Veggie Broth, Crispy Tofu, Gai Lan
Watermelon Radish, Carrot, Bok Choy, Sesame Chili Oil
Have you received a copy of a food magazine in the mail with a cover photo that absolutely floors you? February 2018 Bon Appetit did that for me. There was no way that I wasn’t going to “Cook The Cover” and make that gorgeous Crispy Tofu in Shiitake Broth.
Alas, time passed and I didn’t make it. But, last Saturday’s trip to the Torrance Farmers Market gave me the inspiration…it came from a vegetarian Korean food booth called Dave’s Gourmet Korean Food with a sample of his hot “Vegee Broth.” It was amazing – complex flavors in a vegetarian broth made with fermented vegetable juice, sea salt, low sodium gluten-free soy sauce, and miso.
As I walked the market, watermelon radish and bok choy remembered from that February magazine cover ended up in my basket. I already had carrots and firm tofu at home.
One ingredient that is not in Bon Appetit’s recipe was beautiful Gai Lan, also known as Chinese broccoli. Slightly bitter and slightly sweet, with tasty broad leaves, petite buds, a few pretty white flowers, and tender stems – this had to be added to my version of the vegetable soup.
Here is the link to the original recipe by Bon Appetit, and my adaptations are listed below. Those in the Los Angeles area can find Dave’s Vegee Broth at various Farmers Markets across the county. If you are not in LA, simply follow the original broth recipe. It will take a little longer but be, no doubt, worth your time.
Veggie Broth, Crispy Tofu, Gai Lan Recipe
Continue reading “Cook The Cover”
Baja-Style Tortilla Vegetable Soup
Garnished with Avocado, Lime, Serrano, Cilantro
Baja California, Mexico! Have you been? Unfortuately it’s been a few years since I’ve been down there. We loved Ensenada – a couple decades ago we rode our bicycles 50 miles from Rosarito to Ensenada. That ride is still going strong, in its 31st year. And we always love Los Cabos, with it’s great beaches, restaurants, nightlife and fishing. In Guerrero Negro, where the whales come in the winter to give birth, you can experience them up close in the lagoon.
Fish tacos have been a specialty in Baja, no wonder, as it is a long thin spit of land surrounded by water. Traditionally, the tacos are local fried fish served on a corn tortilla, with shredded cabbage, onion, crema, and lime. That’s the way I remember them sold from street vendors in Ensenada back in the early 80’s. Speaking of Ensenada, have you been to Hussong’s (est. 1892), the oldest cantina in the Californias?
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White Truffle Oil
Cover the beets with water. Bring to boil then simmer until very tender. When beets are cool enough to handle; trim, peel and slice.
Strain the beet cooking liquid through a coffee filter, reserve.
While the beets cook, bring stock to a boil in a large soup pot. Add carrot, cabbage, onion, garlic, tomato, bay leaves. Simmer for 30 minutes.
- 4 or 5 beets
- 1 chopped head cabbage
- 1 sliced medium onion
- 4 sliced carrots
- 7 crushed garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 bunch dill
- 1 large can seeded peeled tomatoes
- 8 c. stock ((beef or vegetable)
- sugar, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste
- truffle oil and crème fraîche for garnish
After about 30 minutes, add sliced beets, beet liquid, and a bunch of dill. And red wine vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for another 15 minutes. Remove bay. Purée with an immersion blender. Adjust seasonings.
One of the best wine pairings I can remember was enjoyed at Chef Nancy Oakes’ Boulevard
in San Francisco where Chioggia beets (Italian heirloom variety) were paired with a fruity flavorful red wine from Brouilly. Definitely try this soup with a Brouilly if you can find one, if not, try a more readily available Beaujolais.
Delightful Color, Cheery Garnish
Delicious Deep Earthy Flavors