Friday, December 23, 2011

Can you can it? Feed Yo Self attempts to feed others

Folks, today is officially The Holidays. It's December 23rd, which I like to think of as Christmas Eve Eve.
There are many ways one may spend Christmas Eve Eve. For the non-procrastinators, the ones who have a God-given tendency to think and to plan things, this may be a day of rest. Your shopping is done, you have wrapped each of your gifts (or paid someone to wrap them in conspicuous, brand-associated paper), and at this point, all that awaits you is a big meal and a whole three days to not change out of your bathrobe.
I even hear tell of some constituents of the planning sort who, even after their shopping is complete, go so far as to spend their Christmas Eve Eve at the Mall. Out of hatred for humanity, I can only presume.
From the self-satisfied perch of a massage chair, the frantic idiots running around at the mall must be pretty funny.

I am one of those frantic idiots.

The only difference is that my staunchly non-materialistic immediate family members would balk at the idea of
anyone (especially anyone blood-related to them, the horror) purchasing an earthly item from The Mall in their name.

They would look at me like this.

Charlie Brown Christmas, things have gone too commercial, I get it.
I'm not opposed to it.

It just means that I, the eternal procrastinator, invariably end up spending Christmas Eve Eve not running through the mall, but rather, having to reach into the farther depths of the creative pit in my brain.

That, and a lot of running with scissors.
Also, in this case, kitchen knives.

Without further ado, I will present to you my day's attempt at making something edible, and (hopefully) delicious, for my parents.

Like last year, I am going with preserves. (Everyone likes preserves. They are good on toast.)

Last year = Pomegranate Lemon with Mint Marmalade; Mandarin Orange Spice.
This year = other stuff.


Hippie Parent Christmas gift #1:
Sweet Onion Marmalade

I adapted this recipe, which adapted this recipe.
Reading the comments has been helpful. First of all, I
way reduced the amount of oil and butter, since people have said that it has a tendency to settle at the top. Ew. Super unappealing. This is why I can't eat organic peanut butter. It's a problem, and it can be fixed.
For the butter I used only clarified butter, which may be purchased in the Indian section under the name Cow Ghee. It has all the flavor of butter, and maybe less of the heart disease and cellulite. Not sure about that one. But, at least, no milk solids that settle atop your onions.

I used gold and white onions rather than red. Doubled the amount of chili flakes, because I know they can handle it. I also dashed in small amounts of both sesame oil and soy sauce. Both make a big difference, and go well with the elements of vinegar and heat.
Hope it don't taste overwhelmingly Oriental for the rest of the ingredients, but we'll see.

out of the fire and back into the frying pan

Finally, I omitted the port, because a) what is that, and b) I am not The 1%.

It tastes like...caramelized onions. Tangy, spicy caramelized onions. The wine and the balsamic have imparted on the onions a wonderful, deep sweetness.
A Christmas success?

...On to the next one!

Hippie Parent Christmas gift #2:
Plum Cabernet Jam

Just uttering the name of this one makes sugar plum fairies dance across your tongue.

I am adapting this recipe, which isn't
exactly what I want (they use golden plums and a rosé), but for some reason the above recipe was all Google could find. WHY? I say. Why haven't more people tried to make this?
The flavors should go so well together! So, here is where a little experimentation comes in.

(Experimenter's) Pro Tip #1:

I am using plums in a can.
Ew, why?

Plus, I really like the irony of taking a canned good and making it into another canned good. Besides, this person used canned plums for sorbet, and it still looks pretty tasty. So why not give it a try? God knows they're not in season. I didn't even know you could get canned plums, but here they are sitting right in front of me. Here we go...

I got a $5 bottle of cab-sav called Stone Cellars, which tastes surprisingly decent for the price. Simmered it with just a baby sneeze of lemon juice and a fairy dusting of cinnamon and ground cloves, which results in a most enticingly sweet aroma.

If mulled wine didn't stain your
clothes so bad, I'd wear it as perfume.

Next, time to dissect the contents of these cans. We've got syrup...IMG_1511
And we've got plums...
Which have... pits.

One of the Three Wise Men bearing gifts to Baby Jesus once said that plum pits were a good source of natural fruit pectin. [ Fruit pectin = the stuff that makes your jelly different from fruit juice with extra pulp. ]
But, I don't have time for measuring and stuff, and I sure as hell don't have any cheesecloth, so, I am just going to go the Wal-Mart route and use artificial pectin. Yup. Steering clear of anything sustainable, efficient, or natural.
"git them goddamn pits outta my can of plums"

Anyway, pour out the syrup, put the plums in the wine, boil it down, yada yada yada...

I can't believe I have been leaving out the best part! How you get all this mess into a can!

Well, it's a little bit of this...

And then, I use a stock pot instead of a canner so it's a little bit of this...
but these are the two most important things you want to remember:

A Canning Lesson from a Novice Canner

1) Splash boiling water everywhere and burn yourself
2) Make sure to pour most of the can's contents down into the stove's back right burner.

That's it! It's easy as pie.

(Actually, they should say it's "easy as canned preserves". Pie is fucking hard.)

I hope you all go out there and make your own jams and jellies now, so that I have to think of a better Christmas present next year.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Being an adult means bringing your lumpy ass mashed potatoes along with you to share, instead of being just another Thanksgiving deadbeat.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs

I made these today using Ina Garten's recipe. The only thing was that I didn't have access to salmon roe (weirdly). Other than that, samesies. Oh, and I added capers for some reason at the last minute.

The result: a little salty. The smoked salmon bit was delicious, and overall a good idea, but next time I won't add ANY extra salt (or heavily salty ingredients, like capers).

I do feel like royalty eating them, though. That's always a big plus.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

ignore the real cooking part for one second

Guess what I just did?
I made a salad, and then I took 2,000 beauty shots of it.

Arturo Herrera, "Army of Vegetable Warriors"

How can I resist? Salad is one of the things I do best.

Having been vegetarian for the first 10/11ths of my life, (just double that fraction and you get # of years vegetarian /my age) I kinda think I know my way around a good salad.

And these days, while I certainly appreciate meat (seafood? yum. cows? yum. pork? YOM!),
I still don't really understand how to cook it.

Like that time I took home a thick slice of deli ham, cut it into squares, and then proceeded to heat it -thoroughly- in the frying pan.
In other words yes, I tried cooking something that had already been cooked.

Pre-cooked meat? What do you mean? How do you know? This is HARD!

We just all need to calm down, and make a salad.

Some people don't like salads, probably because they've been continually exposed to dried-out iceberg stalks and one paper-thin cucumber slice that needs to be smothered with a bucket of ranch before it tastes like anything.

and that is just really, really sad for the reputations of things like... mizuna, and escarole.
That's right.

Big shout-out to my salad green FACTS!

"Escarole: succulent and slightly nutty; best used with fruits, nuts, lettuces and greens of all kinds."
--as quoted on the "Salad Greens" poster that's tacked up on my wall without a frame like it's the 1997 No Doubt centerfold in Tiger Beat.


(true story.)

now, I don't have any of that shit.

But I do have watercress.

Watercress is a great idea! Spicy and delicately small, watercress is a delightful surprise in the way of leafy green vegetables.
My poster says it goes great with citrus. I will have to agree, after trying a new salad dressing recipe. Are you ready for a great one? I made it up.

1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 tsp creamy horseradish
2 tsp honey
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp chopped green onions

Mix it all up in a bowl with a fork. It's faaabulous!

Okay, now are you ready for the grand reveal of the salad? It's edgy. It's breathtaking. It's whimsical. It seems so easy, you'll wonder why you didn't think of it, and then you will slam down $1 billion to buy the copyright off me. (that's still a lot of money, right guys? wall street bitches better occupy my kitchen, cause ima be making the big bucks here in a minute.)

Here it is.

Ya surprised? Disgusted? Tickled?
Whaddaya think?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

bomb-ass snack

Hello, children!

Today we makin' salsa!

Kids, for me salsa is a very seasonal snack, the reason being that I live in an area of the world [Kentucky] where there are distinct seasons. Unless it's between late June and early September, a good tomato is hard to come by in these parts. I am convinced that all the people out there who claim not to like tomatoes (you'd be surprised) just haven't had the opportunity to behold a really ripe one. It's entirely plausible. Real live people out there go years of their lives where their only tomato exposure happens by accident at Taco Bell. Come on. Orange cubes? And they're chewy? You're not fooling us, trucking industry. These are not tomatoes. Which makes the tomato season (yes, we're re-naming "summer" now) all the more magical and precious.

As an infant, I was lucky enough to live in the custody of a mom who grew live tomato plants from scratch in the backyard.

To me, there is still no sight more beautiful than a big heirloom tomato ripening on the vine-- warm, soft and alive to the touch, on the verge of splitting open from the weight of all the wonderful red juice inside it.
Ew. Good thing I don't write porn, right?
No better smell than those hairy green leaves, seeping oil from their pores that contains the aromatic essence of a tomato.
Ugh, seriously?

Let's make some salsa!

So, first, you want to gather your ingredients.
I'm no moral philosopher, but I highly recommend buying as many of them as you can from farmers' markets, local sources, etc.

Because you read a Michael Pollan book?

No, fool!
Because they'll taste better.

...and because people in your community made it their livelihood to ensure that their vegetables taste good during their respectively appropriate seasons, it's best to support localized sustainable economic interests, wah wah wah.
Whatever. Believe what you want, just taste my salsa and you'll know the f'ing difference, arrite?

Here are the ingredients:
4 ripe tomatoes
1 red onion
1 bunch green onions
1 Anaheim pepper
1 jalapeño or serrano chili
1 clove garlic
1 lime
1 handful cilantro
1 Tbsp kosher salt

1. First 4 ingredients, dice into 1/4" pieces.
2. Next 2 ingredients mince really tiny, because they can burn you.
3. Sprinkle last 3 to taste.

This is literally the most brainless recipe since Ellie Krieger's Dark Chocolate As a Snack. (Which has since been deleted from the Food Network site, undoubtedly out of shame, so thank you for preserving its glory.)

You just put everything into the same washed-out yogurt container and stir it around, preferably with a chip.
The only catch is that chopping everything up gets to be really time consuming.
just trust me, it's worth it.

That, and the onions can be really sad!
Tears of joy that I'm going to be eating salsa soon!

Now, let me share with you guys my world-class secret of salsa making.
I'm shaking my head. Posting this is going to cost me millions of dollars someday. Are you ready for this?

Scoot in close.


What makes my salsa so delicious is that I mince up some of the lime peel and add it in. Shhh! Now that I told you, just try it at home but keep it a secret, all right? The tiny bit of added lime peel adds an unexpected spicy/sour/bitterness that only pops up every fifth bite, that makes people go, "Humm. She really is a good cook. I have no idea what that flavor is, but I kind of like it."
Don't tell, I swear to god! Just try it.

Now, let's make the chips, shall we?

Yep, you heard me. I mean, store-bought shit rules. I am the Frito bandito.
... But, hypothetically, and for the sake of doing things the hard way, what would it be like if we all made our own tortilla chips?

This person knows. (Always go where there are good reviews.)
My version has not only Kosher salt, but a sprinkle of lime juice before baking. I am a fiend.
Oh, and you also absolutely have to use corn tortillas.

Yom. Corn chips and salsa from scritchy scratch? A little bit more work, but yes-ma'am, these puppies are worth it.

My Drunk Food Blog

A warm congratulation to Hannah Hart of
"My Drunk Kitchen" for her very sudden online success in the pseudo-culinary, adultolescent queermosphere. Have you seen it?

What a beautiful hot mess.
Admittedly, I have been doing a lot more of watching this bitch than actually cooking lately.
Why? Because she's me! This girl is me. She does what
I do. It's uncanny, and I can't look away.

Here's what Harto has figured out through her webseries, "My Drunk Kitchen":

1. You need to eat, but cooking is hard.
2. Alcohol is the perfect tonic when you're faced with hard things.

Yes, getting drunk invariably turns insurmountable tasks into piddlingly easy tasks.
When the reasoning mind takes a little nap
, your body will eventually take care of everything in the most efficient, pragmatic way possible. It's like your subconscious wakes up and says,
Trying to make an omelette? Wow, really shooting for the moon, aren't you? Wait, weren't you hungry? Simple solution: Mexican leftovers. BAM.

Once again, this girl is me.
The act of Feeding Yo Self as an inexperienced, too-educated-for-your-own-good, twenty-something bum is exactly they hurdle that "Feed Yo Self", "My Drunk Kitchen", and all of us really, are just trying
to overcome.
It's not easy to cook. So much protocol, but even more unnecessary freedoms. Sometimes, the kick in the ass that you need to
balls-out put an egg on the stove can come in the form of a heart-warming cocktail: a creative itch in your psyche, a little well-placed pretension, and some sloppy humor, all paired with a $4.99 bottle of Gallo Family wine.

As I sit here, egging myself on to write in this blog (literally, whisking an egg like mad 'til I egg myself), I can't help wonder:

Is Harto really my alter biebgo? (that's "alter ego" + Bieber. As confirmed by my sister, everyone must have one.)

Stated so concisely in the imbibed wit of MDK, after lofty cooking pursuits are abandoned for two styrafoam tubs and a microwave,

"It's a good idea... eat.
Every day."

Isn't that really all that this blog is saying?

I mean, let's take a step back and look at


Now, I guess Harto isn't exactly like me.
She's like... a wildly successful version of me.

See, I try to be legitimate and fail: taking countless photos of a grilled cheese sandwich like I was competing with Bobby Flay, vainly choosing not to post about that one time I made a steak that was too salty... (I mean way too salty. See, I forgot I had salted it the first time. And then forgot about forgetting and salted it again. It was like a salt lick made of flesh. Gross.) Vain, vain, vain, vain.

The interesting thing you notice about MDK is that she never actually makes anything. Hilarious videos, yes. But see, she never comes out with a real, edible result of what she sets out to cook. Just gets drunker and drunker. Which ensues in hilarity, and so by all means.

I'm always doing that shit, though.

I heat up leftovers, and then, staring into the depths of that pot of rice, realize that all I want is for someone else to cook me up a medium-rare steak topped with lump crab meat and Bearnaise sauce. Goodbye, home-cooked meal/savings. Nice knowing ya.

I throw out an old plastic bag and think I'm the greatest homemaker ever, and then Katie comes home to see nasty dishes everywhere, smirking, "Oh, I see you cleaned the kitchen."

I get so self-satisfied with the thought that I'm the only one getting enjoyment out of this watermelon that I lovingly sliced, and then a fruit fly goes up my nose.

I guess what I'm saying is that the main difference between me and Hannah Hart is that I would never choose to have that haircut.

The second thing is that she is--I'm just going to say it--probably not as well nourished as I am.

Which is a resounding success for the mission of Feed Yo Self and its constituents.
Even if my excessive watching of the Food Network impulses me to go out and buy $30 worth of chervil.

Hats off to Hannah Hart, but cheers and a swig for still none of us really knowing what we're doing, but f'ing doing it anyway.

Let's make muffins.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I can make omelette?!

My first.
(hold on! there's a much more mouthwatering photo at end of post.)

Not exactly a commercial for nonstick teflon pans, but somehow I managed to fold it cleanly.
Breakfast for dinner just got gourmet.

3 eggs
2 Tbsp half & half
2 tsp kosher salt
red onion, chopped
green pepper, chopped
chopped fresh herbs: parsley, sage, and thyme
handful baby spinach
kalamata olive pieces
shredded white cheese

Whisk first 6 ingredients together.

& Then
Melt butter in a medium pan, turning to coat entire bottom and sides. While the pan is smokin' hot, dump in the eggs and stuff. Cover the pan with a lid and let it hang out on medium heat for a couple minutes.
When the middle bubbles up and starts looking floppy and hilarious, that's when you sprinkle on the cheese, spinach leaves, and a few surprise olives.

Very carefully,
run your spatula around the pan edges. Slide it under half the omelette, and flipskies.
Cover pan again, turn heat on low and leave it 5 min. Flip to the other side and repeat another 5 min.
Carefully remove from pan; top with chives and parmesan.

Hm. Stay tuned for the Mediterranean omelette (feta, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, sliced pepperoncini), Mexican omelette (queso fresco, ancho chilis, chorizo, topped with cilantro), and the State Fair omelette (donut burgers, fried kool-aid, served on a stick).

Julie vs. Julia, better watch yo self.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Broke but happy

So I've been, um, a bad blogger.

These last coupla months have been busy.
There is a very small number of things in this world that I get paid to do, and unfortunately, taking pictures of my lunch before I pour it down the front of my shirt is not one of them.

I did manage to orchestrate a move this summer. From one apartment to another. In the same city.

It was time to move out of the student ghetto.
To a place architecturally designed to accommodate more activities than just drinking.

...Which also means I get a whole new kitchen!

The pile of furnishings I rent now include (get this) counters, cupboards, a pantry, and even a dishwasher!

Guys, this is a big step up.

Now, since I have been doing nothing but laundry and watching Telemundo for about a week straight,
it's time to ease back into blogging.

I will begin by traversing a territory in which my undergraduate repertoire has left me feeling very practiced.

The Ramen noodle.

And, without further ado, today's lesson:

How to make Ramen noodles taste okay (Thai-style)
Brought to you by four years' experience of periodically eating lavishly in an expensive restaurant only to come home and be broke for the next two weeks.

1. Start with this. You know how to do this. Takes three minutes in the saucepan, as per package instructions.

2. Go 'head and add the flavoring. This is the "Oriental" spice packet (the one that comes in the blue bag). Then, I'll dash in a bit of Thai red curry paste, which is what you see on the bottom right.

3. You know exactly what this is.

And before you start to protest in disgust, think about Thai peanut sauce.
Then, think about how much a bowl of Ramen normally does not fill you up.
I'll take all the cheap protein I can get!
This is creamy, but the crunchy variety would also bring a little faux-Pad Thai-zing. I would be into that.

4. chili and lime, two of the best things to ever happen to food...

5. Mix and throw on a little cilantro.

Now, don't go jumping out of your pants over it or anything.
They're just Ramen noodles.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


As promised, I did in fact prepare a simple dish with mussels, after buying a 2 lb. bag and using only half of them in my paella.
But not before, well, a lot of them kicked the bucket.
And man,

These guys stink.
They made my refrigerator stink.

They made everything in my refrigerator stink.

That stank could turn milk into yogurt.

Imagine if a moribund sea creature just washed up into your crisper.

They made my ice cream smell like the ocean's rotting armpit.


But the several live ones really were still really fresh and good.
I just had to separate them out and scrub their shells really hard without hurling.
Damn you, land-locked state!

Just playing, Bluegrass. Y'all know I could never call anywhere else home.

Beginning and end of story, I made mussels and spaghetti with a white wine and butter sauce.
And it was good.

What an enticing aroma after your nose has been accustomed to death.

Nothing has ever tasted better.

Best enjoyed with some crusty french bread, curled up watching seasons of Arrested Development. Life's such a treat.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Paella for Cheapasses

Paella, a Spanish dish, = rice + stuff.

Usually you see it with mixed seafood and vegetables, although I am sure that if you were in Valencia you would find all sorts of varieties.

I was trying to figure out something to do with all this leftover fish. The day before yesterday we had grilled up a gigantic Steelhead trout, which tasted good but was too unremarkable to blog about--
(save for a momentary crisis when Teflon started flaking off our nonstick grill pan and we were for sure going to die of polytetrafluoroethylene...

...until this Go Ask Alice! article quelled our fears. Good to know, but maybe it is time to get a new grill pan.)

Anyway, there was a ton of leftover fish, but since it wasn't fresh off the grill anymore I didn't want to eat it just by itself.

Hence, paella.

Cheap Ass Paella
1/2 lb. wild caught shrimp, $2.99
1 bag live mussels, $3.99
leftover fish fillet, free
1 pack Mahatma Saffron Yellow Rice, $1.29
Then, there are a some things that I just keep on hand. Garlic, shallots, cooking wine, tomatoes, carrots, and frozen peas.

By the way, I highly recommend this brand of rice. Spanish cooking requires a lot of saffron, which is one of the spendiest herbs if you live in the U.S.
This rice is cheap, pre-saffron'd, and delicious.
Next time I want to toast the rice in a pan to get a nice nutty texture on it before it simmers. [That's a trick I learned from Bobby Flay but have not yet tried.]

First I rinsed the mussels and threw away all the open ones, because that means they're dead.
I thawed the shrimp in ice water, and then shelled n' de-veined them. That was a lot of fun and not at all disgusting.

Steamed the mussels in olive oil, then removed them to a bowl. Steamed the shrimp and did the same. Then I used the same pot of oil to brown some garlic and sliced shallots, and then made a broth out of white wine and chicken stock. Added diced tomatoes and carrots, then rice. Simmered for about 15 minutes, and then finally finished with the peas, diced fish fillet, shrimp, and mussels.

I would like to add that this is my first time cooking, or even eating, mussels.
I'm a fan.
They also come in gigantic 2 lb. bags, so I know what I'm having for dinner tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ginger Tofu and Bok Choy

Did you know there was an Asian grocery store 5 minutes from my house? I didn't. There could be one around yours, too, and you just don't know about it. You should check. It's quite the experience.

I was planning on making a regular old irreverent pan-Asian for dinner tonight, and didn't get across the parking lot after work before an Asian grocery store sprung up from the ground and stopped me in my tracks (well, not literally, or my car would have been flying through the glass storefront).

I decided to go in, expecting that I would shop Ina Garten-style: take a slow, meditative walk around the market, pretending that the aisle shelves are garden patches, humming softly to myself, describing produce items as "whimsical", casually picking up whatever looks fresh that day as if plucking it off a sun-ripened bush (arms linked with Alec Baldwin optional).

But this is not The Hamptons. This is the Yu Yu Asian Market on Waller Ave.

Luxurious browsing, I realized, is not a possibility. There are rows upon rows of little dried things in totally opaque packages that I cannot read, and probably would look just as foreign even if the label were translated in English. Whole 3' long dehydrated squids lying around. Flies swarming open bags full of chickens' feet. The whole place stinks with the odor of the live crabs crawling all over each other, which about make me jump out of my skin when I peer into their soggy cardboard box. The whole time I keep thinking it would be totally awesome if I had the prowess to kill my own crab, but I don't. Instead, I decide to get the two or three things in the whole place I actually recognize and get out as quickly as possible. (I also really had to pee).

Here was my small loot:

The moment I get home I realize that I don't actually know anything about this stuff, so I immediately begin typing all kinds of things into Google

how to drain tofu
how to cook tofu
how to chop bok choy
how to cook bok choy
what are enoni mushrooms
how to cook enoki mushrooms

First of all, the package of tofu had a promotional sticker for Kung Fu Panda 2, which made me LOL.
What I did was "dry fry" it according to this method, then marinate it for 30 min.
I like really firm tofu in a stir fry. Some takeout places call it "home style." Cut it up into triangles, thoroughly press in towels to collect the moisture, and then brown it low and slow in a dry pan. You've got to resist the temptation to move them around in the pan, otherwise they won't get that nice crispy texture on the outside. Don't forget to periodically press it with a spatula to get the extra moisture out (the article describes the sound as a 'sizzle' when the water hits he pan, but it's more like slowly letting the air out of a balloon).
Like I said, I like my tofu to be firm, but I always assumed that places generally deep-fried it. You'd be surprised how little fat is actually in this recipe. The dry pan method takes a while, but it's worth it. Once it comes out of there flattened, firm and crispy, it really soaks up that marinade and tastes delicious.

As far as marinade... as you can see in the photo, I actually bought a spice packet for yellow curry, but then decided to make my own flavor combo and save the yellow curry for a later time. Here is what I came up with.

Asian Marinade
1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
2 cloves fresh grated garlic
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup canola oil
3 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
8 minced chilis, red, yellow, and green
sweet chili paste
3 Tbsp white sugar

Those measurements are rough; everything is pretty much to taste.
Of course you have to de-seed the chili peppers because they are HOT! We like things hot and spicy, but these raw peppers were making us sneeze and cough all over the place.
I slice them lengthwise like so and just remove the core with a small, sharp knife.

Here are the little enoki mushrooms out of their pack:
So baby-baby!
I guess they're a lot more delicate and cute than they are flavorful. They are best enjoyed raw or nearly raw, because otherwise they'll break.
To me they just add a nice visual element.

First I heated some oil with garlic and shallots. Washed the bok choy, chopped the stems up and separated them out from the leaves, washed it again. Stir-fried the stems 7 minutes, then the leaves: I stirred them around for 5 minutes along with 1 julienned carrot. Finally added the enoki mushrooms.
I finished it by adding the tofu and pouring the rest of the marinade overtop. So really it was like a wilted bok choy salad.

The one thing I would do differently next time is not cook the bok choy for so long--I think I over-steamed it in the pan, it could have had more crunch to it. The tofu was just perfect--about Asian restaurant-quality, if I'm allowed to say so myself.

I'd like to try this salad with a grilled white fish, too. Of course, you can always eliminate the fish sauce from the marinade and it'd be 100% vegetarian.
Served with fluffy white rice!