When Nick rang to wish Tatjana a Happy New Year, he let it slip that Tatjana is actually a really good cook. I have no doubt this is a skill she was hiding from me deliberately because she loves for me to make all her old favorites when she comes home. She also loves being pampered.
Tatjana and Mom shopping 2 decades ago
Tatjana and I made a bargain… if old “Scrooge of New Years Eve” would accompany her to a party that evening, she would make dinner for me on New Years Day. It was MY turn to be pampered! Nick’s favorite was to be on the menu.
After a few groans when it came time for her to deliver her end of the bargain… she got to work while I photographed the momentous event.
Some like it hot!
You see, my daughter has NEVER cooked for me before. It was a first on the first day of a new decade.
Pouring marinade in for more flavor
Never having sampled her cooking before, and considering I am not a huge fan of tofu… I was really impressed with her expertise in the kitchen…
Red, white, and purple baby potatoes
… and pleasantly surprised when it was so good I practically inhaled it!
Julie Anne & Tatjana Rhodes
I guess the apple didn’t fall far from the tree… it was delish! Thank you Tatjana for a yummy dinner… it was a great way to start the year and a new decade.
Tatjana’s Soy-Chili Tofu, Portobello Mushrooms, & Zucchini
- 1 firm tofu drained
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 3 medium zucchini, sliced
- 4 medium Portobello mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes, divided
1). Slice drained tofu in half lengthwise, then again width wises for 4 equal pieces. Place on a plate, and pour soy sauce over the top. After 5 minutes, turn so the other side of the tofu soaks up the soy.
2). Heat 1/2 of oil in a large saute pan over medium heat, add 1 clove minced garlic, cook for 30 seconds, then add zucchini, Portobello mushrooms, and 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
3). Meanwhile, in another large saute pan, heat the remaining oil, add remaining clove of garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add tofu (reserving the soy marinade for later). Sprinkle with remaining chili flakes. Brown the tofu for 2 minutes per side, then add reserved soy sauce from marinade and cook a further 1-2 minutes.
4). Serve tofu on top of mushrooms and zucchini, and pour any remaining sauce over the top.
Serving Suggestions: Tatjana serves this with boiled new potatoes tossed in olive oil, salt, and freshly ground black pepper, but this would also be great with any rice of your choice.
Variations: This would be great with teriyaki sauce in place of the soy sauce.