June 15th, 2006

breaded tofu?

I made my first attempt at breading tofu last night and it wasn't not successful. Probably because I thought I could just toss my marinated tofu chunks in a bag, add bread crumbs, and shake--blame my Shake n' Bake upbringing! The breadcrumbs all came off while frying and became a crumbly burnt mess, leaving the tofu pretty bare. What's the right way to do this?

On the bright side, the tofu ended up being the tastiest tofu I've ever had. It spent the night draining in the fridge, marinated in veggie broth all day long, was fried with a bit of garlic and tomatoe, sprinkled with Italian seasonings, and clung to a few of the breadcrumbs. Tasted kinda like chicken nuggets (from what I remember about chicken nuggets anyway). I love when something good comes out of a mistake!

Toasted Ravioli?

Before I go trying to ruin perfectly good raviolis...

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make toasted ravioli? Like the ones you get at restaraunts as appitizers?

I know I have to "bread" them but do not know with what. It's not like a batter on the ones I had years ago and the ones I see on TV. Does anyone know what I am talking about?
And should I fry them or can I bake it on...I am not a fan of frying due to the high amounts of oil but I do it occasionally.

This is for a special occasion and I want to wow my omni boyfriend with my cooking. I have already done so before, but I want to remake a special dinner we had...and be able to eat it at the same time. I will be using frozen Rising Moon raviolis if anyone is curious. They are really good!

Thanks for any help you fabulous people have.
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Baked eggplant and squash with roasted garlic and seeds

I bought some japanese eggplants and didn't really know what to do with them so I did what I always do with vegetables that I don't know what to do with, olive oil and a pan. I started with the squash though thinking that they would take longer to cook, and they did, 20 minutes in a hot pan and they were barely soft. Boyfriend and I were starving so we improvised.

3 small japanese eggplants cut into bits, I like round pieces
2 small squashes, I had an acorn squash and something else I don't know the name of, seeded and cut into bits. Save the seeds though.
Olive oil
Glass baking dish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and seperate the squash seeds and pat dry. Place in one layer on a baking sheet and salt generously. Set aside.
I started with cooking the squash in some garlic and olive oil on the stove but since it was taking too long we decide to try baking everything so you could probbaly skip the stovetop step. I put the eggplant slices on the bottom of the dish since they soak up oil and I was almost out. I poured the last of my olive oil over the top of the eggplant, about 1/4 cup. I piled the squash sections on top and threw in a handful of garlic cloves still in the husks. I added about an inch of water to the bottom for some steam and put a snug fitting lit on and place in the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes of baking, add the sheet of squash seeds to the oven and let those cook for an additional 10 minutes. When the seeds look toasted and the squash and eggplant are soft but not mushy remove them. Drain the excess water from the vegetables. Pick out the garlics and squeeze them out of their husks. Toss the roasted garlic and toasted squash seeds together with the vegetables until well mixed. Serve and enjoy.

Note :

Squash is very dense and very filling so this would have served about 4-5 people.

freezing dates; 5 spice tofu for sweet recipes

Is it okay to freeze dried pitted dates? I mean, will it mess with the texture or make them go all gross when thawed? Also, how well do they sub in for granulated or liquid sweeteners (in non-raw recipes)?

Also, I found Chinese 5 spice tofu at my grocery store. It's yummy stuff, though the spices in it (cinnamon, cloves, anise, ginger, and something else) aren't things I'd have thought to put in savory dishes. Has anyone tried using it as an egg replacer in desserts? First thing that comes to mind is a favorite pumpkin pie recipe...