Friday, May 15, 2009

May 14-15, 2009

Being done with finals (yay!) but having uncertainty and tough choices in all other aspects of life right now (boo) have led to a lot of drinking and a lot of eating out, and few photos.

I finished my final Wednesday at 6 and proceeded immediately to drinking champagne, then when that was gone K and I went off in search of middle eastern food. That was a bust so we ended up at a sweet little Thai place with fancy drinks that I didn't manage to try but I'll definitely make it back. The lychee margaritas looked pretty wild but I just had wine because I didn't want to get too crazy after already putting away half a bottle of champagne. We followed all that up with a few drinks at a bar, joined by S, and then another couple of drinks at home and chips and salsa. These ladies are the best thing about NYC by far, and it's going to be a sad day soon when we go our separate ways in a couple weeks, but it's reasonably likely I will be in one of their cities (DC or San Fran) this fall, we shall see.

Here's a photo of me in my graduation cap (which I've been wearing pretty much all the time since I finished) and doing some ill-advised texting. From K's phone -- sneaky! She was there too but had had enough beer that she also thought it was a fine idea.

Hangover breakfast, Thursday around noon. I actually wasn't too bad off, which is a testament to my incredibly high law school-related alcohol tolerance.

A little while later I had some more of that polenta & pesto. Yeesh, there is a lot of this. It made 6 servings, and since no one else had any, I've been eating it every damn day forever. Still delicious! I did this one up in the wee George Foreman, which is why it's a little mangled and has grill marks.

And here, finally, is the last of it, plus the last of the giant asparagus from a few days back too. I fried up the polenta in a little bit of super-hot olive oil, and did make it a little more crispy than the first time. The asparagus is drizzled with a little olive oil, salt & fresh ground pepper, and tossed under the broiler for about 7 mins.

That's all the photos from yesterday, though this toast kind of resembles the toast I had post early dinner and pre Grey's Anatomy season finale. Beer and a Gibson were also consumed (out of olives for my martini, which was pretty sad, but the onions are also kind of good).

Anyway, this was breakfast this morning, some sprouted bread toast with canola margarine, plus coffee and plenty of water. I had a job inteview yesterday and one and a half today -- important to stay hydrated for all that talking.

I am kind of losing most brain functions as a result of the finals, the job interviews, etc etc. I have only a foggy recollection of what else I ate today and I definitely didn't take photos.

THEN I made garlicky tofu, based on my really vague memory of a recipe from a now-defunct food blog. It was a sad, sad day when poco-coco went down, because there were a ton of recipes on there that sounded amazing, including this one.

I think next time I do this, I'll fry the tofu first, then put in the garlic and onions, so the tofu has more texture. Plus it really needed cilantro, but the fresh oregano I had in the fridge did the job of bringing some necessary green-ness to the dish pretty well. This recipe could easily be doubled.

Garlicky tofu
(1-2 servings)
  • 1/2 lb firm tofu, lightly pressed to expel water
  • 2-3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 of a medium onion, or more to taste, sliced in 1/4 inch half-moons
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly or minced (depending on whether you like to eat big hunks of garlic, or pick out the garlic from your dish, or eat wee bits of garlic -- I went for the eating big hunks of garlic, since if it's Friday and I'm not kissing anyone you better believe I'm chowing on some garlic)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or more or less to taste (The amount I added really didn't make it spicy at all, just gave a little bit of flavor.)
  • 1 medium tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 2-3 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste
  1. Cut the tofu into rectangles or triangles about 1 inch thick. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan on medium to med-high heat, until a drop of water flicked into the oil sizzles or the oil starts to smoke. Put the tofu in and fry for a few minutes on each side, until it is to your desired crispy brown-ness. If you want it REALLY crispy, that takes up to 10 mins per side. I like mine just medium, so it's pretty good after 5 mins or less per side.
  2. When the second side is nearly done, by your standards, turn the heat down to medium-low and push the tofu to the sides of the skillet. You may need to add a little more oil, another teaspoon or so, at this stage if the tofu has sucked up the oil you started with. When the pan stops sizzling so loudly and has cooled off a little, add the onions and garlic to the middle of the pan and let them sautee until they turn translucent, maybe 5 mins.
  3. Then, add the veggie broth and tomatoes and crank up the heat to boil off some of the water in the broth.
  4. Now's the time to either make a drink, clean up a little, or tend to your side dish. When the broth has reduced to about 1/2 to 1/3 of its original volume, then it's done. Toss in your fresh herbs, stir it around, and serve along with a whole grain and/or a simple steamed or roasted vegetable.
Here's my dinner -- along with the tofu I made some quinoa (red and white mixed) and while that was cooking I dumped in about a cup of frozen spinach and some cumin.

This was a pretty humble dinner but it really worked out and I didnt' have to buy anything even though I'm starting to run out of a lot of stuff.

And I've got another portion for tomorrow, which will potentially be the most garlicky thing I have ever consumed after it's been sitting in garlicky broth covered in garlic for a day.

The BEST thing to serve this with (and really one of the best things to serve anything with) is cilantro-jalapeno rice from a Gourmet magazine I bought in the summer of 2006, which I cannot find right now and I'm going to assume it's around here somewhere so I don't have to freak out about that because it's the best EVER.

Week of fun is kind of boring so far. I am supposed to be going out dancing tonight, but my friends are already drunk and I am still in my pajamas. Today I went from pajamas to gym clothes to pajamas and there's a reasonable chance that'll be it, but I may make it out to see a movie or something if dancing doesn't happen. Tomorrow's supposed to be the Brooklyn Brewery tour but I have a sneaking suspicion that people are going to bail on that too, so we'll see. Maybe I'll go tour the brewery by myself!

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