Oddles of Noodles /some non kosher recipes

When my son discovered that the money train AKA his parents credit card had left when he entered grad school he quickly discovered the joys of pasta, or more specifically, ramen noodles. Left to his own devices (and given his limited time to spend in the kitchen) this staple in his pantry would have been the entree of choice. I convinced him, though a little culinary magic, a few simple recipes and a $50 gift card to Kroger have to try a few different types of noodles to kick up his menu variety.

Created in China (not Italy as most people believe) noodles were an integral part of the Chinese diet from as early as 200 B.C There are several kinds of noodles in Chinese cuisine, mien noodles (egg), rice noodles, wheat noodles and bean noodles. In northernChina, wheat noodle are eaten more regularly than rice or rice noodles. Rice noodles are considered a southern Chinese staple. I told my son that while there were nice inexpensive “Americanized” alternatives to the Asian noodles (lets not forgetJapanhere) that the originals were actually tastier and more interesting.

The first noodle I introduced him to was the Soba noodle. A Soba noodle is made with wheat flour and buckwheat. It’s high in fiber and has a nutty full bodied flavor. The higher the buckwheat content the more expensive the noodle. Soba noodles are typically served in soups or with a plain with a dipping sauce. Less expensive alternative: whole wheat spaghetti or linguini.

He already knew about Ramen but for the uninformed, Ramen are thin and skinny curly dried egg noodles that are typically sold in an instant soup form. There is usually a packet of flavored instant soup powder in the package. My son has eaten it for years and has added veggies and left over chicken or turkey. There isn’t really a less expensive alternative as they are cheap cheap cheap but regular spaghetti noodles are pretty close.
Rice noodles are round or flat, thin and slightly translucent white noodles made from rice flour and water. They kinda have zero flavor of their own (just a great squishy texture) and they pair with just about any strong meat of fish flavor. You can substitute vermicelli, linguine, or fettuccine but it’s not really a close match.

Bean thread, cellophane or mung bean noodles are very thin noodles that are semi-transparent noodles made from the starch of mung beans. Bean threads become very slippery when cooked. Their subtle flavor is the perfect complement to any meat or fish dish. I would suggest rice noodles or vermicelli as a substitute but they are sort of a one of a kind noodle.

For most the tried and true method of cooking noodles is to boil the and then add them to the other ingredients, pour sauce over them or add ingredients to the pot they were cooked in. I really don’t have much to add to that for my column other than don’t over cook them and read the instructions on the package.

If possible try and buy fresh noodles as opposed to the dried variety. Fresh noodles should be soft but not limp, sticky, or brittle. Fresh will keep for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator and for 1 month in the freezer. Dried noodles can be kept until just about the next ice age in a cool, dry, dark place.

One final “noodle note” those ‘chow mein’ found in most Chinese restaurants are an American invention so if you’re looking for “authentic” pass the up and get yourself the real stuff.

SLEEPING DRAGON NOODLE SALAD

 

1/4 cup sesame oil

1 tablespoon hot sauce

2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

zest of 1 lemon

3/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

2 carrots julienned

1/4 cup chopped celery

4 radishes julienned

2 cups shredded Chinese cabbage

4 packages ramen egg noodles, cooked, rinsed and drained

2 tablespoons black or toasted sesame seeds

 

In a large salad bowl combine the sesame oil, hot sauce, soy sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, lemon zest, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the noodles and toss to coat. Add shredded cabbage and toss to coat. Add the green onions, carrot, celery and radishes. Toss to combine and top with sesame seeds before serving. Serves 8.

 

SHRIMP NOODLE STIR FRY

 

2 teaspoon cornstarch

2 egg whites

1/3 to 1/2 lb shelled shrimp (raw) cut in half

3/4 lb noodles (any kind will work but I like soba noodle with this)

salt

3 tablespoons sesame oil

3 to 4 green onions cut into 1 inch pieces

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/8 teaspoon ginger

1 1/2 tablespoon white wine

1 1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

 

In a bowl mix the cornstarch and ginger with the egg white and whisk to combine. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Set aside. Cook the noodles in boiling salted water for about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Heat the 3 tablespoons sesame oil in a skillet. Add the green onion, and shrimp and stir fry for about 1 minute. Add the soy sauce, wine and sugar and mix to combine. Cook for about 1 minute. Add the noodles and mix to combine. Continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes and just before you’re finished add 1 teaspoon sesame oil, cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly and serve. Serves then add the sesame seed oil just before serving. Serves 2 to 4

 

Modified from a recipe submitted by Carlie Smyth Chicago IL

HOT AND SPICEY PORTABELLA AND EDAMAME WITH NOODLES
For sauce
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons Wasabi paste (this is hot, you can use less)
1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/4 cup oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
10 ounces portabella mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
8 cups shredded Napa cabbage
6 green onions, thinly sliced
8 to 9 ounces soba
1 cup frozen shelled edamame

3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

 

In a bowl combine the water, soy sauce, Wasabi and brown sugar and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Set the sauce aside.  Heat the oil in skillet then add the ginger and garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the portabellas and saute, stirring frequently for 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce the heat and add cabbage and 2/3’s of the green onions (save a tablespoon for garnish) and cook, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the sauce and simmer 2 minutes.

 

While cabbage is cooking, cook the soba and edamame together in a pasta pot of boiling salted water until the noodles are just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the noodles and edamame in a colander and rinse with cool water. Place the noodles and edamame in a large bowl and add the vegetable mixture. Mix to combine. Serve sprinkled with remaining green onions and toasted sesame seeds.

 

BOTH SIDES BROWNED NOODLES

Kind of like a noodle pancake

1 pound fresh or dried egg noodles

2 tablespoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil (or more if needed)

 

In a large stock pot, add enough water to cover the noodles and bring the water to a boil. Add the noodles, stirring to separate. Cook until the noodles almost done, tender, but still firm. Drain and rinse thoroughly. Place the noodles back into the pot and add the sesame oil and toss to coat. In a frying pan or a wok, heat 2 tablespoons oil over a high heat. Add the noodles. Spread the noodles out to the edges of the pan, and then let them cook, without stirring, until they are browned on the bottom (6 to 8 minutes). Flip over and brown the other side. You can do this by placing a plate over the top of the pan, flipping the noodles out onto it and then sliding them back into the pan. You may need to add a little more oil to keep them from sticking. Cook on the second side until crispy,4 to 5more minutes. Remove the fried noodle pancake to a serving plate.  Cut into wedges and serve with stir fried vegetables or grilled meat. Serves 4 to 6.

 

Submitted byTony Easteron River GroveIL

 

WARM GINGER AND PEANUT NOODLE SALAD

 

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon wasabi

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 pound uncooked angle hair pasta or linguini

1 1/2 cups shredded carrot

1/3 to 1/2 pound snow peas, trimmed and halved crosswise

1 cup thin strips red or yellow bell pepper

3/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

1 can sliced water chestnuts

1/2 to 3/4 cup honey roasted peanuts

 

In a large bowl combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice, sesame oil, Wasabi and garlic. Whisk to combine and set aside. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. When the noodles are al dente (still a little crunchy) turn off the heat and add the carrot and snow peas. Let the mixture sit for 2 minutes then drain, saving 1/4 cup of the liquid. Add the drained pasta and noodles to the salad dressing in the salad bowl. Toss to coat. Add the bell pepper, water chestnuts and onions. Toss to coat. Add the pasta water and toss to coat. Sprinkle the honey roasted peanuts on top and serve warm. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled

 

SPICY CASHEW NOODLE SALAD

 

8 oz dried linguini, spaghetti, or soba noodles

2 cups broccoli florets cut small

1/4 pound pea pods, sliced in 1/3’s

1 carrot, peeled, julienned

1/2 red onion chopped fine

3 tablespoons sesame oil

2 to 3 teaspoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

2 tablespoon soy sauce

3 tablespoons lime juice (fresh is best)

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 teaspoon paprika

2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

3 green onions, sliced

1 large tomato seeded and chopped

1/2 cup red pepper, julienned

1 cup toasted cashews

 

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse and drain again and then set it aside. Steam the broccoli, pea pods, and carrots for about 2 minutes, making sure they are still crisp. Rinse them in cold water and set them aside. Heat 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil in a frying pan, add onion, ginger and garlic and saute for 2 to 3 minutes until just soft. Add the green onions, tomato and red pepper. Mix to combine and cook for about 2 minutes. In a bowl combine the lime juice, remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil, soy sauce. Add the sauteed onion mixture to the sauce and mix to combine. Add the noodles and steamed vegetables to the sauce. Toss to coat the pasta. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Great at room temperature or served cold. Before serving sprinkle the pine nuts on the top. Serves 6.

 

SALSA SHRIMP AND NOODLE SOUP

 

1 lb shrimp, peeled and divined

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

5 cups water

2 packages shrimp flavored Ramen Noodles (use 1 packet of seasoning)

2 cups salsa

1 15 oz can black beans rinsed and drained

1 can corn

1 green onion thinly sliced

 

In a medium bowl combine the lemon juice chili powder, cumin, and pepper. Mix to combine and add the shrimp. Toss to coat and let sit for 1/2 hour. In a large sauce pan bring water to boil, stir in 1 ramen flavor packet, break the ramen noodles into pieces and add them to the saucepan. Bring the liquid to a boil cook for 1 minute. Add shrimp, salsa, beans, corn, and green onion and then reduce the soup to a simmer. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until the shrimp turns pink. Serves 4.

 

Submitted by Lenore Hentz Trenton NJ

 

ASPARAGUS AND NOODLE STIR FRY

 

3 oz. pkg. oriental or shrimp flavor ramen noodle soup mix

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 lb. asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces

1 red bell pepper, cut into strips

1 red onion, chopped

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 lb. sea scallops cut in half

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

 

Cook and drain ramen noodles as directed on the package and set them aside. Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in wok or large skillet. Add the asparagus, bell pepper, onion and garlic. Stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Add the scallops and stir-fry until they are white and firm. Add the ramen seasoning packet, soy sauce, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and hot sauce and stir into scallop mixture. Stir in the cooked noodles. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes until everything is hot throughout. Serves 4 to 6.

 

Modified from about.com

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Cooking with Carrots / easy recipes

About this time in winter I start looking for fresh vegetables that don’t require my approaching a senate subcommittee for a bailout. I’d have taken my private jet toWashingtonto ask but I had to hock it last week to buy hamburgers and pay my kids college tuition. This is when I turn to my friend the carrot

Carrots are a fantastic source of vitamin A. In fact, a single carrot provides two times the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A. They are also low in calories and sodium are a source of potassium and a cup contains less than 50 calories. Surprisingly to most, carrots come in orange, red, black yellow, white, purple and you can roast them, grill them, simmer them in stocks and stews, toss them in a stir fry or on a salad or just eat them raw.

While most people I know love the pre peeled mini-carrots that are perfect for snacking or throwing in a salad or lunch bag you pay for convenience. These ready to go treats can cost three times as much as peeling your own.

Store carrots in the refrigerator, they’ll keep for at least a month stored in an open bag in your vegetable drawer. To peel or not to peel is a question most cooks ask at one time or another. You do not have to peel your carrots. If you wash them well with a vegetable brush it’s just a matter of looks.

My favorite way to prepare carrots is to oven roast them. The roasting caramelizes the sugar and creates a delicious, lip smacking side dish. To roast them, slice them in 1″ chunks, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet, dot with butter or margarine or drizzle olive oil over them and bake covered, at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.

Before you get to the recipes, I have to share a carrot factoid I discovered in my extensive search. Mel Blanc, the voice of the quintessentially carrot loving Bugs Bunny, hated carrots, go figure.


MOROCCAN CARROT SALAD

 

4 large carrots cut into 1 inch wedges.
1/2 cup black olives.
6 to 7 radish, sliced thinly.
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon of paprika.
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin or 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 pinch cinnamon.
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
juice of 1 fresh lemon
1/3 cup olive oil

 

Bring a pan of water to the boil. Add the carrots and cook until tender and then rinse them with cold water. Drain the carrots and mix with the olives and radishes. In another bowl combine the garlic, cumin, pepper, cinnamon, salt, parsley, lemon and olive oil. Mix to combine Pour the marinade over the carrot, olives and radishes and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1/2 hour for flavors to meld. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

 

CARROT SPREAD

 

3/4 cup of finely grated carrots.
2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened.
1 stick of margarine, softened.
2 tablespoons chopped green olives
2 tablespoons of grated onion
Dash of white pepper.

 

In a bowl of an electric mixer or food processor combine all the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour. Makes 1 1/2 cup spread

 

SCALLOPED CARROTS

 

4 cups sliced carrots
1 medium onion diced
3 tablespoon butter
1 can cream of celery soup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup cheddar cheese grated
3 cups herb stuffing
1/3 cup butter melted

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 2 qt. casserole dish and set it aside. Cook carrots in salted water until almost tender. Drain. In a skillet melt the 3 tablespoons butter and saute the onions until soft. Stir in soup, salt, pepper and cheese. Stir in the cooked carrots. Place the carrot mixture in the prepared casserole dish. In a bowl combine the bread stuffing with the melted butter. Mix to coat and spoon over the carrots mixture. Bake for 20 minutes. Serves 6. This recipe can be doubled or tripled

CARROT PUFF

 

2 1/2 cups carrots, cooked, mashed, and seasoned with salt and pepper

2 egg yolks, beaten

1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup bread crumbs

1 tablespoon finely chopped onion

2 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 2 qt. casserole dish. In a bowl combine the cooked carrots, egg yolks, milk, bread crumbs and onions. Mix to combine. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the egg whites until they are stiff and then fold them lightly into the carrot mixture. Turn into prepared casserole dish. Bake at 45-60 minutes, or until knife inserted comes out clean. Serve immediately. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

CARAMEALIZED CARROT COUSCOUS

1 lb carrots, very coarsely grated
3-4 large onions, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoon sugar
salt to taste
spices to taste, such as ground coriander,
1 package couscous (prepared according to the package directions)
2 tablespoon margarine for frying
Fresh lemon juice (optional)
toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Saute onion in margarine over medium heat until soft, then add carrot, salt, sugar and spices.  Cover and leave on medium to low medium heat, checking occasionally to ensure that it doesn’t burn, but not stirring so frequently that it don’t get a nice variation of browning.  Should be done in about 10 minutes. Serve over warmed couscous topped with toasted sesame seeds. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled

SWEET SPICED CARROTS WITH APRICOTS

4 cups baby carrots (or small-cut carrots) steamed yet a little firm
1 onion chopped
1 cup dried apricots chopped up
3 to 4  tablespoons oil (for frying)
1/4 cup  brown sugar
about 1/2 cup water
a generous dash each of: ground ginger, ground cloves and allspice
salt and pepper

In a frying pan, fry up onions with oil (and garlic if you choose to use it) until the onions are soft. Add the spices, sugar, and apricots to the pan. When the sugar has been absorbed, add the water so it’s like a sauce and has a little liquid to cook in. Add the carrots (they should be steamed a little before hand so they cook faster), and cook for a few minutes. Stir with the sauce, until they are covered nicely and a little brown. Serves: 4 to 6

 

Modified from a recipe by Charlotte Millman

PEANUT ORANGE AND CARROT SALAD

1/4 cup peanut butter

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 cup orange juice

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, shredded

1 pound shredded carrots

4 green onions, sliced

1/2 cup chopped peanuts

salt and pepper to taste
In a medium microwaveable bowl, microwave the peanut butter for about 10 seconds to soften. Whisk in the tamari, orange juice and ginger; stir in a splash of hot water if the sauce begins to tighten up. Stir the carrots and green onions into the dressing and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the mixture in a serving bowl and top with peanuts. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

 

CARROT APPLE SALAD

 

2 cups firmly-packed shredded apple

2 cups shredded, firmly-packed carrots

1/2 cup raisins (optional)

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon sour cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon honey

 

In a large mixing bowl, toss the shredded apples, carrots and raisins (if using) together. In another bowl whisk together the lemon juice, sour cream, vanilla and honey. Pour the dressing over the apple carrot salad and toss well. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

 

CRANBERRY GLAZED CARROTS

 

2 lbs. baby carrots

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 cup jellied cranberry sauce

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon lemon or orange juice

kosher salt

pepper

 

In a saucepan, boil the baby carrots in boiling salted water until tender-crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well and leave the carrots in the pan. Add the remaining ingredients to the saucepan and cook for 5 minutes or until nicely glazed and piping hot, stirring occasionally. Serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

 

SAVORY CARROT AND APPLE CASSEROLE

 

1 lb carrots, peeled, cut into sticks

2 large white onions, sliced into wedges

5 tablespoons butter (or margarine)

3 large apples, cored, thinly sliced into rings

1 teaspoon thyme (optional)

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 2 quart casserole dish. Steam carrots in boiling salted water until tender-crisp. Set aside. In a skillet saute the onions in the butter until golden. In the prepared dish, layer the carrots, onions and apples. Sprinkle with thyme. Drizzle with lemon juice. Melt the remaining butter and then mix in bread crumbs. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over vegetable mixture. Bake degrees for 15 minutes or until vegetables are heated through and crumbs are golden brown. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

 

SAVORY CARROT AND TARRAGON TART

 

Crust
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh tarragon leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup yogurt

Filling
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
2 tablespoons white wine or vinegar, divided
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon or 3/4 teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

 

Preheat oven to 350.  To prepare crust: Coat a 9- to 10-inch tart pan with cooking spray. Place flour, tarragon and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor; pulse to combine. Add butter one piece at a time, pulsing once or twice after each addition, until incorporated. Add 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup yogurt and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan (it will be crumbly), spread evenly and press firmly into the bottom and all the way up the sides to form a crust. Bake the crust until set but not browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. To prepare filling: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in carrots and 1 tablespoon wine or vinegar and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.  Spread mustard over the crust. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese and then evenly spread the carrot mixture in the tart shell.  Whisk 1/2 cup yogurt, milk, eggs, tarragon, the remaining 1 tablespoon wine or vinegar), 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and pour in the filling.  Bake the tart until the filling is firm and the edges are golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or chilled.

 

CAULIFLOWER AND CARROT PIE

 

2 cups seasoned croutons, crushed

1/2 cup butter, melted, divided

1 small head cauliflower cut into small florets (about 5 Cups)

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup thinly sliced carrot

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 cup shredded Cheddar, divided

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 375. In a bowl, combine croutons and 1/4 cup butter. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9 inch pie plate. Bake for 8 minutes or until lightly browned; set aside. In a large skillet sauté the cauliflower, onion, carrot, garlic, salt and oregano in remaining butter over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese into prepared crust. Top with the cauliflower mixture and remaining cheese. In a bowl, beat the eggs and milk. Pour over pie. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean and the cauliflower is tender. Serves 6 to 8

Make Mine Minestrone

While chicken soup may be the quintessential soup to serve when someone is sick and tomato soup is the perfect comfort food to serve with a grilled cheese sandwich (extra cheese please) Minestrone is the one I like to serve best on a cool crisp fall evening when there is just a hint of frost in the air and I’m ready to light the first bonfire of the season. Minestrone is an Italian soup in origin, made with fresh seasonally fall vegetables, often made more robust with the addition of pasta or rice.

The most common ingredients of Minestrone soup include beans (dry and/or canned), onions, celery, carrots, stock, and tomatoes. There is no one “politically correct” recipe for minestrone  since it is usually made out of whatever vegetables are in season or in your fridge it can whipped together (and thrown in a crockpot ) relativity quickly before you head out for the day and ready when you get home or cooked the night before and reheated . It can also be vegetarian or contain meat. In fact the word “minestrone” has become a synonym for “throw what every you like in there”. Just so you know, great minestrone should distinguish itself by the large quantity of fresh vegetables it contains and its thick consistency (great for mopping up with that extra bread that always seems to be on the table when you serve a thick soup).

MINESTRONE OF MODENA (meat)

 

1/2 cup dried cannellini beans
1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil
3 ounces sliced pastrami, chopped
1 cup minced yellow onions
1/2 cup minced celery
1/2 cup minced carrots
1 generous tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 (14.5 ounce) can tomatoes, drained
2 medium boiling potatoes, peeled and diced
4 ounces green beans, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium zucchini, diced
4 ounces white mushrooms, diced
2 cups shredded Savoy cabbage
4 ounces asparagus, diced
1 cup fresh or frozen petite green peas
8 to 10 basil leaves, shredded
2 quarts warm water or canned low-sodium chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sort beans, pick out the bad ones and soak overnight in water to cover.

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add pastrami, onions, celery, carrots, and parsley; cook, stirring until vegetables are lightly golden and soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir, about 5 minutes. Drain and add the rehydrated cannellini beans, potatoes, green beans, zucchini, mushrooms, cabbage, asparagus, peas, and basil to the pot. Season with salt and pepper and stir for 2 to 3 minutes to coat vegetables well with savory base. Add warm water and Parmesan rind; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer, stirring from time to time, for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until the minestrone has a dense, thick consistency. (If the soup should thicken too much, add a bit more water.) Remove cheese rind, and adjust seasoning. Turn off heat and let soup stand for about 30 minutes. Serves 8 to 10

 

Note: Rice or small pasta such as ditalini can be added to the soup during the last minutes of cooking. Add rice 10 minutes before you turn off the heat, pasta 3 to 5 minutes before. The rice or pasta will keep cooking as the soup rests.

 

Adapted from Biba’s Taste of Italy. 2001. Biba Caggiano, William Morrow Publishing

 

FAST AND EASY MINESTRONE (meat)
1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 egg
Salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
7 cups beef or chicken or vegetable broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can whole tomatoes, mashed with a spoon
1 (15.5 ounce) can kidney beans
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried basil leaves
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup uncooked rotelli pasta (4 ounces)

Squeeze as much moisture as possible from spinach. Mix together with beef, breadcrumbs, egg, salt, and pepper. Shape into 1-inch balls. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until very hot. Add a few meatballs and brown on all sides. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside to drain on paper towels. Repeat till all are browned.

 

Remove excess oil and add onion to Dutch oven; cook until opaque. Stir in broth, tomatoes, beans, oregano, and basil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add carrots and celery; cover and simmer for 10 minutes more. Stir in pasta; cover and simmer until done, about 10 minutes. Add meatballs and heat through, about 5 minutes. Ladle into soup bowls. Serves 10 to 12

VEGETARIAN MINESTRONE (pareve)

 

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
1/2 large sweet potato, diced
2 medium white potatoes, diced
3 stalks celery
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 carrots, chopped
1 cup frozen corn
15 oz. canned whole tomatoes
6 cups water, boiling
Salt and pepper
Fresh or dried oregano, to taste

1/4 lb rottini pasta, cooked and drained

Parmesan cheese, optional

 

Saute the onion in the olive oil, until golden. Add the sweet potato, white potatoes, celery, peas, carrots, and corn and sauté until softened. Add tomatoes, breaking up with hands or spoon. Add boiling water, salt and pepper and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.  In the last minutes of cooking add the cooked pasta to the soup.  Ladle into bowls, garnish with cheese and oregano if desired. Serves 6.

 

VERY VEGGIE MINESTRONE (pareve or meat)

 

1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic (more if you prefer)

2 stalks celery

1 red pepper, seeded and diced into chunks
4 oz prewashed and cut kale (6 cups)
1 (1-lb) bag frozen mixed Italian vegetables such as zucchini, green beans, cauliflower, and broccoli
1 (14 1/2-oz) can “petite” diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup elbow macaroni
5 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (42 fl oz)
2 cups water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (19-oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
grated parmesan, optional

 

Heat oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 3 minutes. Add kale and sauté, stirring, 1 minute. Add frozen vegetables, peppers, celery, tomatoes with juice, pasta, broth, water, salt, and pepper and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, transfer half of beans to a wide shallow bowl and coarsely mash with a fork or a potato masher, then stir mashed and whole beans into soup and simmer, stirring occasionally, until soup is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Modified from a recipe from epicurious.com

 

MEATBALL MINESTRONE (meat or pareve)

 

1 cup frozen chopped onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 (15- to 19-ounce) can cannellini beans, undrained

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 (1.4-ounce) package dry vegetable soup mix

1 (16-ounce) package frozen cooked meatballs or vegetarian meatballs

2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans Italian-style diced tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 cup elbow pasta, uncooked

1 (10-ounce) package fresh washed baby spinach

 

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the onion and the garlic in the olive oil until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the beans and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in vegetable soup mix until dissolved. Add meatballs, tomatoes and crushed red pepper and return to a boil. Add elbow macaroni and cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes or until pasta are tender.

Add the spinach and stir until it is wilted, about 1 minute. Serves 6.

 

MINESTRONE PASTA BOWL (dairy)

Not technically a soup but hey, it’s close and it’s really delicious so who cares what you call it.
1 package (16 ounces) uncooked rigatoni pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning Mix, divided
1 large zucchini, sliced
1 large carrot, chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 jar (26 ounces) spaghetti sauce
1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package and drain. Return pasta to stockpot; add 1
tablespoon of the oil and 1 teaspoon of the seasoning mix, stirring to
coat. Cover and keep warm.

Meanwhile Heat remaining oil in skillet over medium heat until hot. Add garlic stir-fry 1 minute.  Add zucchini and carrot; stir-fry 2-3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add mushrooms, spaghetti sauce, garbanzo beans and remaining seasoning mix. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5-6 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and heated through. Transfer pasta to a large bowl. Carefully pour sauce over pasta. Grate Parmesan cheese over pasta. Serve immediately. 8 servings

 

SIMPLE MINESTRONE FOR FOUR (meat)

2 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
1 large potato, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 medium zucchinis, grated
One 8 3/4-ounce can red kidney beans, drained
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Pinch of dried red pepper flakes
olive oil for drizzling
Combine the chicken stock, water, potato and garlic in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the potato becomes tender, about 15 minutes. Using a spoon or large fork, mash the potato slightly. Add the zucchini and kidney beans; cook until the beans are heated, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Divide among four soup bowls and drizzle a small amount of extra virgin olive oil over each serving. Serves 4
AUTUMN VEGETABLE MINESTRONE (pareve)

2 (14.5 oz) cans vegetable broth
1 (18 oz) can crushed tomatoes — undrained
3 medium carrots — chopped
3 small zucchini — cut into 1/2″ slices
1 medium yellow bell pepper — cut into 1/2″ pieces
8 medium green onions — sliced
2 cloves garlic — finely chopped
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 teaspoons dried marjoram
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup uncooked instant rice
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Mix all ingredients except rice and basil in a 3 1/2 to 6 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 6 to 8 hours or until vegetables are tender. Stir in rice. Cover and cook on low heat setting for about 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Serves 6.

Open Sesame

 

 

I may not be Scheherazade with her tales of wonder  but say the enchanted words “open the sesame seed jar” (ok, so I took a few liberties with the phrase) and a magical world of flavor is open to all. Sesame seeds are one of the oldest condiments in recorded cooking history dating back to as early as 1600 BCE and are an integral part of the cuisines in the Middle East, Asia, India and Turkey probably originated in an area of the world called the Spice Islands.

Because sesame seeds are a plant food, there’s no cholesterol. Natural sesame seeds (unhulled) are high in calcium,
hulled not as much. However, they contain copious amounts of B vitamins riboflavin, thiamine, and niacin so it’s all good. Most of the sesame seeds sold in the United States are already hulled and come in light, brown and black colors. As far as I can tell the only difference is in the color, not the flavor. Sesame oil comes in two varieties. The first is cold pressed with very lightly golden color and a subtle flavor. The Asian variety of sesame oil that most of us associate with Chinese/Thai and other oriental foods is made from roasted sesame seeds and is much darker in color and has an intense almost smoky flavor.

Tahini or sesame seed paste and hummus two very popular Middle Eastern dishes have sesame seeds as their base and are served instead of butter or oil as condiments throughout many countries in the world.

To keep your sesame seeds from becoming rancid, store them in the refrigerator or the freezer. Sesame oil has an exceptionally long shelf life but since it’s rather expensive so most people tend to buy it small quantities so it isn’t in the cabinet all that long.

Many recipes call for you to toast your sesame seeds so that they have a slightly nuttier flavor. Easy to do. You can either place
them in an ungreased frying pan and cook, stirring constantly over medium heat for a minute or two, just until they are lightly browned. Remove them from the pan immediately by putting them into a dish. Leaving them in the pan can cause them to burn from residual heat. Or you can also toast them in the oven on a cookie sheet with sides at 350 but you have to watch them CAREFULLY. They will
burn quickly.

So open sesame already and get started creating your own treasure trove of dishes with a rich nutty flavor that adding sesame seeds create.

SESAME ANISE MELTS

 

2   cups flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup shortening

3/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon anise seed, crushed

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

about 1 cup toasted sesame seed

 

Preheat oven to 400. Grease 4 large baking sheets and set them aside. In large mixing
bowl combine flour, baking soda and then set it aside. In another large bowl combine
the shortening, sugar, anise seed and salt and beat until light and fluffy. Beat
in the egg and then add the flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time. Roll rounded
tablespoons of the dough into the sesame seeds. Arrange the balls on the cookie
sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart and flatten cookies with the bottom of a glass
to about 1/4 inch thickness. Bake 6 to 9 minutes or until lightly browned
around edges. Cool on rack. These freeze well. Makes 3 dozen

 

Submitted by Constance Kadish Teaneck NJ,
Adapted from joy of cookies

CLASSIC SESAME CHICKEN

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons rice wine

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 dash hot pepper sauce

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 clove crushed garlic

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite size pieces

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 ounces fresh mushrooms, quartered

1 green bell pepper, sliced

4 green onions, sliced diagonally into 1/2inch pieces

 

To Make Marinade: In a nonporous dish or bowl blend cornstarch with wine or
sherry; then stir in lemon juice, soy sauce, hot pepper sauce, ginger and
garlic. Blend together and stir in chicken strips. Cover dish and refrigerate
to marinate for 3 to 4 hours.

 

In a wok or large skillet, place sesame seeds and dry-fry over medium heat,
shaking the wok, until the seeds are a golden brown color. Remove seeds and set aside.

To same wok or skillet add sesame oil and vegetable oil and heat slowly. Drain
chicken, reserving marinade, and stir-fry in wok a few pieces at a time, until
browned. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add mushrooms and green bell pepper to same wok or skillet and stir-fry for 2 to 3
minutes. Add the scallions and stir-fry 1 minute more. Return chicken to wok,
together with reserved marinade, and stir over medium high heat for another 2
to 3 minutes, or until the ingredients are evenly coated with the glaze.
Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Modifiedfrom about.com

PEANUT AND SESAME NOODLES

For peanut dressing

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup warm water

2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger

1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons dark sesame oil

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

 

For
noodle salad

3/4 lb dried linguine or spaghetti

4 green onions, thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips

1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips

3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

 

Make dressing:

In the bowl of a food processor or blender combine the dressing ingredients and process until smooth then transfer to a
large bowl.

Make salad:

Cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until tender. Drain in a colander, then rinse well under cold
water.  Add the pasta, scallions, bell peppers, and sesame seeds to dressing, tossing to combine, and serve
immediately.  Serves 4

Modified from Gourmet  June 2002

LEMON AND SESAME DRESSING

 

1/2 cup sesame oil

1 cup honey

1 cup rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Zest of 1 lemon

2 teaspoons minced garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients in a large jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well.  Refrigerate until ready to use. Shake again before dressing salad. Makes
2 1/2 cups

SESAME TURKEY BURGER

2 lb ground turkey

3 tablespoon sesame seeds

2 tablespoon soy sauce

2 cup sliced green onions (white and green parts)

2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons sesame oil

3 to 4 cup breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper to taste

Oil for cooking

 

In a bowl combine the turkey, sesame seeds, soy sauce, green onions, cilantro, garlic, sesame oil, about 1 teaspoon of
salt, and bread crumbs. Cover and let the mixture sit for at least 2 hours for the flavors to meld. Form the mixture into 6 to 8 patties and brush them with a little oil before cooking (the turkey has very little fat and may stick to the grill pan or grill). Grill for 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until the center is hot and no longer pink. Makes 6 to 8

Fro my files, source unknown

 

SESAME SEED COOKIES

One of my all time favorite cookie recipes

2 3/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons McCormick® Gourmet Collection Cream of Tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract

2 jars (1.62 ounces each) McCormick® Gourmet Collection Sesame Seed, Toasted (about 1 cup), divided

2 ounces bittersweet baking chocolate, melted

 

Mix flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside. Beat butter in large bowl with electric mixer
on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add sugar; beat until well blended, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture and 1/4 cup of the toasted sesame seed on low speed until well mixed. . Refrigerate dough 2 hours or until firm.  Preheat oven to 400. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in remaining 3/4 cup toasted sesame seed. Place 2 inches apart on
ungreased baking sheets.  Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 1 minute. Remove to
wire racks; cool completely. Drizzle cookies with melted chocolate. Let stand until chocolate is set.

From mccormick.com

LEMON AND SESAME POUND CAKE

1/2 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/ 8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup sugar

4 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 large egg

1 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 teaspoon black sesame seeds

 

Glaze

 

2 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 5 1/2 by 3 inch loaf pan.
Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, sugar, butter, lemon zest, juice and vanilla extract. Then combine 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture with the sesame seeds. Add half the remaining flour mixture to the egg mixture, until only a few streaks of flour remain. Repeat with the second half of the batter and the sesame mixture. Do not over mix. Give the batter a final stir with a rubber spatula, to ensure a smooth batter. Pour into the mold. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Meanwhile, combine the sugar and lemon juice. Place in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the sugar is
dissolved and the mixture is slightly thickened. Once the cake has been removed from its mold, brush it with the glaze.

Recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

SESAME ASPARAGUS AND BEEF SALAD

2 to 3 lbs. rib steak

4 to 6 cups sliced fresh asparagus (cut into bite sized pieces)

3 to 4 tablespoons soy sauce

2 to 3 tablespoons sesame oil

1 to 2 tablespoon rice vinegar

1/2 teaspoon grated ginger

3 tablespoons sesame seeds

4 green onions, sliced thin

Chopped romaine lettuce

3 shredded carrots

Red pepper flakes (optional)

Cook steak to desired doneness. Cool and cut into thin strips or bite sized pieces.

Cook the asparagus until it’s just crisp tender. Drain and cool. In a bowl combine
beef and asparagus and set it aside. In another bowl combine the soy sauce,
sesame oil, vinegar, ginger and green onions. Mix to combine. Pour the dressing
over beef and asparagus. Mix to coat. You can heat this up if you prefer a warm
salad. Place the chopped lettuce and shredded carrots on a serving platter and
spoon the beef and asparagus over the top. Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds
and red pepper if you’re using it and serve warm or at room temperature. Serves
6.

From my files, source unknown

Perfect Pot Pie

SLICE OF LIFE BY EILEEN GOLTZ

The phrase “it’s as easy as pie” to make is one that readily comes to mind whenever I’m in the mood to make pot pies. Surprisingly the mood seems to strike whenever I have leftovers that don’t seem to be just quite enough to make a full meal all by themselves. The light bulb in my head (the one that looks eerily like the one in my fridge) goes on and the word balloon appears and it blinks, pot pie, pot pie, pot pie.
Recipes for pot pie cooking methods date back to the Middle Ages in Europe, and were brought to America along with all the other hand me down recipes our ancestors had in their own personal cookbooks. Simply put, a pot pie is a savory meat or vegetable stew/thick soup cooked in a single or double crusted pan depending on your personal preference and your geological frame of reference. A lot of recipes from south of the Mason Dixon line have  a biscuit type of crust and those from those Yankee states are more apt to use pastry dough or puff pastry. Those that originated in other countries use potatoes or barley or even rice in the crusts. It just goes to show you that even though cooks all over the world may have a different set of staples in the house we know what to do with them when it comes to making the best of leftovers.
. The following recipes include several that I’ve made for years and years and more years and have absolutely no idea where the original recipe came from and the rest have been sent to me by readers who love pot pies as much as I do. .So, even if you’re ordinarily a the kind of cook that burns water, making a pot pie will raise your confidence level 10 fold and your standing as the best cook in the world for turning leftovers into a spectacular meal 100 fold.

REMINDS ME OF MARSHALL FIELDS CHICKEN POT PIES

2 sheets puff pastry dough, thawed
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of thyme
12 ounces cooked chicken meat, cut into strips
1 onion, minced
1/2 cup peas, if frozen, thawed
1/2 cup diced cooked carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red pepper

Preheat oven to 450. Grease a 9×13 baking pan and place on sheet of the dough on the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Press to push it slightly up the sides of the pan. set it aside. In a sauce pan melt the butter and then stir in the flour. Cook, whisking until the flour is incorporated into the butter and then add the broth and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the mixture is thickened. Add the pinch of thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Mix to combine.  Add chicken, peas, onions, celery and carrot and mix to combine and pour the mixture into the prepared pan over the dough. Top with the second piece of puff pastry dough making sure to tuck the edges into the pan and connecting it with the bottom dough if possible. Bake for approx 25 minutes until the top has puffed up and is golden brown. Cool 5 minutes and serve. Serves 4 to 6.

RICE AND CHICKEN POT PIE

2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup flour
2 cans (14 1/2-ounce) chicken broth
1 package (16-oz) mixed frozen vegetables
3 cups cooked rice
2 cups cooked chopped chicken
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 cup baking mix
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions

Heat butter in skillet  and add onion, garlic, thyme, sage and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes until onion is tender. Add flour, cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in broth; cook, whisking 4 to 6 minutes or until sauce boils and thickens.

Stir in vegetables; cook 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in rice, chicken and parsley; cook, stirring 2 to 3 minutes more. Place in 2-1/2-quart casserole. (May be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before baking.)

Combine baking mix, buttermilk and green onions in medium bowl. Gently stir, just until dough comes together. Form dough into 9-inch long log on lightly floured surface; cut crosswise into 6-1/2-inch rounds. (Or roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/2-inch thickness and cut with different shaped cookie cutters.)

Top casserole with biscuits, spacing evenly. Bake in 425-degree oven for 20 minutes until filling is bubbly and biscuits are golden brown. Serve immediately.

Modified from cdkitchen.com

MASHED POTATO TURKEY POT PIE

1 tablespoon oil
2 pounds ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, diced
1 red pepper diced
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
3 (16 oz.) cans cream style corn
8 white potatoes, cooked and mashed
Butter or margarine
Panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 325. In a skillet sauté the onion, celery and red pepper together in the oil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes and then add the turkey. Cook until turkey is no longer pink.  Drain any liquid, add the poultry seasoning, mix to combine and put the mixture in a 9X13 casserole dish. Pour the creamed corn over the mixture and top with the mashed potatoes. Place small pieces dabs of butter or margarine on the potatoes. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top. Bake an additional 10 minutes and serve. Serves 6 to 8.

Submitted by Audry Snarling

VEGGIE POT PIE

1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 onions, diced
1 green or red pepper, diced
3 to 4 carrots, peeled and diced
3 or 4 yellow or zucchini squashed, diced
15 ounces can vegetarian chili (you can use the stuff with meat if you like)
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
6 ounces box cornbread mix (or your favorite recipe)
salsa and sour cream

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare the corn bread mix and set it aside. Grease a 9×13 baking pan and set aside. In a large skillet sauté the garlic in the oil for about 1 minute and then add the onion, green pepper, carrots, and zucchini; cook 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender but not mushy. Stir in the chili, mix to combine and then spoon the mixture spread into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with the cheese. Spread the corn bread mixture over the top of the cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until the cornbread is golden brown.  Let sit for 3 to 5 minutes then serve. Serves 6

SWEET POTATO POT PIE

3 tablespoons   olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 teaspoon minced garlic
3 cups fresh sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into small  pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 sheet puff pastry dough, thawed
1 egg mixed
Poppy or sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet sauté the onion, jalapeno, garlic and, sweet potatoes in the oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the corn.

In a small bowl whisk together the milk and cornstarch, then pour the mixture into the sweet potato mixture. Bring the mixture to bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and cook until the liquid starts to thicken, about 2 minutes. Remove the mixture from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture into a 9X13 pan and then gently lay a sheet of the puff pastry dough on top pushing the edges in to the mixture around the side of the pan.  Brush the top of the dough with the beaten egg and then sprinkle the top with sesame or poppy seeds. Using a sharp knife, cut a few slits in the top of the crust (you can make a design) to let the steam vent. Place the casserole on a cookie sheet with sides just in case it bubbles over. Bake about 15 to 20 minutes until the top is golden. Serves 4 for dinner 6 for lunch

Note: you can use canned sweet potatoes but don’t saute them with the other vegetables, add them with the corn.

HONEY DIJON MUSTARD POT PIE

1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons oil
1 lb chicken breasts, no bones or skin
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup peas, frozen or canned
2 ready make pie crusts, defrosted
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
5 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons parsley
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup minced onion
Water, as needed
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425. Marinate the chicken in the soy sauce for about 10 minutes then drain. In a skillet sauté the garlic and onions in the oil. Cook until they just start to wilt and are still firm. Add the chicken and cook until the chicken is done through. Add the honey, carrots, broth, parsley, salt, pepper and mustard. Mix to combine and cook on a low heat. In a small bowl combine the cornstarch and enough water to make paste. Bring the chicken mixture to a boil and add the cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly as you add it. Cook until the liquid starts to thicken. You can make more of the cornstarch mixture and add it if the liquid to too runny. Spoon the chicken  mixture into one of the pie shell and then top it with the other crust. Cut a few slits in the top so steam can escape while it bakes. Cook for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees F and bake for another half an hour or until the crust is golden brown and the pie is hot. Serve immediately with vegetables and mashed potatoes. Serves 4 to 6.

Super Superbowl Dips

check out my article on Dips for the Superbowl in the Journal Gazette

http://journalgazette.com/article/20110123/FEAT0103/301239977/1001/FOOD

It’s So Good It’s Soy Sauce

As an experiment a foodie friend suggested that I replace the salt I used in some of my recipes with a splash of soy sauce. “Soy sauce” I reply in a tone meant to convey interest while simultaneously rolling my eyes to convey skepticism, “ok, I’ll try that”. To my surprise and delight, substituting soy sauce for salt was a wonderful suggestion and really adding flavor and body to many of the recipes. I tried it with seafood, meat, vegetables, salad dressings even a few pasta sauces. The result of my experiment: A fresh, well balanced flavor without overwhelming other flavors in a dish. Cream sauces had a slightly nuttier flavor and tomato sauce seemed to be less acidic. While I can, absolutely recommend soy sauce as a change of pace, I still prefer to use it is in Oriental/Asian dishes specifically, stir fry sauces.

 Discovered in China more than 2,500 years ago, soy sauce is thought to be one of the world’s oldest condiments. It is a cornerstone of many Asian cuisines especially sauces. Soy sauce is never the main ingredient of any sauce, rather it’s the one ingredient that binds the others together to make the unique characteristics of the individual ingredients come together to “pop”.

 There are two types of natural soy sauce available (I say stay away from the synthetic stuff, I don’t think it tastes anywhere as good as the real stuff) to the inquiring cooking, light and dark soy sauce.

 Soy sauce is made from soybeans that are mixed with roasted grain (usually wheat, rice, or barley) and fermented for several months. Once the process is completed the mixture is strained and bottled. Dark soy is aged longer than light soy and has a darker color and thicker texture. Light soy is lighter in color and surprisingly has a saltier flavor. Light soy sauce is best used in stir fry cooking, as the darker color and stronger flavor of dark soy sauce can overwhelm the taste of light flavored ingredients. Dark soy is typically used in red meat dishes and is good for marinating. Some say that tamari sauce, a type of soy sauce made without wheat and using a different fermentation process is too sweet to be substituted for soy sauce. Not so, in my opinion. I do use it when I’m cooking a lighter fish or vegetable dish.

 The possibilities were endless and so are the recipes. The following recipes are a laundry list of classic sauces that can be use with your favorite vegetables, meats or seafood as well as a few recipes just for fun.

 STIR FRY SAUCE

1 1/ 2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/ 2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/ 2 teaspoon minced ginger
1/ 2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/ 8 teaspoon Tabasco
1/ 2 teaspoon salt
1/ 4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/ 2 teaspoon lemon or lime juice
1 1/ 2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 Tablespoon rice wine or sherry

In a small sauce pan heat the sesame oil. Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry 15-30 second over medium heat. Add the chicken broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, Tabasco, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Bring just to a boil, stirring. In a small bowl dissolve the cornstarch in the wine and then whisk the mixture into the sauce. Heat until sauce thickens and reaches a full boil. Simmer for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and set aside. Stir fry your choices of meat or poultry till almost done, add the veggies, cook to heat throughout and then add the sauce. Cook just to heat and serve. Makes approx. 1 cup sauce. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

EFFORTLESS SZECHWAN SAUCE

Lots of ingredients but simple to make

1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1cup chicken broth
3 whole anise stars (optional)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/ 2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon hoisin sauce
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon 5 spice powder
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoon water

Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the ginger and garlic and saute 1minute until softened but not browned. In a bowl combine the remaining ingredients except for the cornstarch mixture. Add them to the saucepan and bring to a simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove star anise. Whisk in the corn starch mixture and let boil 1-2 minutes. Taste and add more Tabasco if desired. Makes

ORANGE STIR FRY SAUCE

2/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup tamari sauce
2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoon Chinese sesame oil
2 tablespoon cornstarch

In a bowl combine the orange juice, tamari sauce, ginger, garlic, honey and sesame oil. Place the cornstarch into a bowl; whisk the liquid mixture into it. Set
aside, but keep the whisk handy, as you will need to whisk the sauce again
just before you pour it into the saute. Add this sauce to a wok, full of vegetables about 2/3 of the way through cooking. Make sure you stir your veggies so that the sauce coats them. Cook until the veggies are done and the sauce starts to thicken and then serve. Makes 1 cup.

GARLIC GINGER STIR FRY SAUCE

4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoon cornstarch
pinch of ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 to 2 teaspoon Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoon sherry or white wine

In a bowl mix all the ingredients together and set it aside. After stir-frying veggies or tofu or meat/seafood reduce the heat and add sauce. Stir for about 2 more minutes and then serve immediately. Makes 1/2 cup. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

BASIC BROWN SAUCE

3/4 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon oyster sauce, plus 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
In a saucepan combine all the ingredients, whisk together and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Serve with stir fry vegetables or meat. Makes 3/4 cup.

SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE

1/4 cup cold water
2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon soy sauce

In a bowl combine water and cornstarch, mix and set aside. In a small saucepan combine the pineapple juice, sugar, vinegar, ketchup and soy sauce. Stir over low heat until hot, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in cornstarch mixture until sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes about 1-1/2 cups.

PEANUT SAUCE

1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3/4 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste

Warm the chicken broth in a small saucepan and keep warm on low heat. Process the peanut butter, garlic cloves, cilantro and sugar in a blender or food processor. Slowly add the warmed chicken broth and process again. Remove from the blender and stir in the soy sauce, and the chili powder to taste. Serve peanut sauce with satay and salads, or as an appetizer dip. Makes 1 cup. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

KOREAN SESAME DIPPING SAUCE

This sauce can be served cold or room temperature for dipping and is great warm poured over steamed vegetables

3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1 scallion, finely chopped
Combine the soy sauce, sesame oil and rice vinegar in a small bowl. In a small, heavy, dry skillet over medium heat, add the sesame seeds and stir until they darken a bit. Remove and crush seeds. Add to soy mixture with sugar and scallions. Makes 1/2 cup. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.
 
STIR FRY GREEN BEANS WITH PEANUTS

3 tablespoons peanut oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 inch ginger root, peeled and finely chopped

1 pound green beans, trimmed

4 green onions, sliced

1 cup white wine

1/2 cup unsalted peanuts

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

  Cut beans into one-inch slices. Heat peanut oil in wok until it just begins to smoke. Toss in garlic and ginger root. Add beans and onions and stir-fry for two minutes. Add wine, peanuts and sugar, and continue to stir-fry until the wine has evaporated. Add the soy sauce just before serving. Serves 4 to 6.

CHINESE TOMATO SPINACH SAUCE WITH BEEF

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sherry
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 (28 oz.) can tomatoes, undrained, cut up
2 cups shredded fresh spinach
1 pound stir fry beef in thin strips

In a bowl combine the cornstarch, soy sauce and sherry. Whisk to combine and add pieces of beef. Toss to coat. Heat oil in large saucepan. Add beef mixture and stir fry for 2 minutes. Stir in the broth, tomatoes and spinach. Bring to a boil and stir occasionally. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes and serve. Serves 3 to 4.