Angry Crisped Olive Basil Tofu

Ever wonder what to do with that plain ‘ole brick a tofu? I was experimenting this weekend and came up with a nice spin on this solid protein source. Since tofu takes on the flavors of what you cook it with, I used some of my fave delicious Italian inspired ingredients.

Ingredients:

1 brick firm or extra firm tofu

couscous (I used Near East roasted garlic and olive oil)

2 slivers of garlic (plus more for your pan)

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 dozen of your fave olives (I used Castelvetrano olives; both colorful and salty)

4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 handful of Italian breadcrumbs (I used gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, Gillian’s Foods Italian breadcrumbs)

2 sun-dried tomatoes

2 tsp Borsari (truly the world’s best seasoned salt)

5 fresh basil leaves (plus more for garnish)

Directions:

Drain and press the tofu to remove any excess water. (I flatten mine with the weight of three cookbooks on top of paper towels, the tofu and a plate.)

Put the water/broth on for your couscous and cook according to package directions.

Using a small food processor, process all remaining ingredients. Slice the tofu into whatever size pieces you like. In a large saute pan, get two turns of olive oil and some garlic going on medium high. Once the oil is hot, add the tofu and saute until light brown. Then add the seasoning mixture you created. Continue on medium high until it gets as crispy as you like it.

Enjoy this dish warm along with your couscous and garnish with some beautiful basil leaves.

Do you have a favorite tofu recipe?

Cupcakes For A Baby Shower

I love cupcakes.

A lot.

They are such a delightful part of life. I like to smell them, look at them, taste them and bake them… I also enjoy eating them with a fork, which is sort of strange. It makes them last longer.

Check out these great cupcake papers and sugary embellishments I found at King Arthur Flour (KAF). KAF just happens to be America’s OLDEST flour company. Isn’t that amazing? They were founded in 1790. I spend quite a bit of time on their website and looking in the pages of their catalog. There are always lots of interesting things to see and try.

I had the honor of making dessert for my sister-in-law’s baby shower and I placed my KAF order straight away. The jungle theme was perfect for Erin. Homemade cake and buttercream makes for the most outrageous goodies. I think they came out pretty yummy…my niece Payton did, too!

Cupcakes for a baby shower

Grampy and Payton

Payton Elizabeth Robichaud with Grandpa Robie.

How To Make Pate Brisee: Scared of Pie Dough?

So…is anyone out there scared of pie dough? I have to admit, I completely was until I found this recipe. In fact, I am going to go ahead and dub it the best recipe of all time. Completely easy to make and it comes out perfectly flaky, buttery and sweet every iteration! It took me my whole life to find this. I am going to share it with you so it won’t take you as long.

PATE BRISEE courtesy of Martha Stewart
Makes enough for one double-crust or two single-crust 9-inch pies. For the flakiest crust, make sure all ingredients (including the flour) are cold before you begin.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup ice water, plus more if needed

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse to combine. Add the butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds. (To mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry blender.)

With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until the dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test by squeezing a small amount of the dough together; if it is still too crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Turn out the dough onto a clean working surface. Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into flattened disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

I have found that pie dough is not scary. It’s just particular. It makes me feel really good that we don’t have to look any further.