Sunday, January 25, 2015

One Woman Show

The Husband travels for work, which does have some perks for moi: Trash TV-watching in solitude without judgement; a maj stash of wine that he lovingly sets up for me; sleeping in my big-ass fluffy king-size bed in complete silence (The Husband is a notorious snorer. And I am a notorious insomniac); and of course the opportunity to cook up some eats that The Husband doesn't really groove on.

For example, a soba noodle extravaganza starring spinach and mushrooms.

Ooooh. I love this bowl of deliciousness. It's officially called Soba Soup with Spinach and it comes from 

The Husband would no doubt taste my big ole pot of Asian-flavored vegtastic yum-yums, but he would probably dig it more with a fish or meat of sorts. Me, when I'm single girling it, I could eat pasta and a salad all day, every day.

I got this one off Pinterest. I used just a basic box of Barilla whole wheat linguine since my Sur La Table in Marlton stopped carrying my most fave soba noodles eva and because my lowgrade Shop Rite doesn't even carry soba noodles. The whole wheat pasta works just as well.

This is also a fab dish to make when you are short on time and sanity. It all comes together in less than 30 minutes. For reals. And the lime juice, spinach and mushrooms. Just divine!

Have at it!

Soba Soup with Spinach

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 ounces shiitake mushrooms (stems removed), caps thinly sliced
4 scallions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
Coarse salt
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 package (4.4 ounces) soba (Japanese buckwheat noodles)
1 bunch flat-leaf spinach, torn
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add mushrooms, scallion whites, garlic, and ginger; season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender, 6 minutes.

Add broth and 3 cups water; bring to a boil. Add soba; reduce to a simmer, and cook 5 minutes. Add spinach; cook just until tender, about 1 minute. Add lime juice and soy sauce. Serve topped with scallion greens.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Hot and Sour Soup

One of the side effects of being a food snob is that takeout eats make a rare appearance on my kitchen table. This is also the result of being a control freak, a lova of cooking and a gal who rocks some killer food allergies.

But, a hankering for Chinese food hits the best and worst of us at any given time. And so, a pot of Hot and Sour Soup just NEEDED to be concocted. To hell with deChristmasing, decluttering and decompressing!!

I absolutely LOVE this soup. It tasted so much lighter and refreshing than what I get in a restaurant. And that is exactly what I was looking for after weeks of holiday eats and parties and drinking. (Well, I'm still drinking. Let's just keep it real.)

One of the highlights of the soup is that my little man Evan James, HOUSED it. Two bowls! And he declared a love for tofu and mushrooms that warmed my foodie heart.

This was fairly easy to make. I suppose the hardest part was dealing with the fresh ginger, which you need to peel, then grate and then press through a sieve to get the ginger juice all up in your pot of warm delicious goodness. I grated my ginger with my Microplane, but a box grater will work just fine.

And just to warn you, be sure to discard the stems from the shiitake mushrooms you use. The stems are very tough. You just want to use the caps in this.

I used low sodium chicken broth and low sodium soy sauce.

Hot and Sour Soup
From Martha Stewart Living, April 2004

  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms (about 4 cups), stemmed, caps thinly sliced
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 package (7 ounces) soft or firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch cubes, drained
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • In a large (5-quart) pot, combine broth, soy sauce, crushed red pepper, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add mushrooms; reduce heat, and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons vinegar and cornstarch. Add to pot; simmer, stirring, until soup is thickened, about 1 minute.
  • Add egg through a slotted spoon, and stir to form ribbons. Stir in tofu. Remove from heat; let stand, covered, 1 minute. Put ginger in a small sieve, and squeeze to release juice into soup (discard solids). Taste; add remaining tablespoon vinegar, if desired. Serve sprinkled with scallions.