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.

Zesty Chicken Enchiladas

I’m searching for the perfect – To. Die. For. enchilada recipe.  Because of this, I’m up to try any enchilada recipe I can find.

This recipe is from Real Simple, May 2009.

Substitution made, noted below.

chick enchilada 1

Zesty Chicken Enchiladas

1 tblsp canola oil
1 lb tomatillos (papery skins removed), chopped
1 onion (preferable white), chopped
1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp cumin
kosher salt & black pepper
1 c heavy cream
2 to 2 1/2 lb rotisserie chicken, meat shredded
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 1/4 c grated Monterey Jack (5 oz)
8 6-inch tortillas – I used 10-inch tortillas

chick enchilada 2

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over med-high heat.  Add the tomatillos, onion, poblano, garlic, cumin and 1/2 tsp salt.  Cook stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 12 minutes.  Transfer to a food processor, add the cream and puree.

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, tomatoes, 1 c of the cheese, 1/2 c of the tomatillo sauce, and 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper.

chick enchilada 3

Warm the tortillas according to the package directions.  Spread 1 cup of the remaining sauce in a 9×13 baking dish.  Roll the chicken mixture in the tortillas and place them in the dish, seam-side down.

Top with the remaining sauce and cheese.  Bake until beginning to brown 10 to 15 minutes.

chick enchilada 4

cartoon-strawberry-9I made this for our New Year’s Eve dinner (just a quiet night at home).  I expected it to be much spicier than it was, and there was SO MUCH of the chicken mixture.  I could have rolled two or three more 10-inch tortillas.  I think to bump up the spice, I’d either roast the Poblano, add in a minced Jalapeno, or make the sauce the day before and let the flavors really ripen.  I’d also bump up the cheese to at least a cup and a half.  But all in all, it’s a great flavor and was so much fun to finally cut into a tomatillo!

Ravioli with Spinach and Bacon

At some point in the last month and a half, I made this recipe for dinner.  Probably because the heading is ’20-minute meal’, and the ingredients are easy to come by.

This recipe is from Real Simple, May 2009.

No substitutions were made.

spinach ravioli

Ravioli with Spinach and Bacon

1 lb ravioli (fresh or frozen) – I used frozen cheese ravioli
6 slices bacon
2 tblsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 bunches fresh spinach, thick stems removed (about 8 cups)
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 tblsp fresh lemon juice

Cook the ravioli according to the package directions.  Drain and divide among bowls.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet over med-high heat until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.  Crumble.

Wipe out the skillet and heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the spinach, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Cook, tossing, until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.

Stir the bacon and lemon juice into the spinach.  Spoon the mixture over the ravioli.

cartoon-strawberry-9Easy, yummy and only 20 minutes!  I tossed in some pine nuts to add a little crunch.  Put this recipe in your dinner rotation.

Potato Salad with Bacon and Parsley

We’re big fans of the potato, and throw in some bacon?  SOLD.

This recipe is from Real Simple, June 2009.

Substitution made, noted below.

potato salad 1

Potato Salad with Bacon and Parsley

1 1/2 lbs new potatoes – I used red potatoes
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 slices bacon
3 tblsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tblsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 c fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped – I used about 1/4 c dried

Place the potatoes in a pot with water to cover and 1 tsp salt and simmer until tender, 15 to 18 minutes.  Drain and run under cold water to cool.  Cut into quarters – Because I used red potatoes, I cut them into 1 inch (ish) squares before cooking.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon over med-high heat until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes.  Transfer to paper towels.  Crumble when cool.

In a large bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, mustard, 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Toss with the potatoes, bacon and parsley.

potato salad 2

cartoon-strawberry-9I served this side dish with some BBQ pork roast and broccoli.   A great alternative to the heavy mayo based potato salad.

Chicken and Vegetable Pot Pie

The ultimate in comfort food – Chicken Pot Pie.  Fall has given me a need for rich, warm foods.  Foods that fill your belly and your soul.

This recipe is from Real Simple, February 2009.

Substitution and addition made, noted below.

chicken pot pie Collage

Chicken and Vegetable Pot Pie

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tblsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 carrots, diced
3 tblsp all-purpose flour
1/2 c dry white wine
2 c 1% milk – I used 2%
1 10oz package frozen peas
1 tblsp fresh thyme
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 9-inch pie crust
* Addition – 1 med diced zucchini

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Cooke the chicken in a pot of simmering water until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes; let cool, then shred.  (I diced mine.)

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring until they begin to soften, 6 to 8 minutes (do not let them darken).  Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

chicken pot pie 4

Add the wine and cook until evaporated, about 5 minutes.  Add the milk and simmer until the sauce thickens, 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in the chicken, peas, thyme, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Transfer to a shallow 1.5 to 2-quart baking dish.

Lay the crust on top, pressing to seal.  Cut several vents in the crust.  Place the pot pie on a baking sheet and bake until bubbling and the crust is golden, 30 to 35 minutes.

chicken pot pie 5

cartoon-strawberry-9What a wonderful and easy dinner.  Took a little over an hour for prep to dinner, and it was so good.  I don’t think I’ll ever want or need to learn how to make pie crust, Pillsbury does it better than I ever could.

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.

broccoli and three-cheese lasagna

My poor meat and potatoes husband.  I keep feeding him these vegetarian meals.  If he doesn’t love the dish, his comment will usually be “This’d be better with some chicken in it.”  Fortunately, this lasagna didn’t get the chicken comment.

This recipe is from Real Simple, December 2009.

No substitutions were made.

broccoli lasagna 1

broccoli and three-cheese lasagna

1 15 oz container ricotta
1 lb frozen broccoli florets – thawed, patted dry and chopped
2 1/4 c grated mozzarella
1/2 c grated Parmesan
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 16 oz jar marinara sauce
1/2 c heavy cream
8 no-boil lasagna noodles
oilve oil

broccoli lasagna 2

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, broccoli, 2 cups of the mozzarella, 1/4 c Parmesan, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  In a small bowl, combine the marinara sauce and cream.

broccoli lasagna 3

Spoon a thin layer of the sauce into the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish.  Top with 2 noodles, a quarter of the remaining sauce, and a third of the broccoli mixture; repeat twice.  Top with the remaining 2 noodles and sauce.  sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 c of mozzarella and 1/4 c of Parmesan.

Cover tightly with an oiled piece of foil and bake until the noodles are tender, 35 to 40 minutes.  Uncover and bake until the top is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.

broccoli lasagna 4

cartoon-strawberry-9Broccoli, cheese and noodles – what could be better?  The heartiness of the broccoli stands up to the richness of the sauce with cream.  Total prep and cook time is about an hour and half, but so worth the effort!

Spiced Pumpkin Cake

Fall is finally here!!  Bring on the pumpkin!  Long walks in the falling leaves!  Bring on the sweaters and boots!

This recipe is from Real Simple, November 2010.

Substitutions made, noted below.

pumpkin cake Collage

Spiced Pumpkin Cake

1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp, plus more for the pan
3 c all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for the pan
– I used Bakers Joy spray on the pan instead of butter and flour
5 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree (1 1/2 c)
1/2 c whole milk – I used 2%
1/4 c molasses
1 1/4 c confectioners’ sugar
2 tblsp fresh lemon juice – I used milk and a splash of vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour a 12 cup Bundt pan.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

spiced pumpkin cake 1

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar on med-high until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time.  Beat in the pumpkin puree, milk and molasses (the mixture may appear curdled).  It totally will.  Reduce the mixer speed to low; gradually add the flour mixture and mix until just combined (do not overmix).

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 55 to 65 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

In a bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice until smooth.  Drizzle over the cake.  Let set before serving.

spiced pumpkin cake 2

cartoon-strawberry-9Ah Pumpkin.  Fall and pumpkin go hand in hand.  This cake is the perfect taste of fall.

Eggplant Parmesan Rollatini

I really like eggplant, but for some reason I have never cooked with it before.  After this recipe, I’m ready to find every eggplant recipe and try them all.  Wonder if husband will mind??

This recipe is from Real Simple, March 2012.

No substitutions were made.

eggplant rollatini 1

Eggplant Parmesan Rollatini

4 tblsp oilve oil
2 large eggplants (about 3 lbs total), sliced lengthwise (about 16 slices total)
1 1/2 c marinara sauce
2 large eggs
1 15oz container ricotta
2 tsp dried oregano
2 c grated mozzarella (8 oz)
1/2 c grated Parmesan (1.5 oz)

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Divide the oil between 2 rimmed baking sheets.  Dividing evenly, arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on the baking sheets and turn to coat in the oil; season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.

eggplant rollatini 2

Bake the eggplant, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until soft and beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes; let cool.  Reduce heat to 400 degrees.  – I only have one rimmed baking sheet, so this took me 3 rotations in the oven.  I lined the baking sheet with parchment and discarded after each round.

Meanwhile, in the bottom of a 9×13 inch or some other 3-quart baking dish, spread 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce.  In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, ricotta, oregano, 1 cup of the mozzarella, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper.

eggplant rollatini 3

Place about 3 tblsp of the ricotta mixture on one end of a slice of eggplant, roll it up, and transfer it to the prepared baking dish.  Repeat with the remaining eggplant slices and ricotta mixture.

Top the eggplant rolls with the remaining cup of marinara sauce and the remaining cup of mozzarella.  Sprinkle with the Parmesan.

Bake until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

eggplant rollatini 4

cartoon-strawberry-9I need to find some better descriptors for the way food tastes.  Just saying “Yummo!”  all the time is boring.  But this one?  Super Yummo!  Even my meat & potatoes husband liked it.

Chicken Adobo with Bok Choy

I remember having bok choy all the time growing up, mostly in my mom’s stir fry.  I’ve been wanting to try this recipe, but wasn’t sure if I could find bok choy in Mid-TN.  And when I did find it at Kroger, the cashier asked me about a hundred questions.  What is this?  Whatcha gonna do with it?  What does it taste like?  I answered as best I could and got home.

This recipe is from Real Simple, February 2011.

Substitution made, noted below.

chix adobo 2

Chicken Adobo with Bok Choy

2 medium onions, sliced
4 garlic cloves, smashed
2/3 c apple cider vinegar
1/3 c low-sodium soy sauce
1 tblsp brown sugar
1 bay leaf
black pepper
8 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs (about 1 3/4 lbs.) – I used aprox 2 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breast
2 tsp paprika
1 c long-grain white rice
1 large head bok choy, cut into 1-inch strips
2 scallions, thinly sliced

Adobo Collage 1

In a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker, combine the onions, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, bay leaf and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Place the chicken on top and sprinkle with the paprika.

Cook, covered, until the chicken and onions are tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high 4 to 5 hours.

Twenty minutes before serving, cook the rice according to the package directions.

Ten minutes before serving, if the slow cooker is on the low setting, turn it to high.  Gently fold the bok choy into the chicken and cook, covered, until tender 3 to 5 minutes.  Serve with rice and sprinkle with scallions.

chix adobo 1

The following tip is included with the recipe: You may be familiar with Latin American adobo, which is a spicy mix of chipotle and tomatoes.  This Filipino version refers to a dish of meat stewed with vinegar, soy sauce, and paprika.  You can easily substitute spinach or chard for the boy choy.

cartoon-strawberry-9This is a fun and super easy weeknight dinner.  Throw it in the crockpot in the morning and dish it out for dinner.  Plus you get to answer a bunch of fun questions from cashiers when you buy bok choy!