noodles


It’s potluck week again with I Heart Cooking Clubs. I went with Bittman again. His recipes have so much flavor and they are healthy to boot. It’s a win/win!

There is just something about the flavors used in Asian food that always draws me in. Ginger. Sesame. When I saw this recipe in Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook I knew it would be perfect.

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    8 ounces any rice, buckwheat(soba){which is what I used}, or wheat noodles, preferably whole grain.
    1 tablespoon sesame oil
    2 tablespoons vegetable canola oil
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    1 teaspoon minced ginger
    1 cup chopped green onions
    2 large carrots chopped, sliced, or julienned
    3 celery stalks, chopped, sliced, or julienned
    2 cups snow peas
    1/4 cup chicken stock or water (more if you need it, I didn’t.)
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    1 egg, beaten {I left this out cause of the cholesterol. Next time I would add it in.}
    black pepper
    1/4 cups chopped peanuts for garnish


Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package, but make sure they don’t get mushy. Drain the noodles and rinse under cold water. Toss them with sesame oil to prevent sticking.
Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger, and scallions. Cook for about 15 seconds.
Add the carrots, celery, snow peas, and stock or water and turn the heat to high. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender, about 5-10 minutes. If the mixture gets too dry, add more liquid a tablespoon at a time.
Stir in soy sauce and beaten egg(s) and let the egg lightly scramble in the pan. Add the noodles, sprinkle with pepper, and toss well. Taste and adjust the seasoning. I have found that I needed more soy sauce. Garnish and serve.

I added chicken to mine – a 6 oz breast. Slice up the chicken and brown in the oil before you cook the veggies. When the chicken is done set it aside and then start with the veggies, etc. Add the chicken back when you add the noodles.

This fits pretty well with the DASH way of eating. I used less oil than called for and the buckwheat noodles are better for you. Like I said – win/win.

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I liked it better without the chopped peanuts.

<The recipe is on page 208 of his cookbook.

Visit with the other IHCC members for their Potluck picks. So many chefs to choose from!!

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There is just something about the flavor of Hoisin sauce. It is sweet but not SWEET. A little bit may go along way. But then, sometimes you cannot get enough of it in your dish. The balance in this dish of Donna’s was just right. Donna’s stir fried noodles called for 3 Tbl of hoisin and 1/4 cup soy sauce. I increased the hoisin just a tad and decreased the Soy sauce just a tad. PERFECT!

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All you have to do is sautee some shredded ginger with some peppers, add the hoisin and soy and sugar and let it cook just a little. Then toss in the cooked wheat noodles {I used SOBA noodles} and let them ‘fry’ for a few seconds..

As for the Crispy chicken. Rice flour, 5 Spice and salt for the dredge with a quick fry in a little oil – shallow fry – to a golden brown. Serve it with the stir fry noodles.

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Using rice flour instead of regular flour makes for a very light, almost tempura like fry. And with the addition of the 5 Spice adds tons of flavor. I only wish I had increased the amount of 5 Spice. But next time. There are also supposed to be Asian greens, which I could NOT find in Podunk, USA, so left them out completely. I found out later I could have used Bok Choy or other cabbage. Ah, well!

The recipe is on page 62 of Donna’s off the shelf

Click on over and visit with Gaye, whose pick this was, and Sarah for their noodles and chicken.

This week’s theme for I Heart Cooking Clubs is NOODLES!! Easy Peasy! Until I tried to settle on just one recipe. NOT so Easy Peasy!! But I finally narrowed it down and ended up with a rice noodle dish.

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Donna called this ‘simple snack’. It is a serving for one which made it just perfect for me. Cooked Rice noodles (50 g) tossed with 1/2 tsp Sesame Seed Oil, 1 Tbl soy sauce and 1 tbl sweet chilli sauce. Topped with shredded green onions.

Okay. Not the flavor I was expecting. The next time I throw this together I will:

    cut the Soy Sauce to, at the most, 1/2 Tbl,
    double, at least, the Sesame Seed Oil and
    increase the Sweet Chilli Sauce just a tad.

Craving noodles now. Then check out Noodles, Noodles Everywhere at IHCC.
And if you want to join in the fun — we are finishing up with Donna Hay the end of March and beginning 6 months with Nigel Slater. Great recipes are coming!!!! The rules are on…

      IHCC

This week I Heart Cooking Club is cooking Asian. I have done quite a few of her Asian recipes so decided to go back and do one again.

    Chili Cashew Chicken Noodles

It was delicious. It is quick and easy to put together. All you need is some chicken breasts, rice noodles {I used soba}, some red bell pepper, unsalted cashew {mine were lightly salted.} along with various asian seasonings and red chillies. I have to admit I left the red chillies out and it was just fine. After sauteeing the onions, the chicken, peppers and chillis are cooked and then everything, including the noodles, is put all together in the wok and briefly cooked a little longer to blend all the flavors together. So good!! And so quick. In less than 30 minutes or so I had a great lunch ready to go.

    200g dried thick rice noodles
    2 tablespoons peanut oil
    2 onions, sliced into wedges
    4 large red chilies, seeds removed and chopped
    ¼ cup (55g) white sugar
    4 chicken breast fillets, sliced
    1 red capsicum, sliced
    ¾ cup (115g) unsalted roasted cashews
    2 tablespoons fish sauce
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    ¼ cup coriander (cilantro) leaves
    chili sauce, to serve

Place the noodles in a saucepan of boiling water and cook for 3 minutes or until tender. Drain. Heat a wok or deep frying pan over high heat. Add the oil, onion, chili and sugar and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until the chicken is golden. Add the capsicum, cashews, fish sauce, soy, lemon juice, onion mixture and noodles to the pan. Cook, stirring, for a further 4 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with coriander. Serve with chili sauce. Serves 4.

This recipe is on Donna’s Site. And on page 58 of off the shelf

You can see other delicious dishes on the IHCC site. Hop on over!

Have you every heard of ‘grief bacon”? No? Me either. But I now know what it is. Because it is this month’s theme for LETS LUNCH What do you want when you feel down? Blue? Is there a special food?

I head for for the jar of Peanut Butter. Or the bag of M&Ms. I seldom make something for me when I am feeling blue. But if I just need something to ‘warm’ my soul I head for soup Not just any soup. Chicken Noodle Soup. Not decadent. Not soothing necessarily. But comforting. I remember sharing a bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup with Mom. Cold days. Rainy days. Chicken Noodle Soup.

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The recipe I used this time was based on a DASH recipe. Trying to eat a little better for our health brought me to this one. Comforting. Healthy. Delicious. And I served a nice hunk of Country Bread on the side. Bread = comfort food!

    STOCK:
    1 chicken (about 3 pounds) skinned and seperated, or 4 chicken quarters, skinned
    8 cups water
    2 onions, halved, the inner layer of skin left on
    3 carrots, chopped
    3 celery stalks, chopped
    1 bouquet garni
    4 black peppercorns
    1 teaspoon salt
    SOUP
    4 ounces spaghetti or linguine, broken into 2-inch pieces
    1 carrot, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
    1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
    1 cup frozen corn, thawed
    1/2 cup barley
    1/3 cup yellow lentils
    2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
    2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

First make the stock. Put the chicken parts in a large, heavy-based stockpot or saucepan. Add the onions, carrots, and celery, then pour in about 8 cups cold water to cover the ingredients. Bring to the boil, skimming the surface constantly until all gray scum is removed. {You could use store bought as long as it’s low sodium – even veggie stock}

Reduce the heat to low immediately after the liquid boils. Add the bouquet garni, peppercorns, and I teaspoon salt. Partially cover the pan and simmer for I hour, skimming as necessary. Test the chicken joints after 30-40 minutes; remove them as soon as the juices run clear when the joints are pierced with the point of a knife. Set aside. Salt and pepper to taste.

Line a large colander or sieve with dampened cheesecloth and place it over a large heatproof bowl, then strain the stock through this. Discard the vegetables and flavoring ingredients. Return stock to the cleaned pan. Skim off any excess fat on the surface of the stock. Cool and freeze the leftover stock to use as a chicken .stock in other recipes.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove and discard all the bones. Cut 112 pound meat into bite-size pieces for use in the soup. Reserve the remaining chicken for sandwiches or other recipes.

Bring the stock to the boil, then reduce the heat so the stock is simmering. Add the spaghetti or linguine and the carrot, and simmer for 4 minutes. Add the celery and corn, lentils, and continue cooking until the pasta and all the vegetables are just tender, about 5 minutes. I cooked the barley separately because it takes about an hour to cook.

Stir in the chicken with seasoning to taste and heat through. Sprinkle in the parsley and thyme, and serve the soup at once.


I added the barley and lentils to the recipe. You could even add quinoa. And any nice other veggie would be nice, too. Broccoli, squash, navy beans.

I also find making my own pasta very comforting so I made whole wheat noodles for the soup.

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I’ll post that recipe later.

What did the other members bring to lunch? You can find a round up on Rebecca’s blog. She was our host this month.

One of the easiest things to enjoy is noodles. And there are so many different kinds. And most of them we are very familiar with. But maybe not this one:

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Allow me to introduce you to SPAETZLE. A simple little boiled noodle that goes with everything. For Dorie, it goes with herbs and mushrooms. And it is delightfully delicious and very light.

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I make these easy little noodles when I don’t have time to make other types. I found out that using a slotted spoon or a colander is not the easiest way to make Spaetzle so, loving gadgets like I do, I added a spaetzle maker to my kitchen collection.

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It is so much fun to use.

Anyway, I had some spaetzle left over so I added it to some soup, browned it in some butter with some sage. But Dorie’s was the best way – and definitely worth a repeat lots!!

You can find the recipe on page 372 of Dorie’s Around My French Table.

And visit with the other members of FFwD to check out their Spaetzle.

It is still HOT here in the Deep South so a simple light stir-fry seemed perfect for this week. Yes, I know, it is COLD in Australia where two of our members live. But this stir-fry/soup is perfect for both.

Made with bok-choy, shitake mushrooms ginger, garlic, and chillis it is spicy and light.

I did make a couple of substitutions. Donna listed dried somen or Chinese Wheat noodles which I could not find. I had a choice of soba or rice sticks in the pantry so I went with the rice sticks. They seemed a better fit for the lightness of this dish. AND I left out the chilli because I am just not a fan. Because of that the dish lost some of it’s spicyness. Next time I will include them.

And I think baby bok-choy would have been better – it’s not quite as tough.

All i all I did like this dish. It is light, quick, and easy to put together. Thanks, donna. And thanks to Chaya for this week’s pick from Donna’s off the shelf: cooking from the pantry.

Check out Kayte’s, Chaya’s, and Gaye’s blogs to see how they liked it.

The recipe, although for all practical purposes you can play with the amounts to suit your taste, is on page 62.

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