Monday, May 10, 2010

Chicken and Tofu in a Marjoram Cream Sauce

I would like to take this moment to apologize to all of my wonderful blog-friends for not being able to read and comment on as many of your incredible blog posts recently. The hours of my new job are quite long, longer than I had expected, and most weekdays I arrive home to spend a few hasty hours running errands, tending the gardens, paying bills, doing laundry, and other such pedestrian daily life necessities, followed by tumbling into bed for a few hours (maybe 4 or 5, nowhere near the requisite 6, or 7, or 8? Goodness, I can't remember the last time I got to sleep for 8 hours at one time) only to leap out of bed with the chime of the alarm at 5AM to start it all again the next morning! Consequently, I've only been able to read a few blogs at a time each evening as I adjust to this new schedule, although I hope that as I settle into my new daily life I shall soon begin to return to normalcy again. In the meantime, please know that I think of every single one of you, my incredible friends across the web, every day, and when I am able to read your posts they bring such joy, wonder, delight and inspiration into my life, for which I am grateful beyond words.

Despite the fact that I've been rather sleep deprived for the first two weeks of my new job, I am so happy and relieved to be able to write that I am thoroughly enjoying every day of my new position as a pediatric nurse. The atmosphere is everything for which I'd hoped, full of new adventures and never a dull moment, whether I'm dealing with a child who's not breathing (thankfully, in this particular case last week, all was eventually well) or trying to explain to a parent that Cheetos might not be the ideal food for a child recovering from a bout of severe digestive upset.

With such hectic weekdays for both myself and Zach, who's currently working astoundingly long hours at the hospital for an internal medicine rotation, the weekends seem infinitely precious and all too brief! This weekend we celebrated our cherished time together with a spontaneous trip to Brick Store Pub, our favorite downtown destination,

(Where they have the most heavenly arugula salad with goat cheese, dried cherries, and spiced pecans...)

(and where our favorite beer, on this particular trip, was a Belgian white ale called Troublette...)

(I love the adorable snail on the label design!)

along with spending plenty of mirthful time in the kitchen, continuing to explore the recipes in our new favorite cookbook, The Philosopher's Kitchen! Having mentioned the cookbook once before already, I decided I should most certainly share our adaptation of one of the book's tempting recipes, Marjoram chicken and tofu! For other views into the delights of this cookbook one should most certainly visit Lele's gorgeous blog, Lele Lurves Plants, for Lele herself first introduced me to this fabulous volume!

Zach actually fixed this marjoram recipe 2 weekends ago, but, as we've still been talking about it on a nearly daily basis, it seemed a post in this recipe's honor was long overdue! The original recipe called for such decadent ingredients as heavy cream, but we came up with a lighter version that still managed to transport us to heady culinary heights. We also served some of the luscious, highly addictive sauce over tofu, with equally rapturous results!

And while the alarm clock buzzed impatiently again this morning, ushering me into yet another Monday of fresh surprises and never enough sleep, a new cookbook, a perfect recipe, and a weekend spent with my true love is more than enough to keep me floating contentedly all through the week...

Monday who? With delicious leftovers to look forward to and weekend memories close at hand, my heart still thinks it's Sunday...

Chicken and Tofu in a Marjoram Cream Sauce (Adapted from The Philosopher's Kitchen)

1 onion, chopped
2 T olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup vegetable stock
1 tsp coriander
4 skinless and boneless chicken thighs OR 1 lb firm tofu, pressed dry and cut into 4 thick slices
1 cup 2% low fat evaporated milk
2 T honey
2 T dried marjoram

~ In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the onion in the olive oil until golden.
~ Add the wine to the onions and simmer for 4 minutes - until the wine has reduced somewhat.
~ Stir in the vegetable stock and the coriander, and bring the mixture to a boil.
~ Season the chicken or the tofu with salt and pepper.
~ Add the chicken or the tofu to the stock mixture, reduce the heat until the stock is simmering, cover, and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through or the tofu is heated through.
~ Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low heat, simmer the evaporated milk, honey, and marjoram until the liquid is reduced by half.
~ Once the chicken or the tofu has finished cooking, remove them from the pan and bring the stock mixture to a boil. Let the stock boil until reduced by half.
~ Stir the evaporated milk mixture into the vegetable stock mixture, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
~ Serve the chicken or tofu topped with the sauce, and garnished with minced parsley and a bit more marjoram!


lostpastremembered said...

This does sound like a great recipe... and thanks for the book recommendation... I love that ancient food!

Gina said...

No need to apologize!! We are all happy you have a new job, which you love. Long hours can get the best of us, and I think eventually you will adapt well to your new schedule. I'm so glad you like your job.

Nick and I LOVE Belgian White beers! We love the wheat beers best, which are VERY similar.

Happy Monday to you!

Happy Me said...

What a fantastic recipe! Using evaporated milk in place of cream -- what a great idea!!

So glad that you are enjoying your new job. I gasped when I heard you had to tell a parent that cheetos were not good for a child with gastric upset! My goodness!!

Priti said...

Love the recipe...chicken looks very gud

Gita Jaishankar said...

Looks like you are really busy...take care dear :) I too posted a tofu recipe just now :) yours looks so tasty with chicken, love the cream sauce, sounds flavorful.

Toni said...

I have to work long hours for my job as well, though your job is much more rewardning. And I'm glad you and Zach cook together! That's so cute. The Man and I are trying to figure out how to work that out in our tiny kitchen.

The Diva on a Diet said...

In case I've not said it before, Astra, I just love how you offer both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options for so many of your recipes. They're so versatile and I really appreciate that! :)

I do hope you'll find yourself able to get some more sleep this week and please don't even worry about the blog reading/commenting. The nice this is that they'll all be there waiting for you when you have a minute. :)

I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the gig and I wish you a more relaxed adjustment period - as well as continued success!

Anonymous said...

Looks divine, but I think I'm going with chicken. I like grilled tofu but not certain about this one!
I love to hear about new cookbooks! Pleased you are loving your job! So important.

Barbara said...

That anonymous was me, hitting the wrong key! Honestly!