Saturday, January 23, 2010

Laziness, Productivity and Food

Life has been slow this week.....and that's a nice change of pace. There have not been too many things on the to do least not so many that it's hard to keep up. We've had a few lazy days....which always slip by much more quickly than you imagine they should. The only thing on the must do list each of these days was to make something for supper. Which, lazy as it might seem, didn't happen at all one day. Curiously enough as supper time was approaching yesterday, I was left to make supper without the benefit of a trip to the grocery I was limited to what I had on hand. Strange as it sounds, this left me with the unusual option of making Ma Po Tofu for dinner. I cannot recall if Ike has eaten Ma Po Tofu before.....we used to make Ma Po a lot for dinner....but not in the last few this was a bit of an experiment. Oddly enough he enjoyed it....I mean I think he really liked it. When I placed it down in front of him, he asked...."is that Tofu??" in a hopeful voice.

Aside from all the laziness.......I did have one project that I needed to get out in the mail. So I finished it up, and this little bit of embroidery is now on it's way to sunny New Zealand to become part of a bigger quilt project. I'm excited to see the end result as this lady does some beautiful work. She was a partner I had for a swap last year, and when she asked if other bloggers would take part in her quilt project, I promised I'd do my part. Being a procrastinator by nature....mine will likely be the last to return:(
If you find yourself wondering what to make for supper.........make some Ma Po Tofu, here is a recipe for you to try.
Ma Po Tofu
(serves 4)

200-300g package of firm tofu
about 15 cm across piece of tenderized beef steak (the kind that's perforated)
1 1/2 Tbsp Soy Bean Paste
1 tsp garlic chili paste
1 inch cube ginger minced
3 Tbsp oil
2 tsp fermented black beans
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp tapioca or corn starch stirred into 1 tbsp cold water
1/4 tsp szechuan peppercorns, ground
2 tbsp scallion chopped
1/2 cup optional vegetables, (chopped peppers, carrots, peas)

Drain and cut tofu into 1/2 inch cubes and set aside. Chop up beef steak to mince. I usually do this while it is partly frozen. Fry beef in oil in a wok over high heat until most of the pink is gone. Add ginger, soy bean paste, black beans, chili paste and stir fry 30 seconds. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer and turn down heat to keep simmering. Add tofu cubes, sugar and soy sauce. Add in any optional vegetables now......I just used frozen peas this time. Stir carefully so as not to break up the tofu. Simmer 5 minutes. Thicken with starch solution and let bubble 2 minutes. Turn into a serving dish and garnish with chopped scallions and ground peppercorns. Serve over hot steamed rice.

You can make this with tenderized pork rather than beef if you prefer or omit the meat altogether.


Felicity Lingle said...

I love the embroidery, it looks like something out of a fairytale.

LittleRed said...

Thanks, I'm hoping it will fit in well with all the other bloggers.

kiwicarole said...

OMG!!! I just spotted the stitchery!! Debbie - it's just GORGEOUS!! You've made such a lovely job of it, I so can't wait for it to arrive now!!! Thank you so much :))

Ziongirl said...

This tofu dish looks yummy. I might have to try it. Thanks for sharing...

LittleRed said...

Thanks everyone:)
Carole....I so can't wait to see the end's such a nice idea:) Thanks for including me!

Linda said...

Okay....saw the stitched piece on Carole's blog. I love it. So it was a pattern? You didn't draw it yourself. hee hee! I loveee it. Off to check out the rest of your blog.

LittleRed said...

Nope...sorry no artistic skills for drawing:( it is a vintage embroidery transfer I got from over at doe c doe. There is a link for doe c doe on my side bar. She has tons of vintage transfers to look at. Thanks so much for stopping by:)