When I have a writer’s block, I usually write my way out of it. Today I tried something different for treating it: I cooked a new, spicy and fabulous dish. It’s still not gone (the writers’ block, because the dish was gone as soon as it hit the bowls) but this dish is so delicious that I think I should actually invite writer’s blocks and welcome them when they show up if this is what they bring with them. Look how terrible my writing is, I compliment my own dish, call it “fabulous”. You cannot call a dish fabulous, it’s so tacky! Do you think I will ever recover? I really hope it’s not permanent. I need my epithets, I need words to flow out of my body into the computer!
Insert picture so you forget about my bad writing.
Is it possible that all the creative energy stored in my body for a week went directly into this dish? Because I tell you, I nailed this one. No, I refuse to be modest about it. This is a really good dish. It’s as good as the dishes at Salad King, which is my favourite Thai restaurant in Toronto. Even better, actually, because now I know that there are no dubious sauces added. And no MSG! Isn’t that miraculous, to eat something without MSG in it? Let’s celebrate dishes without MSG!
I will not continue to torture you with my shabby writing. Here’s the recipe:
- 350g extra firm tofu (about 2 cups, cubed)
- 1 small pineapple (2 cups, cubed)
- ½ cup cashew nuts, roasted and unsalted
- ½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 green onions, minced
- ½ cup fresh coriander, minced
- 15 leaves fresh basil, minced
- 2 tsp red curry paste
- 2 tsp medium curry powder
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 cup coconut milk (organic and BPA-free)
- 4 Tbsp softened coconut oil
- 4, 5 basil fresh leaves for garnish
- Put the uncut tofu in a bowl and place another bowl with something heavy in it on top of it. Leave for 20 minutes for the water to be pressed out of the tofu. Cube the tofu.
- In an cast iron skillet (or a wok or a heavy bottomed non stick pan) heat the coconut oil on high heat, then add the turmeric, 1 tsp of the red curry paste, 1 tsp curry powder, the cayenne pepper, the salt and the cubed tofu. Fry for one minute, stirring gently. Do not over-stir.
- Add the cubed pineapple and stir for another one minute.
- Add the cashew nuts and stir for another 30 seconds.
- Add the bell peppers, coriander, basil and onions.
- Stir for another 30 seconds. At this point, if the heat is too high and the tofu is breaking apart, you can turn it to medium.
- Add the coconut milk. It will simmer violently, so stand back and be careful as you pour it.
- Add the rest of the red curry paste and curry powder. Simmer for two minutes.
- Remove from heat. Put in serving bowls, garnish with the basil leaves and serve with brown rice.
This dish, how do I describe it? Please, oh muse, have pity and help me describe this curry to these people who cannot smell and taste it. Pictures are not good enough, oh cruel muse! Yet here’s one more picture, for lack of words:
Without the help of the muse, here’s what I put together: this dish is inspired by Thai cuisine, which I love. It’s mildly spicy (you can use more cayenne pepper if you like it to be spicier). Roasting the pineapple and the tofu together brings out the sweetness and flavour of the pineapple and lends some of it to the tofu. The texture of the two of them, the pineapple and the tofu is really good when combined – the tofu’s silky texture and round taste balances out the juicy roasted pineapple. When the two of them are topped with the crunchy cashews, herbs and coconut milk, the result is a really complex dish with a great variety of aromas which your taste buds would love!
We didn’t have a wine to have this dish with. However, I would have enjoyed a dry riesling with it, so if you want to serve this for dinner, try it with a good quality riesling or chardonnay. White wines go really well with asian dishes!
Thank you for bearing with me through this post. I promise I will work on getting through this writers’ block as soon as possible so I can write something inspiring or angering or just nice along my recipes. Writing is very important to me, I express myself that way and I need it badly in my life. I grew up reading and writing, I used to spend many long summer days in the countryside on the porch writing letters to my friends, parents, imaginary friends or whoever would read them. The readers were not as important as the writing itself. Now I really value my readers but the act of writing is like therapy for me. That feeling of divine grace (I’m an atheist most of the time and once in a while an ardent devotee), when the words are pouring out of me is one of the rare moments when I think that life has meaning and purpose. Because seriously, everything is transient, just look around you. But that energy that flows and inspires is not, it’s fricking eternal. And I want a piece of that eternity with my pineapple tofu curry, on the side or in it.
Stay inspired, my friends.