Accidental Deliciousness

Mindfully messing around in the kitchen.

Tofu Hath Returned. . .

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I’ve been squatting with my parents this summer and “paying rent” by cooking dinner for them–de facto accidental deliciousness guinea pigs (luckily they’re not picky so my concoctions generally come out on the side of “delicious,” or at least closer to that end of the spectrum than disgusting.  They do, however, tend to steer clear of the kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, and various sprouted things I have fermenting and growing on the kitchen counter).  Here’s one of the hits, excerpted from an email to AD friends, to give you a little context. . .

Alright, so here is a recipe for you–one of the parental experiments that went well.  I’ve just discovered sprouted tofu (tofu made out of sprouted soybeans), which makes it accessible to me again.  Which is good–I’m needing lots of protein these days. . . Just finished a “bi-athlon” involving a day of hiking, camping overnight, and then an attempt at biking home.  I mis-calculated how long the bike-ride would be, so at 100 miles and 30 miles still away from Portsmouth, Amanda came and rescued me.  Glad I did it, but man o man was it tough!  So very hot!  And now I can’t move. . . which I need to remedy soon so I can get back to marathon training!  Anyway, diversions. . .

Quinoa, tofu, and snap pea salad

My parent’s garden was resplendent with snap peas, so I threw this together one evening:

cooked quinoa (I used red because it’s what we had)
snap peas, lightly steamed
sprouted tofu
slivered almonds

dressing/marinade:
lemon juice
olive oil
fresh garlic, crushed (or not fresh–but it’s fresh garlic season at the farmer’s market!  I’m sure Jericho has an ample supply, too : )
(lavender) salt and pepper
fresh chives

Cube the tofu and marinate it in the dressing for several hours.  Then mix all the ingredients together and top with almonds.  Perfect for a hot summer night when you don’t want to heat up the kitchen cooking!

Update: the above photo is from round two of making this meal, this time involving roasted beets instead of quinoa, with the addition of goat cheese.  Furthermore, lesson learned: sprouted tofu may be miracle food, but not miraculous enough to prevent torn ligaments when one attempts to return to running a mere 36 hours after dismounting from aforementioned 100-mile bike ride. . .

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New Contributions. . .

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From my good friend and AD original, Meaghan, who hails from Northern California (hence the excess of stone fruits. . . envy.  Though I am very much enjoying New England peaches right now–eating them too fast to fall into a crisp!)

 

Good Goat Pie

A Recipe in Layers:

– Layer 1: One 9-inch Pyrex pie pan.

– Layer 2: 1 pie curst, fluted around the edges (you can by lazy like me and buy frozen pie crust from the store (it was Organic… I swear!).

– Layer 3: 4 small golden beets; roasted in tinfoil in the oven with a little olive oil, peeled, cooled, (unintentionally stored in the fridge for a week), and sliced into rounds.

– Layer 4: 2 oz chevre; broken up into bits and sprinkled over the beats.

– Layer 5: fresh parsley and thyme, chopped.

– Layer 6: 1 zucchini; cut into rounds and sautéed in oil until tender and slightly browned.

– Layer 7: 2 oz chevre; broken up into bits and sprinkled over the zucchini.

– Layer 8: fresh parsley and thyme, chopped.

– Layer 9: 1 red onion; halved, cut into slices, and sautéed until caramelized.

 

Bake layers at 400F for 30-40 minutes.  Cover crust edges if necessary.

 (I intended to add sweet potato to the pie, but it also got left in the fridge for a week and looked a little sketchy, so I left it out.  But you might want to try it, if your baking schedule is a little less lackadaisical than mine and you roast the root vegetables closer to the pie assembly date).

Almost-Rotten Stone Fruit Crisp

1. Buy way too much fruit at the farmers’ market because you still can’t get over the fact that you can buy 3 half pints of raspberries for $5.00, that cherries cost less than $10.00/lb, and you can buy peaches, plums and nectarines in June.

 2. Let the peaches, plums and nectarines sit on the counter all week while you make your way through the berries and cherries.  Watch their skin begin to wrinkle.

 3. After a week, decide that you need to do something with the stone fruit because it is time to go to the farmers’ market again.

 4. Peel the fruit.  It should be easy, since the skin is so wrinkly.  While you are peeling, inspect the fruit for rot.  Remember this is an ALMOST-rotten crisp, not a ROTTEN crisp.  Discard any fruit that has gone bad or smells (or tastes) like it would add an unsavory flavor to the dish.

 5. Slice the fruit in to a baking dish.  Add a splash of apple cider vinegar so the fruit keeps its color (or use lemon juice if you aren’t cheap like me and actually buy lemons).  Add a little bit of brown sugar to help draw the juices out of the fruit and a little flour to thicken the juices as it bakes.

 6. In a separate bowl, make the crisp topping:

            Mix:

            Oats, al gusto

            Butter, al gusto

            Flour, al gusto

            Brown Sugar, al gusto

Blend the topping with a fork, pastry cutter or your fingers.

(This time around I used mostly oats, butter and flour and just a little bit of sugar, as I felt that my family’s traditional crisp topping-oats, butter and lots of brown sugar-would have been to sweet for my taste buds that night.)

 7. Sprinkle topping on top of the fruit.

 8. Bake at 400F until the juices of the fruit form think bubbles at the side of the baking dish.

 9. Enjoy!

A photo!

At long last, I have a photo of the accidentally delicious dinner I made, and thus can officially begin this blog.  All of the food blogs I follow are resplendent with such luscious, consciously and lovingly taken photos of recipes and ingredients, it just didn’t feel right to start by digging into my archives of accidentally delicious recipes, of which I have fond memories but no photographs.  Mind you, this sad little picture was taken not with a camera, nay not even with an iphone, but with my 9-year old Samsung flip phone.  It has an antenna.  Remember those?  It is a true and trusted friend, and true and trusted friendships is what Accidental Deliciousness was built upon, and true and trusted recipes–and perhaps more friendships–are what I hope this blog produces.  So it all works out.

Why is this photo taken with my old phone?  Because I am house sitting, and upon packing to go house sitting, I thought “why would I ever need a camera while I’m in the middle of suburbia feeding cats?”  (I do NOT take photos of cats!  Ever.  I may be adding to the surfeit of food blogs and food pictures, but at least I am not contributing to the online database of cat photos.)  After filling my car to the brim just 24 hours earlier, riding on my rims with my studio and apartment in my ’95 Corolla, and shocking the customs guard with the sheer volume of stuff I had managed to stuff, I am temporarily over the schleping of things.  So, this post is born of necessity: a photo taken with what I had on hand, of a meal made using what was available in a kitchen not owned by a cook.  Yet a mighty delicious meal it was. . . (there was definitely some licking of utensils–generally a “pass” in the test of accidental deliciousness.)

Spaghetti Squash Frittata with Snap Peas, Tempeh, and Almond Sauce

For the sauce:

1/2 of one shallot

1 large clove garlic (mine was baby fresh garlic from the farmer’s market, but I’m sure any old garlic will do)

parsley (because I had it on hand and therefore feel compelled to use it in everything before it goes bad)

raw almond butter

soy sauce

1 ginger tea bag (I used Yogi, which is the best, I do believe.  This was the biggest adaptation from having limited ingredients on hand–I’m sure actual ginger would be just lovely)

Everything else:

tempeh (I used three grain because that’s all Trader Joe’s sells)

pre-cooked spaghetti squash

one egg, plus a splash of some sort of milk product

olive oil

snap peas (fresh from the garden–a week ago–so many I built this meal around them to use them up!)

salt and pepper

dried cranberries, if you’ve got them

Boil some water and steep your ginger tea–the longer the better, so do this first, or even earlier in the day.  Just a small cup will do, or your sauce will be watery.  Buzz the garlic and shallots in a blender (there’s a Vitamix at this house–I had way too much fun making this sauce).  Add the ginger tea, almond butter, soy sauce, and parsley, and blend until, well, blended.  Taste and adjust.  I found I had to gob in a good amount of almond butter to cut the sharpness of the shallots and garlic, and to ensure it wasn’t too watery.

In the meantime, heat some oil in a skillet over medium-low heat, cube up your tempeh, and toss it in there.  Stir occasionally until most sides are browned (I challenge you to evenly brown every side.)  Or, my favorite way of crisping tempeh, toss the cubes with some olive oil and put them on a tray under the broiler of your toaster oven.  No toaster oven here, and no way I’m turning on the real oven for a few cubes of tempeh.  Take the ends off the peas and steam them, just lightly–don’t take away their crisp!  If they’re super-fresh, just leave ’em raw.  After the tempeh is browned, remove it from the pan and set it aside.  Add the squash, dried cranberries, and a splash of water to the pan and heat until the squash is warmed.  Push the squash aside and melt some butter in the bottom of the pan.  Then flatten the squash out across the bottom of the pan; beat your egg with a little milk and salt and pepper, and pour it over the squash.  Cover and cook just until the egg is set–only a few minutes, if that!

If you are adept, or have a particularly good non-stick pan, slide the frittata in one lovely round onto a plate (or, glop and plop as I did).  Sprinkle the tempeh cubes and peas over the top, and then drizzle the sauce over everything.  Garnish with more parsley, if you are still trying to be rid of it (in a loving, appreciative way.  Parsley is wonderful, but why is it sold in such big bunches?).  Enjoy!

The best part of this meal?  Eating it on the back deck, and looking up from my utter enjoyment to a splendidly pink sunset.  Beautiful, but alas, another thing I do not take photos of, even on my dear flip phone.

Now, the question is, do I have to re-create every past Accidentally Delicious recipe in order to snap a pretty picture of it?  Or perhaps I will create some kind of archive. . . they are certainly worth sharing, these founding fathers and mothers of accident!

And please, share your own–build off this foundation!  Just email me at accidentaldeliciousness@gmail.com, and I’ll format and post your recipe.