Saturday Morning at 8:33am


My sisters are coming for dinner tonight. And sleeping over. In my world, sisters are A Very Good Thing.

On the menu? Something that counts as comfort food for Northern Californians. Especially when one of them was a vegetarian for a rather long time. Oh, said vegetarian wasn’t me. I’m very fond of meat. Even bacon. But I love braising. The smell is as nice as the taste. Especially when sisters are in the house.

Braised Cinnamon Tofu
From A Spoonful of Ginger, Nina Simonds
(all silly commentary is of course mine)

1 teaspoon safflower or corn oil (I always use more. Can’t help myself.)

Seasonings
6 whole scallions, ends trimmed, smashed lightly with the flat side of a knife and cut into 1 1/2 inch sections (this recipe has no finicky chopping requirements. I like that.)
6 garlic cloves, smashed lightly with the flat side of a knife and sliced thinly
4 slices fresh ginger, about the size of a quarter, smashed lightly with the flat side of a knife
1 teaspoon hot chile paste (you can probably use crushed chile pepper instead. If you can find it.)
2 sticks cinnamon
1 teaspoon anise seed (I imagine you can also use a couple of star anise pods)

Other
1/2 cup soy sauce
6 cups water
2 pounds firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound spinach, stems trimmed, rinsed, and drained
3 tablespoons minced scallion greens

1. Heat a large pot or casserole over medium-high heat, add the oil, heat until hot, about 30 seconds, and add the Seasonings. Stir-fry until fragrant, about 15 seconds, then add the soy sauce and water. Heat until boiling, add the tofu, and boil again. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, skimming the surface to remove impurities and fat (although, how much fat is going to be present given that it’s tofu?). Cook for 1 hour, until the tofu is drenched (don’t you love the word drenched?) with the flavors of the braising mixture. Remove the ginger slices and cinnamon and discard.
2. Add the spinach clump by clump to the tofu (I am so going to use to pre-washed spinach, a great modern invention) and heat until boiling. Ladle the mixture into serving bowls, sprinkle scallion greens on top, and serve.

If this sounds good to you, go buy the cookbook. It’s incredible. I promise. Also, have a wonderful weekend. For that, I can make no promises. But I will make wishes.

*And nobody gave me anything nor do I make any money from purchases. Not that I am against free enterprise, I just don’t know how.

23 Comments

  • 10/24/09
    8:15 am

    Reply

    materfamilias said...

    I also live in a world where sisters are a very good thing. But we haven't done dinner-and-a-sleepover for ages, if ever, and I'm thinking that's too bad. Perhaps I should follow your lead . . .
    Have a wonderful time in your sister-filled, cinnamon-smelling home this weekend!

  • 10/24/09
    8:29 am

    Reply

    Jan said...

    This sounds wonderful. I wonder if I'd go to vegan Hell if I made it with lean pork loin instead?

  • 10/24/09
    8:33 am

    Reply

    LPC said...

    Jan – I am laughing out loud. It's based on a recipe for Cinnamon Beef…and mf thanks for the good wishes. I'm off to the market. Clean sheets are in the dryer.

  • 10/24/09
    8:39 am

    Reply

    accordionsandlace said...

    Oh this looks awesome. I have been bored to death with tofu lately so I am bookmarking this recipe for sure! Thanks.

  • 10/24/09
    11:00 am

    Reply

    QueenBeeSwain said...

    this all sounds so heavenly- is there anything better than sister-time and haute-comfort food?!

    have so much fun with your sissies tonight- I'm jealous!

    xoox

    kHm

  • 10/24/09
    11:59 am

    Reply

    Laura said...

    Have a wonderful, wonderful weekend.
    -Then tell us all about it.

    Laura

  • 10/24/09
    7:43 pm

    Reply

    smiles4u said...

    Hope you have a most wonderful weekend with your sisters!

  • 10/24/09
    7:57 pm

    Reply

    La Belette Rouge said...

    I have no sisters and no taste for Tofu but I hope you enjoy both! The braised cinnamon with beef sounds good.

  • 10/25/09
    7:32 am

    Reply

    LPC said...

    Sisters are wonderful, but I must note, the Cinnamon Tofu WAS NOT VERY GOOD….Beef is much better.

  • 10/25/09
    7:33 am

    Reply

    LPC said...

    Oh, and my brother came too, after all, which was also a VERY GOOD THING.

  • 10/25/09
    9:42 am

    Reply

    midlife slices said...

    I have one sister that is "a good thing" and one that isn't but that's an old story I hate remembering. The recipe sounds very interesting but I'm an anti-tofu person so maybe I'll try the beef version.

  • 10/25/09
    1:24 pm

    Reply

    Duchesse said...

    L, saw this jacket and thought of you:
    Berkshire Jacket from Sundance:
    http://www.sundancecatalog.com/PRODUCT/49461.html

  • 10/25/09
    2:54 pm

    Reply

    Her Preppiness said...

    Recipe sounds great

  • 10/25/09
    8:26 pm

    Reply

    Maya said...

    It sounds delicious to me…, just made a curry tofu this weekend. I haven't eaten meat for years. I love seafood though and the smell of barbecue and grilled sausages -go figure!

  • 10/26/09
    3:42 am

    Reply

    see you there! said...

    Hope you had a wonderful weekend. No sisters for me but I have a cousin who makes a pretty good substitute.

    Darla

  • 10/26/09
    5:11 am

    Reply

    Maureen@IslandRoar said...

    This sounds so good. I would love to smell it cooking. Lucky that you are close to your sisters….
    Hope you had a Great Time!

  • 10/26/09
    5:41 am

    Reply

    Midlife Mama said...

    You have sisters? Lucky. *sigh* All I have is one brother and we don't even like each other. I envy you. Hope you had a wonderful time; and that recipe sounds awesome.:)

  • 10/26/09
    8:27 am

    Reply

    vintage simple said...

    Ooooh…! I'll have to try that, since I am one of those pesky vegetarians. :)

    -maria

  • 10/26/09
    8:39 am

    Reply

    Jill said...

    Sooooo….what can you substitute for the tofu?!

  • 10/26/09
    11:22 am

    Reply

    Kristin said...

    Sisters are one of the very best things in the world in my book!

  • 10/26/09
    8:24 pm

    Reply

    Red Lipstick Style said...

    Sounds delicious. I'm a fan of all things with spinach, yum! When I was younger I would dream of a sister, you are a lucky lady!

  • 10/26/09
    9:54 pm

    Reply

    Tickled Pink And Green said...

    I wish I had a sister. That way Mom could nag someone else besides me.

  • 10/27/09
    1:42 am

    Reply

    The Blushing Hostess said...

    Braised tofu. Really! I'da never guessed :) But I agree on the braising: warm, fall-like, and comforting. Nothing better when you can hear the faint sounds of footballs cheers in the distance…

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