Sunday, June 20, 2010

Scintillas in the Mist

I have never taken a steamy photo before now.
I've framed and shot steaming dishes, but the result is usually too skimpy to even resemble steam unless I tell you to look for it.
Yesterday I got this heavenly photo, but in retrospect I wonder if it might have been my lens that got steamed up.
I should tell you briefly what it is, because it was so delicious, it got me steamed up too.
Come on, won't you please try cooking this just once? Halfway through my meal, I got a HungerSurge™, and steamed through the rest of the food on my plate. So yummy.
It's Ma Po Tofu, but instead of minced pork, we used braised, chopped beet greens (a splash of water, a little butter, stir, cover, real quick actually). Cook the tofu cubes the usual way, but pull back a bit on the hot bean paste. Don't use ginger at all. Add little clumps of maitake mushrooms, and then finally, stir in the drained beet leaves.
Beet greens have their own quirky, dark flavor, and they played very nicely with everybody else in the playground.
This dish needs, craves, white rice. I like rice, but I've never had a meal where everything on the plate was in such harmony.
You're not even going to try making it, are you?
Hell, if I was Elise, you would.


Zoomie said...

Cool photo but it's not enough to tempt me to tofu.

Kailyn said...

If my steamy food photos looked this good, I would have published them long ago. And white rice? No, this screams for brown rice. And now I'm thinking that I need to make a trip to Alameda to go to Burma Superstar. I know. Different country. Same feeling I get from this photo though.

Greg said...

I did try your recipe! I did not have the bean paste so I subbed red chili sauce. A great response from my son."Dad I normally don't like tofu..but make more of this stuff."

cookiecrumb said...

Zoomie: I thought you were into trying a new thing a day. Can't believe you haven't had tofu.

Kailyn: Aw, thanks. I liked the white rice, but that Massa brown could probably work nicely.

Greg: OMG! You are now the new Asian cook. I'm so pleased your kid liked it.

kudzu said...

Interesting combination. I always love the greens (familiar as well as mysterious) in Chinese homecooking and I can imagine the beet leaves in there. Trying to do less meat now and that might be a good recipe for me. Thanks!

Dolphin said...


Zoomie said...

Oh, I've had tofu in the past - that's why I try not to eat it now. I think it's a texture thing, since it basically has no flavor except the flavors one adds.

cookiecrumb said...

Kudzu: Wow, I am endorsed! Thanks for the props. I bet you, with your clever taste buds, would really like it. We were Lady Gaga over it. (Hodo tofu, which Mr. Scharffenberger now runs, from the market.)

Dolphin: I bask in your appreciation. Wow.

Zoomie: Yeah, all those textures -- soft, medium, firm.
I GET it; you don't need to eat tofu. :)