Mar 3, 2011

FNF - ligurian fish stew

Another round of FOOD NETWORK FRIDAY!

It is again that time - time for Tami to remind me that another month has passed. This time around the American Vegan Kitchen author and her cohorts have chosen Lingurian Fish Stew by Giada de Leurentiis.
A fish stew!
A vegan fish stew?!
Who's smoking what over there?

To omit the 'fish' part would be like making a vegetable tomato stew, so that, as tempting as it was, was not an option for me.

To make vegan fish, there are two approaches: either go for the texture or the flavor of fish. I chose to do both.

On another FNF challenge, I made a seitan fish, but this time I wanted to use tofu. The texture of the fish in this dish I am imagining would be flaky and tender - tofu was the best option. I needed to get the tofu to hold together well enough that I wouldn't wind up with broken bits and pieces of tofu floating in the stew.

I used my Tofu Xpress to press the tofu for about an hour. It is amazing how well that contraption works in as little as an hour. Then I poached the tofu slices in olive oil on low for 15 minutes. I infused some sea flavor into the olive oil by adding some dulse and Old Bay seasoning. The dulse becomes crispy after a few minutes and then I used it to garnish the stew. Nice flavors! In fact, if you are a seaweed phobe, dulse is the place to start. Out of the many seaweeds I have tried, dulse, when used in moderation, has the nicest flavor.

To finish the stew (after following most of Giada's recipe), I drizzled some of the poaching olive oil over the stew since it was already infused with the sea flavor.

Really very good. Mikel, David and I polished off the stew and were pleasantly surprised at the flavor and texture of the tofu. It was not intense or unpleasant and just right.

Cost Breakdown

tofu: $2
dulse, spices: $1
garlic, onion, carrot, wine: $1
tomato: $3
olive oil: $1
bread: $2
Total to make 5 servings:

VEG-Aside: So where have I been? As busy as I have been this year, it seems I have been the busiest complaining. As I recall, I have the same amount of hours per day that Einstein, Newton, King, and Jefferson had; I have no excuse.

I have been quite overwhelmed with homeschooling, pre-teen and teen activities and getting ready for my first vegetarian (shh... really vegan) presentation at our Illinois homeschool conference and a sundry of other minor time-consuming tasks. It seems one thing after another just keeps happening - as I am sure is the case with everyone else.

 I will endeavor to be more consistent here on! I also plan on getting more personal or cover non-food topics in these Veg-Aside sections of posts - ignore if you aren't interested!


  1. Your version looks great! My first thought was tofu too, but my daughter can't tolerate it so I went the "peasant food" route. (Also, I needed to clean out my freezer.) :) I agree- the tomatoes star. Fine by me... I love tomatoes!

  2. Veg-aside reply! Just got back from my first ever homeschool convention thingy (even though I've been doing this for 6 years). While it was fun, I totally needed some veg support! It was in BBQ-is-king Memphis so I knew what I was getting myself into. Hope your presentation goes well!

  3. Ah, another master creation. Looks awesome.

  4. I agree, Cardamomandcastiron. Thanks for visiting.

    Becky, I feel your pain. Thanks!

    in2insight, if you'd like the recipe I will print it up. Sorry, I've been laxing with this one. I guess the interest didn't seem to be there... slow poaching tofu in olive oil...

  5. Yes, please!
    It really was the best sounding, and looking, of the bunch.
    No rush whatsoever.

  6. On another topic:
    How are you enjoying the Tofuxpress and would you recommend it still?

  7. I still love it. In fact I got another one so I can do double batches at the same time if I have to. I use it *whenever* I use tofu. It is great to get the extra liquid out even if I only press for a half hour or fifteen minutes. AND when you need to marinade the tofu, it marinades much better after it has been pressed properly. I have been surprised when people have said that they should "dig it out of the cabinet." It shouldn't be that hidden!

    It is relatively expensive for a piece of plastic and a spring, but they can seemingly get away with it.

    I'd hate to recommend something and have you be dissapointed.

    Ask yourself...

    Do you press tofu often?
    Would it be more helpful or better to have tofu that is less moist (such as making a scramble when a drier tofu is helpful)?
    Do you marinade tofu?

    I think if you can answer yes to those questions, then the machine would be an ideal addition.

  8. VA-
    Thank you for the feedback regarding the Tofuxpress and of course for the recipe here!
    Will be giving this a try this weekend.

  9. Looks lovely, just mouthwatering...... i like ur all recipes to try.


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