Sunday, June 27, 2010

Two quick meals - green beans & potatoes.

Here are two of the dinners we ate this week.  They were very simple and required a minimal amount of effort, but both were delicious and featured some star items from this week's box.
First up, on Wednesday night (box night!), we had green beans and tofu with teriyaki sauce.  I used the Island Soyaki sauce from Trader Joe's.  Yes, I am fully aware that I am capable of making that sauce myself.  But sometimes it's nice to use a convenience food (one that has ingredients you can pronounce and contains nothing too alarming) to speed up dinner prep. 

The green beans were fabulous!  They were fresh and crisp and just divine.  I snapped off the stem ends (no need to trim the opposite end) and parboiled in salted water for about 4 minutes.  Then, to stop the cooking, I drained and rinsed the beans in cold water.
For the tofu, I pan-friend a pound of tofu cut into bite-sized slabs, about 1 inch by 1 1/2 inch and half an inch thick.  I don't usually bother with draining and pressing tofu to remove the excess water.  Instead, I buy extra firm water-packed tofu and cut it into 8 slabs crosswise.  Then I dab each slice with paper towels, on each side, pressing to extract as much water as possible.  This works great!  For this dish, I used my paper-towel pressing technique, cut the tofu into the aforementioned pieces, and pan fried for 10 minutes, flipping once.  Then I added about half a cup of the teriyaki sauce and the parboiled green beans, flipped the heat up to medium-high, and let the dish simmer for about 2 minutes until the sauce was reduced and everything was nice and hot. 
We served this over couscous (the lazy lady's grain), which was seasoned with garlic and ginger powder.  Yum!
Then, on Friday, we had roasted potatoes and open-faced radish and cream cheese sandwiches.  The oven roasted potato recipe is below.  While the potatoes roasted, I prepared the radish sandwiches.  I used an English muffin and my husband had two pieces of multigrain bread.  I toasted all the bread, then slathered each side with light cream cheese.  I sliced the radishes thinly, length-wise, and then layered them atop the cream cheese.  With a little salt and pepper thrown on top, these were tasty!  If you haven't tried French breakfast radishes, I highly recommend them.  They are a bit spicy, in a peppery sort of way, and refreshing at the same time.  Lovely!  They pair well with fats like butter and, in my opinion, cream cheese.
Enjoy the potatoes!  These came out crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, like a perfect potato should. 

Oven-Roasted Potatoes
Adapted from Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian"

Note: You can use other spices here as well.  One of my favorites is two teaspoons of prepared Mexican chili powder (the kind with oregano), mixed with a bit of minced garlic and about a tablespoon of olive oil.  Mix into the potatoes during the last 5 minutes of roasting, and sprinkle with lime juice and cilantro once you remove the potatoes from the oven.

1 1/2 pounds waxy new potatoes, red or yellow skinned
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.   Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Wash and scrub your potatoes, then dry them well.  Slice into 1-inch(ish) cubes, aiming for relatively uniform sizing so that everything cooks through in the same amount of time.   Place the potatoes on the prepared baking sheet and add the olive oil plus salt and pepper to taste.  Stir well to combine.  Make sure your potatoes are in one layer on the sheet.

Place the tray in the oven and let the potatoes roast, undisturbed, for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, stir.  Roast for another 20 minutes, stirring once or twice during that time, then check for doneness.  They might need a few more minutes if your pieces are larger.  Remove the potatoes from the oven and add additional salt and pepper to taste, plus the smoked paprika, and stir. 

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