Vegetable Paella with Tofu (SERVES 6)
Traditional paella pans are round, shallow, metal pans that let the rice and vegetables cook evenly without getting mushy.
A wok will do the job just as well: The wide mouth lets liquid evaporate, so the rice cooks and the other ingredients steam rather than boil.
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 7-oz. packages spicy marinated tofu, finely diced
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 large carrots, diced (1 cup)
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 14-oz. can chopped tomatoes, drained
4 cloves garlic, minced (4 tsp.)
1 cup short-grain brown rice
1⁄8 tsp. saffron, crumbled
1 cup fresh or frozen, thawed peas
¼ cup lemon juice
3 green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish
Heat oil in wok over medium-high heat. Add tofu when ripples appear in oil, and season with salt, if desired. Sauté 10 minutes, or until tofu is browned, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms, and sauté 4 to 5 minutes, or until mushrooms release liquid and begin to brown.
Stir in carrots, corn, tomatoes, and garlic, and sauté 2 minutes more.
Stir in rice, 2 ¼ cups water, and saffron. Bring paella to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover with wok lid, and simmer 40 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed.
Add peas on surface (do not stir yet), cover, and allow peas to steam 1 to 2 minutes. Remove wok from heat, and stir in lemon juice and green onions. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.