Jeez, it looks like I’ve been cooking up a storm! I swear, I haven’t. Not really.
I kind of just made this one up last night, and didn’t plan on posting it here. But a lot of you who follow me on instagram (@aliejonesy) were intrigued, so here’s the recipe! Feel free to substitute veggies – if you don’t have celery, use bell pepper! If you’re fond of carrots, use more. It’s really quite flexible, but do be sure to go easy on the curry powder if you have little ones.
Coconut Curry with Grilled Tofu (served over rice)
2 T. olive oil, divided
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 medium red potatoes, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3/4 c. frozen peas
1 15oz. can coconut milk
1/2 package (6oz?) of extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed, and marinated*
rice (and/or crispy, day-old baguette)
THE RICE: Before I start the curry, I start the rice. Yesterday Jack decided not to nap – what?! – and so it was a “white rice” kind of day, meaning I wasn’t on the ball enough to get the rice going by 4:30pm for a 5:30pm dinner. Brown rice tends to take forever to cook sometimes! The ratio for rice is 2:1, meaning 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice. Once this boils, turn the heat down to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes (longer for brown rice).
THE CURRY: Heat 1 T. olive oil over medium heat in a skillet with taller sides (or a medium pot). Cook onion until it’s soft, then add carrot, potatoes, and celery, cooking 5-10 minutes until they are soft as well, stirring frequently. Add frozen peas and coconut milk. Add some curry powder (I just guessed, and it was a little on the spicy side, so taste as you go!) and season liberally with salt and pepper. Let simmer for a few minutes until the rice is done.
THE TOFU: First, press your tofu and marinate if you have time (see below; otherwise, in a pinch I just drizzle some soy sauce on my tofu and go with it!) Slice your tofu into thin strips. Heat 1 T. of olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Grill your marinated tofu in the pan until golden on both sides. Add to curry mixture.
Serve over rice in bowls. Makes about 6 cups.
Tofu isn’t a scary ingredient, I promise! It gets a bad rap because it’s often cooked wrong, resulting in a spongy, tasteless meat substitute. Pressing and marinating your tofu beforehand will help immensely flavor-wise, as it tends to soak up the flavors around it.
If you have time beforehand, press your block of tofu, as it will marinate better. It’s easy: drain the water from the package and place your tofu on a plate lined with a paper towel. Set paper towels on top of the tofu, and then heavy books (or I use a skillet with a couple of cans of beans!). Let this sit for 20 minutes or so, until a lot of the water has drained out.
To marinate tofu, I like to use a mixture of soy sauce, plum sauce (or hoisin, whatever I have on hand), and some sort of sweetener like honey. Yesterday I used mango chutney! You can either leave it in a tupperware overnight in the fridge, or use it after 20-30 minutes.