I had my monthly book club last night. Except I didn’t read the book.
In my defense, I started the first few pages and at another mom’s club event, one of the moms cued me in that the book wasn’t worth reading. If only I’d known that before spending $9.99 on the book. Ha! But, in true book club fashion, there was only book talk for 16 minutes of the 2 hours we spent together.
I know it was 16 minutes because I counted. Before I left the house Mr. Prevention said, “I’ll be curious to know how much time is spent actually talking about the book.”
Silly husband. I’m there for the mid-week reprieve from my daily grind, a night off from making dinner, and duh, the beer/wine/cocktail. I make no apologies for carving out that girl time – it keeps me sane!
At one point during “book club” (I promise, it really does involve reading a predetermined book and meeting to discuss…over dinner and drinks), the women were talking about my Instagram account and all the food photos I post. Being out to dinner with a food blogger always welcomes commentary. I totally left the door wide open for it, though.
“Those salads are beautiful!” I said.
“You want to take a picture for Instagram?!” one of the women asked.
Haha. What can I say? Guilty! 99% of the time. Even Mark is past being embarrassed by my shenanigans. Plus, who doesn’t love good-looking food?
For example, feast your eyes on this meal. Sure, there were some grumbles from the Mr. P peanut gallery. “TOFU?! Ugggh.” Shush. This was delicious. I agreed to remake the recipe with chicken next time, but what can I say? We just love chicken.
The flavor of this sauce is finger-licking good. All that pepper…and low and behold, my little town’s grocery store had fresno chiles – what a treat! Beautiful and so delish!
- 1 (14 oz) block extra-firm tofu
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp sweet soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp oyster sauce*
- 1 Tbsp pepper medley, coarsely ground
- 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- ¼ cup water + 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 red fresno chiles, sliced
- 1 Tbsp prepared ginger paste
- 3 baby bok choy, sliced
- 6 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Press excess moisture out of the tofu using layered paper towels or a tofu press. Cut the tofu into 1-inch pieces.
- In a zip top bag, combine the cornstarch, salt, and chili powder; close and shake well. Add the tofu to the bag, zip, and shake until the tofu is evenly coated.
- Meanwhile, combine the light soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, oyster sauce, coarse ground pepper, brown sugar, vinegar, water, and cornstarch in small bowl and whisk to combine.
- In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until shimmering and hot. Add the cubed tofu and let fry for 5-6 minutes, flipping the tofu as needed to ensure even browning on all sides. Remove the tofu to a plate; set aside.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet; reduce heat to medium. Add the shallots and sauté 4-5 minutes. or until softened. Add the minced garlic and sliced chiles; sauté another 2-3 minutes. Add the ginger paste and bok choy; cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the tofu back to the pan.
- To the skillet, add the black pepper sauce and green onions and stir to combine. When the sauce thickens, remove from heat. Serve hot over rice or quinoa, if desired.
*omit or sub vegetarian oyster sauce of vegetarian dish desired