced sage and rosemary; drizzle it with olive oil.

Bake the sea bass for 10 minutes or until it is nearly done. Add the raisins and pine nuts to the fish in the roasting pan, and bake for 5 more minutes.

Serve the sea bass hot with steamed potatoes