Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Last Full Moon

The days are getting longer. Soon the stars will be gone until fall. Last night on the way home from work I couldn't help but take a minute to enjoy this full moon.

Posts to Burn March Edition


If there is one thing I would like people to take away from this blog, it would be that you can do this too. I don't have any special training in cooking or photography. I shoot my pictures with a Canon A400 point and shoot and work in a typical American kitchen. The things I post are things we actually eat for dinner which means I am trying to take photos before the food gets cold. For better or worse, we (or my co-workers) eat everything you see. Luckily, I have a staff of hungry young men with high metabolisms to take care of any blog rejects. Sometimes I am still sad to see recipes and photos that I put time into just sit in my blog photo folder and eventually end up in the recycle bin on my computer.
So, I thought why not share them. Consider these the Arctic Garden Studio outtakes. Don't worry, it's ok to laugh!

1.This was my second attempt at donut muffins. I have already had one full size donut muffin post. This time I used a different recipe, this one from Orangette and I made them in mini muffin tins to give them a better donut hole appearance. I also dunked the entire donut in butter, cinnamon, and sugar. Honestly, these were way better than the ones I posted previously. Does one cooking blog really need two donut muffin posts? Probably not.

2. These steaks were delicious, the sauce not so much. The New York strip steaks came from our new local Home Grown Market. My only wish is that I had not topped them with this sauce from the Pioneer Woman's  cookbook.

3. Oh, St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake I really wanted to love you. You sounded like the perfect take to work treat. Unfortunately, your gooey layer could not make up for the dry tasteless cake layer. You photographed so lovely, but I just can't let my readers (all 10 of you) make this cake. I'm sorry your 10,000 calories just aren't worth it. I still took you to work, but that will be the last time.

4. Why did I even think this would be good? I'll admit that the original recipe call for ham on the bottom, but that would not have saved this rubbery egg disaster.

5. This one was probably one of my biggest disappointments, not only had a dreamed about this gelato from David Leibovitz for over a year, but I dished out a pretty penny for the pistachio paste required to make it. I am not beyond spending money on specialty ingredients, but when they are that expensive I expect a lot from the finished product. Honestly, I think it might have been ok if I had only used half the jar, but with the whole jar it was cloying at best. Really, I'm not sure I would have been pleased with ok had I used half the jar. I have loved everything I have ever cooked from David Leibovitz's blog (and cookbooks for that matter), but I will be a little more cautious with the expensive ingredients in the future. I am assuming he thought nobody would actually dish out the money to make this recipe!

6. This one I'm pretty sure was my fault. I will definitely be giving the recipe another try and hope to post about it in the future. Check out the photo on A Piece of Cake, you will see how absolutely beautiful Shauna's version of Millionaire's Shortbread is. Actually her whole blog is beautiful and I want to eat everything she makes. The shortbread part of this is delicious and the chocolate layer is great, the problem I had was that she recommended making the caramel in the microwave, I don't own one. I made Dulce de Leche instead and it just wasn't solid enough to stand up in these cookie bars. It oozed out all over the place. They were really good and tasty, just not pretty. I am determined to make them pretty.

7. This one I didn't post out of pride. The photos just didn't turn out well. Also, I'm not sure chicken was the best thing to pair this very bizarre sounding Blueberry Mustard Sauce with. All I could think the whole time I was eating it is how good it would taste on Venison. This is a true wild game kind of sauce. If you do decide to make it I'll let you know that I swapped out shallots for the onions and sherry for the wine because it was all I had.

8. I had really wanted to do a post about the new sushi place that opened in Fairbanks. Ok, not so new it opened last September, but I don't think it is getting the attention it deserves. The News Miner did a good story on the place a while back. I highly recommend it, and they have spider rolls. The only complaint is that they have terrible lighting for photos! Really, that is my only complaint, the food, cleanliness, service were all above and beyond. For those in the know they are one block up from the chowder house on 3rd street.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Curried Chicken Salad

I think everyone has that one meal each day that they don't really enjoy. A lot of people don't enjoy breakfast, whether it is the getting up early or the choices breakfast lays out. Well, I love breakfast, but I really struggle to come up with good idea for my work day lunches. We rarely have leftovers, and I am not a big fan of sandwiches (or leftovers for that matter). In the winter I always want something warm. My biggest downfall is that I work in the Student Union at the University, so 50 paces from my office is a food court. Lunch seems to be the thing I always put off until the last minute and then just never get around to doing. Half the time, I honestly just don't eat at all. I'll spend my lunch hour walking the puppy or I just work right through it. None of these options are healthy, maybe with the exception of the walk. I feel like lunch is just a really inconvenient time of day to be eating. There are things to do...
So, I have decided to make more effort to come up with at least one new work day lunch each week. This one comes from So Easy, I like this cookbook because it has a whole section on traveling lunches. I have not actually purchased it yet, so this is my adaptation from what I remember from browsing in the bookstore.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Flapjacks

 
I'm not really sure where I originally heard about Flapjacks. The first time I tried making them was about a year ago when I found a recipe in an absolutely beautiful book about the domestic arts. The book made them look so good and the description. I promptly ordered some Golden Syrup from an import company and went to work on my first batch. It turns out that when the book was converted from the metric system to our unit of measure here in the U.S. some things just didn't translate. My first batch of flapjacks were oat and butter soup! Thinking I must have done something wrong I actually made a second batch and tried cooking them longer, blackened oat and butter soup! The jar of Golden Syrup was not very big and I paid way more money than I should have I was worried I would run out of syrup before I actually made a good batch. I wrote to the company and they fessed up that the conversions were bad. They sent me two copies of the second (corrected) printing as a replacement. The problem was that the second printing was not any better. Two more batches produced nothing more than sticky oats. The remaining 1/4 cup of Golden Syrup has been sitting in my cupboard since. I figured Flapjacks were not meant to be for me until....
This month Molly Wizenberg shared a recipe for Flapjacks in her Column called Cooking Life in Bon Appetit magazine. Since Molly has not failed me yet (she led me to the perfect scone), I had to trust her and use the last of my Golden Syrup to make this final batch. They turned out perfectly, unfortunately I am out of Golden Syrup!!
Flapjacks
adapted from Molly Wizenberg's Cooking Life

Ingredients
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup (firmly packed) golden brown sugar
1/4 cup golden syrup (it should be pretty easy to find if you live in the lower 48, Amazon now sells it as well)
2 1/3 cups quick-cooking oats (I used the thick farmhouse type and they turned out fine)
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan. Combine butter, sugar, and golden syrup. ingredients in heavy medium saucepan. Stir constantly over medium-low heat until sugar melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Add oats and salt and mix until evenly coated. Transfer mixture to  pan and spread evenly.
Bake, rotating pan halfway through until top is golden and edges are dark, but not burned. Total baking time for me was 30 minutes. Cool in pan on rack 5 minutes. Cut into 4 squares; cut each into 4 triangles (mixture will still be soft). Cool completely in pan before serving. It is very important to leave them in the pan until they are completely cool, otherwise they will not hold together.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lingonberry Vinaigrette

 A while back Bon Appetit did an article on New Austrian Cuisine. I made the entire dinner including goulash, spaetzle, and a red cabbage salad. This meal had a lot of flavors going on. Each individual component was good, but all together the competition happening on my tongue was just too much. When I asked David how he like the meal he said, "These flavors are just not something I'm used to, but I like the radioactive red color of the dressing on the cabbage." Somehow, I knew exactly what he meant. That dressing was really good, too much for the meal that night, but I knew if I worked with some of the ratios I could create a really good every day salad dressing. That is a really good thing considering I still have over 6 quarts of lingonberries in my freezer from last fall.


Lingonberry Vinaigrette

Ingredients
3 tablespoons lingonberry preserves,
or 1/4 cup lingonberries(fresh or frozen) and 1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Preparation
In a medium bowl combine all ingredients and blend with an immersion blender, or use a regular blender. Serve over a bed of salad greens, ours was great topped with diced granny smith apple, chopped toasted walnuts, and gorgonzola.

*For those living in Alaska Lingonberries are called Low-Bush Cranberries.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Black Bottom Cupcakes and a Curse

I have been thinking about this post for a while...how do I want to tell this story? So, let me just come out and say it...I have a wedding curse! It has nothing to do with the fact that I am still single. That is a whole other curse altogether. My wedding curse comes from standing in other people's weddings. You see, every wedding I have ever stood in has led me to never see the happy couple again! Actually, one of the weddings all did was read, and yes I have not seen the bride again. It doesn't help that in my adult life I have lived in more places than I can count and most of the weddings I actually traveled to attend. Now that I live in the frozen Arctic Tundra I really wouldn't expect anyone to come for a visit. This is compounded by the fact that I am really bad about calling and keeping up with correspondence. Ever leave a comment on my blog? I didn't write back did I? Don't worry it's not you it's me!
What does this have to do with cupcakes you ask? Don't worry, I'm getting there.
My dear friend Wendi was married seven years ago. You guessed it, I stood in her wedding and have not seen her since. Wendi and I have been friends since high school. Wendi was the kind of friend that we were so much alike I would have to call her before we went out to find out what she was wearing. If I didn't we would show up at a party wearing the same or similar outfit 9 times out of 10. Even with very little communication over the last 7 years, I would probably say she knows me better than anyone. I know if were to get together, we would just pick up right where we left off as though no time had passed at all.
With all this new social media out there. Wendi and I have been communicating a little more often. Turns out she has even been reading my blog. I get to see pictures of her adorable children and all their antics. We also get to talk recipes...
A few weeks ago Wendi recommended I try these cupcakes. I must admit that I had already had my eye on them, but I knew when Wendi recommended that I would love them. I brought them to an office party for one of my co-workers that was leaving. They were a hit!
Black-Bottom Cupcakes
The Great Book of Chocolate, David Lebovitz
Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, regular or reduced fat, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup unflavored vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Filling: Beat together the cream cheese, granulated sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in the chopped chocolate pieces. Set aside.

For the Cupcakes:
 Adjust the rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F (175°C). Butter a 12-cup muffin tin, or line the tin with paper muffin cups. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients, stirring until just smooth. Do not overmix. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Spoon a few tablespoons of the filling into the center of each cupcake, dividing the filling evenly.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown and the cupcakes feel springy when gently pressed. Let cool. I like them refrigerated. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Coconut Muffins with Streusel Topping


Wow, the weeks are just flying by. It is the first day of spring! Winter feels like a memory........

Oh sorry, I had to get off the floor from laughing so hard!!
I have really been craving coconut lately. I have been looking at making some coconut cupcakes. Last Saturday morning I really wanted those coconut cupcakes for breakfast. Of course you can't have cupcakes for breakfast, but you can have muffins!! I am a master of the art of dessert for breakfast. I found a lot of recipes for banana muffins topped with toasted coconut. I wanted the Coconut to take center stage. So, when you can't find the recipe you want just make one up...
INGREDIENTS
For Muffins:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut flakes
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 ripe banana, sliced
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon coconut flavored rum, or coconut extract
1 cup Coconut Milk

For Coconut Streusel Topping:
In a small bowl mix together 1/4 cup coconut flakes, 1/4 cup brown sugar,1 teaspoon cinnamon, and1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 12 cup muffin pan. (You may use paper muffin cups.) In a bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Add 1/2 cup coconut. Mix together. Set aside.
In a bowl using an electric mixer, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add banana, vanilla extract, and coconut rum. Beat in well. Add 1/2 of the flour mixture. Beat until just smooth. Do not over mix. Add the remaining flour mixture alternately with the Coconut Milk. Beat until just incorporated. Do not overbeat or your muffins will be tough. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full.
Generously sprinkle with Coconut Streusel, at least one teaspoon per muffin. Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown.

These muffins are great when they are a little warm and fresh out of the oven. So, eat them right away!

Searching for Spring

All this week I look for signs that spring was really coming. Besides the fact that we still have light at 7:00 p.m. the field by our house did not convince me spring would come to Fairbanks today.
Finally, yesterday the temperatures increased. In small amounts we can actually find water flowing outside.
To me the surest sign that spring will come soon was finding the first pussy willow of the season.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Home Grown Market

Two weeks ago in my post surgery state I learned that a new local food market opened up in Fairbanks. I knew it would be one of the first items on my agenda once I got back on my feet.That was the first thing I did, as soon as I left my follow up appointment I went straight to the Home Grown Market. Their building is tucked behind the car wash and a little strip mall on Geraghty Avenue, so they can be a little hard to find if you don't know exactly where you are going. Believe me they are worth looking for. If you are living in Fairbanks, you need to check this place out. Everyone I have talked to has nothing but good things to say. I have wished for this since we moved to Fairbanks. They carry a huge variety of locally grown meat and make their own sausage.

They also carry Matanuska Dairy products and Alaska Grown potatoes and carrots. I would imagine their produce selection will increase in the summer. It looks like they have a lot of exciting things in the works. I saw empty tubs with a sign that said they would be soon filled with grain you could grind yourself. If you are on Facebook I recommend becoming a Fan as they have been posting some great specials on their page.


What about the prices? When I was asking most people if their prices were good I got a common response, I don't know, I didn't really look and I think that says a lot. Honestly, I was stunned when they rung up my two strip steaks, cheese, ice cream, smoked salmon, and gallon of milk.

I was expecting more like $50 and probably wouldn't have flinched if it were $60 for all this local goodness. So, in my opinion it is a steal! I'll be going back tonight for some of that sausage and I am hoping they will have some of the Birch Ice Cream everyone has been raving about!!
Home Grown Market is open Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Then there were two...

Can we come in?
Please?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I'm being followed by a Dog Shadow...

Coconut Cream Pi

Happy Pi Day!! I have two confessions to make on Pi day. The first, I made this pie a year ago. I made it on pie day last year, but by the time we finished dinner I was too tired to post about it and the pictures and recipe have been sitting in this post on blogger for a whole year. The sad part is that it was really good and I waited so long. There is something about spring that makes me crave coconut. As soon as I see Daffodils I start looking for coconut recipes. Whenever I make a recipe with coconut I always try and find ones that call for coconut milk as I am sure that this will intensify the coconut flavor and definately kick it up a notch. This one comes from Emeril Lagasse and we all know that Emeril like to kick it up a notch!!
The second confession is that I don't make pie crust. Really, anytime you see a pie post, it is the refrigerated pie crust in the red package. The worst part is that I don't even try. I think I have only tried to make pie crust once and of course it was a disaster. I'm sure if I actually gave it an honest effort I could do it, but I don't. It is like I have some sort of pie crust phobia. Even the stuff in the package scares me a bit. So, this year I am creating a Pi Day resolution. Next year on Pi Day I will make my own crust.
Want to see who else is celebrating Pi Day? Check out Science Blogs for their Pie Day Bake-Off.

Coconut Cream Pie
adapted from Emeril Lagasse on Food Network
Ingredients
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
5 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flaked, unsweetened coconut
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter
1 (9-inch) baked pie shell
1/3 cup toasted coconut
Whipped cream, for garnish

Directions
In a nonstick 1-quart saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar, coconut milk, and 1 cup milk. Scald mixture.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup milk and cornstarch together to make a slurry. Whisk egg yolks with salt in medium bowl. Temper yolks by adding 1/2 cup scaled milk mixture to yolks and whisk well. Add yolk mixture and slurry back into milk mixture and whisk vigorously over medium heat until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add coconut, vanilla, and butter. Whisk until uniformly incorporated.

Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Chill the pie completely, about 2 hours.

To serve, top with toasted coconut and a dollop of whipped cream.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Naming Our New Pup

We get a lot of questions about the name of our new puppy. His name is Arrluk and it means "Killer Whale" in Yupik. How we managed to get to that name is an interesting story.
When I was a kid the only pet I ever had was a goldfish and he never really had a name, well not until the day I came home and found him sitting in the hot sun of the window belly up! We would bury him in the garden and I needed to put a name on the Popsicle stick grave marker. I decided to call him Speedy because he would swim around in his bowl really fast causing a whirlpool effect and then when he tried to stop he would get swept around the bowl a few times in the current. The poor fish never got a name until he died though. I always felt bad about poor Speedy.
I mentioned this story to a friend in college once and she told me the story of her friend B.G. who got her name because her parents actually never were able to come up with a name and the name on her birth certificate was B.G. (baby girl). I knew if I were ever to have children this would be their fate!
When David and I decided to get a dog I hoped that he would be good with this whole name thing, but it turned out that he struggled just as much as I did. When we picked up Brody from the shelter we talked about changing his name. We actually gave it a few attempts, but it turned out he would barely come to Brody, so changing his name didn't seem like a great idea.Our new pup did have a litter name (Morelli), but we knew this time we would actually have to come up with something. We started with Dr. Seuss names liked Lorax and Horton, but those soon fell by the wayside when we discovered Max, the dog from the Grinch. We were set with Max until we discovered it is the second most popular dog name in the country! This did not help me get over my naming anxiety, how unoriginal can we be? So, we started looking at Alaska place names: Barrow, Yukon, or how about Chicken? Yikes! Something Alaskan would be nice, but David was pushing for Orca due to his coloring and markings. I kind of liked it, but wasn't sold. I threw out Orca names such as Keiko and Willy with not much excitement. Ugh!! Then I came across the Alaska Native Language Center's Dog Names web page. There it was: Arrluk, Killer Whale in Yupik. Perfect, an Alaskan Orca like name. We had one last deviation as I jokingly called him Mukluk one day. David really lobbied for that one, and though it is a super cute puppy name, in the end Arrluk is a better dog name and we all know he won't be a puppy for long!

Creme Brulee Oatmeal

Warning: Decadence ahead!! That is the warning that should come with this oatmeal. Seriously, isn't most breakfast food just dessert in disguise? Creme Brulee seems to be popular for breakfast food these days. Just last weekend David was reading that a Creme Brulee French Toast won a breakfast food contest in Maine. Of course, I have thought about nothing but Creme Brulee since. I stumbled across an article in the New York Times about restaurants making breakfast themed desserts. Then I thought why not warm Oatmeal Creme Brulee for Breakfast? There are actually a lot of recipes out there already. After reading through them it seemed that the majority were just baked oatmeal with a crunchy burned sugar layer on top. I wanted more than that!! I decided just to take my normal Creme Brulee recipe and add oatmeal to see what would happen. With a few small changes and shorter baking time, my instincts were right on. This was rich and wonderful. This recipe only makes two small servings, but it can easily be doubled, or quadrupled! BTW...that is not chocolate drizzled on top (I do have some restraint), I used muscovado sugar. I really liked the flavor in the oatmeal, but next time I'll just use regular brown sugar on the top as I think it would melt better.
Creme Brulee Oatmeal
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon brown sugar (dark brown or muscovado is great depending on your preference)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup old fashioned oats (not quick cooking, I use Snoqualmie)
additional brown sugar for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 325 degree. Lightly oil two ramekins, 6 or 8 ounce. In a medium bowl whisk together egg yolks and sugar until eggs become light in color. Add heavy cream and vanilla, whisk until blended. Stir in oats. Divide between ramekins and place in a larger baking dish. Fill baking dish halfway up the side of the ramekins with water. Place in oven for about 45 minutes. You want the oatmeal to be light brown on top and the the oatmeal set. Do not overbake as the top will be burned after you add the final brown sugar layer. Remove from oven and sprinkle lightly with brown sugar. Set broiler to high and move oven rack to highest position. Remove ramekins from water bath and place on cookie sheet under broiler. Leave door open slightly and watch closely and remove when sugar has melted (2-3 minutes). Let sit for 3-5 minutes for sugar to harden up. Serve with berries and/or yogurt on top.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tofu Scramble with Roasted Red Potatoes

The last few weeks have been crazier than expected. Yes, I knew the puppy would be a handful. What I had not expected was to spend the majority of the week before we got the puppy between the Emergency Room and doctor's offices followed by surgery two days after Arrluk arrived. I feel kind of strange sharing such personal information, but I had Gall Bladder surgery last Monday. The reason I share is to let you all know that one week ago I had surgery and today I feel pretty much back to normal with the exception of five small holes in my abdomen. If you are like me I had just a small clue of what my gall bladder was or what it did. Also, if you are like me, getting an organ removed sounds pretty serious and scary. I will tell you this, I had no idea until the last two weeks how many people I knew who were living very normal lives without a gall bladder. So, if it ever happens that you find yourself in the situation I can assure you the whole process is fairly painless. Believe me, the surgery was far less painless than the attacks I was having leading up to it.
Even though things went pretty smoothly, I always feel after any sickness or medical incident it is time for a fresh start. Not that this recipe is exactly healthy, but it does have a lot of veggies, and at least it isn't a scone! This is from my new favorite cookbook Mother's Best. Just to prove that I haven't lost my touch I'll let you know that my favorite thing about this cookbook is that there is an entire chapter dedicated to Macaroni and Cheese Recipes. Note that this recipe starts by making roasted red potatoes. This makes far more potatoes than you need for the Tofu Scramble. We like snacking on them for a Saturday lunch. It is also a great idea to make the Roasted Red Potatoes for dinner the night before so they are ready to go for breakfast the next morning.
Tofu Scramble with Roasted Red Potatoes
adapted from Mother's Best

To make the Roasted Red Potatoes:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Clean and scrub 1 1/2 pounds of small red skin potatoes. Cut into quarters and place in a large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, and 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil to potatoes. Toss to coat evenly.
Oil a large rimmed baking sheet. Spread potatoes in a single even layer over pan. Bake for 1 hour, rotating ever 20 minutes for even cooking.

For the Tofu Scramble:
5 tablespoons vegetable oil or clarified butter
1 14 oz. package of soft tofu (not silken) crumbled into large 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 medium onion finely diced
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
3 cups diced Roasted Red Potatoes (see above)
2 1/2 cups fresh spinach leaves
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice (cheddar, monterey jack, swiss, provolone, or feta)

Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a large heavy oven-proof skillet over high heat for several minutes. When very hot add oil and heat until shimmering. Add the tofu and cook over high heat until golden. Add mushrooms salt and pepper and cook over high heat until mushrooms are golden. Lower heat to Medium-high and add the onions, stirring occasionally saute until soft. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add potatoes and saute for about five minutes. Add spinach and cover until spinach is wilted (this should only take a minute or two). Stir in spinach and sprinkle with cheese. Place in oven until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
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