Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Miso Ginger Chow Mein

This was a recent experiment, and it was pretty decent! Be very generous with your flavors - you have to make them stretch a very, very long way. 

Miso Ginger Chow Mein

3 rounds of dried ramen noodles 
1/4 cup miso paste
5 tbsp olive oil
4 slices of ginger
Soy sauce and sugar to taste
Sliced green onions, to garnish

Bring a pot of water to boil and cook your ramen noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside. 

Meanwhile, in a large wok or dutch oven, heat your olive oil and add the ginger slices. Stir those around to give the olive oil plenty of ginger-y flavor. Add your miso paste, and stir, stir, stir. (You might need to add a little water here, just to get things blended). When everything is mixed, add your noodles back in and toss to coat. Cook for just a minute more, to make sure everything is hot through, then season with soy sauce and sugar. Serve topped with sliced green onion. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

The cake portion itself was a fail, the apples were amazing, and the whole thing looked like a hot mess... but the idea is irresistible! 2 pounds of granny smith apples, cored and sliced, then cooked in a mixture of butter and brown sugar. I simmered that in my dutch oven on the stove until the juice reduced and the apples were just slightly cooked, then removed that from the heat and poured a whole wheat cake batter over it and popped the whole thing into the oven. I baked it for about 35 minutes at 350, and inverted it onto a serving platter. It smelled amazing, and the apples were just to die for. The cake recipe was bland, and quite tough, but the SWEET apples kind of balanced it out. The kids liked it! (I used an apple upside down cake recipe from Cooks Illustrated for the apples, and then a recipe for pineapple upside down cake from my Vitamix cookbook for the cake.) 

Please, somebody - perfect this recipe for me! The cake needs to be fairly sturdy...but not THIS sturdy. Take on the challenge! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Bok Choy Smoothie!

I'm borrowing a BlendTec blender from my little brother for a while, and we are trying to get the most out of it. Today was an experiment to see if I could get my kids to drink some vegetables. (A previous experiment with lettuce earned a resounding NO. Not even I could muscle my way through that grass-flavored breakfast.)

Bok Choy Fruit Smoothie
1 8" head baby bok choy, washed and separated
1 cup chopped pineapple
1 cup chopped cantaloupe
1 orange, peeled and halved
1 ripe banana, peeled
1 cup water
1/2 cup ice

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. (Also delicious with 1 cup of frozen berries added.)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Korean Sweet Potato Noodles

ETA: I've been informed these noodles are called "glass noodles" or "japchae". Thanks, Myrnie!

I wish I really knew what to call these things. The official name  on the front of the package is something like "Korean Taste Noodles", which really isn't helpful. I don't think they taste like a Korean at all. (baBOOM) A quick look at the ingredient list shows that the main ingredient is sweet potato flour, so we call them Sweet Potato Noodles. The noodles are long, slightly bendy, hard, and very faintly purple. They cook up in about 6 minutes, but it seems impossible to overcook them. Even left overnight, in the refrigerator, in a pool of broth, they remained very nearly al dente.

If you run into these noodles in your Asian market, grab a package. They're only about $3, with enough noodles to feed four people.


PS - These noodles? Extremely slurpable. So, go ahead - slurp it up!

Korean Style Sweet Potato Noodles with Tofu

1 package Korean Style noodles (sweet potato)
1 package tofu (silken or firm), diced into 1/2" cubes
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
8 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp roasted sesame seeds

Fill a large pot with water, and bring to a boil. When that's ready, pop your noodles in and cook those for about 6 minutes, or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

In the (empty) pot, combine soy sauce, water, sugar, sesame oil, black pepper and roasted sesame seeds over low heat. Add tofu and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the tofu is a rich brown color. Return noodles to the pot and cook gently until they are just a bit shiny.

Serve garnished with scrambled egg, strips of meat, green onion or vegetables.