Monday, May 30, 2022

Maple Soy Marinated Tofu

I finally broke down and bought a tofu press.   After reading about this one on Milk Street, I decided I needed to get this one, and it didn't disappoint me.    I absolutely love the marinated baked tofu we have in the deli and the Keweenaw Co-op, and after much googling, I found the recipe in one of our old editions of Circumspice, our newsletter.   

It is so delicious!  And this tofu press makes it really easy.   I just put the block in it, turn the knob and put it in the fridge and forget about it.   I like my tofu really firm, so I start with extra firm and then press it.   When I get around to it, I bake the tofu.  Here's how I do it:

Maple Soy Marinated Baked Tofu

1 block extra firm tofu
1/2 c soy sauce
1/4 c water
2 T maple syrup
juice of half a lemon
1 t. sambal oelek, or whatever chili sauce you have.

Press the tofu at least overnight.   Remove it from the press, dry it off with a paper towel and cut it into planks.  Mix marinade in a ziplock bag and put the planks in it and allow to marinate overnight.  Preheat oven to 350F and grease a cookie sheet.   Remove planks from marinade (which can be used for another dish) and bake it for 45 minutes, turning several times, until crisp.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

The Common Grill: End of an Era

 I just learned that Craig Common is retiring and closing his eponymous restaurant in Chelsea, the Common Grill.   I was sad to hear it; it was our "go-to" restaurant for every special occasion when we lived downstate.    I took numerous cooking classes from Craig at the long ago shuttered Kitchen Port store in Ann Arbor, and I have both of his cookbooks: The Common Grill Cookbook and Return to the Common Grill.   Long ago, I shared the recipe for their excellent rolls.   I've dug out both of his cookbooks, plus all the recipes from the cooking classes I took and plan on blogging about them for a while.    

Common Grill Tuscan Beans

Tonight, I tried out this recipe for Tuscan Beans, which I modified to make with ham instead of pancetta.   It was excellent!  It is a hearty dish and something new to make with legumes that isn't traditional baked beans.  

Common Grill Tuscan Beans with Ham

½ lb. dried cannellini beans
1 c. diced ham
½ t dried rosemary
1 t. dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes, including liquid
½ c. white wine
1½ cups chicken broth

kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Soak beans overnight, drain.    In a dutch oven, add beans and remaining ingredients.   Simmer for about 30 minutes.   Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300 F.    After simmer time, put covered dutch oven in the oven to bake for 2 hours, or until beans are tender.  

Makes about 6 servings

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Michigan Tech Favorites

Winter Carnival circa 1985


It's getting to be that time of year again! Winter Carnival at Michigan Tech is my favorite winter thing.   Over the years, I've put together my favorite Houghton inspired recipes, so I thought I would share a list of them here so my fellow alums might find them all in one place:

Library Bar:

Red Chili This is the chili that Jon Davis used to serve out of the back of a van during the all nighter statue building

Swiss Onion Au Gratin Soup  An alum favorite!  


Tostada Pizza  My take on their most popular pizza

Fishbowls  They are smaller now then they were in the 80s, but still good.


Thimbleberry Jam They make theirs with added pectin, I don't.   

Mocha Cupcakes  So good!  It's my first choice when I am there.   

Onigaming Supper Club

Spinach Salad  The restaurant is no longer, but I sure love this salad.   Wish it would come back!

The Summer Place

Steak Marinade  It burned down years ago, but the food there was so good.  I was happy to finally get a copy of their cookbook they published in the 90s.  

Lemon Loaf   Perfect with some Chassell strawberries

Local favorites:

Pannukakku Kaleva or Suomi has the best!

Pasties  I am pretty particular about my pasties.   My favorites in the Keweenaw are Suomi Restaurant in Houghton, Kaleva in Hancock, Connie's Kitchen in Calumet, and the Mohawk Superette.   I used to love the vegetarian pasties they served at the MTU Union, so I tried my hand at making them.  The Keweenaw Co-op has the best ones currently in the Keweenaw.

Miscowaubik Club Potatoes  I never got to go there as a student, but have visited many times as an alum.