As promised, a few more camping photos, as well as the recipe for the grilled tofu and soba noodles I made the second night out. As I mention down in the recipe head notes, aside from grilling the tofu, I prepped everything before we left for Salt Point State Park. The pre-cooked soba noodles hung out in the cooler in a plastic bag next to the garlic-cilantro dressing, which stayed bright green, ready to go in a little jar. It worked out great, dinner came together in no time, and for the most part I could sit around and read, or wander about with my camera.
This (above) wasn't far from our campsite. Just a walk down the hill. You can't see them here, but there were seals lounging around on rocks just off-shore, and seagulls cherry-picking stranded critters out of the tide pools. A walk in the opposite direction led to Gestle Cove, a protected area, where we sat with the sun setting behind us, looking at all the different seaweed, driftwood, and rock shapes washed up on the beach.
If you find yourself in that neighborhood (Sonoma/Mendocino coasts), but aren't necessarily the camping type, I also love the Mar Vista Cottages. We stayed there last year for a couple nights. Each cottage has a kitchen, and you can pick fresh produce from the organic garden to cook with. Fresh eggs from the hens on the property are delivered by basket each day. It's a great base to explore that part of the coast.
A number of you were asking about past camping trips. This adventure to Whiskeytown Lake in Shasta County was particularly
painful memorable. Aside from that, I posted a few cooking/camping links a few years back. And for those of you who missed the last write-up, here's the Soup au Pistou on the dinner menu the second night we were there. I have to say, as much as I enjoy camping on occasion, I do feel the need to balance them out with slightly posher get-aways ;)...
So, now it's my turn to throw things back in your direction. What's your all-time favorite camping memory, best meal, or absolute favorite campground?? If you had to pick just one to share. Looking forward to hearing some of your stories. -h
Grilled Tofu and Soba Noodles
I'm going to write this recipe the way I made it. In preparation for the aforementioned camping trip. Meaning, I made as many of the components ahead of time as possible. I cooked the noodles the day before, and made the dressing the day prior as well. The only thing we actually cooked onsite was the tofu, which was grilled on this camping stove (which is pretty great). And as I'm sure you can imagine, even if camping isn't your thing, pre-cook the tofu ahead of time as well, and you'll have a nice work week lunch.
12 ounces / 340g dried soba noodles
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus a bit more for the tofu
16 oz / 450g extra-firm tofu, drained and patted dry
3 medium cloves garlic
scant 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
3 small/medium shallots
3 small serrano peppers, minced
1 bunch (about 4 handfuls) of cilantro, stems trimmed
1 teaspoon natural cane sugar (or brown sugar)
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
3/4 cup / 180 ml extra-virgin olive oil
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously, then cook the soba noodles per package instructions, being mindful to not overcook them. Drain, run under cold water for a minute, shake of as much extra water as possible, then toss well with the olive oil. Gently work the olive oil through the noodles. Place the soba in a large plastic bag and refrigerate overnight, or until you're ready to use them - up to a few days.
Make the dressing using a mortar and pestle OR a food processor. I used the m&p which takes a while (and provides quite the arm workout), but I prefer the end result. Pound the garlic and salt into a paste, then work in the shallots one at a time, then the peppers. Then the cilantro a handful at a time. The mixture should be quite smooth. Add the sugar, then the lime juice before stirring in the olive oil a bit at a time. Taste and adjust the flavors if need be - more salt, sugar, lime juice, etc. using the processor? Just blend it all together, then tweak the flavors a bit if needed.
Cut the tofu into slabs (see photo), rub gently with olive oil and place on a medium-hot grill. Cook until golden brown on one side, flip, and grill the other side as well.
To assemble, toss the soba noodles with a good amount of the dressing, reserving enough to drizzle generously on top of the tofu. Place the tofu on top of the noodles, and drizzle with more dressing.
Serves 4 - 6.
Prep time: 20 minutes - Cook time: 20 minutes