I’m staring at the computer screen as I sip mojito (yes, we have tons of mints growing in our yard now)… Well, it’s not exactly staring (I was staring before), but now I’m getting a little idea as to what to type here:-) So far, I liked the recipes I have tried from the Moosewood’s “Simple Supper”. Some I liked more than the other, and some I liked enough but will not try again. For tonight’s dinner I knew I had to put pineapples in the fried rice. I’m not Chinese, but I know my fried rice, and I know what I like in my fried rice, so I was a bit hesitant about the pineapples. It took a while for me to like the Hawaiian pizza, I think it’s okay, but I won’t order that for myself. So, with some reluctance I proceeded to prep for tonight’s dinner.
Pineapple Fried Rice with Tofu: serves 4
1/2 cake firm tofu (about 8 ounces)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 Tablespoon grated peeled ginger root
1/2 teaspoon Chinese chili paste (optional)
1 red or orange bell pepper, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 scallions, minced
1 – 20 ounce can of unsweetened pineapple chunks, drained, or 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
4 cups cook jasmine, sushi, or brown rice
Cut the tofu into 1/2 inch cubes and place them in a bowl. Pour the soy sauce and sesame oil over the cubes and stir gently. Set aside.
In a wok or large skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the garlic, ginger, and chili paste and stir-fry on medium heat for a minute. Add the peppers, celery, scallions, and the tofu with the marinade, and continue to stir-fry until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the pineapple and rice and stir-fry until the rice is hot, about 3 minutes. Serve topped with toasted cashews.
Sesame Broccoli: serves 4
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 bunch broccoli (about 1 pound)
In a small bow, whisk together the vinegar, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and salt. Cut the broccoli head into florets. Peel the large stems and cut them crosswise into 1/4 inch slices. Steam or boil until crisp tender. Toss the warm broccoli with the dressing. Serve warm or room temperature.
My opinion: I’m sure some people will like pineapples in their fried rice, I wasn’t too keen on this. However, my youngest daughter, Jana, like the taste of pineapple in her fried rice! I highly recommend adding in the chili paste, it adds such flavour to this dish. I especially loved the taste of tofu in this fried rice, I can taste it if I close my eyes now. I like using jasmine rice for my fried rice, and since I didn’t have scallions, I added onions, and used the mixture of orange and yellow bell peppers. I also omitted adding celery, since I’m not a huge celery fan:-) I will definitely make this dish (minus the pineapple next time). The sesame broccoli went really well with the fried rice. I loved the taste of vinegar and sesame oil here, you can actually taste both at the same time when you bite into the broccoli. I also added the red pepper flakes, but I had little pineapple juice left over so I added the juice in the dressing.
Melt the chocolate in a small pan, on a very low heat, taking care not to scorch it. Or melt it in a microwave oven. In a blender or a food processor, whirl the ricotta, vanilla, and melted chocolate until smooth and evenly coloured. Pour into dessert cups (leave space for whipped cream). Refrigerate until ready to serve.
When you’re ready to serve, in a small bowl with an electric mixer or a whisk, whip the cream and the confectioners’ sugar until stiff. Mound the whipped cream on top of the pudding and serve cold.
My opinion: Rich but absolutely yummy dessert!! I put my pudding in port wine glasses (it’s smaller) so it was just the right amount to serve. Definite keeper for our family! Since you are using semi sweet chocolate, you are not overwhelmed with sweetness. You can definitely use dark chocolate if you’re a dark choco fan. Personally, I would steer away from milk choco, since it’ll make this pudding sweet and rich.