Jerk Tofu and Asparagus with Sticky Rice and Peas…or what Jamaican me for Dinner?
So get your groan about the title out of the way now…I just couldn’t resist the pun. Since it’s still snowing (seemingly without pause for the last month now) I’ve run out of interest in slow cooker recipes and stews and have decided that if I cook only things inspired by warm climates, perhaps it will start to rub off. No luck yet, but we’re still hoping.
My jerk seasoning just doesn’t see enough use, and so I decided to pull it out last night and see what I could come up with. The tofu is a riff of a couple recipes for Jerk Chicken I checked out online, and the asparagus is similar to the recipe for Jerk Asparagus in Appetite for Reduction, I just took the easy-way out with the ready-made seasoning.
There was one distinctly un-Jamaican ingredient in the tofu that probably contributed quite a bit to its reddish-orange coloring…the squeezable vinegar-ed hot sauce a good friend just brought me back from Korea….WAY exciting. Anyway, on to the recipe, because I’ll definitely be making this tofu preparation again.
1 block tofu, pressed
2 tbs lime juice
2 tbs vinegar-ed hot sauce (you don’t need to have a direct food supply line from Korea)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tbs olive oil
5-6 grinds sea salt
2 heaping tbs Jerk seasoning
1. Preheat oven to 385F. Slice pressed tofu into 8 rectangles.
2. Combine all the other ingredients in a large ziploc, and then add the tofu. Shake gently to coat, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to marinate.
3. Spray a glass casserole dish with something non-stick, and then lay out the tofu. Pour excess marinade on top, and flip to coat evenly.
4. Set oven for 50 minutes and insert tofu. Halfway, flip to the other side. Enjoy!
The asparagus was even easier, and also had a bit of that Jamaican flair that was in the tofu. Normally I like under-cooking my asparagus a bit so it has a bite, but I let this go a bit long so it would get a bit of a spice crust on it, and was a really big fan.
1 bunch asparagus
1 heaping tbs Jerk seasoning
2-3 grinds salt (my Jerk seasoning is un-salted, if yours includes it, skip this)
1 tsp peanut oil
2 tbs water
1. Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet. Add jerk seasoning and water, cook 30 seconds, and then add asparagus.
2. Cook approximately ten minutes, tossing occasionally, until stalks are starting to crisp up a bit. Remove and serve immediately, as they’ll get soggy not long after if left.
Last but not least, I kept reading up on this popular Jamaican dish called Rice and Peas…only thing is when they say peas…they mean split peas…and the dish involves coconut milk, neither of which I had. I decided to take the name and do my own thing with what I had on hand. The result was pretty high fat, but SOOO good, I was rather proud.
1/2 cup long grain sticky rice
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup soy creamer
1/2 cup peas
S+P to taste
1. Combine rice, stock, and creamer in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, covered. Once a boil is reached, lower to a simmer and allow to cook until all liquid has been absorbed.
2. Add peas and salt and pepper to taste–stir well. Enjoy!
So maybe I can’t affect the weather (It’s been snowing for about 8 hours now) but at least I can pretend we’re living in warmer times…and this meal did just that. YUM!