Did you eat too many chocolate eggs over the weekend? A bit more ham than you planned on? Have a refrigerator full of boiled eggs? (Scroll to bottom for a scrumptious idea on that.)
A cool and rainy spring in Saint Paul keeps me cooking indoors. Typically I’d be raking together a salad while Dave grilled chicken or salmon. Instead, just back from our happy daughter Emily’s graduation from seminary at Princeton, I’m slaving over a hot stove. Well, not really.
|Here is Emily with her proud parents. We sang in the choir! Go, Emily!
I will say that once I decided to make and blog some Asian noodles, they were everywhere I looked online. Like this version from FOOD AND WINE. I ignored all that and forged ahead. Hmph; great minds think alike, etc.
If you’re looking for something luscious, filling, and healthy for dinner with plenty leftover for a cold lunch or tomorrow’s dinner, this is your meal. The short story is that you cook up some noodles with snow peas, asparagus, and shrimp. You stir in all kinds of things to make it taste good, and let your family or guests choose their toppings — a variety of chopped vegetables, sesame seeds, lime and nuts– at the table.
OR: Add just the vegetables and “sauce” ingredients (skip the shrimp), along with the peanut topping, and you have a great side for meats you might be grilling for Memorial Day. I picture this with salmon, pork chops, or chicken, perhaps those that have been lolling around in an Asian marinade before grilling.
Try this photo recipe: (Ingredients are in bold type.)
sesame-shrimp noodles with fresh vegetable toppings
8 Weight Watcher’s Plus Points per serving
Place 2 tablespoons sesame seeds in a small skillet over low heat and toast, stirring occasionally, for several minutes until light brown. Remove from heat; pour into a small bowl and place on table. Chop 1/4 cup plain peanuts, scoop into another small bowl, and place on table.
Pour 2 tablespoons canola oil into the skillet over low heat and add 1 tablespoon each minced ginger and garlic. Cook a minute or two or just until garlic begins to color. Remove from heat and set aside.
Bring 5-6 quarts of salted and peppered water to boil for the pasta. While it heats, chop 1/2 cup each bok choy, fresh cilantro, scallions (green onions), and cucumber. Chop all of one red bell pepper. Cut a lime into wedges. Place the vegetables and the lime wedges side by side in a large bowl or in separate small bowls and put them on the table by the sesame seeds and peanuts.
To the by now boiling water, add one pound whole wheat linguine (I like Whole Foods 365 brand best) and cook for about 7 minutes. Stir in 3/4 pound (12 ounces) fresh peeled and deveined shrimp, a cup each of stringed+ fresh snow peas and chopped fresh asparagus and cook for 2-3 minutes until shrimp is firm and pink and noodles are nearly tender.
Drain pasta, shrimp, asparagus and peas. Pour back into the pot and, while hot, stir in garlic-ginger oil, a generous pinch of crushed red pepper, 1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, 1/4 cup soy sauce and 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon of Sriracha, and the juice of one lime. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more Sriracha, soy sauce, sesame oil, or lime, if needed. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold in shallow pasta bowls; pass fresh vegetables, extra lime slices, soy sauce, and chopped peanuts so that guests can add what they’d like at the table.
If you have a vegan or vegetarian in your group, cook the shrimp separately and place it in a separate bowl on the table. You could add sauteed tofu, if desired, or 2 -3 tablespoons peanut butter to the soy sauce mixture.
If you have leftover cooked chicken, you can add sliced chicken with the garlic-ginger oil instead of cooking shrimp with the noodles.
Vegetables are very interchangeable; please add what you have or you like. For instance, julienned carrots could be used instead of asparagus or sliced celery in place of the snow peas.
My lilac are in bloom–finally. But it’s too cold and rainy to go enjoy them. Hopefully tomorrow!
Sing a new song,
I was on the road a couple of weeks ago and checking my computer when my I-Spy Radar saw an email with a subject line that had something to do with too many fresh eggs and trading cookies for them. I try and stay off email a lot when I’m away seeing my kids or on vacation, but I couldn’t NOT look at this one. Backyard eggs just hook me right in. And, of course, cookies fall right out of my oven.
My siblings and I grew up with fresh eggs; my dad either traded produce for them or shelled out a little cash to his Swedish farmer friend Munson. When our parents retired and took it (ha!) easy on a little “hobby” farm, they had their own chickens and, hence, their own eggs, to say nothing of a garden that produced tomatoes the likes of which I’ve never again tasted. When Dave and I visited as newlyweds, we had fresh eggs (fried in bacon or sausage grease) every morning early. Why would you want anything else? And why not at 6am? There, of course, were also biscuits. With sour cream and honey or molasses. Unending pots of coffee.
|To say that mass-produced eggs pale in comparison is an apt description. Don’t you love the looks of this egg produced by one of Cathy’s ladies?|
(Read my post about this salsa here.)
So, anyway, I missed great eggs for years. I really missed them because I just love eggs. I go through phrases where sure that the SB diet will take off my well-fed excess, I eat them daily. Then I begin to worry about the cholesterol and switch back to egg whites. Whichever, I always eat vegetables for breakfast, too. (Alternately, I’ll eat yogurt and fresh fruit for weeks on end–with my homemade low-fat granola.) But back to the email: as soon as I could arrange it, I was ready to start trading whatever I had for those eggs
In St. Paul, you can now raise chickens in your own back yard. Right in the city. Now I don’t have much space, and I’m only fond of eggs, not chickens, so I’m not putting up a coop back there in place of my postage stamp patio. But I’m happy to oblige my friend Cathy and her family, who are the ones suffering from the overage. Her “ladies” live in the yard, eat well, exercise daily, and are nearly pets who produce things like this:
Here’s a closer up pic so maybe you can see the beautiful colors. The whites are nearly blue:
One week, I traded some oatmeal chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies:
This week I made granola for Dave, so just made a bigger batch and traded that.
It’s lovely with milk, better with plain Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey, and best with homemade ricotta and fresh fruit. Naturally, you can scoop up a little and eat it out of hand. (I do recommend leaving a scoop or spoon in the jar as you’re keeping this granola awhile.) Your choice. Whatever you do, I hope you find someone with whom to trade it so that you can eat eggs like I’m eating! Thanks, ladies.
alyce’s low-fat granola with apricots, currants, and cherries
based on David Lebovitz’ recipe, which he says was based on Nigella Lawson’s!
- 5 cups old-fashioned oats
- 2t cinnamon
- 2t ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves, optional
- 1t kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups each: chopped walnuts and almonds
- 1/2 cup each: pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and plain sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup each: chopped dried apricots, cherries, and currants or raisins
- 1/3 cup each: real maple syrup and honey (can use all honey)
- 3/4 c applesauce
- 2T olive oil
Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F.
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl or soup pot. (oats through seeds) Meantime, heat liquid ingredients over low heat, stirring, in a small sauce pan until just warm and well-combined. (syrup, honey, applesauce, and oil). Pour liquid ingredients over dry and mix well for a few minutes. Pour onto two or three large, rimmed baking sheets and bake 50-60 minutes until dry, golden, and crispy, stirring 3-4 times during the baking time. Store in a tightly-sealed container for up to a month. (This granola will not keep well in a plastic bag.)
1. I thought I’d share the differences between my granola and David Lebovitz’–his included 3/4 cup brown sugar (I skipped that) and had no fruit at all (I like fruit). I also added ground cloves, which are optional. But I definitely borrowed the idea of applesauce in place of the large amount oil usually used in granola and part of the reason it’s so caloric. This is very low fat, crispy, tasty, and… well, you’ll like it.
If you’ve never visited the magical David Lebovitz blog, please do yourself a favor and make the trip today. David is an American pastry chef living in Paris who always has a great story to tell— The food’s lovely, too, but it’s the stories that bring me back again and again. FYI–David also does things like Paris Chocolate Tours if you ever get to the City of Light. If you want more info, check the blog or ask David yourself in the comment section of his blog.
2. Changing it up: The number of additions (and the size of their amounts), to the oats is rather flexible., as are the spices. If you only have a few nuts and some raisins, for instance, you can still make this granola. Or if you have only apricots and almonds…you can still make this granola. Only have cinnamon? Use 3 teaspoon cinnamon then. See? Do keep the main ingredients and proportions intact: oats, honey, maple syrup, applesauce, and oil.
two-dog kitchen and a bit of travel
Our lilacs through the piano window. Two views–above and below.
Above: Tasting Sean’s brews in Colorado. Our son’s on his way to becoming a master brewer. Woo hoo!
At The Spotted Pig in NYC, April Bloomfield’s restaurant.
Couldn’t get in. 🙁
Dappled light –West Village/NYC (above)
Gorgeous window boxes in downtown Princeton (above)
Princeton spring–Dogwoods (above)
“Yes, we did,” said Gab and Tuck
Sing a new song,
I have some really good friends in Colorado. That puts it lightly. We never need a reason to get together, but…
Last year, we had a party we called “The Big Night” after the movie “The Big Night” starring Stanley Tucci, Tony Shaloub, Isabella Rosselini, Marc Anthony, Minnie Driver, et al. In this cult film-lover’s movie, two Italian brothers try to save their New World restaurant (and their lives) by throwing a huge party to which Louis Prima is supposedly invited. I won’t spoil the story, but while Prima is the no-show star, a dish called “Timpano” (Italian for timpani) does make an appearance and steals the dinner scene. (See my post on our first Big Night, October 29, 2010.)
The Timpano (Italian for timpani) is a monumentally-large dish that feeds 20+. Baked in a washtub, it features a sort of pizza crust filled with a multitude of layers that can include pasta, sauce, meatballs, Italian Sausage, Proscuitto, salami, Pecorino Romano, boiled eggs, beaten raw eggs, and so on. Allowed to cool for nearly an hour after a long bake, the drum is then turned over and carved carefully, served with a great salad and lots of Chianti.
Doing this thing ourselves–having a party and making the timpano “just like in the movie”– was next-door neighbor Sara’s idea, I think, but it took a long time to make it happen. For a while, we searched stores and Good Wills for a big, huge washtub pan…I promised to order one and didn’t. We found dates and canceled them. Went on vacations and forgot about the whole deal. In fact, there were a lot of places our own first Big Night almost didn’t happen. Except Sara kept envisioning it and never let us give up the dream. She gave up on me briefly, however, and ordered the pan herself. She planned the night in 2010, and while I did finally search out the recipe, Sara was the mastermind behind the entire enterprise. (Here’s the website with the newest crust.) In the end, we made it together, we did, Mary Pat, Sara and I. Invited the ‘hood and various friends and ate most of the night, watching the movie for the rest. We then talked about it the rest of the year. And…
The night was so wonderful that we made a pact to do it again and set the date for October 29, 2011. Despite moving to St. Paul, we made it back to Colorado Springs just in time for what turned out to be an even better and improved (delicious, in fact) timpano. Here’s a photo album from
THE BIG NIGHT 2011
|First things first. Wash the wine glasses, said Chef Sara.|
|Megan: Timpano Dog Extraordinaire|
|Chopping, chopping–Mary Pat|
|This new dough chilled for only an hour before rolling out.|
|Dough-We took turns rolling this mother.|
|In pan with only a few places to patch.|
|First: Sauced Pasta topped with salami and eggs.|
|Thatsa meatball! (And pepperoni)|
|Layer, layer, sauce. More sauce is MP’s idea this year and it’s tastier.|
|Get it all in there. Waste not.|
|A bit of crust piecing that worked. Years of pie baking paying off.|
|In the oven. Time for a glass of wine.|
|Just out of the oven and resting for 30 minutes.|
|Turned over, pan removed and another 20 minutes rest.|
|A slice for you.|
|Inside the Timpano|
|Another slice for your friend|
|Waiting for its closeup|
Sharing it all:
|How shall we carve this?|
|We follow Dave’s plan and it’s a good thing. As Alyce has always known.|
|Slideshow of last year’s Big Night|
|Ipad has more pics|
|Let’s get started.|
Two-Dog Kitchen (Three this week) or Around the ‘Hood
More on the week’s travels:
|Back in Princeton and loving it. Got a great version of Ps 147 for worship.|
|Dave and Emi up ahead|
|Looking back at the well-worn steps on the way towards chapel.|
|Talking with her hands–our Emi|
|On to Colorado…. Gotta Love It|
|Grandpa and Rhyan out for pizza again in Colorado!|
|Back home: work on our kitchen while we’re away.|
|Back in St. Paul puppy sitting.|
|Newman..It’s a 3-Dog Kitchen, but in a borrowed house!|
|Writing recipes on ipad now. A new world.|
Read the DinnerPlace post on Chicken-Pumpkin Chili? Yummy and easy for fall.
Listening to Cantus, “There is a Meeting Here Tonight” Want to feel good? Watch and listen.
Reading THE PASTOR by Eugene Peterson. A great read. Also listening to the choir’s cantata on nearly a loop. Come hear our performance of “Canticle of Joy” by Joseph and Patricia Martin, on Sunday, December 11 at 9:30 am during worship. Love to have you.
Do it all with joy and sing a new song,
–Dish #1 : Tuna Croquettes –I’m not sure what I expected here, but they were a little like incredibly good crab cakes. Except! I didn’t have to pay for crab. I used tuna in pouches.
Carmelizing the onions above. Ina says 20 min; it took 45.
The soup cooking.. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH———-
Here (above) are the parmesan croutons for the soup. Good all by themselves, too.
I have never made soup before except by heating up the insides of a can. So when the idea went off in my head to make French onion soup, I was confused. “Don’t you know I don’t cook?” I told myself, but I just wouldn’t listen to me. So I found what looked like one of the easier French onion soups in the world. The hardest part was slicing the onions. I had no idea how to slice an onion properly, but I found out that once you cook them it doesn’t really matter if you sliced them ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. It’s important to get all the onions about the same size if you can. It did take twice as long for the onions to brown than the Barefoot Contessa told me, but I assume that’s because I’m in Colorado and the altitude makes cooking weird sometimes. I used a sweet sherry that made a big difference in the final product. The house still smells wonderful from the onions and butter that were the base of the soup. I finished the soup about an hour and a half early and just left it on the stove until our friends showed up and we were eating the first course. It warmed up very quickly and was delicious.
Pinch ea: kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Here-above- I am doing something Mom says is “tempering the eggs.” Otherwise, the hot cream will scramble the eggs and we don’t exactly want breakfast tonight.
Mom’s note: Wow! I love having anyone cook like that for me. AND the creme brulee was, there’s no other word: silky. Thanks, Emi. Come home anytime.