Pork Ramen Soup

I wasn’t someone who lived off of Ramen in college, so I was excited to try out this recipe.  The funny part was trying to figure out where the Ramen is kept in the supermarket.

This recipe is from Real Simple, October 2012.

No substitutions were made.

pork ramen soup 1

Pork Ramen Soup

1 tblsp canola oil
2 boneless pork chops (1/2 inch thick; about 1/2 lb total)
kosher salt & black pepper
8 scallions, sliced, white and green parts separated
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
6 c low-sodium chicken broth
2 3oz packages ramen noodles (discard the seasoning packets)
1 tblsp soy sauce
1 large carrot, grated
2 radishes, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 c fresh cilantro leaves – I omitted this

pork ramen soup 2

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over med-high heat.  Season the pork with 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper and cook until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side.  Let rest for 5 minutes before thinly slicing.

Add the scallion whites and ginger to the drippings in the Dutch oven.  Cook, stirring, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the broth and bring to a boil.  Add the noodles and boil, stirring occasionally, until tender, 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in the soy sauce.

Serve the soup topped with the port, carrot, radishes, cilantro and scallion greens.

pork ramen soup 3

cartoon-strawberry-9Gosh this is some good soup, loved the ramen noodles.  The ginger and scallions add a sweet and slightly pungent taste to the broth.  I added the pork and carrots into the soup before serving, and topped with the radishes and scallions.

Chicken Teriyaki

Years and years ago a friend gave us a bottle of Sake.  I’m not a huge fan, and husband doesn’t really drink.  So it traveled with us from CA to TN, and sat atop the fridge waiting till I figured out what to do with it.

Nigella to the rescue, with her Chicken Teriyaki recipe.

This recipe is from Nigella Kitchen.

Substitution made, noted below.

chicken teriyaki 1

Chicken Teriyaki

2 tblsp sake
1/4c mirin – I used white cooking wine with 1/4 tsp sugar added
1/4 c soy sauce
2 tblsp light brown sugar
2 tblsp grated fresh ginger
splash of sesame oil
1 3/4 lb chicken thighs, cut or scissored into bite sized pieces
1 tsp peanut oil

Mix the sake, mirin, soy sauce, sugar, ginger and sesame oil in a dish that you can steep the chicken in.  I use an 8-inch square Pyrex, but anything similar would do.  Add the prepared chicken pieces and leave for 15 minutes.

Heat the peanut oil in a large, shallow frying pan or Dutch oven (that has a lid) and, using a perforated spoon, transfer the chicken pieces from their dark marinating liquid to the pan, and saute until they look cooked on the outside.

Pour the marinade over the chicken pieces in the pan and bring to a bubble, then turn down the heat to a gentle simmer, put the lid on and cook for about 5 minutes – cut into a piece of chicken to make sure it’s cooked through.

chicken teriyaki 2

Remove the cooked pieces with a perforated spoon (you could keep them warm in a bowl covered in aluminum foil) and turn the heat up under the pan to let the liquid boil down to a thick, dark syrup.

Return the chicken pieces to the pan, stir well so that they are all coated in the sticky, savory syrup, then serve with a comforting pile of sushi rice and perhaps some steamed baby bok choy or green veggies of your choice.

cartoon-strawberry-9I served this chicken with chow mein noodles and steamed broccoli, just like the teriyaki place I love in CA does.  This one takes awhile, but it well worth the effort.

Thai Chicken

I knew I’d be a bit busy over the holidays, but had no idea I’d be taking such a long break!  We had husband’s family visiting over Thanksgiving (I’ll be sharing a muffin recipe we tried on Wens!).  We flew out to CA over Christmas to welcome my BFF’s new son and celebrate with family.  Things have been crazy, exhausting and fun.  It’s amazing how much great and amazing stuff can be fit into just a few short weeks.

It was an honor and joy to be with my best friend waiting for her baby to arrive.  He came a few days late, so we had time to talk, relax, do a little shopping and a little cooking together.  During that time we made this recipe.

This recipe is from Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes.

No substitutions were made.

thai chicken 1

Thai Chicken

2 1/2 lbs chicken pieces – we used bone-in chicken thighs
1 c hot salsa – we used a medium heat taco sauce
1/4 c peanut butter
2 tblsp lime juice
1 tblsp soy sauce
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
Hot cooked rice
1/2 c peanuts, chopped
2 tblsp chopped fresh cilantro – we skipped this

Place chicken in slow cooker.  Combine salsa, peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce and ginger; pour over chicken.

Cover; cook on LOW 8 to 9 hours or on HIGH 3 to 4 hours, or until chicken in no longer pink in center.

Serve chicken and sauce over rice; sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro.

thai chicken 2

cartoon-strawberry-9The bestie and I were making spicy recipes and foods to try and help usher in a late baby.  The medium heat salsa was a good flavor, but a HOT salsa would have added the heat we were missing.  An easy and delicious recipe to have on hand for a weeknight dinner.

Chicken and Cashews

Who doesn’t love a cashew?  Crisp and buttery, full of good fats and nutrients.  We have cashews on hand all the time for a go-to healthy snack.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, May 2009.

No substitutions were made.

chick cashew 1

Chicken and Cashews

3 tblsp low-sodium soy sauce, divided
2 tblsp dry sherry
4 tblsp cornstarch, divided
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 c fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tblsp oyster sauce
1 tblsp honey
2 tsp sesame oil, divided
3/4 c chopped onion
1/2 c chopped celery
1/2 c chopped red bell pepper
1 tblsp grated peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c chopped green onions (about 3 green onions)
1/4 c chopped unsalted dry-roasted cashews

Combine 1 tblsp soy sauce, sherry, 2 tsp cornstarch, and chicken in a large bowl; toss well to coat.  Combine remaining 2 tblsp soy sauce, remaining 2 tsp cornstarch, broth, oyster sauce and honey in a small bowl.

chick cashew 2

Heat 1 tsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat.  Add chicken mixture to pan; saute 3 minutes.  Remove from pan.  Heat remaining 1 tsp oil in pan.  Add onion, celery and bell pepper to pan; saute 2 minutes.  Add ginger and garlic; saute 1 minute.  Stir in broth mixture.  Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Sprinkle with green onions and cashews.

chicken cashew 3

cartoon-strawberry-9This is a wonderful, quick and healthy go-to meal if you’re craving Chinese food.  I served the chicken over angel hair pasta tossed with dark sesame oil and the green onions from the recipe.  YUM!

apple-pear galette

The fall season is really the beginning of baking season.  Everyone is craving apples and pumpkin and warm spices like cinnamon and cloves.  This recipe fit the bill for a warm dessert, enjoyed on a cool fall night.

The recipe is from Real Simple, November 2008.

No substitutions were made.

apple pear 1

apple-pear galette

2 tblsp all-purpose flour, plus more for the surface
2 9-inch refrigerated piecrusts
1/4 c plus 2 tblsp apricot preserves
3 Empire, Gala or Cortland apples, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
3 Bartlett pears, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 tblsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tblsp plus 1 tsp granulated sugar
1 large egg, beaten

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  On a lightly floured surface, place one piecrust on top of the other and roll the stack into one 16 inch circle.  Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.  Spread 1/4 c of the preserves on the crust, leaving a 2 inch border.

apple pear 2

In a large bowl, toss the apples, pears, flour, lemon juice, ginger, cinnamon and 3 tblsp of sugar.  Transfer to the crust, leaving the border clear.  Fold the edges of the crust over the fruit mixture.

Brush the egg on the crust and sprinkle with the remaining tsp of sugar.  Bake until the crust is golden brown and the fruit is tender, 50 to 60 minutes.

In a small saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tblsp of preserves and 1 tblsp of water over medium heat until liquid, 2 to 3 minutes.  Brush on the fruit.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

apple pear 3

cartoon-strawberry-9This thing was ginormous!  We cut it into slices and enjoyed with whipped cream, and ate the leftovers for almost a week.  I wish the taste of the pear was a little stronger, and I was thankful the taste of ginger was slight.  BUT it’s wonderful warm out of the oven with a caramel latte in hand.

Quick Barbecue Chicken

I’m feeling the need to use up all the food in my house before I go and buy anything else.  Or at least to find recipes that fit the ingredients I have on hand.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, September 2008.

Substitution made, noted below.

quick BBQ chix 1

Quick Barbecue Chicken

1 tsp sugar
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
2 (8 oz) bone-in chikcen bread halves – I used boneless, skinless chicken breast
Cooking Spray

quick BBQ chix 2

Prepare grill.

Combine first 9 ingredients in a bowl, stirring well.  Loosen skin from chicken by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat; rub spice mixture evenly under skin over meat.  Lightly coat skin with cooking spray.  Place chicken, breast side down, on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 30  minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 165 degrees, turning twice.  Let chicken stand 10 minutes.  Remove skin and discard.

quick BBQ chix 3

Since I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts, here’s what I did.

Using a grill pan, heated to med-high heat.  Brushed spice mixture on both sides of chicken breasts. Cooked breasts in grill pan, for a total of 20 minutes.  Served with sweet potato fries and steamed broccoli.

cartoon-strawberry-9These spices compliment each other very well, and so easy to throw together.  I made green salad and topped it with the leftover chicken for husband and I the next day.  This rub would also be great on pork chops or steak.