Soba Noodles with Chicken

Grossman and I are trying to eat healthier (the Red Velvet Cupcakes and butter has kind of made us soft and lumpy), so I thought I’d try a new recipe.  I had some soba noodles on hand so last night I gave them a go.

Soba Noodles with Chicken

2 1/2 T. soy sauce
1 T. honey
Rice vinegar to taste
Sesame Oil (a few shakes)
3 or 4  boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 package of soba noodles
1 qt low-sodium chicken broth
1 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 cups mung bean sprouts
4 or 5 scallions, minced
Pickled ginger (optional)

Combine 1 1/2 T soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, and sesame oil in a bowl and mix well.  Add in the chicken thighs.  Let them marinate for about 10 minutes.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the thighs and marinade.  Saute for about 5-6 minutes till done.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in a large pot.

While that’s coming up to a boil, make the broth.  Combine the chicken broth, 1 T. soy sauce, and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Get it to an almost-but-not-quite-boiling point and keep it there.

While the broth is “simmering”, add a few pinches of salt to the boing water and then add in the soba noodles.  Cook for about 5 minutes or till al dente.  Drain and rinse under cold water.

Assemble!  Put some noodles in a bowl, put some chicken on top, sprinkle with mung beans, scallions, and ginger, and ladle some broth over it all.  Eat!

Just a note, Grossman wasn’t a huge fan of the soba noodles.  I liked it, but I like him more, so next time I’ll do rice vermicelli instead of soba.

Also, the chicken with the marinade was good eatin’.  It would be really good served with rice or on top of a salad.  We had a lot of noodles left over so I’m going to try a cold soba noodle salad thing today.

Published in: on September 9, 2008 at 1:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Red Velvet Cupcakes and Cream Cheese Frosting

These are really really bad for you, just warning you now.  My mom gave me this recipe and I’ve no idea where she got it.  It might have been one of my grandma’s?  I’ve no idea.  All I know is, it makes me happy.

CUPCAKES:

2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 ounces red food coloring
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 oz water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon white vinegar

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
1 (8oz) package cream cheese
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

MAKE CUPCAKES:
–pre heat oven to 350
–grease 12 cupcake cups or line with paper liners
–cream softened butter and sugar together till fluffy
–add eggs and blend well
–in seperate small bowl combine cocoa and food coloring and stir. Once you have thick paste then add to mixture.
–sift salt and flour together into mixture
–add vanilla, buttermilk, and water to mixture
–in seperate small bowl combine vinegar and baking soda. Fold into cake mixture
–pour mixture into cupcake cups.
–bake 15 to 20 minutes or until a wood toothpick inserted into middle of cupcake comes out clean.
–let cool for 10 minutes. Then turn out onto rack and let finish cooling.

MAKE FROSTING:
–blend together cream cheese softened and butter softened.
–add powder sugar and vanilla extract
–blend till smooth

One thing I sometimes do differently is to make mini cupcakes.  You know those mini-muffin pans?  Yeah, I use those and make teeny tiny cupcakes that amount to one or two bites.  I find that they’re better for get-togethers because they’re so portable and less crumb-y than regular sized ones, and the frosting to cake ratio is better because I loves me some cream cheese frosting.

Published in: on September 9, 2008 at 1:06 pm  Comments (1)  
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Linguine with Chicken Thighs

If you’re not already checking out recipes from The Pioneer Woman, you should get on that.  Now.  Everything I’ve made so far from that site is damn tasty.  Unhealthy and butter-laden, sure.  But nummy!!  And the pictures.  OMG.  Food porn!

This was a totally easy recipe that I’m definitely adding to our regular meal rotation.

Linguine with Chicken Thighs

Olive Oil
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
Salt
Pepper
1/2 to 1 medium Onion, chopped
2 to 3 cloves Garlic, chopped
1/2 cup White Wine (or Chicken Broth)
2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
Pinch of Sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons chopped Fresh Parsley
8 large fresh Basil leaves, chiffonadededededed
1 package Linguine noodles, cooked. (Can use any pasta you’d like.)
Fresh Parmesan Cheese, grated, in abundance

Boil a pot of water for the pasta. Cook linguine noodles until al dente.
Heat olive oil in a hot skillet, then add diced chicken thighs in single layer. Don’t stir around; just let them brown on one side. Flip over with spatula, allow to brown, then remove to separate plate.

In same pan, over medium heat, add onions and garlic and stir to combine. Pour in wine (or broth) then scrape bottom of pan with whisk to loosen brown bits. Next, pour in crushed tomatoes, add salt, pepper, and pinch of sugar, then simmer for fifteen minutes.

After fifteen minutes, throw in all the cooked chicken, including its juice from the plate. Allow to simmer for fifteen more minutes.

Add chopped fresh herbs at the end, then pour over cooked linguine in large bowl or platter. Top with lots and lots of fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Eat. Faint. Then feel grateful you’ve discovered boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Vow never to be without them again.

Published in: on September 9, 2008 at 12:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Blueberry Pancakes

For the past 8 weeks or so I’ve been making blueberry pancakes from scratch every Sunday morning.  Yes yes, I’m sure Bisquick is fine.  Whatever.  I want to be the “my mom makes pancakes from scratch!” mom.  My goal was to find “the” recipe, and I think I’ve finally succeeded.  And it only took going through 8 recipes!

Naturally, I doctored it a bit to make it taste the way I wanted.  My notes are in italics.

Everyday Pancakes from the NYTimes

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar, optional (definitely add)
2 eggs
1½ to 2 cups milk (I use one cup of milk and one cup of buttermilk)
2 tablespoons melted and cooled butter (optional), plus unmelted butter for cooking, or use neutral oil.  (butter is never optional.  LOVE butter)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup of blueberries

1. Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat. In a bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Beat eggs into 1½ cups milk, then stir in 2 tablespoons melted cooled butter, if using it, and vanilla. Gently stir this mixture into dry ingredients, mixing only enough to moisten flour; don’t worry about a few lumps. Stir in blueberries. If batter seems thick, add a little more milk.

2. Place a teaspoon or 2 of butter or oil on griddle or skillet. When butter foam subsides or oil shimmers, ladle batter onto griddle or skillet, making pancakes of any size you like. Adjust heat as necessary; usually, first batch will require higher heat than subsequent batches. Flip pancakes after bubbles rise to surface and bottoms brown, after 2 to 4 minutes.

3. Cook until second side is lightly browned. Serve, or hold on an ovenproof plate in a 200-degree oven for up to 15 minutes.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

A close runner up are the pancakes from the Williams Sonoma recipe website.  The thing is, there’s sifting involved.  Not that that’s a problem, per se.  But the whole sifiting thing is what turned me off of a lot of pancake recipes.  It’s just time consuming and annoying.  Yes these pancakes are light and fluffy and tasty, but to me, they’re not worth the extra sifting effort.

Published in: on September 9, 2008 at 12:46 pm  Comments (2)  
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