Fox and Broom

A mom's adventures in keeping healthy, keeping her sanity, and making stuff.

Archive for the month “February, 2012”

Crisp-Soft Noodles With A Broccoli, Mushroom, and Zucchini Topping

Crisp-Soft Noodles With A Broccoli, Mushroom, and Zucchini Topping
taken from Madhur Jaffrey’s World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey

Cooked on: October 16, 2011

Servings: serves 4

Cost: Somewhat Inexpensive

Skill level: Intermediate. Be sure to follow instructions.

Notes: Time consuming. I had a lot of trouble finding the lo mein noodles. I had no luck AT ALL finding fresh, so decided to buy the dried noodles. I also did not find shaohsing wine, but the dry sherry worked very well.

Ingredients

1/2 lb fresh Chinese lo mein egg noodles
1 medium zucchini
1 tsp salt
About half a bunch of broccoli (about 2 cups, when cut)
8 medium-sized mushrooms
2 tsp cornstarch
3/4 cup “Delicious Stock” (I used store-bought vegetable stock)
2 tbsp bean sauce (I am totally in love with this stuff now)
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
7 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 quarter-sized slice of fresh ginger, minced (I keep a root of ginger in my freezer and cut pieces off of it as I need it. Ginger is also good in a tea with honey.)
1 tbsp shaohsing wine or dry sherry

Procedure

Bring 13 cups of water to a rolling boil. Gently separate the noodle strands and drop them into the water. When the water comes to a second boil, pour in 1 cup of cold faucet water. When the water comes to a third boil, pour in another cup of cold water. When the water comes to a fourth boil, empty the contents of the pot into a colander set in the sink. Rinse the noodles under running water, washing off a lot of the starch. Leave to drain for at least half an hour.

Trim the zucchini ends and cut it in half, lengthwise. Cut the halves crosswise at 1/4 – inch intervals. Put the zucchini in a bowl. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp salt over it and mix. Set aside for half an hour. Drain and pat dry.

Cut the broccoli into slim flowerets, not more than 2 inches long. You can use some of the stems, too. Just peel and cut them into 1/4 – inch thick strips. In all, you should have about 2 cups.

Wipe off the mushrooms and then cut them, stem and all, into 1/4 – inch thick slices.

Put the cornstarch in a small bowl. Slowly add the stock, mixing as you do so. Add the bean sauce, sugar, and sesame oil. Mix well.

Heat 3 tbsp of the vegetable oil in a 7 to 8 inch non-stick skillet over a medium flame. When the oil is hot, put in the noodles, spreading them out evenly over the entire bottom of the skillet. Fry without stirring for about 4 minutes or until the bottom of the noodle patty is a reddish-golden color  and is crisp. Now slip one spatula under the noodles and hold the top of the patty with another spatula. Turn the patty over. Dribble another tablespoon of vegetable oil along the edges of the skillet, allowing it to slither downward. Cook the second side until it, too, has turned a reddish-golden color. Carefully lift up the patty and put it on a warm platter.

Heat 3 tbsp of vegetable oil in a wok or skillet over a medium flame. When hot, put in the garlic and ginger. Stir a couple of times. put in the mushrooms, broccoli, and 3/4 tsp salt. Stir and fry, turning the vegetables around briskly. Put in the zucchini. Stir and fry for another 30 seconds. Now add the wine, cover immediately and turn heat to low. Cook for 1 minute. Uncover, give the cornstarch mixture a quick stir and pour it over the vegetables. Turn heat up a bit and cook, stirring gently, until the sauce thickens. Spoon the vegetables and sauce over the noodles and serve immediately.

Final Notes

This was a very interesting recipe. Somehow, I only read it partway through before trying it out, so was not totally prepped for some of the steps. The turnout was very good and it turns out this is one of those recipes which age very well – leftovers were yummier than the fresh stuff. We also liked it with some teriyaki sauce over it. As mentioned above, I could not find fresh noodles, so I am sure that I wound up with waaaaay more noodles than are called for in the recipe. If you buy dry noodles, just be prepared to possibly use a bigger skillet for frying them.

Chickpea Soup

Chickpea Soup
taken from Madhur Jaffrey’s World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey 

Cooked on: November 22, 2011

Servings: serves 6

Cost: Inexpensive

Skill level: Novice. Be sure to follow instructions.

This is a time-consuming recipe!

Ingredients

2 cups dried chickpeas, picked over, washed, and drained (I used 2 cans of chickpeas)
2 medium-sized onions, peeled, and chopped
2 medium-sized boiling potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch dice (I would use more potatoes the next time I make this)
1 tbsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin seeds
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice

Procedure

Soak the chickpeas in 8 cups of water for 12 hours. (I would soak mine in a mix of water and vegetable stock). Drain and rinse thoroughly. Put the chickpeas, onions, and 8 cups water (stock) into a large pot and bring to a boil. Cover partially, turn heat to low, and simmer gently for 1 hour. Add potatoes, salt, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne, and another 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on very low heat for another 1 1/2 hours. Stir a few times during this period. Check seasonings. Add the black pepper and lemon juice. Stir to mix.

My Notes

This was a HUGE hit with my husband. It does require a bit of planning, but the end result was pretty fantastic. We were able to dine on this soup for almost a full week and it only got tastier the longer it aged.

 

Capsicum, Spinach, and Chickpea Soup

I really need to catch up on some of my recipes. I am embarrassingly behind. I only now thought to make time to write this one up because @onestarrynight requested healthy recipes. Now, on to the recipe:

Capsicum, Spinach, and Chickpea Soup
from Vegetarian Cooking: A Common Sense Guide by  Bay Books

Cooked on: October 16, 2011

Servings: supposedly 4. I would say more than that.

Cost: Inexpensive

Skill level: Novice. Be sure to follow instructions.
Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
8 spring onions (scallions), finely sliced
1 red capsicum (pepper), finely diced (I used a medium fish pepper)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds
375 ml (13 fl oz/1 1/2 cups) tomato passata (pureed tomatoes)
750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) vegetable stock
300 g (10 1/2 oz) tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 – 2 tsp sugar
100 g 3 1/2 oz/2 1/4 cups baby English spinach leaves

Procedure

Heat olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add the spring onion, cover and cook over medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes, or until softened. Add the capsicum, garlic, and cumin seeds, and cook for 1 minute.

Add the passata and stock and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chickpeas, vinegar, and sugar, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in the baby spinach and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook just until the spinach begins to wilt, then serve.

My Notes

I added the spinach as I served it into each bowl. It doesn’t take long for the spinach to get wilty and my husband reacts badly to spinach, so I served him without any.

This is a really awesome dish. It is very easy to make and would be easy to make it the way you prefer it to be. I used a medium pepper left over from my venture to the farmer’s market. Mmmm. It added just the right spiciness.

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