Quick Bites: Asian-Style Noodle Soup

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On our way to get our veggie share, we randomly stopped into an Asian market. I love browsing Asian and Indian markets and checking out all the cool new foods. We left with a bunch of things including rice sticks and a spicy chile and bean paste. When we got shiitake mushrooms in our share, I knew that I would be making soup for lunch.

Here is a helpful hint for when you make chicken stock. When the stock is cooled, measure it in 1, 2, and 4 cup increments into plastic freezer bags. Then you always have stock at the ready for a quick soup for one or two people.

For this soup I cooked 1 cup of chicken stock, a few sliced shiitake mushrooms, minced garlic and ginger, and some chopped scallion. When the mushrooms were softened and the soup boiling I took it off the heat and added a small handful of the rice noodles and a splash of fish sauce and let it sit for a few minutes. I garnished the whole thing with some toasted sesame oil, a bit of tamari soy sauce, a bit more chopped scallion, and a healthy spoonful of the chili paste. It was delicious… Spicy and salty with ginger and barely chewy noodles.

Have a great weekend!

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Filed under Dairy-free, Gluten-Free, Quick Bites, Soup

Grenadine

Grenadine

I thought about posting a recipe that you could make for the big game. I am making buffalo wings myself. The thing is, there are lots of great recipes out there for appetizers, entrees, and desserts all geared toward tomorrow’s festivities.

Ingredients (juice is already in the pan)

So instead, I thought I would post a recipe that will help you with the other important element of game day… the drinking. Beers are of course, de rigueur. However, sometimes you just want an ice cold cocktail. And when you make a cocktail, you want to use the freshest ingredients available.

Simmering the deliciousness

This recipe for grenadine takes only a couple of ingredients and a little bit of time. Mix real pomegranate juice (POM is good) with sugar, lemon juice, and orange zest and let it cook down until syrupy. Bottle, store in the refrigerator, and swoon over the delicious taste it adds to your cocktails. Forget that bright red cough syrup stuff sold in the grocery stores, make this and make your cocktails great.

Straining the grenadine

Grenadine

Recipe from Boozehound by Jason Wilson

Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cups pomegranate juice

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice

Strips of zest from half an orange

To Make:

Place pomegranate juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to simmer and add the sugar and lemon juice and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the orange zest. Let the mixture simmer until reduced by about half (30-45 minutes). Strain into a bottle or other glass container. Let cool to room temperature and refrigerate for up to two weeks.

To Serve:

Use in delicious cocktails of all sorts. If you would like to store it longer (up to 2 months), add 1/4 ounce of 151-proof rum.

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Filed under Add-ons, Bar, Recipes

Don’t Call it a Comeback

Hello everyone! We have been away for a long time and have missed you all. About 1.5 years ago I started a business and it takes a lot (I mean a lot) of my time. Thankfully, the business is going very well but between work and family, I have very little time to post. We are still cooking and eating lots of great food but find it hard to take photos while cooking with two little kids running around.

The thing is, I really miss sharing our food. We create lots of yummy things using leftovers or pantry staples that I would love to share. Unfortunately, these creations start on a whim and are often eaten before I can get a picture. Despite the lack of a formal recipe, I think that folks might be inspired to try new things if they read about the food we are making. So I decided that we will have a new category of posts called Quick Bites. These posts will share the fun and different food ideas that we try. They won’t contain many pictures or full recipes but I hope you will find them enjoyable all the same.

Happy eating!

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Guacamole Pasta Salad

Guacamole Pasta Salad (still waiting for the avocado)

Guacamole Pasta Salad (still waiting for the avocado)

Our posting has been much less frequent than last year but we have still been busy in the kitchen. This summer has been all about canning for me and I have been making batch after batch of jams, relishes, and pickles.  Of course I took a couple of breaks from canning to do some party cooking.  With both Thing 1 and Thing 2 having late summer birthdays there has been lots of cake and also this delicious pasta salad.

Dressing ingredients

Dressing ingredients

The nice thing about this salad is that it comes together quickly and makes enough to serve an army.  Also, it tastes really yummy.  The lime-y dressing is addictive and I find it hard to make it in advance because it ends up poured over everything from steamed vegetables to grilled chicken (which leaves nothing left for the salad).  The dressing volume may seem like a lot but I found the pasta absorbs a lot more than one would think.

Tomatoes ready for roasting

Tomatoes ready for roasting

This dish was inspired by our love of guacamole and the desire to make a pasta salad that was light and fresh tasting, not heavy with mayo.  The avocado gives it a creamy taste that is contrasted nicely by the lime dressing and the bite of the red onion.  The sweet tomatoes finish it off.  So grab a few of the last tomatoes we are likely to see for a while here in the northeast (*sniffle*) and whip this up for one last summer party.

Hello cilantro

Hello cilantro

Guacamole Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

For the dressing

juice and zest of 3 limes (about 3/4 cup of juice)

1/4 cup mild vinegar such as white wine or champagne

3 shallots, chopped

2 tbls Dijon mustard

3 cups of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

For the salad

16 oz rotini or penne pasta

2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes*

3 ripe avocados

1/2 cup minced red onion

1 large bunch fresh cilantro

To Make:

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water according to the package directions.  Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent sticking.  Meanwhile, make the dressing.  In a blender combine the lime juice and zest, vinegar, shallots, and mustard.  Blend until smooth.  With the blender running, slowly pour in the olive oil until a smooth, emulsified dressing forms.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour 2 cups of the dressing over the still-warm pasta and toss until well combined.

Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and fold, along with the onions, into the pasta.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  This can be made a day or two in advance.

Just before serving chop the avocados and fold them into the pasta.  Top with additional dressing as desired (we found we needed quite a bit because the warm pasta absorbed a lot of the dressing) and lots of chopped cilantro.  Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.  Serve immediately.

To Serve:

Serve this salad cold or room temperature.  Because there is no mayonnaise it can safely sit out at a picnic or party for a while.  The avocado will start to turn brown eventually so make sure not to add it until just before serving.  This recipe serves a bunch but it can easily be halved to make a smaller amount.

* The first time I made this salad tomatoes weren’t in season and all I had was a couple of containers of bland-tasting tomatoes from the grocery store.  To up their flavor I drizzled them with olive oil and roasted them on a sheet pan for a couple of hours in a 250 degree oven until they were shriveled and concentrated.  You can do this with in-season tomatoes too.  The flavor is extra delicious.

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Filed under Dairy-free, Pasta, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian