minor setback and a sandwich

so, it seems like this blog might take a big longer to get off the ground. you see, my camera was stolen.

taken from my home.

my beautiful canon rebel xsi, a present from my husband at our wedding last year.

the camera i use to take pictures of my food.

anyway, until it is recovered/we suddenly find the money to buy a new one, it looks like this blog will be going pictureless, which for me kind of defeats the whole purpose of a food blog. that said, i just couldn’t resist posting the recipe for a sandwich i made yesterday. i know, it seems pretty ridiculous to post a recipe for a sandwich, but this one was seriously good. as in the best sandwich i’ve had since i don’t know when.

growing up at the jersey shore, i was fortunate enough to live near a legendary vegetarian restaurant called veggie works, which has since closed down. in high school, my friends and i would go there to listen to whatever 1960s cover band was on the roster that night (i recall one singer we lovingly referred to as “eskimo jerry garcia,” as that is who he most closely resembled) and sit in the sawn-in-half pews that served as booth benches, eating the most miraculous veggie meat loaf or a “buffalo soldier burrito.” there was one item on their sprawling menu of unique creations and meat-like concoctions that i could never get enough of: the grilled tofu sandwich. my friends could never understand my love for such an unexciting dish, but the flavors, bright and fresh, the crunch of sprouts with the silkiness of the lemon-pepper tofu, well, it was simply heavenly. i thought i would never taste it again once the place shut it’s doors.

which brings us to yesterday. after k and i dragged our feet back home following a long, sunny day of hiking through vancouver’s stanley park with a guide book called, simply, “big trees” (and randomly meeting a man at the hollow tree who just happened to help the author find many of those trees, and who is in several of the photographs within–vancouver is such a city of synchronicity), we pondered a meal that would be easy to make and use some of the fruit we had bought the day before. As we approached the grocery store, we decided on sandwiches, tofu with mango. once home, i began doing a little concocting myself.

first, a marinade for the tofu. orange juice in the fridge, sesame oil, ginger, and under the broiler. next, the mayo issue. a tofu sandwich without mayo can be quite dry, but i have a life-long aversion to the stuff and cannot stomach the taste. so why not mix in some of that madras curry paste on the fridge door? just enough to hide that familiar hellman’s odor.

a little mango, some thai basil, and garlic sprouts, and a sandwich was born.

not just any sandwich. the sandwich.

the sandwich that instantly makes me long for a picnic on the beach. the sandwich that i wish i had every summer evening, on the porch, watching the sun start to set after biking around to catch a breeze.

the sandwich.

i’ve decided to call it “the honolulu,” because one bite washed down with a swig of almond milk brought me right back to my spring break trip there with my friend in college: sun, sand, surf, fresh fruit, and no worries.

tonight, in contrast, is stew night. perfect for the foggy, rainy, cold vancouver day outside my window.

RECIPE:

the honolulu sandwich

makes two sandwiches

1/2 c. orange juice

2 Tbsp. sesame oil

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 brick extra-firm tofu, drained & cut lengthwise into 1/4″ thick strips

3 Tbsp. mayonnaise

1 heaping tsp. madras curry paste

4 slices sourdough sandwich bread

7 large Thai basil leaves, torn

1 Atulfo mango, slices 1/4″ thick

garlic sprouts or alfalfa sprouts

1. preheat oven to broil. mix together orange juice, oil, ginger, and cayenne in shallow bowl. drag tofu through orange juice mixture and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet, being careful not to overlap slices (you could also cook these on a grill.) broil about 6 minutes per side, until lightly browned and just crispy at the edges.

2. assemble the sandwiches: mix together mayonnaise and curry paste until well blended. toast bread slices. spread curry-mayo mixture on one bread slices. place about three strips of tofu on bead, partially overlapping each slice. arrange a layer of torn basil on top of tofu, then a layer of mango. top with sprouts and another piece of bread spread with curry-mayo mixture. repeat with second sandwich.

3. serve with a cold glass of almond milk for the full island effect!

[i hope to revisit this post at a later date, when i can take some pictures and do the recipe justice. until then, text must suffice.]

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