I recently had the opportunity to participate in a CIA Plant-Forward Cooking Boot Camp at the San Antonio location. Over the 5-days of cooking amazing foods, I also learned many new techniques. I actually made major improvements in my elliptical cutting skills & so much more. I also used products, such as the tofu in this dish that I have been curious about, but have never been brave enough to try.
This particular dish was a bit labor intensive, yet so worth it. I found all the ingredients easily at my local grocer. I encourage you to try out this type of cooking!
- 2 dry ancho chiles
- 2 dry New Mexico chiles
- 1 (14 oz) package of extra-firm tofu
- 1 large shallot, rough chopped
- 8 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1 (2 inch) piece of lemon grass, tough layers removed & chopped
- 1 (1 inch) piece of ginger, peeled & coarsely chopped
- 1 TBS cilantro stems
- 2 tsp lime zest
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
- 10 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped (optional)
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 lbs fresh green beans, trimmed
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 2 TBS turbinado sugar
- Brown jasmine rice for serving (optional)
- Toast the chiles. Then bring the chiles & 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat, cover and set aside for 30 minutes.
- On a large plate, lay out paper towels and put the drained tofu on top. Cover with another paper towel & plate. Weigh down with a cast iron skillet or other heavy object, and let drain for about 30 minutes. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes & set aside.
- Drain chiles and reserve chile liquid.
- Blend chiles, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, cilantro stems, lime zest, S & P, half of kaffir lime leaves and 1/4 cup chile liquid. Blend until you have a smooth paste. You will need to scrape the sides every so often. You will also likely need to add a bit more liquid, until you reach the desired consistency. Set aside.
- Heat oil oin a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add tofu & cook until browned all over, about 5 minutes,
- Add green beans & 1/2 cup reserved chile cooking liquid. Cover pan for 2-3 minutes. You do not want to over cook your beans.
- Now add 3/4 cup of your prepared paste. Continue cooking and stirring until the beans & tofu are coated and the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in fish sauce, sugar & remaining kaffir lime leaves. Cook until fragrant – about 1 minute.
- Optional: Serve over rice.
I made a few adjustments to the original recipe.