Friday, September 30, 2011

Fried Pork Nuggets and Tofu in Chunky Basil Tomato Sauce

Am I in a roll?

Just making up for lost time!

How are all of you doing?

The weekend is here! I'm just going to stay at home and think about what I should cook tomorrow.

Have I become boring? Been asking myself that a couple of years now.

I have to admit, I've mellowed down a lot.

I guess I ran out of energy and interest in partying. Maybe because I've been doing it hard for a decade.

It's funny because when I was a kid, I've always liked playing indoors. Always been interested in what my Ma or yaya did around the house and stuff.

Then puberty! I only stayed at home to sleep and eat.

Then today! At home on a Friday night, deciding whether I should read the latest book I've hoarded or spend  2 hours watching reality TV shows.

Pretty cool. Everything does come full circle.

Does it mean I'm going to be wild partier when I turn 40?

Simbako! or to those uninitiated: PERISH THE THOUGHT.

Some of my friends say I'd be a great housewife by now.

I say I should just focus on being a great houseperson and I'll be fine.

Who hurt you, Basil?

I'm super happy today because I found a pack of (not so) fresh basil in the fridge.

Turns out my Ma brought (and bought!) the list of stuff I need in the kitchen when she went grocery shopping alone. (I usually am with her every time she goes)

Well, my only concern is that this herb easily bruises which makes it hard to work for garnishing.

Other than that, I love it. I love its odor the most! So fresh and delicious.

I was about to just cook a recipe for a basic basil tomato sauce but I checked the time: 5pm.

Time to make dinner. So here it is!

Fried Pork Nuggets and Tofu in Chunky Basil Tomato Sauce

What you need to make the Fried Pork Nuggets and Tofu:

(very much like making meatballs or the local bola-bola)

500 grams ground pork
2 pieces fresh eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 medium onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
a dash of ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar

2 cups cooking oil (for frying)
1 block tofu, sliced into 1/2 inch thick strips (to be fried)

note: I added tofu to add volume to the dish. You can omit the tofu or you can omit the pork nuggets. Either way, both are perfect for the sauce.

How to:

1. Mix all the ingredients (except tofu and oil) very well. Form rectangular bite-size pieces of the mixture.

2. Heat 2 cups of cooking oil in a pan and fry the nuggets until golden brown. Also, fry the tofu.

3. Place the cooked nuggets and tofu on a paper towel or aluminum strainer and set aside.

Let's make the sauce!

You will need:

2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, chopped
4 pieces of fresh basil leaves, cut into long, thin strips (chiffonade)
4 pieces of small local red tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped olives (optional)
1/4 cup red wine (optional)
1/2 cup chicken broth (or 1/2 buillon cube + 1/2 cup water)
1/4 cup tomato sauce or 3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons sugar
salt and pepper to taste

How to:

1. Heat olive oil in a pan. Saute garlic, onions, and red tomatoes for 2 minutes. Add a little salt, pepper, and sugar and let caramelize for 2 more minutes.

2. (Optional) Add chopped olives and red wine. Let it boil and reduce to half till tomatoes are rich and thick.

3. Add tomato sauce (or paste), broth, and basil leaves and let sauce simmer for about 5 minutes or until the consistency is silky.

4. Season with salt, pepper, and more sugar as you please.

5. Add the pork nuggets and tofu into the sauce and mix well so the flavor of the sauce will seep into the dish.

This is the type of food you'd wanna come home to.

So full of aroma and bursting with flavor.

If you'd like, you can make the sauce in advance and keep it in the freezer and it's still great to be heated the next day!

Serve it over a hot bowl of rice or pasta. Yum!

Till the next eats!

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