What’s up, guys??
It’s graduation! Yesterday afternoon, I had the honor of “graduating” from my dietetics program with my 17 classmates. My current university is enormous and I’ve already graduated from college once, so I didn’t attend my large university graduation. However, my coordinated dietetics program had a small ceremony for the 18 of us where we would be receiving our American Dietetic Association pins. Now, THAT I couldn’t miss!
Having such a personalized ceremony while attending a large university is a treat. We were able to listen as our professors talked about each one of us, sharing funny stores and predictions about where we would go next. I also delivered a speech to attending family and friends alongside my wonderful classmate, Kristen.
Delivering my part of the speech (clearly Peter is sitting below and to the left, causing every picture to showcase me from the shoulders up 😉 ):
Had to get an “active” podium shot later (no, I’m not actually giving the speech here):
And, here’s my new ADA pin!
I find it a little strange to “graduate” from university when my classmates and I have still have six weeks left in our program (remember? I still have my food service and specialty dietetic rotations to complete). Six weeks and a registration exam between me and the RD!
How best to celebrate graduation? Why, by enjoying some mapo doufu courtesy of Iron Chef Morimoto!
Morimoto’s Graduation Mapo Doufu (I added the “Graduation” part. Duh.)
Adapted from Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking
2/3 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and chopped (don’t forget the spoon trick for peeling ginger!)
1 scallion, chopped
1/2 cup douchi (Chinese black beans)
1 Tbsp bamboo shoot, chopped
1 Tbsp celery, chopped (if you MUST)
12 ounces (250 g) pork, thinly sliced or ground (we used sliced)
1 cup chicken or veggie stock
1 Tbsp red miso (can find at Whole Foods or an Asian grocery store)
1 Tbsp Chinese hot chile sauce (tobanjan) or Sriracha hot chili sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp cornstarch, dissolved in 1 Tbsp water
1 pound (450 g) firm tofu, cut into cuboids or cubes
Steamed rice (we used brown) and sliced scallion for garnish
Doesn’t it make you feel like Emeril when your husband prepares all the ingredients in little bowls ahead of time?
You can mix together the chicken stock, red miso, chili sauce, sugar, and soy sauce ahead of time:
In a large skillet or wok, heat oil over medium heat. Add the shiitake mushrooms, garlic, ginger, scallion, bamboo shoot, and celery. Cook, stirring often, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the pork and cook, breaking up any lumps with a spoon, for about 7 minutes or until the pork is completely cooked.
Add the chicken stock, red miso, chili sauce, sugar, and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Stir in the dissolved cornstarch and cook until thickened, about 30 seconds. Shortly before serving, add the tofu and gently stir to mix. Cook until it is heated through, about 3 minutes.
Serve in bowls with steamed rice. Garnish with sliced scallion.
With a side of steamed veggies, such as broccoli or snap peas (or both!), this protein-packed complete meal was a definitely a crowd-pleaser! (“Crowd” meaning me and Peter. And Maddie, of course.)
Q: Have you ever tried mapo doufu?
What’s your favorite graduation memory?