I told Andy that yesterday in the kitchen felt like the fabled story of painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Every time I cooked something and cleaned it up, someone was right behind me dirtying up another one hundred dishes. It was mostly my fault, though. I had a bunch of things to test and retest for my book — a batch of veggie Okonomiyaki, a shredded carrot and chickpea salad, a blender sauce, another vegan Caesar dressing that Abby used in her new favorite lunch, i.e. crispy chickpeas + Caesar dressing + anything else. (Above.) In between I had some work calls and listened to that new podcast from the Times, Rabbit Hole. Phoebe and I are both already addicted. Here are some pantry and project ideas for your Tuesday…
Pantry: Marinated Tofu
I think maybe 90% of the texts I get from my friend Robin have something to do with tofu. (Doesn’t everyone have a friend like that?) Well, a few weeks ago, she texted me some tofu marinade ideas and mentioned she had luck with a coconut-curry number. So on Sunday morning, in a measuring cup, I whisked together about 1/2 cup coconut milk, a little olive oil (a neutral oil would be better), 1 tablespoon curry powder, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, a squeeze of lime, and a few drops of sambal oelek (you can us Sriracha) then poured the whole thing into a ziploc and added my extra firm tofu slices. Later that night, I baked the pieces in a 425°F degree oven on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then, when it was time to eat, drizzled a little chili oil on top and served with rice and sautéed bok choy. And there you have it, my friends: Sunday dinner, which I’d argue would be just as welcome on a weeknight when you just can’t do chicken.
Project: Coconut Rice Pudding
This is an old recipe, and I want to say it originated with Mark Bittman but I can’t remember. We used top our bowls with butter-fried pineapple chunks, but any fruit — blueberries, strawberries — will do. (And yes, if you don’t want to do the coconut version, replace with the same amount of whole milk.)
2 cups whole milk
2 cups light coconut milk
1/4 cup long-grain rice
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped pineapple
heavy cream for drizzling (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix the milk, coconut milk, rice, sugar and salt in a medium-large buttered casserole or baking dish. Bake uncovered two hours, stirring the mixture every half hour. Add the vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and lemon zest and mix. Bake the pudding without stirring a half hour longer or until the rice is very tender.
When ready to serve, heat butter in a cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat. Fry pineapple until golden brown, stirring every few minutes.
Serve rice pudding in bowls topped with pineapple and a drizzle of cream if desired.
Purpose: Samin’s Podcast
How lovable is Samin Nosrat? I haven’t listened to her new podcast yet, but if it’s anything like her hour on The Splendid Table (“Samin Answers Your Cooking Questions“) it is extremely promising. And probably just the thing when you don’t think you’re strong enough for The Daily. Now excuse me while I go make her tahdig.
Stay safe, stay home.
The goal of the Project, Pantry, Purpose series to keep us sane, distracted, and connected. Please continue to comment below with suggestions for recipes, projects (for kids and adults), good deeds, donation ideas, stories, movies, games, puzzles. Or just tell me how you’re doing, what your daily routine is, and especially how DALS can help you or people in your community. You can also email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.