Soy and Sesame Noodles

This recipe comes from the “making simple accompaniments” section of Jenni Fleetwood’s 20 Minute Cookbook.  The picture didn’t turn up on Google, but it has a lovely warm brown color.

1. Cook a packet of egg noodles or ramen noodles according to the directions on the packet.

2. Drain well and tip the noodles into a large bowl.

3. Drizzle 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce or tamari and 2 teaspoons sesame oil over the noodles.

4. Sprinkle on 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, then toss well until thoroughly combined.

5. Serve hot, cold, or as a salad with green onions and additional veggies.

Lemon Couscous with Peas and Carrots

This recipe comes from one of my mom’s old copies of Bon Appetit, so no picture, unfortunately.  Couscous cooks quickly; the whole thing takes about 15 minutes.  Peas and carrots add nutrition while lemon juice, lemon peel and chicken broth provide flavor.

Yield: 6 servings

Total time: 15 minutes (10 if you mince the carrots with a food processor, but that’s canceled out by the time needed to disassemble and wash the food processor).

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth

1/4 cup water

2 carrots, minced (or frozen carrots if you’re really in a hurry)

1 cup fresh or frozen peas

1 1/4 cups plain couscous

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon peel

1 1/2 tablespoons butter

Instructions

  1. Bring broth & 1/4 cup water to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add carrots & cook 2 minutes.
  3. Add peas. Cook 4 minutes if fresh & 1 minute if frozen.
  4. Add couscous & cook 30 seconds, stirring often.
  5. Add lemon juice, peel & butter. Stir til melted & smooth.
  6. Remove from heat, cover & let stand 5 mins.
  7. Fluff with fork, season with salt & pepper, & serve.

And presto, couscous!

Bildner’s Baked Chicken with Nectarines

I love the roasted citrus flavor of Clementine-Fennel chicken, but don’t always have fennel on hand or the time to make it.  This more streamlined recipe from Bildner and Son’s Cookbook gets a similar sweet-and-savory effect from nectarines, chicken stock, onions and garlic, and takes a little over 30 minutes to make.

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: A little over 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion
  • 4 medium cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 boneless half chicken breasts
  • 1 large nectarine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Optional: To achieve a similar effect to the clementine-fennel chicken, add a little mustard and a little brown sugar.  I’d start with about a teaspoon of each, and add more to taste.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Cut onion into 1/3 in. slices. Mince garlic cloves.
  3. Melt butter in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced onion and saute til translucent, about 3-5 mins.
  4. Add garlic & cook, stirring often, 12 mins more.
  5. Arrange onions & garlic in a 8×8″ or 7×11″ baking dish. Place chicken breasts on top of the onion-garlic layer.
  6. Halve, pit, and slice nectarine. Arrange the slices on top of the chicken.
  7. Pour stock over all, and sprinkle with salt & pepper.  If you’re adding mustard and brown sugar, add at this point.
  8. Cover dish with foil & bake 15-20 mins.
  9. Serve with onions & juices from the baking dish.

In looking for a picture of baked nectarine chicken, I didn’t find an appropriate picture but I did find some tasty-looking nectarine and chicken recipes!  More to come!

Roasted Cumin Cauliflower

Want to know the secret for cooking cauliflower without getting that nasty cruciferous vegetable* smell all over your house?

You oven-roast it.

Oven-roasting makes the taste milder as well as the smell.  It also lends cauliflower a wonderfully crisp, crunchy texture.  My mother usually keeps it simple, roasting cauliflower with a little oil, salt, and pepper.  I enjoy it this way as a side, but it can smell and taste even more interesting.  Check out Eat Live Run’s version, which uses cumin, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.

Yield: Serves 2-4 as a side dish

Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all spices together in a small bowl or cup. (Alternatively, if you don’t want to have extra dishes to wash, skip this step and sprinkle spices evenly over the cauliflower in step 2).

2. Drizzle olive oil all over cauliflower florets and sprinkle with spice mix. Toss together and lay out on a lined sheet tray.

3. Roast spicy cauliflower for 25-30 minutes, tossing occasionally.

4. Serve!

The added cumin in this recipe makes the cauliflower complement Indian food even better!

*the family of veggies that cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts come from.  Notice how they can all smell terrible?

Avocado Soup

I love avocado.  I love it in guacamole, I love it sliced and served with Mexican food; I even like eating it right out of the shell as a snack.  But I’ve never tried avocado soup. This will change soon, as I recently discovered a recipe in one of my mother’s cookbooks, Cooking with Just Four Ingredients.

Avocado soup(The picture actually comes from a different, somewhat more complicated recipe from sheknows.com).

Not only does it have only four ingredients, but it only has a few steps.

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

2 large ripe avocados

1 1/4 cups sour cream

4 cups chicken broth

small bunch fresh cilantro

Garnish: lime juice, salsa

Instructions

  1. Cut avocados in half, peel and pit them. Chop fruit coarsely & put in food processor with 3-4 tbsp sour cream. Process til smooth.
  2. Heat chicken stock in a pan. When it’s hot but below simmering point, stir in the rest of the cream with salt to taste.
  3. Gradually stir avocado mix into hot broth. Heat gently but don’t let mixture approach boiling point.
  4. Chop cilantro. Ladle soup into heated bowls & sprinkle with chopped cilantro & black pepper. Serve immediately.

Picadillo (Spanish Ground Beef Hash)

My stepmother made this meat hash for me once and I fell in love.  Sauteed garlic, onions and peppers, tomato sauce, and capers add lots of flavor.  This tastes great with rice or flatbread, and the leftovers would probably make a nice sandwich.

It’s not a particularly quick recipe–the cooking time alone takes about 40 minutes–but it would be doable on a weekend.

It looks something like this:

Yield: Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup onion, chopped

1 cup green peppers, chopped

2 pounds ground beef

1/2 cup canned tomato sauce

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup seedless raisins (if you like them.  Personally, I don’t, and will probably leave them out).

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup capers

1/2 cup sliced almonds

Directions

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet and saute the garlic, onions, and green peppers for 5 minutes.

2. Add the beef and cook over medium heat until browned, stirring constantly.

3. Stir in tomato sauce, white wine, raisins, salt, and pepper, and cook over low heat 25 minutes, stirring frequently.

4. Mix in the capers and almonds and cook 5 minutes longer.