Archive | July, 2010

Chicken Curry Noodle Soup

31 Jul

Chicken Curry in (Rice) Noodle Soup

  • 1 lb of boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces
  • about 200 g of rice noodles, soak in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes and drain well, use immediately (do not let the noodles get too soft)
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 3 carrots, peeled, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 2 to 3  medium potatoes, peeled, cut into thirds
  • 2 sprigs of green onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 small tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 lime (optional)
  • 3 tbsp of curry powder (add more if you like your curry strong)
  • 1 tbsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste

Marinate the chicken with the curry, paprika, sugar, nutmeg, salt and pepper  for 2 to 3 hours. Keep refrigerated and covered while marinating.

Heat a large soup pot on high and when hot, add in the oil, garlic and chicken. Brown the chicken and then add in the coconut milk, milk, onions and carrots. Once the liquids in the pot begin to bubble, turn to a low simmer and cook for one hour. After one hour, add in the potatoes and cook until the potatoes are soft (approximately 20 to 25 minutes).  Once the potatoes are soft, add in the chicken broth and water.  Bring to a boil.  Add in the noodles, tomatoes and green onions. Cook until bubbles begin forming (about 1 to 2 minutes) and then remove from the heat. Squeeze a little lime juice over the chicken curry noodle soup and serve immediately.  This recipes makes two very large bowls or four small bowls of chicken curry noodle soup.

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Chicken Stir Fry With Egg Noodles

31 Jul

Chicken Stir Fry with Egg Noodles

  • 1 lb of boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces
  • 250 g of egg noodles, cook as directed on the packaging (I like Bechtle Traditional German Egg Noodles)
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 medium green pepper, sliced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 cup of cabbage, shredded
  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked for 3 hours, then sliced
  • 2 sprigs of green onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp of ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp of vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 tbsp of corn starch
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • 1 tbsp of water
  • 1 lime (optional)
  • chili pepper flakes, salt, pepper, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, worcestershire sauce  (add how every much you prefer)

Heat a large skillet on high.  While waiting for the skillet to heat up, in a bowl, mix the chicken, salt, pepper, corn starch, honey, water, soya sauce (about 1 tbsp) and worcestershire sauce (about 1 tsp). Mix well.  The corn starch keeps the chicken moist and thickens the sauce.

Once the skillet becomes hot, add in the oil, chili pepper flakes, garlic and ginger. Brown the garlic and ginger (about 1 minute), then add in the chicken mixture. Cook until the chicken is done, then add in the onion, carrot, mushrooms and green pepper.  It will take about 3 to 4 minutes for the vegetables to soften.  Add in the cabbage and cook for another 1 minute.  Add in the noodles, green onions, soya sauce (about 2 tbsp), oyster sauce (about 2 tbsp), and worcestershire sauce (about 2 tsp).   Stir well.  Squeeze some lime juice over the noodles and serve immediately.  This recipe serves two very hungry people.

Nachos

26 Jul

Nachos

  • about 200 g of plain tortilla chips (I prefer organic blue corn tortilla chips by Que Pasa)
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
  • 1 cup of mozzarella cheese or 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, coarsely grated
  • 2 cups of salsa or meat sauce
  • 1 BIG dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream

Place half the tortilla chips into a large baking dish.  Sprinkle half the cheeses over the tortilla chips.  Place the remaining tortilla chips into the baking dish and sprinkle the rest of the cheeses on top.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in a preheated 400°C oven.  When done baking, transfer the contents onto a large serving plate. Transferring onto a plate is a necessary step because the baking dish will be too hot to serve with. Pour some meat sauce over the tortilla chips and melted cheese.  Scoop a generous amount of  yogurt or sour cream on top.  Serve immediately.

Meat Sauce

26 Jul

Meat Sauce with Whole Wheat Rotini

  • 1 lb of extra lean ground beef
  • 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • half an onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 5 to 10 cremini mushrooms, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 green pepper, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 2 tbsp of parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp of oregano
  • 1 tsp of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1 bay leave
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large sauce pot on high.  Once the pot is hot, add in the olive oil, butter, garlic and ground beef.  Use a wooden spoon to break up the ground beef as finely as possible.  When the ground beef is cooked through, add the spices (oregano, nutmeg, paprika, bay leave, salt, pepper and sugar), onion, mushrooms and green peppers.   Lower the heat to medium and cook until the vegetables are soft (about 5 to 10 minutes).  Add in the crushed tomatoes, water, wine and parmesan cheese.  Once the sauce begins to bubble, turn down the heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with whole wheat rotini and grate more parmesan over the pasta dish if desired.

On a side note: make use of leftover meat sauce in nachos.

Hash Brown

25 Jul

Hash Brown

  • 1 large potato
  • 2 sprigs of green onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Fill a large bowl with cold water.  Peel the potato and grate it.  Place the grated potatoes into the bowl of cold water and let sit for 2 minutes.  Drain well and add in the green onion, salt and pepper.   Mix well.

Heat up a pan on hot.  Once hot, add in the olive oil and butter.  Swirl the pan so that it becomes coated throughout with the olive oil and butter.  Add in the potato mixture and use the back of a fork to flatten out the potato mixture into a thin layer so that it covers the entire pan.  Cook on high for  3 to 5 minutes.  Flip the potato patty over.  This can be done easily using a plate.  Place the plate over the pan, flip the pan over (the cooked side will be facing up) and then slide the potato patty from the plate onto the pan.  Turn down the heat and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes or until the potato patty is cooked through.  Serve with some plain yogurt or sour cream.

Spinach and Ricotta Manicotti

25 Jul

Spinach and Ricotta Manicotti

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.  Gently, add in the manicotti pasta shells and cook until just soft. Usually this is half the time recommended on the pasta package. The pasta shells will finish cooking during the baking process. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside until ready for assembly.

Tomato Sauce

  • 1 large (796 mL) can of crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 10 mushrooms, minced (optional)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, bay leave (add which ones and however much you like)

Heat up a large pot on high and when it becomes hot, add in the olive oil and butter. Once the butter has melted, add in the garlic, onions and mushrooms. Cook until onions and mushrooms are soft and then add in the spices and sugar. Pour in the liquids (crushed tomatoes, red wine and water) and add the parmesan cheese. Mix well. When the sauce starts to bubble, turn down the heat so that the sauce is gently simmering. Simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove bay leave before using.

Filling

  • 1 bag of baby spinach, julienned
  • 400 g of ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp of flour
  • 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 2 cups of milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat a sauce pan until hot and then add in the olive oil and garlic. Brown the garlic. Sprinkle the flour evenly and thinly over the garlic, then add in the spinach and milk. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Turn down the heat so that the spinach-milk mixture is simmering. Add in the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Set aside to cool. Once cooled, add in the ricotta and egg. The egg will help the filling set during baking. It is important the filling has cooled, otherwise, the egg will scramble.

On a side note, this spinach-ricotta mixture (without egg) can be used as a light cheese sauce on pasta.

Assembly

In a casserole dish, pour enough tomato sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Fill the manicotti with the spinach-ricotta mixture. Once the casserole dish is filled with stuffed manicottis, pour enough tomato sauce to cover the manicottis. Continue with the second layer. Pour the remainder of the tomato sauce into the casserole dish so that the manicottis are entirely covered by the tomato sauce. Grate a light layer of parmesan cheese on the top.

Bake covered at 400°C for half an hour. Remove cover and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Strawberry Smoothies

19 Jul

Strawberry Smoothie

  • 2 cups of frozen strawberries
  • one (ripe) banana, peeled
  • 1/2 cup of strawberry or vanilla yogurt
  • 3 cups of milk
  • a blender

Place the frozen strawberries in the blender first.  This is because the frozen strawberries are the hardest item to blend and therefore should be closest to the blade.  Break up the banana into thirds and place into the blender.  Add the yogurt and milk.  Blend and mix once with a spoon between blending.  Serve with a straw since the smoothie can be quite thick.

This recipe makes two large drinks or four small ones and goes well with a breakfast meal or as a snack.   You can also substitute the strawberries with frozen mangos, peaches, raspberries or blueberries.