Archive for ‘Noodles’

December 15, 2011

The Beautiful Bivalve | Mussels with Chorizo and Broken Fideo

In the Abode of the Dead they are known exclusively as moules, and, when served, Hades will eat them in breathtaking quantities.  They are mussels — tiny, meaty, sweet little jewels that are revered like no other ingredient in these parts.  I must admit, they are strangely beautiful.  Their black and pearly shells contrast with the orange-yellow flesh inside, and a full pan of these yawning bivalves is quite striking indeed.

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October 10, 2011

Posh yet Inexpensive | Pork Belly with Somen

Pork belly has been my weakness lately.  So lovely and meaty.  And fatty.  In the best kind of way.  It’s also inexpensive and a cut that a lot of chefs love.  Add it to your repertiore and you’ll find a hundred ways to make it.

This meal is a completely fix-it-and-forget-it kind of dinner.  Toss the belly in some dashi and braise all day.  Cook up some somen in two minutes, toss all together with some seasonal vegetables (last of the green peppers, a few green onions, a carrot) or just some finely sliced shiso.  Some fresh ginger would be great, too.  Dinner’s done.  Who’s hungry?

PK’s Pork Belly with Somen, serves two to three

1 pound pork belly

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February 7, 2011

Variation on Dashi | Egg Drop Soup or Tamago Toji

I have met some of the nicest folks because of writing this blog.  One such person is Spenmax.  I first ran across her writing when I was looking for bento box ideas for Cherub.  She posts regularly about the authentic Japanese lunches that she carefully and lovingly packs for her little ones.  I have found a lot of inspiration from her posts to fill the adorable box I bought for Cherub at Tigertree.  She also has a delicious wealth of knowledge about Japanese food and is kind in sharing what she knows.  She gave me the extra details I needed to transform the egg drop soup I had planned for dinner into something similar to what she might have grown up eating.  It was, I’m sure, a pale imitation, but I do always try to honor the heritage of the food I’m making.  And I’m happy to highlight my blogging friend.

Spenmax’s Tamago Toji, serves 2

6 c. dashi broth

4 inch piece of daikon radish, sliced in small batons

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February 1, 2011

Two Minute Solution to Elevating Your Game | Dashi

We do a lot of Asian cooking here in Persephone’s Kitchen.  I’ve said before that I regularly whip up some version of a stir-fry noodle dish once a week.  I love them because they’re so fast and so delicious.  But I think I found a new secret weapon to really improving the flavor of my dishes.

Two ingredients that can be purchased not just at an Asian supermarket like Tensuke here in Columbus, but at Whole Foods: bonito flakes and kombu.  I know, these ingredients have been around, well, thousands of years.  But that such a simple solution to authentic flavor for my Japanese noodle dishes could be found so easily and took the addition of almost no time to dinner has just left me kind of giddy.  Yes, let’s all discuss it again: Persephone is such a nerd.  Laugh if you want, but dinner tonight took about 20 minutes and had a depth of flavor that was almost staggering.  So there.

Ichiban-Dashi with Salmon, Shrimp and Noodles, serves 2 to 3

1 six-inch piece of kombu

1/2 c bonito flakes

8 cups of water (although I used a lovely vegetable stock, water is just fine)

Soy sauce and Mirin to taste (about 5 T of soy and 3 of Mirin)

1 bundle of udon noodles (I have some that take 12 minutes, check your package, yours might take less time, add them in at the right time)

1/3 pound salmon

1/3 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 carrot, peeled and sliced into thin batons

3 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

1/4 c shiitake mushrooms, torn or sliced into small pieces

3 inch piece of daikon radish, peeled and sliced into thin batons

2  ribs of bok choy, thinly sliced

Sesame seed oil, optional

In wide, deep pan, add the water and the kombu.  Over medium heat, bring to a boil.  Add the bonito flakes.  Turn off the heat, let the flakes settle to the bottom of the pot.  Strain the solids and return to the same pan.  Add in the soy sauce and mirin.  Taste and adjust seasoning. Bring up to a nice low simmer: bubbles, but not boiling away like mad.  Set a timer for 12 minutes.  Add in the salmon and udon.  At ten, add the carrots.  At eight, add the green onions and mushrooms.  At six, add the bok choy ribs, reserving the leafy greens. At five, add the shrimp. At four, add the daikon and remove the salmon to remove the skin, if you have a piece with skin, and flake into large pieces.  Return to the pan.  At two, add in the green tops from the bok choy.  Simmer the rest of the time.  Taste for seasoning and add a bit more mirin or soy if you think it needs it.  I added a few drops of sesame seed oil just before serving.

Divide between bowls and slurp loudly.  It’s only polite.

Playlist included Wait Up (Boots of Danger), by Tokyo Police Club.

January 11, 2011

Winter Kitchen | White Bolognese with Fresh Pasta

You can’t find a fresh, ripe, beautiful red tomato here in Ohio in January.  You just can’t.  So how could you possibly make a bolognese in the depths of winter?  Make a white bolognese.  Skip the tomatoes altogether and make a very Italian specialty.  In doing so, you will make my single most favorite thing to cook.

It is my most favorite of all favorites.  Really, truly.  The kind that my small family of three will piggishly devour an entire pound of pasta, with Cherub (remember, she’s three) helping herself to thirds.  It is, in a word, delicious.  Amazingly delicious.  Well, that’s two.  But I mean it: if you have yet to make a recipe from this blog, you should make this one.

White Bolognese, adapted from The Silver Spoon

1 T olive oil

2 strips of bacon

1/2 finely chopped yellow onion

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October 18, 2010

Miso Salmon with Soba and Spring Onions

Weeknight meals are awfully quick around here.  As fast as I can bring a pot of water to a boil and cook some Japanese noodles (about five minutes), dinner is more or less served. 

Start thinking about beefing up the East Asian section your spice cabinet (that may already contain some soy sauce) to also include a bit of miso, a small bottle of fish sauce and some mirin (a rice wine).  If you’ve got these three elixirs at the ready, a salmon dinner for three can be yours for under 10 bucks and on the table in under 15 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Heat a wok on high heat.  Add in a tablespoon of vegetable oil, a dash of sesame oil,  a heaping teaspoon of miso,

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October 4, 2010

Weekday Apple Salad

I couldn’t help myself.  In light of Saturday’s article in the WSJ, saying bacon is singing its swan song, I defiantly made a tasty fall salad with bacon ends from Curly Tail Farm.  I can’t help it if it goes so well with fall apples from Gillogly Orchards and sharp cheddar from Ohio Farm Direct and a few spicy mustard greens from Honeyrun Farm.  I. just. can’t. help it.

Combine those ingredients in the quantities you like (I like lots of greens, lots of apples, a little bit of cheddar and a little bit more bacon).  Then dress it in a vinaigrette made from apple cider vinegar, Hays apple cider, olive oil, salt, pepper, and just a drop or two of sriracha.

Cherub ate a local version of mac and cheese: some of the leftover Mrs. Miller’s Homemade noodles from last night’s chicken, along with a quick bechamel (equal parts flour and butter in a small saucepan, heated until bubbly for a minute or two, then whisk in Snowville milk to make a sauce) then add in a few ounces of cheese mixing to melt.  Add noodles to sauce and voila!  Scratch mac and cheese in under ten minutes.

See the Farms and Producers page for complete sourcing.

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