I’m convinced I’m going to be found in our apartment trapped under three years of Rachael Ray magazines. They’re stacked high on top of our bookcase, next to the back issues of Martha Stewart Living, unread.
I can’t bring myself to throw them away. Who tosses out the secrets to an amazing souffle or how to make a ribbon wreath just in time for the holidays? I’m obviously assuming what’s in those magazines as I have yet to open a single issue.
I blame Costco. They’re the gateway to buying things you don’t really need. Where else would I gain the mindset that I need to buy three years of Rachael Ray Magazine?
There are, of course, worse things you could buy in bulk. Like three hundred rolls of toilet paper. Who needs three hundred rolls of toilet paper? Or rather, where would you store them without it becoming a hazard in your home? Being found under a year supply of toilet paper is far worse than a bunch of magazines. It leads to questions like, “Why did you need all of this? Are you feeling alright?” as the person eyes your bathroom.
It was at Costco where I stumbled upon a case of tofu. Ok, stumbled is a stretch. I practically ran into the place, glass eyed and salivating. With my mother’s club card in hand, I was ready to spend some money. I mean, save money. That’s the purpose of a wholesale club, right?
An hour later I came home with a full trunk and a receipt that took about a minute to print out at the register. (And maybe a “possible fraudulent alert” sent to my Gmail from my credit card company.)
“No one needs a case of tofu,” Roo said, as he helped me lift the bags out of the trunk.
“I’m half Asian. Of course I need a case of tofu.”
No one needs a case of tofu.
A pan fried tofu recipe with a spicy and sweet sauce however, is something of a necessity. Just don’t buy a case worth of ingredients, ok?
Adapted from This Can’t Be Tofu by Deborah Madison
Serves 2 (Maybe 3)
A sharp knife
A couple pieces of paper towel
A small mixing bowl
A large skillet
Tongs, chopsticks (you could use a spatula…the flipping kind)
A spatula (the scraping kind) or wooden spoon
One third cup of orange juice
One third cup of low sodium stock (I used vegetable)
1 teaspoon of sugar
Quarter teaspoon of ground cumin
Quarter teaspoon of ground cinnamon
Half teaspoon of ground cayenne (This is a bit of heat. If you’re sensitive to spice, start with an eighth of a teaspoon)
1 pound block of extra firm tofu
1 tablespoon of mild tasting olive oil
To serve: rice and a handful of chopped cilantro (optional)
Place the tofu on its side (skinny side down) and cut it in half. Then lay the tofu down flat (on its wide side), keeping the layers together, and cut it width wise in half. Cut the halves again in half (width wise). When done you should have 16 pieces. Set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, add the orange juice, stock, sugar, ground cumin, ground cinnamon and cayenne. Whisk together until well combined. Set aside.
Add one tablespoon of mild tasting olive oil to the large skillet and place over a burner on medium heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, blot the sections of tofu with a piece of paper towel before adding them to the pan. Cook the tofu till golden brown (about six to seven minutes). Then, flip the pieces of tofu over and cook the other side till golden brown (about five minutes).
Pour the orange juice mixture into the pan. Allow the sauce to reduce and simmer, stirring occasionally with your spatula, for about two minutes, then flip the tofu over. Continue cooking down the sauce till your desired thickness (I let it go for about another minute). Remove the pan from heat. Serve immediately over rice (don’t forget to scrape out the sauce!) and garnish with cilantro.