Parsley, Always a Bridesmaid Ingredient/Passover and Easter Recipes

So everyone who’s ever purchased a bundle of parsley for say, a garnish or for oh, I don’t know, a garnish please raise your hand. Well hang on to your cooking hats because this column is devoted to that underappreciated leafy herb.

There are more than 30 varieties of parley and it’s related to celery (sort of like its skinnier first cousin). The most commonly used types of parsley are the curly leaf and flat-leaf parsley. An often asked parsley questions is what is the difference between flat leaf AKA Italian parsley and the curly kind? The answer to the question is simply the intensity of the flavor.  The flat leaf has a stronger more distinct flavor and is also more fragrant and less bitter than the curly variety. Whenever possible I recommend that everyone choose to use fresh parsley over the dried form. The dried, while convenient, isn’t nearly as flavorful as the fresh.

You should look for parsley that is deep green in color and looks fresh and has tight leaves. Forget any bunches that are wilted or have yellow leaves. You should always clean the parsley thoroughly before you use it. Clean the parsley like you clean spinach. Place it in a bowl of cool water and swish it around to get rid of the dirt. Note that parsley should be added at the end of the cooking process so that it retains its flavor and color. One great parsley trick is that if you’re making a lighter colored sauces just use the stems instead of the leaves as it will give you the flavor or parsley but not the green color.

Parsley is great but is rarely, if ever, considered a main ingredient. However, impress your friends and family with the following parsley recipes, they can hold its own in all kinds of herb recipes and let you be quasi eco food friendly by being able to say you’re keeping it “green”.

PARSLEY BAKED SALMON

3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup milk

1 cup sour cream
3 large eggs, beaten
2 cans red salmon, drained and flaked
2 cups bread crumbs or cracker crumbs or matza meal
2 tablespoons minced onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon minced parsley
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9X13 baking dish. In a bowl, combine the melted butter, milk, sour cream (parmesan cheese if using) and eggs, beat to combine. Add the salmon, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix to combine. Place the mixture into the prepared baking dish and cook, uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 4 to 5 minutes before cutting and serving. Great with Parsley Cream Sauce (see below). Serves 8
PARSLEY CREAM SAUCE

Great with fish or over vegetables

4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour or potato starch
2 cups milk

1/4 cup mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
pepper to taste
1/4 cup minced parsley

In a saucepan melt the butter and then quickly whisk in the flour. Cook this mixture for one minute, whisk constantly. At this point whisk in the milk, cheeses, pepper and parsley. Cook, whisking constantly until combine and the cheese is melted (1 to 2 minutes). Serve immediately. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

 

PARSLEY POTATO BISQUE

5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 leeks, sliced

1tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup white wine
1 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 teaspoons black pepper

In a stock pot heat the oil and then sauté the leeks and garlic for 2 minutes then add the wine. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add the potatoes and stock and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover and boil until the potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Let the soup cool for about 10 minutes and then place ¼ of the soup in a blender or processor and process till smooth. Add a little water or more stock if the mixture is too thick. Don’t over process you want some smaller pieces of potato.  Return the pureed soup back into the pan. When you’ve finished processing the soup add the parsley, salt, and pepper. Mix to combine. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes stirring constantly.

 

Modified from May All Be Fed by John Robbins

PEPPER PARSLEY CELERY SOUP

 

2 tablespoons olive oil
8 stalks celery, chopped
1 red onion, chopped

1 parsnip, peeled and diced
1 red pepper; chopped
1 teaspoon mince garlic
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 large baked potato, mashed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Celery leaves to garnish

Chopped parsley for garnish

 

In a large stock pot heat the oil and saute the celery, parsnip, onion, red pepper and garlic for 5 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent sticking. Add the stock, mashed potato, salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add the parsley about 5 minutes before the cooking is finished and mix to combine If you like a thicker soup serve it this way. For a smoother soup let it cool or about 20 minutes and then puree it or use an immersion blender. Garnish with celery leaves and chopped parsley

 

Submitted by Joslyn Kemintsky Chicago IL

 

HEARTS OF PALM AND PARSLEY CHOPPED SALAD

10 green onions, chopped
6 to 8 tomatoes, chopped
2 cans (14.5 oz.) hearts of palm, drained and sliced thin
3/4 cup chopped parsley

1 can black olives, chopped

2 cans sliced water chestnuts
1/4 cup fresh lime juice

4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups chopped romaine or red leaf lettuce

Put onions in a bowl of cold water and soak for 5 minutes. Drain. In large bowl combine the lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper and whisk to combine. Add the green onions, hearts of palm, olives, parsley, water chestnuts and lettuce, Toss to combine. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serves 6 to 8

 

PARMESAN   CAULIFLOWER AND PARSLEY SALAD

 

For   salad   1 teaspoon grated lemon zest   2 tablespoons lemon juice   1/2 teaspoon salt   1/4 teaspoon black pepper   1/4 cup olive oil   6 oz white mushrooms, thinly sliced   5 cups loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped     For cauliflower   2 large eggs   1/4 teaspoon salt   1/8 teaspoon black pepper   2 (10-oz) packages frozen cauliflower florets, thawed and patted dry   2 cups parmesan cheese   1/3 cup olive oil

 

In   a large bowl combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Whisk in   the oil until combined, then stir in mushrooms and marinate while pan-frying   cauliflower.

Meanwhile, in a bowl lightly beat the eggs with the salt and pepper. Add the   cauliflower and toss until coated well. Put the parmesan cheese in a large   bowl. Lift cauliflower out of egg mixture with a slotted spoon and transfer   to cheese, tossing to coat. Heat the oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over   moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then panfry cauliflower in 3   batches, turning occasionally, until golden on all sides, about 3 minutes per   batch. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and cool   slightly. Add the parsley and cauliflower to mushroom mixture, tossing to   combine and serve. Serves 8.

Modified   from Gourmet May 2006

ALMOND, PARSLEY AND PORTABELLA SALAD

 

6 to 8 portabella mushrooms cleaned and sliced thin

1/3 cup lemon juice (fresh is best)

4 to 6 chopped green onions

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon dried tarragon

1/2 cup of your favorite Italian salad dressing

1 red pepper diced

4 stalks celery, diced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon  vinegar

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

4 cups chopped romaine lettuce

1 cup toasted almonds

 

In a salad bowl combine the mushrooms, lemon juice, green onion, parsley, and tarragon. Mix to combine, cover and refrigerate. In another bowl, combine the Italian dressing, red pepper, salt, pepper, sugar, rice wine vinegar and mayonnaise. Whisk to combine and refrigerate for 1 hour. To serve combine the mushroom mixture with the lettuce. Toss to combine and then add the dressing and almonds to the lettuce mixture and toss to combine. Serves 8

 

LIME AND PARSLEY CHOPPED SALAD

 

1 head romaine or red leaf lettuce, chopped

1 English cucumber sliced

1 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 avocados, diced

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon lime zest

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

 

Put everything into a bowl and toss to combine. Serves 8

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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

Oodles of Noodles

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 northern China,
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 forget Japan here) 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. For those of you that don’t eat shell fish you can always substitute chicken or fish.

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 5 more 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  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 or talapia cut into pieces

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

 

 

Egg-actly what you need

Into every life know that there will be eggs involved.  Some will get broken, others will be incorporated into myriads of “family favorite” recipes and others, those special few that are chosen, will be hard cooked.

According to the American Egg Board, the terms “hard-boiled” is a misnomer because you really don’t want to boil your eggs (it them tough and rubbery). Instead, these eggs should be “hard-cooked” in hot water.

What, you ask is the @#$@%$#$% difference? Well, let me tell you. When you cook the egg at a constant boiling temperature the continual heat overcooks the proteins in the egg, leaving the white tough and rubbery. Overcooking can also cause a greenish black icky looking film to form between the yolk and the white. Bringing the water the eggs are cooking in to a boil and then letting then, removing the pan with the eggs in it from the heat and letting them sit in the hot water for 20 minutes allows them to cook slowly and consistently. The Egg Board has great instructions which I have taken the liberty of modifying:

 

First, don’t add salt to water. The salt raises the boiling point of the water. Use room temperature eggs, they’re much less likely to crack in the hot water and the temperature of the egg at the start of the cooking process affects the cooking time. An egg that is at room temperature at the start of cooking  requires approx. 1 minute less time to cook and then eggs plucked from refrigerator and placed right into the pan.

 

Place your eggs in a saucepan, making sure that you don’t over crowd them or layer the, (stacking them is a no no). Cover them with COLD water (about an inch over the top of the eggs). Bring the water to a boil, let boil for approx. 1 minute and then remove them from the heat. Cover the pan with a lid and then let the eggs stand in the water for approx 12 minutes for medium sized eggs; 15 minutes for large eggs; 18 minutes for extra large and extra large eggs. Drain the water and then submerge them in ice cold water for a few minutes. Peel immediately if you need them or keep them refrigerated for up to 5 days. The timing for the sitting in the water begins once the eggs are removed from the heat.

            Hard-cooked eggs are easiest to peel right after cooling. Cooling causes the egg to contract slightly in the shell. You can make hard cooked eggs up to a week before you want to use them. Store them in their original carton; this prevents them from absorbing odors from the fridge. Once you peel them, however, they should be eaten as soon as possible.

 

Know this, eggs have gotten bad press in the past, but the truth is they are not the enemy. Eating too many of them is what gets you into trouble. The following deviled egg recipes are great to serve for either upcoming holiday and I’ve even included a recipe of sorts for dyeing your eggs if you’re looking for a special look to go a long with your special meal.

 

Safety Note: Never EVER microwave eggs in their shells. Steam builds up too quickly inside the shell and trust me, they will explode and you will have to clean it up.

 

 

THAI FRIED HARDBOILED EGGS WITH SHALLOTS

2 large shallots or 8 green onions, sliced thin
4 hard cooked eggs, peeled, cut in half

3-4 tablespoons oil
chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish (optional)

For dipping sauce:
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce

Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Taste and adjust flavors to your liking (use any sweet/tangy dipping sauce).

Over a medium heat saute the shallots until golden; drain them on paper towel.
Place the eggs cut side down in the hot oil and cook for approx 1 minute. Place 2 halves in a bowl and top with onions and cilantro or parsley. Serve with dipping sauce. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

Adapted from Authentic Recipes from Thailand

 

CLASSIC DEVILED EGGS

 

6 hard cooked eggs, peeled and cut lengthwise

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon dry ground mustard

1/2 teaspoon white vinegar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Paprika for garnish

 

Cut the eggs in half lengthwise. Remove the egg yolks from the egg and place them in a bowl. Mash them with a fork. Add the mayonnaise, mustard powder, vinegar, salt and pepper and mix to combine. Taste and adjust to your preference. Using a teaspoon or pastry bag fill the empty egg white shell and sprinkle with paprika. 

 

These can be made up to 2 days before you want to serve Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

 

TEX MEX DEVILED EGGS

 

12 hard cooked eggs, peeled

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 tablespoons minced green onion

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard – or your favorite mustard

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

Several drops of your favorite hot sauce

salt and pepper to taste

paprika (optional)

 

Cut the eggs in half lengthwise. Remove the egg yolks from the egg and place them in a bowl. Mash them with a fork. Add the mayonnaise, cumin, mustard, green onion, jalapeno, and hot sauce. Mix well and salt and pepper to taste. Using a teaspoon or pastry bag fill the empty egg white shell and sprinkle with paprika.  Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

 

GUACAMOLE STUFFED EGGS

 

12 hard cooked eggs, peeled, cut in half.

2 ripe avocados, mashed

2 tablespoons minced onion

1 minced jalapeno

2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice

1 roma tomato, seeded and finely chopped

salt and pepper to taste

 

Cut the eggs in half lengthwise. Remove the egg yolks and place them in a bowl.  Mash the yolks and then add the avocados, onion, jalapeno, lemon or lime juice, tomato, salt and pepper. Mix well. Using a teaspoon or pastry bag fill the empty egg white shell

Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

 

DEVILED HAM STUFFED EGGS AU GRATIN  

 

6 hard cooked eggs

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon prepared mustard

1 can (2 1/2 oz.) deviled ham

3 green onions, chopped (include some tops)

4 sprigs parsley, finely chopped

salt and pepper

 

SAUCE:

 

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup flour

2 cup milk

2 teaspoon chopped chives or green onions

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/4 cup bread crumbs

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut eggs in half lengthwise. Remove egg yolks and set aside. In small bowl, combine yolks, melted butter, Worcestershire sauce and mustard and mash until smooth. Stir in deviled ham, green onions, parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Evenly spoon some mixture into each egg white. Arrange in 9 inch square buttered casserole.

 

TO MAKE SAUCE: Melt butter and stir in flour with whisk until smooth. Continue stirring, gradually pouring in the milk. Add chives, salt and pepper. Cook for five minutes, stirring constantly. Pour over eggs. Sprinkle with cheese. Top with crumbs. Bake 35 to 40 minutes.

 

Modified from cooks.com Submitted by Carla Cardiosi Chicago, IL

 

GREEN ONION EGGS

 

8 hard boiled eggs, peeled, chilled and cut in half

1 cup green onions, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon minced onion

1tablesppon mince fresh ginger

3 tablespoons oil

2 teaspoons sesame oil

salt and pepper to taste

 

Heat the oil in a small pot over high heat. When the oil is shimmery and hot, add the green onions, garlic, shallot, and ginger. Be careful, the water content will cause the oil to bubble. Cook for about 1 minute and then remove the pot from the heat and stir in the sesame oil. Salt to taste.

 

Remove the yolks from the eggs and place in a bowl. Mash with a fork until the yolks are crumbly. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the green onion oil. Stir and taste. You may need to add more green onion oil to get the desired consistency. Using a teaspoon or pastry bag fill the empty egg white shell

Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

 

Modified from momofukufor2.com

 

Hazelnuts Are 4 Everyone

Of all the nuts I have hanging around my house (hubby and kids not withstanding) the one that used to be taken out only for special occasions was the hazelnuts (AKA filberts). Then I was introduced to Nuttella ® a wonderful chocolaty hazelnut spread that made my taste buds stand up and say WOW give me more!!! I had, prior to that culinary revelation, only used hazelnuts in a few cookies and an occasional cake or two. Trying a chocolate hazelnut spread on toast for breakfast (don’t judge me) made me realize just how versatile that little nut could be.

A hazelnut has a sweet slightly unusual flavor and unique texture make them perfect for both sweet and savory dishes.  But, wait, there’s more. This nut has some real substantial nutrition to offer.

Hazelnut is a terrific source of vitamin E, protein, and fiber as well as being a great source for antioxidants. The hazelnut is readily available BUT they can be a tad more expensive than a peanut, pecan or almond. That’s why most recipes tend to use them as a side note or accent rather than a main ingredient. The following recipes will let you take them from appetizer to dessert and will open the door to hazelnut heaven.

Note: Nuttella ® is available at most grocery stores right next to the peanut butter.

 

CRUNCHY HAZELNUT BARS

Cookie

1 1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1/2 cup cocoa

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1/4 cup butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups packed brown sugar

2 cups hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

2 cups shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. In a bowl combine the 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the 1/2 cup butter and mix to combine until the mixture is crumbly. Press the mixture into the bottom of the greased pan. Bake for 15 minutes and remove from the oven. While to base is cooling make the topping

In a bowl, combine the cocoa with the 2 tablespoons flour, baking powder and salt and set it aside. In another bowl whisk together the eggs, butter, vanilla and sugar. Whisk in the cocoa mixture until blended. Stir in the hazelnuts and coconut. Pour the mixture over the crust and make sure it covers it completely.

Reduce heat to 325. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for 15 to 20 minutes before cutting. Makes 16

Submitted by Ronnie Mixser-Hoffman Chicago IL

SIMPLE TILAPIA WITH LEMON AND HAZELNUT

6 six-eight ounce fillets of tilapia

Butter or olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/3 cup hazelnuts, coarsely ground

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon butter

4 teaspoons flour

3/4 cup vegetable broth

3 tablespoons white wine

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9X13 baking dish and place the fillets in the prepared pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Brush the top of each fillet with melted butter and top each fillet with a tablespoon of chopped hazelnuts. Sprinkle the top of each fillet with fresh lemon juice Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the fish flakes easily. Remove the fish to a warm plate and then melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet and add the flour.  Whisk to blend until smooth but don’t let it brown. Add the stock and wine and stir until smooth. Pour the sauce over the fish and serve. Serves 6

HAZELNUT CRUSTED CHICKEN WITH RASPBERRY SAUCE

Great over salad greens or rice

3/4 cup fresh raspberries (about 3 1/2 ounces)

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup oil

3 to 6 teaspoons water (optional)

Chicken:

1 cup chopped hazelnuts (about 4 1/2 ounces)

3/4 cup panko or plain dried breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

3 teaspoons ground black pepper, divided

1/3 cup honey mustard

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

4 large butterflied skinless boneless chicken breasts

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons oil

4 cups salad greens

1/2 cup fresh raspberries

raspberry sauce:

In a food processor or blender combine the 3/4 cup raspberries, white wine vinegar, and sugar and process until smooth. With blender running, gradually add the oil. Add water by teaspoonfuls as needed to thin to desired consistency. Season raspberry sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

For chicken:

Preheat oven to 375. In a bowl combine the hazelnuts, breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon coarse salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper.  In another bowl combine the honey mustard, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, remaining 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and remaining 1 teaspoon pepper in bowl. Add the chicken to the mayonnaise mixture and turn to coat. Then dip the chicken pieces, 1 at a time, into crumb-nut mixture, coating both sides and pressing to adhere. Transfer coated chicken pieces to baking sheet.

Divide equal amounts of butter and oil between 2 large nonstick skillets; heat over medium-high heat. Add 2 chicken pieces to each skillet; reduce heat to medium and cook until chicken is light brown, about 4 minutes per side. Place chicken on rimmed baking sheet; transfer to oven. Roast chicken until cooked through, about 15 minutes.  Serve immediately with fresh raspberries and serve raspberry sauce alongside.

Modified from epicurious.com

  HAZELNUT LAMB BURGERS

Debbie Russell of Colorado Springs won a 1st Prize at the Build a Better Burger Cook-off with this recipe and it truly deserved to win, it’s amazing

2 pounds ground lamb

1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon

1/2 cup minced red onion

1/2 cup fresh Italian bread crumbs

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon crumbled dried basil

1 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon crumbled dried thyme

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup chopped blanched hazelnuts

1/4 cup unseasoned dried Italian bread crumbs

Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack

6 large sesame seed sandwich buns split

6 tablespoons fresh goat cheese (about 3 ounces)

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1 bunch spinach leaves

6 large tomato slices

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To make the patties, combine the lamb, Cabernet Sauvignon, onion, fresh bread crumbs, parsley, basil, rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the buns. On a plate, combine the hazelnuts and dried bread crumbs. Press both sides of each patty into the nut mixture, coating evenly.

When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly. During the last minute of cooking, top each patty with 1 tablespoon of the cheese.

To assemble the burgers, spread the mustard over the cut sides of the buns. On each bun bottom, place several spinach leaves and a tomato slice. Add the bun tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.

Reprinted from Sutter Home Family Vineyards, written by James McNair, Build a Better Burger, published by Ten Speed Press

 STRAWBERRY HAZELNUT COOKIES

1 cup hazelnuts

1 cup oatmeal

1 cup cake flour

Pinch of salt

Pinch of cardamom

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup oil

1/3 cup strawberry preserves

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 2 cookie sheets and set them aside. In a food processor chop the hazelnuts until they are coarsely chopped.  Add the flour and oatmeal and pulse 5 seconds and then place it in a mixing bowl. Add salt cardamom and cinnamon. Mix to combine and then add the maple syrup and oil and mix to combine. Make walnut-size balls and place on an oiled cookie sheet. Press cookies with the middle with your thumb, making a small indentation and fill it with about 1/2 teaspoon of strawberry jam.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing to a rack to cool. Makes 3 to 3 1/2 dozen depending on size.

THAI HAZELNUT NOODLES

8 oz angel hair pasta

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup ketchup

1/4 cup fish sauce or soy sauce

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/2 teaspoon red or chili pepper

2 tablespoons oil

2 cups ground chicken or tofu cut into ½-inch cubes

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 eggs, beaten

3 cups fresh bean sprouts (you can use canned but they don’t taste as good)

1 cup thinly sliced green onions

1 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts

1 English cucumber sliced thin

Juice of 1/2 lime

Cook noodles according to the package directions, drain and set aside. In a bowl combine the sugar, water, ketchup, fish sauce, lime juice and cayenne pepper. Whisk to combine and set aside.

Heat oil in wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add the chicken or tofu and garlic, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Add noodles, stirring constantly to keep from sticking. Add ketchup mixture, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until sauce is absorbed. Remove the noodle mixture to a bowl and then return the frying pan to the heat. Add the eggs and cook, stirring until almost cooked. Add the bean sprouts, 2/3 cup green onions and 1/2 cup hazelnuts, stirring until mixed with eggs. Return the noodles to the pan and cook while stirring constantly for about 3 minutes. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and place the noodles in a large wide bowl. Sprinkle the top with the remaining green onions and hazelnuts and decorate the cucumber slices. Sprinkle the lime juice on top and serve immediately.

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.