Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thai Curry Vegetable and Tofu Stir-Fry

Michael is convinced that I'm this excellent cook. But the reality is, the majority of my cooking consists of "dump in pot, heat, flavor, hope for the best." The "flavor" part is often where things go awry; I'm getting a little better at it, so currently it's about a 50-50 shot whether it is awesome or flavorless.

Anyway, the point is, cooking doesn't have to be elaborate or complicated, and often the "dump in a pot" method works out quite well.  Simple can be great.  And this is all stir-fry really is.  The method is uncomplicated: cut everything up, throw it in a large pan with some olive oil, add the sauce at the end.

It's really the ingredients that make something like this special. Sometimes you can find fun and unusual things at the farmers' market.  Sometimes you just need to get rid of that zucchini, because what else can you do with a zucchini? It's also a good way to use up whatever is sitting in the fridge needing to be used up.  So.

Yes, these beans are purple. I get them from my friend Vera from Videnovich Farms. They are called Purple "Velour" Filet Beans. I have no idea what that means, but I like them because they are goth beans.

The fun thing about these is that they turn green when you cook them. I also got that hot banana pepper from Vera. I only used half because they're a bit more powerful than jalapeƱos.

The tofu is from Phoenix Bean, which is located approximately spitting distance from their booth at the market. They have a whole variety of tofu products, including this stuff which is pre-fried and makes this whole stir-fry thing a lot easier. I'm not sure I could actually get that nice browning myself.

The Thai curry sauce is from Trader Joe's. Someday I may feel up to concocting such sauce myself. In the meantime, TJ's is my favorite "cheat," because they're cheap, good, and their philosophy is largely the same as mine: if it's not food then it shouldn't be in food.

Here's that "dump in the pot and heat" part of the recipe. It's soooo harrrd.

This is zucchini, green onion, banana pepper, and the beans. Note the purple beans gradually turning green.

The tofu I cubed and added in a little later once the beans were mostly cooked.

And here's the "flavor" part. Luckily we're not relying on me for this. Thank you Trader Joe's.

I used about half the bottle for this. There's a lot of food in there.

Finis. Also, YUM. Mix with brown rice and away you go.

The nice thing about this is you can have near-endless variations, depending on what you find at the farmers' market.

Who knew beets came in golden?

Yes, these beans are flat, and white with purple speckles. More from Vera; they're called, appropriately enough, Dragon Tongue beans.

Once again, the purple goes away when you cook them. They end up a middling cream color.

Here we have fried tofu, golden beet, Dragon Tongue beans, green bell pepper, and the last half of the banana pepper.