This meal is one that takes the cake! It came from the new cookbook Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. If you’d like to read the fabulously composed, tested, and well-thought-out recipes get to your nearest bookstore or library and grab a copy. Her recipes definitely deliver on strong flavors and unexpected combinations. I’ll give my own interpretation of these two recipes here, but I assure you that if you pick up this book and follow along (tailoring the recipes to your own desires) you will be a very happy camper.
The basic idea behind the blackened tofu is simple. Just add a tasty spice rub of your choice to the tofu slices and pop them in your oven broiler for 6 minutes, flip and broil for 6 more minutes. I can’t believe how well the tofu turned out – very similar to blackened fish. The leftover tofu slices the will be perfect filling for sandwiches later this week. If you’ve never used your broiler before you may want to google it before you go experimenting.
To make the butternut rice you will need a good chunk of time. Start by making up a big pot of rice (4 cups water to 2 cups rice) and roasting 2 butternut squashes at 400 degrees. Halve the squash, scoop out the seeds, and let them roast for 45 minutes or until soft. Then let the squash cool while the rice concludes cooking. Once all that is done everything else goes very quickly.
- 2 small butternut squash
- 2 cups rice uncooked
- olive oil
- one scallion
- one clove garlic
- one inch ginger
- one lime (zest 2 teaspoons and juice to taste)
- one can of coconut milk
- salt and red pepper flakes
First slice up the scallion and throw it in a large frying pan with some olive oil. Let that cook for about 5 minutes while you prepare the garlic and ginger. I pressed the garlic, shredded the ginger and zested the lime. Really you can press, shred or mince whatever is your preference.
And look at how pretty the below zest is. My sister gave me a new zester and it makes the most beautiful frothy little bits of zest. Thanks Emily!
After the spices cook for a few more minutes you can add the can of coconut milk to the pan and reduce the heat to low. There will be coconut solids in the can just mush those up.
Next scoop the butternut out of its skin, add it to the milk mixture, and mash it up a bit with a fork. Next incorporate the rice. You don’t have to add all of the squash or the rice, I saved out a little bit of both after I had achieved the right consistency. Add lime juice, salt, and red pepper flakes to suit your taste. This made a ton of butternut rice. I’ve eaten it for three meals now, and probably have two servings left in the fridge and two servings left in the freezer.
This rice was wonderful served with a good sized chunk of butternut squash, and it also made a tasty savory crepe filling. Experiment and enjoy!