Mastering the Art of French Pressing

New toy!

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I’ve never had a French Press before, but Kyle put his high school barista skills to use and taught me how to make myself a steaming cuppa joe.  Sadly, we parted ways with our old coffee maker back in NYC (and haven’t gotten a new one yet), so I’m now having to nurture my caffeine addiction expand my coffee horizon with other methods. 

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Hi reflection!

Ok, so this French Press is actually incredibly easy.  There’s no need to get all anxious before using it like I did.  I’m just a weirdo.  The only real difference is remembering to grind the beans for a french press rather than a paper filter. 

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Also, it looks like a TON of grounds are being used, but if you decide the instructions must be wrong and use way less (because of course a first time user would know more than the people who make the product)…well, you may end up with one weak-a$$ cup of coffee.  I’m learning though.  :)

Other new toys I’ve broken in include this fatty Calphalon pan.

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A gorgeous wood cutting board and crazy sharp Wusthof knife.

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And a Tofu Xpress!

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I was lucky enough to get this from the company right before moving (thanks Richard!), so I had to wait until we were unpacked and ready to get cooking to try it out.  Given the amount of patience (or lack thereof) I have, it’s no wonder the first meal we made to Christen the apartment involved pressed tofu. 

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The Xpress comes with a little booklet of instructions, ideas for other ways to use the Xpress, plus a cute notecard to write your fave recipe(s) on.  And it can be used for much more than tofu (i.e. eggplant!).  But I digress…

Here’s the deal:

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Pop the block of ‘fu in the press…

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Put on the top, twisting the teeth so they lock the top down…

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And watch the liquid slowly get pressed out!

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I dumped the ‘fu water off about 5 times (it probably took a few minutes between each collection and dump off).  It was so simple and didn’t even require me to dirty my hands one bit.  I literally left it to do it’s thing while I prepped the rest of the meal.  So.  Freakin.  Easy.

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Once there was no more liquid surfacing, I removed the top and voila!

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Pressed tofu without a single dirty rag or paper towel.

I’m embarrassed to admit the hassle of the process and the clean up were the main deterrents that limited the amount of tofu dishes I made.  No longer will this be an issue.  I can’t emphasize enough how simple this tool makes it. 

And now for the actual meal.

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In celebration, we popped some bubbly.  Cheers to the new palace!  Now let’s get cooking!

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Chopping while drinking is ill advised, especially with new (sharp) knives. 

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  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 head of bok choy
  • 1/2 can water chestnuts
  • 1 cup of broccoli florets
  • 1 cup of cauliflower florets

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Set aside the chopped veggies and put the tofu in the press.  

While the tofu is getting the celeb detox treatment (read: getting the sh!t liquid squeezed out of it), get crackin’ on the sauce (but for heaven’s sake, don’t neglect the champagne!).

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  • 2 tbsp tamari (soy sauce)
  • 1/2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp ginger (I used powdered but freshly grated would be ideal)
  • 1/16 tsp NuNaturals stevia (or 1 tbsp agave nectar)
  • 1 tbsp Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
  • salt (to taste)

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Stir it all up and set aside for later. 

After the tofu has been pressed (see above instructions), chop and add to pan coated with cooking spray.

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Once they start to turn crispy brown, flip ‘em…and repeat…until the tofu is golden brown all over.

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Then add in the chopped veggies and let it all sizzle for a bit.

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Note the white rice in the background (Kyle sacrifices meat, I sacrifice brown rice…marriage 101 lesson for the day…it’s all about compromises).

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You can add a top to the pan so the steam speeds the cooking time; and once the bok choy starts to get wilty it’s time to get saucy!

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I got every last drippy drop out!

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Simmah simmah.

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Set the table.

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And serve.

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‘Twas a mighty fine first meal (I told you I’m obsessed with the soy/sesame/ginger flavor profile right now).  This sauce was a definite winner.  Kyle and I were both licking our chops and patting our bellies after going back for seconds.

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And I was just giddy throughout the entire cooking process, because each and every minute made me realize how fortunate we are to have a brand spankin’ new kitchen, with brand spankin’ new appliances, and all the space in the world. 

Unlike our New York kitchen sink/oven combo-corner, I was not stepping on top of myself while prepping, no smoke detectors went off, and I was able to throw everything in the dishwasher at the end of it all.  Spoiled much?  Can somebody please pinch me?  This can’t be my life right now. 

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17 thoughts on “Mastering the Art of French Pressing

  1. julie

    tofu xpress makes tofu so much fun. its no joke there.

    haha i love that you got so serious in the kitch that you had to put your hair up. stellar meal girlfran

  2. Lauren

    These happy-Elise posts are making me happy all the way over here in Ohio! You so deserve it : )
    And I can’t wait to feel that pinch-me-am-I-really-back-in-California feeling in a couple years!

  3. Ijeoma

    I’ve been eyeing that Tofu Xpress for a little while now – it seems so wasteful to throw away so many paper towels. After reading your post, I may have to go get one soon.

  4. Holly

    I LOVE THE SACRIFICING LESSON! seriously, people just need to do that more often. give and take is a two-way street – and i love that you don’t obsess over having white rice. people that do that drive me NUTS! white carbs don’t kill.

    happy new kitchen cooking me love :)

  5. Rachael

    Great lesson – how to make marriages work :)
    I’m toying with the idea of building a DIY tofu press – you’ve given me some ideas!

  6. Casey

    A tofu press? Brilliant.
    Glad to hear your kitchen is bitchin’. It’s funny how a little bit of room can make sooo much of a difference

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  8. Angharad

    Marriage 101…yes. I also have to often make the brown rice compromise amongst others. Worth it for having my healthy habits indulged a lot.

    I want a Tofu Xpress really badly!!

  9. Jenny

    At first I was like, OMG X-PRESS TOFU PRESS?? BRILLIANT! WANT!!!

    Then I saw the price :-(

    It is mighty tempting though. Looks like it does what it says, and pretty well at that.

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