03 April 2011

Something like nigiri, only not at all

Exactly as described, this dish was an experiment (I swear I cook things that aren't experiments but I usually don't post them unless they are new and delicious). I wanted something cold for dinner, so I went on my way to get salad ingredients. Somewhere on the 3-block walk, I decided I'd rather have tofu and kale (a common craving). And, somewhere on the walk home, I came up with an odd idea - wrap the tofu in kale and bake it at a high heat, quickly, to give it a crunch, then let it cool.

And while I was at it, why not add some more crunchy things - sliced apple (instead of the saltiness of soy sauce, the sweetness of fruit) and red onion (to provide bite like wasabi). I also, of course, still made the salad. Do I recommend you make these? Maybe, they were quite good. But they aren't exactly perfected, half of them fell apart, and the flavors need some work.

Hippie Nigiri (Kaleifornia Rolls)
Serves 1 adventurous person
1 single-serving block of baked tofu (~8 ounces) cut into 8 pieces
8 leaves of lacinato (dinosaur) kale (plus more if you just want to eat it)
16 fingernail-sized slices of red onion
8 thin apple slices
olive oil
sea salt
crushed red pepper

Prepare a few things: an oven heating to 475 degrees, a pot of boiling water, a bowl of ice water, and a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Once the water is at a boil, blanch the kale leaves by dropping them in the water, letting them cook for 10-20 seconds, and transferring them to the ice water. Make sure they cool, and press out all of the liquid.

Take each piece of tofu and place an apple slice on it and two pieces of red onion, then wrap it in a piece of kale, leaving the loose ends under the tofu slice. Place on the pan and brush with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle on a bit of salt and a dash of crushed red pepper.

Bake for no more than 10 minutes, until the kale is crispy. Either eat hot (delicious) or let cool a bit (also delicious). Wonder what the fuck you just ate and how it tasted good.

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