February 3, 2013

A Side Dish Transformed to an Entree

First off, I want to apologize for neglecting my blog since August.  But between work, working many weekends, a hurricane, some vacations, and the winding down of one job to start another, things have been a little chaotic - leaving very little time for blogging. Or let's be honest, very little interest in blogging.

But I have a folder filled to the brim on my computer with pictures of dishes we've made that I'm just dying to share.

For Christmas a year ago, my mom gave us the Guy Fieri Food: Cookin' It, Livin' It, Lovin' It book. She sent it because that fall (in the fall of 2011) we road tripped and made a point to visit as many as the DDDs we could.

Really, everything we've made out of this cookbook as been fantastic. But this is one of my favorites. It's actually meant to be a side dish, but we turn it in to an entree by lightening up the cooking process a bit and then adding some tofu to make it a full meal.

The recipe that Guy uses calls for frying the beans in oil, 2 cups of oil. I just can't imagine using that much for a dinner, so instead of deep frying the beans in oil, we just pan sauteed them. So I'm writing the recipe below how we make it. But the recipe as Guy makes it can be found on the Food Network site here.

Szechuan Green Beans with Realistic Eats Changes to make it dinner!
  • 1 T canola oil1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger1 tablespoon minced garlic1/4 cup soy sauce1/2 T Siracha1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
    2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
    1 tablespoon mirin or white wine1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
    1 - 2 T chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 container mushrooms1 pound green beans, cleaned and trimmed2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
  • 1 brick extra firm lite tofu
  • 1 avocado sliced or diced
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Dice your tofu in to small cubes and place on the lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven at 350 for approx. 30 minutes - or until the tofu is dry and has a light brown color.
While the tofu is baking...
In a large skillet, add 1 T canola oil and heat it up.  When the oil is hot, add in the green beans and mushrooms and cook them until they are tender but start to brown a bit.  
In another skillet or a small pot, spray with PAM, then add in the ginger and saute until you can start to smell it. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute or until it turns light brown; add soy sauce, siracha, rice wine vinegar, hoisin, mirin, sesame oil. I let this simmer a bit to get the flavors blended then turned it off..
When the green beans are done, and the tofu is done, place in a big bowl or pot and toss with the sauce that you made.  Then toss with some fresh chopped cilantro and the chopped peanuts, which I admit I did toast up first.  Plate that and top with the avocado. 
While I know the meal has enough fat between the peanuts and fried green beans, the avocado makes this recipe with the cool creaminess in contrast to the great salty flavors in the dish.
I did serve this with a 3oz. side of rice noodles as well.

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