Tuesday, October 11, 2011

best frenemies

There are a few super-smart folks in the world who excel at every academic subject from math to french with a little creative writing and chemistry thrown in for extra flavor.  I am not one of those people.  I got by for a while, but by high school I needed a tutor to pass math and managed to pass chemistry by one percentage point.  I'm definitely a liberal arts kinda gal.

The laws in Pennsylvania say that I had to take science and math until the end of my junior year.  You can bet my senior year of high school including such challenging math courses as British Literature and Creative Writing, while I struggled through my science course, also known as French.

What I'm trying to say is, me and math?  We don't get along.

Nevertheless, we're going to start today's post with a little math - everyone's favorite, word problems.  Ready?  Here we go!
Coconut Milk + Lime = BFFs times infinity
Coconut Milk + Tomatoes and their juices = relatively tolerable
Coconut Milk + Tomatoes + Lime = this will never happen again

In case you couldn't put 2+2 together, tonight's dinner was Pineapple Curry Tofu from the new Clean Eating magazine.  In theory, it sounded at least a little daring, but I figured I like tofu, we like pineapple, and Mister loves curry, so this should work, right?

Not so much.

It wasn't awful - I shouldn't let you think that.  There was just something about it that didn't work.  I'm pretty sure it was the final addition of 2 Tbsp lime juice.  Tomatoes are relatively acidic, and when you add harissa in place of asian chili sauce, they get hot and acidic.  The perfect foil seems quite obviously to be the thick, creamy, cooling (heat-distributing) coconut milk and I think it could have been, if only I hadn't actually followed the recipe.  I think the sneaky frenemy was the lime juice.  It seemed like such an innocent invitation, but what happened was that it enhanced the tartness and acidity of the tomatoes to such a point that the harissa made the whole thing hotter than it needed to be and a little unpleasant.  Although there was nice bland tofu and delicious chunks of pineapple and red pepper, all I could taste was tomato.

By the way - me and flour-coated tofu?  Also best frenemies.  I really want it to work - I want my tofu to look like the tofu in the magazine, all crispy and evenly coated.  My problem is that the minute I stir the tofu, all the "breading" adheres to the spatula, turning its back on the tofu like a 7th grade girl.

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