Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Asparagus Stir Fry

I've been wanting to try this recipe from 101 for quite some time. It combines one of my favorite (but for some reason rarely eaten) vegetables, asparagus, with tofu. It has an Asian flair, lots of spice, and intense flavor. Definitely will make again!


a couple big pinches of fine grain sea salt
toasted sesame oil
8 oz. extra-firm tofu, cut into slices pencil thick
4 green onions, thinly sliced
scant 1 T freshly grated ginger (peeled)
1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 a bunch of asparagus, trimmed, cut in 1 inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 big handful toasted cashews, chopped a bit
a few handfuls of spinach, kale, or chard
zest and juice of 1 lime
2 T hoisin sauce
1 small handful each of fresh slivered mint and fresh slivered basil

1.) Have all the ingredients prepped. Heat a splash of sesame oil in a large pan, or well-seasoned wok over medium-high heat. Alternately, you can do this in a large nonstick dry pan. When hot, add tofu and cook until golden, a few minutes. Remove tofu from pan and set aside.

2.) Add another (generous) splash of oil to the pan, and as soon as it's hot, add onions, ginger, red pepper flakes, asparagus, and salt. Stir fry for a minute, then add garlic, cashews, and spinach/kale/chard. Stir fry another minute, until the spinach wilts. Return the tofu to the pan. Stir in the lime zest and juice, and the hoisin sauce. Cook for 10-20 seconds, stirring all the while. Remove from the heat, and stir in the mint and basil.

*I made a few changes to this recipe:

-I baked the tofu to get it crispy. I did this by wrapping the tofu in paper towels and putting it between two plates to get as much liquid out as possible. I then sliced it into strips and put it on a baking sheet. I baked it for 30 minutes at 375, turning the pieces halfway through the baking time. Once they had cooled a bit, I then diced them and had them ready to add to the recipe.

-I used almonds instead of cashews, and skipped the mint and used dried basil.

This was a delicious recipe. As I said earlier, it is spicy. Next time, I will for sure cut back on the red pepper flakes, probably just 1/8 teaspoon. Otherwise, this was a nice change from our typical meals- and very healthy!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Buttermilk Biscuits

Second buttermilk recipe. Biscuits seemed like a good choice- unfortunately, I am not yet sure what I will serve them with, so they are currently in the freezer.

This is another Joy of Cooking recipe.


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoons salt (I used 1/2 teaspoon)

1.) Whisk the above ingredients together in a large bowl.

2.) Drop into the bowl 5 to 6 tablespoons of cold, unsalted butter, cut in small pieces. (I used 5 tablespoons.) You then need to cut the butter into the dough- if you don't have a pastry blender, like me, you can use a fork to mash the butter around the flour. You need to get the mixture to become crumbly (Joy of Cooking says it will resemble breadcrumbs, with the largest pieces pea-sized.)

3.) Add 3/4 cup buttermilk and stir good.

4.) Gather the dough into a ball and knead it gently against the sides and bottom of the bowl 5 to 10 times, turning and pressing any loose pieces into the dough each time until they adhere and the bowl is fairly clean.

5.) Put the dough on a floured surface and roll out to 1/2 inch thick. You can then make round biscuits using either a round cutter or the top of a glass, or made square biscuits by rolling the dough into a rectangle and cutting it into squares. (I made round biscuits using a glass.)

6.) Put the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet, brush the tops with melted butter or milk to make them brown (optional), and stick them in a 450 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. (I did for 12 minutes.)

7.) Let the biscuits cool a bit. Serve them hot.

Blueberry and Banana Buttermilk Pancakes

Two recipes today! Both use buttermilk as I had to buy a small container to make my husband's birthday cake last week, and needed ways to use it up. Hence, my first recipe: blueberry and banana buttermilk pancakes.

I used Joy of Cooking's basic pancake recipe, and followed their instructions for substitutions and additions for buttermilk pancakes.

Pancakes for dinner is a treat, and to make them taste even better, I added a lot of good for you fruit that we had around the apartment. This made about eight pancakes, and they were just as light and fluffy as promised. Enjoy!


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1.) Whisk all the above ingredients together in a large bowl.

1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional) - I always put in vanilla!

2.) Whisk the wet ingredients in another bowl.

3.) Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently mix them together until just incorporated. (You will have a very thick batter.)

4.) Heat up your pan or griddle, add butter or spray to prevent sticking, and spoon about 1/3 cup batter for each pancake.

5.) Once you have poured the batter, add as many slices of banana and blueberries to each pancake as you wish. I found it to be easier to just add them to the batter as I went because I could then make sure each pancake got plenty of fruit.

6.) Serve with quality maple syrup and enjoy!