Tag Archives: garlic

Cambodian Noodle Soup

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With the exception of my travels through the Balkans, I have yet to visit any metropolitan area where I didn’t stumble upon a pho shop.  With their steaming bowls of noodles, broth, and an endless variety of add-ins, these Thai noodle soup shops have a cult like following that make them both universal and hard not to like.  In grad school my favorite lunch was a steaming bowl of pho from the student union.  The options were endless so I could eat there every day without repeating the same bowl of soup twice.

I had never made pho before but decided to give it a try when my craving for the hot broth covered noodles got the best of me.  In browsing through recipe options I came across one in The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, The Splendid Table is my favorite radio program on NPR.  I can even stream their broadcasts online meaning I can get my Lynn Rossetto Kasper fix while living overseas).  I was set to give the pho recipe a try then I turned the page and saw the Cambodian twist on the soup which sounded even more intriguing.  Unable to decide which version to make, I combined the best elements of both recipes to form what I present here.  You can also add or substitute ingredients as your palate or pantry dictates.

The verdict?  This soup is delicious but a lot more work than popping into your local pho shop. But if you don’t have one in close proximity to you, make this soup.  You won’t be disappointed.

CAMBODIAN NOODLE SOUP

For the broth:

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

5 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 two inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced

6 whole cloves

1 star anise

Freshly ground black pepper

7 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons Asian fish sauce

For the soup:

8 ounces linguine-style rice noodles

6 ounces thinly sliced top round steak

1 1/2 cups winter squash, diced

1 cup unsweetened pineapple chunks

1 medium tomato, diced

For the table salad:

10 sprigs fresh cilantro

8 sprigs Thai or other fresh basil

8 mint sprigs

Generous handful bean sprouts

2 Serrano chiles, thinly sliced

1 large lime, cut into wedges

Add-in sauces:

Asian hot sauce

Hoisin sauce

  • Place a rack 4 to 6 inches from the broiler and then pre-heat the oven.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and evenly distribute the onion, garlic, ginger, cloves, star anise, and five grinds of black pepper over the baking sheet.
  • Broil for 5-6 minutes until the spices are fragrant and the onions begin to brown.  Scrape the mixture into a large soup pot.
  • Add the broth, sugar, fish sauce, and squash to the pot.  Cover the pot tightly and bring the entire mixture to a simmer.  Cook for 20 minutes or until the squash is tender.
  • Meanwhile, place the noodles in a large pan and cover with very hot tap water.  Allow to soak for 20 minutes or until the noodles are tender.  Drain, rinse with cold water, then divide evenly between two large soup bowls.
  • Thinly slice the steak into bite sized pieces.  (Hint:  For easier slicing, place the steak in the freezer before you begin making the soup.  Allow it to sit for 20 minutes then remove it from the freezer and slice).  Evenly divide the meat between the two soup bowls.  The hot broth will cook it to a medium-rare
  • Arrange the table salad ingredients on a medium-sized platter and place on the table.
  • When the squash is tender, add the pineapple and tomatoes to the broth and stir well to combine.  Cook for 1 minute to allow the broth to return to a simmer.
  • Ladle the broth over the noodles and meat and serve immediately topped with the table salad and sauces of your choice.

Serves 2

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Asian Sloppy Joes

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Here is a new twist on a childhood classic and these sandwiches certainly aren’t the Manwiches you grew up with. The recipe comes from Ming Tsai’s Blue Ginger Restaurant and combines the best of Asian flavors in a fun form. Sambal Oelek is a spicy chile sauce which adds zip to any dish. If you aren’t familiar with it, try a bit before adding it to your meat mixture. I love it but it is spicy so a little goes a long way. Three tablespoons might add too much spice for your family so add less (or more) if you prefer.

The recipe calls for using a mixture of ground pork and ground chicken but feel free to substitute ground turkey or lean beef if you prefer. You can serve these sandwiches as bite sized sliders or as full-sized sandwiches for a quick dinner.  Like their namesake, these sandwiches are messy so put plenty of napkins on the table, use a fork and knife if you prefer, and dig in. These are a new family favorite in our house.

ASIAN SLOPPY JOES

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 medium red onions, finely chopped

1 cup celery, finely chopped

3 tablespoons Sambal Oelek

3 tablespoons garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound ground pork

1 pound lean ground chicken

1 cup Hoisin sauce

1 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

8 large or 20 small rolls, split

  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until it shimmers.
  • Add the onions, celery, Sambal Oelek, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper. Combine all of the ingredients then cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the ground pork and chicken and cook for 5 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat.
  • Stir in the Hoisin sauce, tomatoes, and lime juice and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes or until the mixture has thickened.
  • Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
  • Serve on top of the rolls.

Yields: 8 large or 20 small sandwiches.

Spicy Orange & Ginger Chicken

chicken

This easy and spicy chicken recipe from Food 52 is the perfect weeknight dinner for those nights when you are craving an Asian inspired dish. Because the chicken needs to marinate for one hour it falls outside of the parameters for my Fast Friday meals but it is fast just the same. If I know I’m going to be pressed for time I mix up the marinade in the morning then toss the chicken into it the minute I walk in the door in the evening. By the time I’m ready to start cooking the chicken is ready for the wok.

The original recipe uses boneless skinless chicken breasts but I am partial to boneless chicken thighs. I think the meat is more flavorful and juicier as well. If you like your food spicy as I do, add in a bit more of the fiery sriracha sauce. Serve the chicken over your favorite grain–I prefer brown rice– and dinner is ready. Enjoy!

SPICY ORANGE & GINGER CHICKEN

1 1/4 cups orange juice 

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

tablespoons grated fresh ginger

tablespoons minced fresh garlic

tablespoons olive oil, divided

tablespoons sriracha

1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar

teaspoons light brown sugar

teaspoons orange zest

1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

1 1/4pounds boneless, skinless chicken, cut into bite sized pieces

tablespoon cornstarch

Brown rice for serving

1/4 cup sliced green onions

  • In small bowl, whisk together orange juice, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, 1 tablespoon oil, sriracha, vinegar, brown sugar, orange zest, and pepper.
  • Place chicken in a large ziploc bag; pour 1/3 cup marinade over chicken. Seal bag and marinate in refrigerator 1 hour.
  • Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade.
  • Heat a large wok over high heat. Add the remaining oil.
  • Working in 2 batches, add chicken and cook each batch 5 to 6 minutes or until chicken is golden brown and has lost its pink color throughout, stirring frequently. Remove chicken from pan.
  • Reduce heat to medium-high; add remaining marinade to the wok and heat to boiling.
  • In small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water; whisk the cornstarch mixture into the marinade, and boil 1 minute.
  • Return the chicken to the wok; cook 1 minute or until heated through.
  • Serve over rice sprinkled with green onions.

Serves 4

 

Roasted Garlic Hummus

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I’ve been craving hummus since we returned from our recent trip to Turkey. Before we set off for a second visit to Istanbul I had created a list of foods that I really wanted to eat while I was there. Hummus was at the top of the list but for some reason I never managed to eat any. So upon returning home I set out to find both dried garbanzo beans and tahini, two items I could never manage to locate while we were in Albania but are readily available in Belgium.

I always use dried garbanzo beans; I think they have a better flavor and texture than their canned counterparts. If you decide to go this route be sure to soak the beans overnight before cooking them. If dried beans aren’t available or you are pressed for time, canned ones will work as well. Just be sure to rinse them before using and adjust the salt in the recipe accordingly. I also love to use roasted garlic instead of fresh raw cloves. The roasting mellows the pungency of the garlic and gives the hummus a mild smokey flavor.

Now if you do how to eat hummus, the answer is any way you want. It is great as a dip for crudite or crackers and I love to spread on a whole grain wrap or flatbread, top it with fresh vegetables (cucumbers, tomatoes, shredded carrots and sprouts are particularly good) and roll it up and eat it as a sandwich. The wrap will keep well making it a perfect on the go lunch item. Of course, I’ve also been known to eat hummus by the spoonful right out of the container. Yes, I like it that much.

ROASTED GARLIC HUMMUS

3 cups cooked garbanzo beans

1 large bulb garlic

7 tablespoons olive oil, divided

6 tablespoons tahini

Juice of 2 lemons

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

To cook the garbanzo beans:

  • Pick over the dried beans and place them in a large stock pot and fill the pot with water.  The beans will expand as they soak so make sure there is room in the pot. Allow the beans to sit overnight.
  • The next day, drain the beans and cover them with fresh water. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low and to simmer until tender, 60-90 minutes. occasionally skim off any scum that forms at the surface of the water.
  • Remove the beans from the heat, drain, and set aside to allow to cool until ready to use.

To roast the garlic:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place a piece of aluminum foil on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Slice off the top 1/4 inch of the garlic bulb. Place in the center of the foil and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
  • Wrap the garlic completely in the foil and place in the oven, baking for 30 to 35 minutes or until the garlic is soft and fragrant.
  • Allow the garlic to cool slightly before proceeding.

To make the hummus:

  • Place the garbanzo beans in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
  • Squeeze the roasted garlic flesh out of each clove and add them to the food processor.
  • Add the tahini, lemon juice, remaining olive oil, salt and cumin.
  • Process until the ingredients are well blended and form a thick paste. You may need to add additional olive oil, one tablespoon at a time, until the hummus has reached a consistency you like.
  • Refrigerate the hummus in a tightly sealed container until ready to use.

 

Serves 6-8

Cambodian Noodle Soup

photo 2-37

With the exception of my travels through the Balkans, I have yet to visit any metropolitan area where I didn’t stumble upon a pho shop.  With their steaming bowls of noodles, broth, and an endless variety of add-ins, these Thai noodle soup shops have a cult like following that make them both universal and hard not to like.  In grad school my favorite lunch was a steaming bowl of pho from the student union.  The options were endless so I could eat there every day without repeating the same bowl of soup twice.

I had never made pho before but decided to give it a try when my craving for the hot broth covered noodles got the best of me.  In browsing through recipe options I came across one in The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper. (For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, The Splendid Table is my favorite radio program on NPR.  I can even stream their broadcasts online meaning I can get my Lynn Rossetto Kasper fix while living overseas).  I was set to give the pho recipe a try then I turned the page and saw the Cambodian twist on the soup which sounded even more intriguing.  Unable to decide which version to make, I combined the best elements of both recipes to form what I present here.  You can also add or substitute ingredients as your palate or pantry dictates.

The verdict?  This soup is delicious but a lot more work than popping into your local pho shop. But if you don’t have one in close proximity to you, make this soup.  You won’t be disappointed.

CAMBODIAN NOODLE SOUP

For the broth:

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

5 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 two inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced

6 whole cloves

1 star anise

Freshly ground black pepper

7 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons Asian fish sauce

For the soup:

8 ounces linguine-style rice noodles

6 ounces thinly sliced top round steak

1 1/2 cups winter squash, diced

1 cup unsweetened pineapple chunks

1 medium tomato, diced

For the table salad:

10 sprigs fresh cilantro

8 sprigs Thai or other fresh basil

8 mint sprigs

Generous handful bean sprouts

2 Serrano chiles, thinly sliced

1 large lime, cut into wedges

Add-in sauces:

Asian hot sauce

Hoisin sauce

  • Place a rack 4 to 6 inches from the broiler and then pre-heat the oven.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and evenly distribute the onion, garlic, ginger, cloves, star anise, and five grinds of black pepper over the baking sheet.
  • Broil for 5-6 minutes until the spices are fragrant and the onions begin to brown.  Scrape the mixture into a large soup pot.
  • Add the broth, sugar, fish sauce, and squash to the pot.  Cover the pot tightly and bring the entire mixture to a simmer.  Cook for 20 minutes or until the squash is tender.
  • Meanwhile, place the noodles in a large pan and cover with very hot tap water.  Allow to soak for 20 minutes or until the noodles are tender.  Drain, rinse with cold water, then divide evenly between two large soup bowls.
  • Thinly slice the steak into bite sized pieces.  (Hint:  For easier slicing, place the steak in the freezer before you begin making the soup.  Allow it to sit for 20 minutes then remove it from the freezer and slice).  Evenly divide the meat between the two soup bowls.  The hot broth will cook it to a medium-rare
  • Arrange the table salad ingredients on a medium-sized platter and place on the table.
  • When the squash is tender, add the pineapple and tomatoes to the broth and stir well to combine.  Cook for 1 minute to allow the broth to return to a simmer.
  • Ladle the broth over the noodles and meat and serve immediately topped with the table salad and sauces of your choice.

Serves 2

Lime Plumped Shrimp w/ Cilantro Pesto

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It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

I’m a fan of pesto. To me, it is simply screams summer. Traditionally made with basil leaves and toasted pine nuts, this bright tangy green sauce is the perfect topping for pasta, meats and sandwiches and adds zip to a crudite plate. But who says pesto needs to only use basil. This pesto recipe comes from Melissa d’Arabian of the Food Network. Peppery cilantro leaves take he place of the basil, pecans replace the pine nuts and with a touch of lime the results are tangy and bright. The pesto pairs well with these slightly sweet and tart shrimp. Best of all, this is truly a quick meal to make. You can either make the pesto ahead of time or while the shrimp plumps in lime juice. Serve it all alongside jasmine rice and dinner is served.

LIME PLUMPED SHRIMP w/ CILANTRO PESTO

For the shrimp:
3/4 pound raw medium-size shrimp, peeled and deveined

Juice of 2 limes

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

For the pesto:

1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro leaves

Zest and juice of 1 lime

2 green onions, chopped

2 tablespoons toasted chopped pecans

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Place the shrimp in a large shallow bowl.
  • Toss with the lime juice, sugar and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.
  • While the shrimp sits, make the pesto.
  • Place the cilantro in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
  • Add the lime zest, lime juice, green onions, pecans, garlic, sugar, salt, black pepper and olive oil. Pulse until the mixture is pureed but not quite smooth.
  • Scrape into a small bowl.
  • Preheat the broiler to high. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Drain the shrimp and pat dry.
  • Place the shrimp in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt then drizzle with the olive oil and the honey.
  • Place the shrimp in the broiler and cook until pink and opaque, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Serve topped with the cilantro pesto.

Serves 4

 

 

 

 

Indonesian Ginger Chicken

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Grilled chicken is a summertime staple at my house. It is easy, delicious and leftovers are perfect for lunches the next day. While barbecue sauce reigns supreme for us, sometimes you want to change things up a bit and when that is the case, this Indonesian ginger sauce recipe from Noble Pig is just the thing. The sauce is loaded with tangy ginger and garlic which when combined with honey and soy sauce makes for the perfect sweet, tangy and sticky coating for the chicken.

The key to a flavorful chicken, however, is letting it marinate overnight in the sauce. So yes, you will have to plan ahead with this dish but if you do the work the first day, the next one you will just have to throw the chicken on the grill. The results will be so well worth it. And the leftover chicken is just as good cold as it is hot so if you find yourself with leftovers the next day, pack some up in your lunchbox. Just make sure to include plenty of napkins.

INDONESIAN GINGER CHICKEN

1 cup honey

3/4 cup soy sauce (reduced sodium)

1/4 cup minced garlic (8 to 12 cloves)

1/2 cup peeled and grated fresh ginger root

12 chicken drumsticks, trimmed

  • Combine the honey, soy sauce, garlic and ginger root in a small saucepan set over low heat until the honey is melted. Allow the sauce to cool slightly.
  • Place the chicken in a large ziplock back and place it in a shallow baking pan.
  • Pour the sauce over the chicken, seal the bag and allow it to sit overnight.
  • When you are ready to cook, preheat a grill to medium-high heat.
  • Place the chicken on the grill and cook the drumsticks, turning regularly until they are cooked through and the juices run clean, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Serves 6

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