On our way up to Maine for our annual vacation, we like to stop for a couple nights in charming Portsmouth, NH. Charming doesn't do it justice... I could happily live forever in the restored historic city, nestled against the ocean, with it's brick paved streets, classic New England architecture, and abundance of fabulous restaurants and shops. We always stay in the pet-friendly Sheraton on the edge of town (Willow, our sweet dog, comes with us too). The location is great, we literally park the car and spend the next 3 days walking. There is an ever-constant, refreshing breeze that circles through the town, making it feel kissed with coolness even on the hottest days. My favorite place to shop is at Gus & Ruby Letterpress, where they have the prettiest and wittiest cards and other unique stationary items. Now on to the food... The vegan pizza at the Flatbread Company is delicious and right up my alley. They don't put those faux cheeses on, instead they make a pie so packed with flavor using their wood-fired tomato sauce (OMG heaven), caramelized onions, mushrooms, and kalamata olives that you can't help but eat every last bite. Can you say extra napkins please? But, alas my absolute favorite dish is served up piping hot at an eclectic dive called The Friendly Toast. They make any of their scrambles with tofu and will happily advise on everything they have that is vegan. I love that in a restaurant 🙂 So they put together a tofu scramble for us that included fresh sweet corn, pickled jalapenos, and cilantro. It was so simple in it's ingredients, and yet orgasmically good. I hadn't had a tofu scramble without the normal barrage of turmeric and other spices... but this was pure tofu goodness. This is our new family brunch favorite and I am instantly whisked away to relaxing Portsmouth with every bite...
Heat 2 tsp of oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add onions and 1/4 tsp of salt, cook for 2 minutes, then add corn and jalapenos. Cook for 2 additional minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Wipe pan quickly with a bunch of dried paper towels to clean. Add remaining 2 tsp of oil and heat pan again over medium-high heat until hot. Crumble the tofu into bite sized pieces and add to the pan. Let cook for 2-3 minutes, then stir and flip tofu. Let cook again for another 2-3 minutes and repeat until most of the tofu is golden on the outside. Once golden, add back in the onion, corn, and jalapeno mixture. Mix in the cilantro and remaining 3/4 tsp of salt. Tossing gently to combine and cook for another minute or two. Taste and add more salt if needed and black pepper. Serve hot with a side of toast, potatoes, or grits. Makes 4-6 servings.
Categories: Appetizers, Sides
Tags: Gluten-Free,Nut-Free,Refined Sugar Free,Soy-Free,Vegan
Many of you know by now how passionate I am about my Mexican flavors. I am always dumbfounded by the people I meet who don't like Mexican food. When I dig deeper, turns out most of their experiences come from that taco fast food joint, that now mashes Doritos into their food, obviously to make it more authentic. Please note the dripping sarcasm. Well no wonder they don't like Mexican! Mexican food is packed full of flavor punches, it doesn't have to be hot, and mostly I find it simple and honest... just my kind of food. Now onto Guacamole. We eat guacamole in our house at least 2-3 times a week. I buy avocados in bulk and we feel lost when we don't have some sitting on the counter ripening. But alas, it wasn't always this way. I used to despise guacamole because the only ones I had ever tried were loaded with sour cream and lacked flavor. It was on a trip to Maine one summer that we sat in a Mexican-Italian restaurant (yes I know that sounds scary, but in remote Maine you can often find dual cuisine restaurants) and decided, upon recommendation of the waitress, to try their guacamole. My life has never been the same. It just goes to show you that you can be anywhere on this great earth to find inspiration. I eat guacamole pretty much everywhere I go and consider myself an aficionado at this point. My guacamole has a good garlicky base, a mini-kick of heat from jalapenos, the crunch of fresh onions, the herbacious wonderfulness of cilantro, and enough salt to elevate all those flavors. As a family, some of us like our guac creamy, and others like big chunks of avocado. So I usually try to meet in the middle so we are all happy. I hope this one will make you and yours happy too 🙂
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mash with either a fork and spoon, or use a potato masher (that's what I use). Mash to the consistency you like. Taste and add more salt if needed. Enjoy right away. If you are planning on eating it later on, press plastic wrap directly on top of the guacamole to keep the air out and keep it from browning. Put it in the fridge until ready to enjoy. Best served with warm tortilla chips. Makes enough for about 6 servings.