Cranky went to San Francisco yesterday via ferry from Marin County, to visit some old pals. I asked him to stop at the Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market for some fresh organic tofu, sold by Basic Soy (and thanks, Jen, at Life Begins at 30, for cluing me in about them).
Cranky got there a little early, and had to wait for the Basic Soy folks (lovely people) to arrive and set up. So he had some coffee. Hung around.
But once they arrived and got ready to vend, Cranky went a little nuts. Good.
We now have, in the fridge, a block of fresh tofu, a sack of Chinese Five-Spice dusted tofu cubes, and half a sack of Tofu Puffs.
That latter — well, I was a little wary. I mean, they're just squares of deep-fried tofu, and we all know what happens when you deep fry tofu: It gets hollow. Not literally hollow, but spongy and vaguely interiorless.
So, the reason we have half a sack of them is — ta dah! Cranky decided to invent a use for the first half of the bunch.
We had some fresh (though aging) brown mushrooms in the fridge. And a very healthy pot of garlic chives on the patio. Naturally, our pantry holds oyster sauce, peanut oil, and sesame oil, at the ready.
We talked it over, briefly. And then he cut himself loose.
"Don't come downstairs until I call you," he said.
And he came up with these.
They were so cute, so delicious, so satisfying. They reminded me of the dancing mushrooms from Disney's "Fantasia." I wanted to call them "Fubars" or maybe "Futons."
Cranky suggested "Tofrooms," or even "Mushfu." I swore that I'd never eat in a restaurant with food named like that (and I wasn't at all carried away with my own suggested names).
By the way, these little bites were really easy to make. Cranky just heated some peanut oil with a squirt of sesame oil and a squidge of oyster sauce in a nonstick skillet. Then he warmed the cleaned mushroom caps to the point of submission, and slapped them on top of tofu puffs that he had opened on top with a pinch of his thumbnail, so the stems of the mushrooms would fit inside. Then he tied the little bales with lengths of garlic chive that he had blanched in hot water. A minute in the microwave, and we had a super snacky dinner. (Plus! They would make ever-so-easy party canapes, just awaiting a zap in the nuker.)
Now what should we call them?