Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Simple Bean Croquettes (w/ Yogurt-Tahini Sauce) and Lemony Tofu

These are basically bean burgers. It's another Bittman recipe, and really turned out surprisingly well considering how simple it is.

First, take a 15 oz. can of beans - I used white beans (cannellini) because I like them, but I think you can try any kind of canned bean. Put about 2-3 T. of the bean liquid in your blender. Rinse off the beans and drain them, then put them in the blender as well. Blend until not quite pureed - the idea is to have some chunks left in there. I think you could do this using a potato masher too. I'll try that next time, it's slightly less messy.

Then add:
1/2 c. minced onion
1/4 c. minced parsley leaves
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1 egg
salt and pepper

Mix well. Pat the results into 4 burger-like patties and fry 'em up in about 1/8 inch of oil (I use grapeseed, but peanut oil works well for frying also). Bittman says only 5 min. a side at medium heat. I think the skillet should be hotter (med-hi) and you should cook them longer. Get them good and browned.

These were DELICIOUS. Way better than I expected. Kind of like latkes, but with protein instead of starch (okay, the crumbs are starchy; latkes with SOME protein). I served them with yogurt-tahini sauce from the Moosewood Collective Cookbook.

1 c. plain yogurt
2 T. tahini
2 t. chopped fresh dill
2 cloves minced garlic
salt and pepper

Mix it all together and let it sit at least 15 min.

This was also DELICIOUS and better the next day. I curse my sister (and Kate and Meg? I think they're responsible) for introducing me to Brown Cow Cream Top Yogurt. It really IS cream on top, folks. Now that I know what full-fat yogurt tastes like, I don't think I can ever go back to low-fat pectin-filled glop.

Served this with:
1. some beets roasted in the oven, which would have been fine except I was impatient and they were not cooked as nicely as they could have been. They will be better reheated, I think. Beets are especially good in vinaigrette.

2. this orange-onion-rosemary salad (another Bittman) which I'm really becoming fond of. Thin navel orange slices, about a T. fresh rosemary, and one small red onion, plus olive oil, salt, pepper. Sounds strange, maybe, but it's good. Not quite as good the next day, however.

I will definitely be making bean croquettes again. They work well as burgers, or just eaten alone...good with the sauce, but almost tasty enough to eat plain. Or you could use them as an alternative to hash browns or breakfast sausage. And you can add whatever spices you like to make them Indian, Asian, Mexican, etc, using whatever beans you think are appropriate. With canned beans, this takes about 20 minutes!!!!! The leftovers today were still tasty, though not as crispy.


Tonight's meal (Wed): low key. Main dish will be lemony-rosemary baked tofu which I've made before (I just can't get enough rosemary, which is good because I have two monster plants in which I can barely make a dent). This recipe is from the Moosewood Collective as well. Couldn't be easier:

1/4 c. lemon juice
1 T. minced fresh rosemary
2 T. soy sauce
1-2 T.? olive oil
some pepper
1 lb. firm tofu

Heat oven to 400. Mix all ingredients except the tofu together. Cut the tofu in slices crossways (you'll have 4 thin slices as big across as the top of the tofu cake; I can't think of a better way to describe this). Pour half the marinade in an 8x8 or 9x9 baking pan. This pan should be glass; most other stuff will react with the lemon juice and taste NASTY. Put in the tofu; pour the rest of the marinade over. Bake 1 hour; turn over tofu slices at about 30 min.

This is my favorite way to make tofu, though I haven't tried many other ways, I guess. It's easy to throw together, and is good cold in sandwiches. I like it so much that I rarely get around the the sandwiches, and prefer to eat is straight out of the fridge. Accompanying this will be leftover beets, leftover orange salad, sauteed zucchini, and maybe the asparagus left over from making Campbell rolls on Sunday. Man, what a healthful meal! I am not usually this good.


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