Grill marks make food taste better

So. I’m not the only one jabbing at my eardrums with Q-Tips on a daily basis. This actually makes me feel much better about the habit. Thanks for all of your comments on yesterday’s little slice of self-indulgence!

Also: it would probably help if I got the date of my upcoming marathon right. CIM is on SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4. Not December 3. How awkward would that be if I showed up on Saturday?

Anyway. I am on my own for dinners this week, which usually means cooking and eating all of the things that my husband doesn’t like.

Like, um…tofu:

I know you are thinking: OMG TOFU! What a special, special thing to treat yourself to! Nah. It’s just that it had been sitting in the fridge for a while and needed to be used up.

And it was actually pretty delicious because of MAH GRILL PAN and those little stripes. Seriously. Why is that? Does food actually taste better when it has grill marks – even if they’re semi-fake? Or is is psychosomatic? (Or is it just me?)

Soba noodles, mini sweet peppers (Costco again!) and a delicious easy peanut sauce made this a quick dinner for one. I marinated the tofu slices in a bath of equal parts soy sauce and apple cider vinegar with a little brown sugar and sriracha sauce. Then I combined the leftover marinade with peanut butter to make the sauce.

As a certifiable peanut sauce fanatic, I offer you this tip: the creamy, processed stuff makes way better sauce than the natural stuff.

Much smoother and creamier. Probably the mono- and diglycerides. Mmmmm, delicious.

I popped open a bottle of Chard to enjoy with dinner:

Lately, I’ve been doing my grocery shopping on Sunday evenings. Because this is when the wine distributor reps are getting ready to shut down their sample table and are therefore likely to give extra generous pours. Which happens to make shopping in a gigantic supermarket on a Sunday night much more pleasurable.

A couple of weeks ago, they were pouring a bunch of Penfolds wines. The Australian brand is well-known for churning out decent affordable reds, but I liked their whites, too! So much so that I picked up a bottle of their 2009 Koonunga Hill Chardonnay.

Very light and crisp. No butter in here and just a hint of oak. Very fruit-forward with peaches and apricots and a little touch of both citrus and something a little earthier, like a sweet ripe fig. Definitely an enjoyable bottle, and one I’d happily serve to guests!

Bottom line: Buy it! (Purchased at Harris-Teeter, $10).

Off to do some productive stuff with the rest of my Wednesday. See ya later!

19 responses to “Grill marks make food taste better

  1. I usually only bake with the processed pb. It’s sweeter. And I generally like baked things of that nature to be sweet. Makes sense.

  2. mmm, i will eat anything if it is covered in peanut sauce (and grill marks). i’m excited for your marathon!! that’s supposed to be a fast one :)

  3. My special husband-is-gone food is just as exciting as yours: cauliflower. YUM, right? Heh.

    • Ha – to each their own! I’ve also gone though an entire Costco-sized container of butter lettuce this week. Yum.

  4. I have a friend who showed up a week late for a marathon she registered for. No joke. And it was a 5 hour drive.

  5. That tofu looks awesome! I am now regretting not having a grill pan on my registry.

  6. “Lately, I’ve been doing my grocery shopping on Sunday evenings. Because this is when the wine distributor reps are getting ready to shut down their sample table and are therefore likely to give extra generous pours.”
    Reason 1,243 that I heart your face.

  7. I agree about the PB- damn those delicious trans fats! Then again, I’m the jerk that uses crunchy peanut butter in everything. Authentic, I am not.

  8. I really appreciate your strategy for Sunday night shopping. I don’t think my grocery store does wine samplings, though. And I agree about the Jiffy. We eat it in our house, mostly because my boyfriend has two PB&J sandwiches every day, without fail, and the natural stuff is too expensive for that rate of consumption.

  9. That is probably the most attractive tofu ever!

  10. Lol….I’m also running CIM, and I just recently read the blog of someone else who is running it who stated the date as Dec. 5. I had to re-check the calendar three times! (I’d be all, “Perhaps I will see you there!” but that would be kind of like saying, “Perhaps you know my friend who lives in Raleigh!”) Also, Penfolds is awesome.

  11. Really exciting that you’re doing CIM!
    What an easy way to make peanut sauce! Mark Bittman had me adding all sorts of stuff, so I just bought the bottled kind. And here I could have just made yours.

  12. Mmmm…that sauce sounds delicious.

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