Monday, October 5, 2009

Normal is boring.




Normal is boring. October 5th, 2009 Jessica Hagy


Simple, and true. I've been reading Indexed forever and it's one of the sites I have to refrain from linking to at least once a week. Today I stopped stopping myself.

Saturday, September 26, 2009



I will never not love things that are gauzy, dove-colored, and old-fashioned. Alberta Ferretti knows that.

Monday, August 24, 2009

last dinner at home before new york

This is the last dinner my mom and I get to make together before I'm gone. Hopefully it's also the end of bad cell phone photos of food, as both these things were way prettier and more appetizing than the photos suggest. I wanted to make a fancy vegetarian dish but had to take my brother and my mom's boyfriend into account and ended up with salmon. Pretty delicious, anyway. The citrus salmon is from The Food Channel and I found the hush puppies in Food and Wine.


Citrus Salmon with Orange Relish



Ingredients

*
For the Citrus Salmon: 1/4 cup orange juice
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme leaves,
divided
* 4 salmon fillets (about 1 pound)
* 1 tablespoon brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon paprika
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* For the Orange Relish: 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
* 2 seedless oranges, peeled, sectioned and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
* 2 tablespoons chopped red bell pepper
* 1 tablespoon honey
* 1 tablespoon chopped red onion
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Preparation

For the Salmon, mix orange juice, oil and 1 teaspoon of the thyme in small bowl. Place salmon in large resealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add marinade; turn to coat well. Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer for extra flavor. For the Relish, mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix brown sugar, paprika, remaining 1/2 teaspoon thyme and salt in small bowl. Remove salmon from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade. Rub salmon evenly with paprika mixture. Place salmon on foil-lined baking pan.

Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Or, grill salmon over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes per side or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve salmon with Orange Relish. (My note: The relish wasn't that special, but the marinated salmon with the brown sugar glaze was fantastic. I'd leave off the relish if I made this again, or find a different sauce.)

Hush Puppies with Remoulade


Ingredients

Hush Puppies

  1. 1 cup coarse yellow cornmeal
  2. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 2 tablespoons sugar
  4. 1 tablespoon baking soda
  5. 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  6. 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  7. 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  8. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  9. 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  10. 3/4 cup milk
  11. 2 scallions, finely chopped
  12. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for frying

Remoulade

  1. 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  2. 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  3. 1 tablespoon ketchup
  4. 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  5. 1 medium shallot, minced
  6. 1 scallion, finely chopped
  7. Tabasco sauce
  8. Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Prepare the hush puppies: In a large bowl, whisk the cornmeal with the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, oregano, cayenne pepper and black pepper. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk, scallions and the 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Stir the wet ingredients into the cornmeal mixture until just blended. Cover and refrigerate the batter for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, make the remoulade: In a medium bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the mustard, ketchup, cider vinegar, shallot and scallion. Season the remoulade with Tabasco, salt and pepper.
  3. In a medium saucepan, heat 1-2 inches of oil to 325°. Set a large rack over a baking sheet. Drop 6 rounded tablespoons of batter at a time into the hot oil and fry, turning once, until the hush puppies are browned and crisp, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the hush puppies to the rack to drain. Serve the hush puppies hot with the remoulade.
The hush puppy batter can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. The remoulade can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. I recommend making these on an outside burner if you can, because your whole house will smell like frying, but they're completely delicious. Like a perfect version of the batter from a corn dog, with no hint of the gross hot dog part.

Friday, June 19, 2009

my mother's fifty-fifth birthday dinner

My mother, unlike most sane people, hates being given gifts, particularly by her children. This means that the only way to celebrate her and all the energy she expends on my siblings and me is to cook. Cooking for the person who taught you to cook is a bit nerve-wracking, but not as much as trying to find something that my whole family will eat. My brother, in particular, tends to poo-poo anything that isn't a burrito or chicken wings.

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not appropriate birthday activity


I ended up making matzoh ball soup and pork-and-apple pasties, and was shocked to see that my whole family (plus our dear Chrissy) loved the meal. Elle should also get credit for making a salad, as well as molding the matzoh balls with Chrissy. Sorry about the awful photos, I forgot to take my camera along to the dinner and my phone doesn't cooperate.

Ridiculously Simple Matzoh Ball Soup

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- 10 cups vegetable broth (I use Better than Bouillon vegetable base)
- 1 package Manischewitz matzoh ball mix
- 2 cups chopped spinach
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- whatever other vegetables you have lying about

1. Follow the package directions for the matzoh mix (mix two eggs, four tablespoons of vegetable oil, and both packets of matzoh mix), and refrigerate the mix for fifteen minutes.
2. Bring the broth to a boil. Form matzoh mix into little balls, a few centimeters across, and drop into the broth. Add vegetables and simmer for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally so the matzoh balls cook evenly.

Kentish Pork and Apple Pasties (recipe from The Daily Mail

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Crust (same recipe as usual)
2 sticks cold butter
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
4-10 tbsps ice water

Cut butter, flour and salt together with two knives or in a food processor. Add water, a tablespoon or two at a time, until the dough sticks together. Refrigerate for an hour. I ended up doing this in two batches, because my food processor is on the small side, and dividing the dough into twelve balls before putting it in the fridge.

Filling

1 lb lean pork
2 large cooking apples
2 tbsps lemon juice
1-2 tsps dried sage
1 large onion
salt and black pepper to taste
one egg for glazing

Chop the pork into small chunks, finely chop the onion. Peel, core, and quarter the apples, and slice across the quarters into small pieces, tossing with the lemon juice. Mix the pork, onion, and sage.

If you haven't already, separate the crust into twelve equal balls. One at a time, press and roll the balls into circles about the thickness of a quarter, and spoon a heap of the filling onto it. fold the dough upwards and crimp the edges, keeping the seam on top of the pasty. Beat the egg and brush each pasty, particularly across the seam. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about thirty minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

currant scones and citrus curd



One of my roommates dropped a bunch eggs today, and they needed to be used up, so I started baking. I remembered licking the spatula when I made my lemon curd pie a while ago, so I decided to make some for its usual purpose: spreading on scones. Currants were the only thing I could find in my cupboard that seemed like a good idea, so I found this recipe and started mixing. Unfortunately I had to run out to buy milk halfway through, because I never remember to check the fridge before I start. The scones were near perfect, soft inside and a little crunchy outside. The currants puffed up and softened nicely as well.

Currant Scones This recipe makes about nine big scones or a dozen smaller ones.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup dried currants
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk, plus more for brushing

- Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large bowl, mix the flour with the sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the currants.
- Add the egg and 1/2 cup of milk and stir with a fork just until the dough comes together. Do not overmix.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently pat the dough into a 3/4-inch-thick slab. Cut out circles of dough with a glass or cookie cutter.
- Lightly dust a baking sheet with flour. Transfer the scones to the sheet and lightly brush the tops with milk. Bake the scones for 15 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Lemon Curd
Originally from this entry. I used an orange instead of a second lemon for the juice this time, but the lemon flavor definitely predominated.

1/2 cup lemon juice
zest from 1 lemon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup and 2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp butter

- in a heavy pot or in a double boiler, whisk together all of the ingredients except for the butter, and stir them over medium/medium-high (depending on how impatient you are) heat until the mixture thickens to the texture of sour cream
- cut the butter into small pieces and, removing the pot from the burner, whisk until all of the butter is absorbed. the curd can be re-heated over low heat.

Break open the scones and spoon the citrus curd in. The scones last about a day and a half in an airtight container.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

delicious stuffed shells



Laura and I made these last year, and I'm really pleased I remembered them long enough to make them again and post the recipe. We ate them with corn on the cob and fried, breaded sausage medallions Kyle invented after finding that his chicken had gone bad.

- 25 pasta shells
- 8 ounces Havarti cheese, shredded
- 1/2 small jar sundried tomatoes in oil
- two tablespoons chopped basil
- 1 can artichoke hearts, diced
- 1 cup spaghetti sauce

- Cook the shells according to the package directions, drain and cool.
- Mix the Havarti, sundried tomatoes, basil, and artichoke hearts in bowl.
- Fill the bottom of a baking pan with spaghetti sauce.
- Stuff the shells with the cheese mixture, overfilling a little, and arrange them in rows on top of the sauce.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 Farenheit for 30 minutes.

These are pretty filling, and really easy to make. One batch (plus the corn and sausage, of which we only had a few bits each) fed all five 2342 residents, four of whom are ravenous boys.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

baked tofu with honey grape sauce and cashew fried rice



This meal was the product of having a big bunch of grapes that had gone a little soft much earlier than I anticipated. I can't stand eating grapes unless they're nice and crisp, so I spent half an hour on Allrecipes looking for something to do with them. Most of what I found was pies and jams, but I'm thoroughly sick of baking at the moment, and the rest of the recipes were for salads, which obviously require the grapes to be fresher. I did come across this recipe, which had an intriguing sauce even if there was no way I was going to put it on pork. I decided to go with baked tofu instead, and make a side dish of cashew fried rice to go with the Asian flavor of the sauce. This recipe makes about three servings, or two dinners and enough fried rice for lunch tomorrow.

Honey Grape Sauce

This makes about a cup and a half of sauce. It's probably very good on meat, as the original recipe suggests, but it goes really well with the tofu too. I did all the measuring by sight and it still came out deliciously, making this the easiest sauce I've ever made.

* 2 teaspoons olive oil
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic
* 2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
* 2 tablespoons soy sauce
* 2 tablespoons honey
* 1 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon Asian five-spice powder

- Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat and cook the garlic until it's tender (don't let it brown too much).
- Stir in grapes, soy sauce, honey, ginger, and five-spice powder. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
- Process the cooled sauce until smooth in a blender or food processor. Return to the saucepan and keep warm over low heat until you're ready to eat.

Baked Tofu

This would probably also be tasty fried, but much less healthy.

* one package extra-firm tofu (preferably not the silken type)
* about three tablespoons soy sauce

- Preheat your oven to 375 Farenheit.
- Slice tofu into 1/4-inch thick pieces (long thin ones are easiest).
- Brush each slice, back and front, with soy sauce and allow it to marinate for 10 minutes.
- Place the tofu strips on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes, turning once halfway through, until they turn golden brown.

Cashew Fried Rice

I tend to wing it when making fried rice, so I apologize for the vagueness of the measurements. You can use whatever vegetables are on hand, frozen or unfrozen. I was especially pleased with the radishes, which I'd never used before. I usually use a couple cloves of garlic, but figured the sauce had enough of that flavor for one meal.

* two cups cooked rice
* about three tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
* about two tablespoons soy sauce (keep the bottle handy, you might need more)
* two eggs
* 1/2 red onion, chopped
* 1/2 cup frozen peas and/or corn
* 1/3 cup lotus root (I froze the last batch I got, it was a hassle to separate)
* 3 large radishes, chopped into chunks
* 1/3-1/2 cup cashews, lightly crushed (I like the plastic bag and knife handle method)

- Heat the oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Cook the onions (and garlic, if you're using it) until they're soft.
- Add the frozen vegetables and lotus root, or anything else that won't cook extremely fast. Stir fry until the lotus root picks up the brown soy sauce color and all the frozen vegetables are soft.
- While the vegetables are cooking, scramble the eggs in a tiny bit of oil in a separate pan and use the spatula to cut them into bits. Take the pan off the heat and set them aside.
- Add the radishes and cashews to the vegetables, keep stir-frying for about a minute.
- Add the rice, and stir through so it absorbs the oil and soy sauce and the vegetables are evenly distributed. Add more soy sauce to taste (and a bit more oil, if it's too dry).
- Stir the egg pieces through and serve with Sriracha sauce or other spicy substance.

If you time everything right, the tofu and the fried rice will be done at the same time (it takes about as long to make the latter as to bake the former), and you'll get to eat immediately. The sauce can be saved in the fridge for a couple of days... I'm looking forward to trying it out on other things.

One of the reasons I'm sick of baking (besides my beautiful pie from the other day) is because I made a batch of cupcakes yesterday, using the same recipe as the red velvet ones I made on Valentine's Day. I tried to make them blue with white frosting and moon and star sprinkles, but the blue food coloring turned the cake a weird teal, so they became dolphin cupcakes instead. Bad photo, but they were pretty cute.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

lemon curd and strawberry tart



This is probably the single prettiest thing I've ever baked, despite the fact that I miscalculated and used too deep a pie pan. I'm not usually good with making edibles reminiscent of flowers, but I'm really pleased with how this turned out. I couldn't find a strawberry pie recipe that didn't either call for strawberry gelatin (I hate the stuff, in any flavor) or seem like it would make a really mushy fruit pie, so I decided to layer the fruit over a lemon filling. There were a few things wrong with it (the bottom crust was too thin, the sides puffed too much), but I've adjusted for them in the recipe and, even flawed, it was delicious.

Pie Crust (my mother's recipe)

1 stick butter
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 Tbsp salt
2-6 Tbsp ice water

- using two knives or a food processor (the much easier option), cut the butter into the flour and salt.
- add two tablespoons of ice water, continue mixing. if the crust isn't damp enough to stick together, add another tablespoon of water. keep adding until the dough is the right consistency (malleable but not sticky).
-refrigerate the crust in plastic wrap for at least an hour (if you leave it for more than three, you might have to thaw it a bit before using it), then roll out on a floured surface until it's about 1/4 inch thick (if you like a really thick crust, roll less and bake a bit longer). drape into a shallow pie pan, trim the edges. use the excess for a top crust if you want a traditional pie. this recipe doesn't use one.

-this will make enough crust for one large deep, open-topped pie, or one regular sized covered pie.
- for this recipe and other wet-filling recipes, pre-bake the crust at 400ºF for about 10 minutes, using whatever sort of weighting technique you prefer. don't forget to fork in a handful of holes to let the crust breathe.
- this recipe also works pretty well to make half a dozen or so mini-tarts, in which case you should separate the dough into smaller balls before refrigerating it.

Lemon Curd

1/2 cup lemon juice
zest from 1 lemon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup and 2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp butter

- in a heavy pot or in a double boiler, whisk together all of the ingredients except for the butter, and stir them over medium/medium-high (depending on how impatient you are) heat until the mixture thickens to the texture of sour cream
- cut the butter into small pieces and, removing the pot from the burner, whisk until all of the butter is absorbed.
-pour into the (cooled or semi-cooled) pie crust, let sit in a fairly cool place for fifteen minutes, or long enough for the top of the lemon curd to solidify a bit.

Prettiness

one box fresh strawberries (eight or nine large berries)
1 tbsp white sugar

- when the lemon curd has cooled and is fairly stable on top, cut the stems off of the strawberries and then slice the berries so they form triangular petal shapes.
- arrange them on top of the lemon curd (careful, it's sticky). it's fastest to use the big middle slices for the outer edge, and pick smaller ones as you work your way in. i made a fairly simple flower shape that reminds me of the dahlias my neighbor used to grow.



- bake the pie for fifteen to twenty minutes at 350F on the oven's middle rack. two minutes before the timer goes off, take the tablespoon of sugar and sprinkle it over the strawberries.
- serve with whipped cream (preferably the real, sugar-free, artery-clogging kind) or ice cream


Obviously this recipe could be spiced up a fair bit. It can also be varied quite a lot, as the strawberries can be replaced with basically any kind of fruit, or fruit can be left off altogether. It's a good way to use up fruit you might not eat, though. The strawberries I used were a couple days past their prime, where the skin isn't all that refreshing to bite into but the flavor is still rich. I'd love to make a version of this with a burnt sugar top instead of the berries. I've made lemon tarts in the past (sadly I lost the recipe for that filling, but I like the lemon curd better) and topped them with frozen raspberries and sugar I'd put through a food processor. The fruit could even be mixed into the lemon curd... basically you can make up whatever sounds best to you.

I must admit that the two photos above were taken prior to the final baking of the pie, because I wasn't sure whether the fruit would sink in when the curd was heated up. It didn't, but the juice from the strawberries ran out and gave the yellow bits a pretty pink tint. If not for the fact that our oven isn't completely level, it would've been perfectly lovely. As it went, it was still very pretty, though not as cool-looking as when the bright yellow contrasted with the red.



I used the leftover pie crust (since this one clearly didn't need a top crust) to make some quick veggie and cheese pasties for dinner (which I ate after the tart). They were basically amazing, but I'm going to wait to post that recipe until I've figured out a real recipe and also mastered that lovely way of twisting the edges that Cornish people are probably capable of at the age of five.

Looking at those photos of the tart, it suddenly occurs to me that strawberries sliced in that particular way are distinctly similar to certain Georgia O'Keefe paintings.

Monday, February 23, 2009

what to wear to a wedding in a warehouse

Way back at the end of last summer, the Rocky River Chamber of Commerce had the idea to hold a fashion show-style benefit for one of its pet charities. Along with a bunch of local stores and designers, the salon my mom owns was slated to participate. My sister and I called all our friends to find models, stylists volunteered, people started digging up cake recipes... and then the whole thing was abandoned because they couldn't sell enough tickets in time. My mother, who was probably more enthusiastic than any of the other participants, volunteered to take over the operation, changing the date to February 20, 2009.

Sometime in December my mother abandoned the idea of a catwalk and decided to stage a skit instead: two bridal parties, one classic and classy, the other wild and iconoclastic, would meet at their double-booked reception space. She rented the warehouse part of a studio building for the occasion. Robin Swoboda, a client and news anchor from Channel 8, would be mistress of ceremonies. The tickets not only sold out, but oversold. My sister (the only person in the whole show who'd ever modeled, unless you count work from before I turned six) would be the 'avant garde' bride, in a dress she'd seen at an arts show the year before, by a lovely local (and Hungarian!) designer named Krisztina Lazar. I would be on the classic side, spared from being the bride because I complain so much about how I look in white.

The dress I got to wear instead was a Badgley Mischka goddess gown from Peneventures, which I may pine over for the next year.

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The day of the show, my mother had to pick up me, Elle, Kyle, Josh, and Eric (the boys we'd snared into playing dress-up with us), because Kyle's car had broken at a most inopportune time. Elle rode in the trunk with a statue of St. Francis someone had donated for the silent auction. We spent three hours at the salon, during which Roberta curled, pulled, and pinned my hair into a lovely Victorian-looking coiffure, and the boys and I kept trying to sneak away for drinks at The Pub downstairs.

Here are some of the pretty boys (Jimmy, Eric, Josh, Gusty (I think he is very Humphrey Bogart in his white tux, but others said Cary Grant or James Bond), Kyle, and... a very nice boy whose name I completely failed to catch):

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Around four p.m. we packed all twenty-two models, five stylists, ten dressers, and sundry photographers, parents, and siblings into the small room that had been designated dressing space for the event. The boys mostly stood around looking classy while the girls rushed about being made up, gowned, and having last-minute pins added to their hair. There were also a few bottles of vodka floating around. My sister, in layers of tulle and crimped hair, stole the show.

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It was all over in a flash. The lights were so bright we couldn't see the audience. Everybody twirled and made their 'model faces' on the three round platforms, and we walked off in classy pairs, the clashing wedding parties, now all fast friends, headed back to the dressing room for more drinks.

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here are some more of my favorite photos. all the pictures link back to the sites they came from, where you can view the rest of the evening.

My sister, her badass groom, and Eric:

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The youngest model looking cooler than most people ever get in their lives:

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Kyle modeling. He should do this at home, too:

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Eddie and I, who matched despite being on opposite sides of the show:

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My favorite photos of my sister:

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Reszö, Mamma, Robin Swoboda, and George:

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My beautiful sister and mother, and me looking strange in make-up:

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Next year's theme is going to be a masquerade... I'm hoping I'll be able to find my way home for it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

crab salad, sesame rice, and mushroom stir-fry



Bonus recipe! I made this dinner in about fifteen minutes and it was so pretty and tasty I had to post it.

Ingredients

Crab salad

* 3 ounces crab stick (or real crab, if you like)
* 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
* 2 teaspoons hot sesame oil
* 2 teaspoons chili powder (I used hot paprika, but pick your favorite)

Sesame rice

* 1 cup (rice-cooker sized cup) sushi rice
* 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
* 1 teaspoon hot paprika

Mushroom stir-fry

* 4 or 5 Baby Bella mushrooms
* 1 handful fresh spinach (slightly wilted is fine)
* 1 teaspoon turmeric
* 1 tablespoon peanut oil
* 1 teaspoon soy sauce
* 5 drops hot sesame oil

Directions

Mix the mayonnaise, hot sesame oil, and chili powder together. Mince up the crab and mix it in. Refrigerate until you're too hungry to wait any more (overnight is best, but it doesn't matter too much).

Put the rice in the rice cooker or on the stove. Make sure it steams another ten minutes after the heat turns off, then mix in sesame seeds and paprika.

Heat the peanut oil, soy sauce, and a few drops of hot sesame oil in a frying pan. Slice up the mushrooms and spinach, sprinkle with turmeric, and stir fry until the mushrooms brown.

These can be done in any order, obviously. When all three are done, serve in as pretty a way as possible, preferably on a ceramic plate as the turmeric will stain plastic.

pad thai



Pad Thai was one of the first things I ever learned to cook by myself, but this is the first time I've been able to make it entirely from scratch, since tamarind is a bit tricky to come by. Most of this recipe is from Epicurious, but I changed it quite a bit. The initial step was originally frying a bunch of shallots for toppings, but I've never managed without burning them so I've decided to just leave them out. This recipe makes about four servings.

Ingredients

* 12 ounces clear rice noodles
* 2 tablespoons tamarind (from a block of pulp)
* 1 cup boiling-hot water
* 6 tablespoons soy sauce
* 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
* 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons Sriracha or other chili sauce
* 1 bunch scallions
* 1 package firm or extra-firm tofu
* 1 cup peanut or vegetable oil
* 2-4 large eggs
* 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
* 2 cups bean sprouts (1/4 pound)
* 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
* shredded carrots, lotus roots, bamboo shoots, pea pods, or other vegetables to taste
* lime wedges

Preparation

Soak noodles in a large bowl of warm water until softened, 25 to 30 minutes (or follow package directions). Drain well in a colander and cover with a dampened paper towel.

Meanwhile, make sauce by soaking tamarind pulp in boiling-hot water in a small bowl, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Force mixture through a sieve into a bowl, discarding seeds and fibers. Add soy sauce, brown sugar, fish sauce and Sriracha, stirring until sugar has dissolved.

Cut scallions into 2-inch pieces. Halve pale green and white parts lengthwise.

Rinse tofu, then cut into 1-inch cubes and pat dry.

Heat oil in wok over medium heat until hot. Fry tofu in 1 layer, gently turning occasionally, until golden, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer tofu to paper towels using a slotted spoon. Pour off frying oil and reserve.

Lightly beat eggs with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Heat 2 tablespoons shallot oil in wok over high heat until it shimmers. Add eggs and swirl to coat side of wok, then cook, stirring gently with a spatula, until cooked through. Break into chunks with spatula and transfer to a plate.

Heat wok over high heat until a drop of water evaporates instantly. Pour in 6 tablespoons shallot oil, then swirl to coat side of wok. Stir-fry scallions, garlic, and any other vegetables until softened, about 2 minutes.

Add noodles and stir-fry over medium heat (use 2 spatulas if necessary) 5 minutes. Add tofu, bean sprouts, and sauce and simmer, turning noodles over to absorb sauce evenly, until noodles are tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in the eggs.
Serve with chopped peanuts, lime wedges, and chili sauce.