Saturday, October 16, 2010

Movie Food: Roasted Tofu and Couscous Pine Nuts fluffed with Dr. Dog and Donnis

You know what really curdles my milk (aside from those people that are always standing outside of grocery stores on Saturdays and Sundays trying to get me to buy their stupid cookies or landfill fattening discount cards)? Movie makers that create entertaining films that peter out in the last five minutes. Even my third graders know not to pull that stuff. I've witnessed two such films recently. One suffers because the two lovers repair their relationship only to have him die in the crumbling twin towers. The other stays too long with a belly dancer and a much too old protagonist chasing thieves who stole his scooter bringing about his death(?). At least the latter inspired a recipe. Bismillah!

Roasted Tofu Served over Couscous with Pine Nuts
(printable version-coming when google quits being slow)

for the tofu:
-2 Tbs. olive oil
-1 onion
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-4 roma tomatoes
-1 tsp. saffron threads
-1/2 tsp. black pepper
-1/2 cup dry white wine
-1 block of tofu, sliced into rectangles
-2 Tbs. chopped parsley

for the couscous:
-2 Tbs. unsalted butter
-3/4 cup chopped shallots
-1 1/2 cups couscous
-1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
-2 Tbs. chopped parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a frying pan, heat the onion in the olive oil until onion is translucent. Add the garlic cloves and cook for another minute.

2. Add the tomatoes, saffron, pepper and white wine to the onions and garlic. Simmer over medium heat for five minutes.

3. Lay the tofu in a 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour the tomato sauce over the tofu and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley.

4. While the tofu is baking, melt butter in a large saucepan. Add the shallots and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, until translucent. Add the vegetable stock and pepper (to taste) and bring to a boil. Remove the saucepan from heat and add the couscous. Cover the pan and set aside for 10 minutes. Stir in pine nuts and fluff with a fork.

5. Place healthy scoops of couscous on plates and top with two or three slices of tofu. If so inclined, say Bismillah!

About the time I was finishing my second poorly ended movie and plotting out this couscous dish, Philadelphia's Dr. Dog released a new track "Nobody Knows Who You Are." I can't say I am a big fan of these guys (even though I do love all things Philadelphia) but this tracks catchy chorus and music that would make bobblehead proud make it hard for me to ignore (and believe me I tried). The harmonica was like icing on the cake (or tofu on the couscous).

Unlike those movie makers, Donnis knows how to end things with a bang. I caught just the last few songs of his set last night at the Matt and Kim show in St. Pete (missed most of the show standing in line waiting for the State Theater to let me in) and he certainly had arms in the venue bouncing. "Tonight" was one of the last songs he performed. Couscous, take note!