This past week has been a busy week, but today is a lazy Saturday, so I was able to cook and take my time. Plus it was a very nice and sunny morning (as opposed to the wind and rain that's happening right now) and I had to take advantage of that natural lighting. I saw some youtube videos on scallion oil noodles, and they looked really good so I wanted to make some for myself.
I used both Binging with Babish and J. Kenji Lopez Alt for inspiration. I only had 5 scallions, so I cut most of them into these little strips, and also diced some little circles for garnish at the end. Cutting them like this takes way more time, but it's a lazy Saturday, so I don't care.
I wish I had more scallions though. I think this could have used three times as much.
See that last photo? That was perfect. I should have taken the pan off the heat before it got to that point, so the residual heat would actually cook it to that point, which is exactly what the youtube videos told me to do, but I didn't listen. So I may have overcooked my scallions a little, but that's okay. They were still tasty.
I tossed my noodles in the scallion oil as well as some sugar, light and dark soy sauce, and some Chinese black vinegar (which has been sitting in my pantry for waaay too long--that's gonna take a while to use up). The flavor was good!
The noodles themselves were a bit sticky, and that might have been because I bought the noodles from an American grocery store instead of an Asian one. I also used a little too much of the oil. But I've got more scallion oil and more noodles and waaay more sauce, so I'll be making this a few more times this week, and I'll keep tweaking it to my tastes.
Last week, as I was browsing through food blogs at night, I stumbled across a stir fry noodle recipe that looked interesting. The pictures looked really good, but the comments were pretty mixed. Quite a few people said it was too salty, but some people really loved it. I'm never sure about Asian inspired recipes from non-Asian food bloggers, but I gave it a shot.
I already had a bell pepper and some scallions. I figured I would just omit the hot peppers, zucchini, and carrots. I did want some basil, but my local non-Asian grocery store only had really expensive Italian basil. So I bought a tiny container of expensive Italian basil. The store does have an Asian section, so I was able to get an 8oz pack of rice noodles. I also bought a single shallot and a single piece of chicken breast. I was running low on soy sauce, but I did have a lot of Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce, so I figured that was close enough.
The recipe claims that it takes 15 minutes of prep time and 15 minutes of cook time. I decided to time myself. It took me 52 minutes, 44 seconds to make the dish, prep and cook. That's actually faster than I expected!
Heeey that looks pretty good! Unfortunately it was way too salty, just like all of those commenters said it would be. I didn't even put as much soy sauce as it called for! I also don't think the Italian basil made sense, and the noodles from the non-Asian grocery store were...not great.
The peanuts were a nice touch though.
It wasn't so bad that I didn't finish it all. But whenever I'm trying out a new recipe, the cogs in my brain immediately start turning and thinking about how I'd modify it.
So, noodles take 2!
This second attempt was much better! And it was slightly easier for me to put together. I think it took me about 48 minutes, start to finish. If I made this a third time, I'd probably increase the amount of fish sauce a little, add a little bit of dark soy sauce, and decrease the oyster sauce. But I think I'm good on stir fried noodles for a while.
I'd say that the best part about making these noodles was that I got to share it with two of my friends, who both enjoyed eating it (:
Last May, I visited my dad. This was a hard trip for me because he wasn't feeling well, but I thought it was worth it to be with him to try and help him out. My sister also flew across the country to join for a few days, and I was really really happy that she was there. This was partly because she cooked and baked some amazing food, but really, I just appreciated how her presence was able to lift my spirits.
Day 49 (Wednesday): I actually felt a little better today, but I still ended up working way way too much. So of course my sister took care of dinner.
We had some mango that was ready to eat, and so my mind immediately went to shrimp tacos.
I love tacos. Tacos are always a good choice.
Day 50 (Thursday): Holy crap, day 50 already?! Anyway, we had some chickpeas sitting in the fridge that I felt needed to be used, so I figured we could make some falafel.
This was a little bit of a struggle, as the falafel patties totally fell apart when we tried to fry them. It's alright though. My sister managed to salvage them, and at the end they came together nicely. We also had some roasted eggplant and leftover orzo pasta, since that seemed appropriate. Overall, a good meal even if we had to go through some mishaps.
Day 51 (Friday): The end of a stressful work week. I was very exhausted by now, so I was definitely not in the mood for cooking dinner. However, my sister is always up for cooking dinner. And she decided to go all out for dinner by making some hand-pulled noodles.
My sister told me that this was harder than she expected. But I think she did a fantastic job. The noodles were delicious.
Hey, I might be playing catch-up all year at this rate. It is already February and I'm getting even more behind on my blogging, which means I remember less and less about various things that I cooked.
I really, really wanted to make fettuccine alfredo when I got back from the holidays. I don't quite remember why, but I think it's because I saw a picture of fettuccine alfredo on a box for a large pan, and I kept passing by this box over and over. After looking through various pasta recipes I settled on this one, and when I made this I was very surprised at how....orange the whole thing turned out. I guess I should have realized that would happen because of the tomato paste. Anyway, this was good, but it took me way longer than it should have because I'm slow.
Sometimes when I go to the Asian store I like to buy kimchi because I think it makes a great snack, and every day when I get home from work I feel like I need to eat something immediately. I'm trying to avoid things like chips and shredded cheese (yes, I snack on shredded cheese more than I'd care to admit), but I don't feel so bad eating kimchi since it's all vegetables. Since I had a jar of it, I wanted to try this kimchi fried rice. It was good! I don't remember anything else about it.
So the other day I decided I needed to take inventory of everything that I had stocked in my pantry and fridge that I forgot about. I have a lot of random stuff that I need to use before it expires. One of those things was a can of curry paste. I'm sure I had a reason for buying this curry paste originally, but I have since forgotten that reason, so I needed a different use for it. These noodles seemed easy enough to make. (I only used half the tin, the other half I used to make a more soup-y curry except I never took a picture) Overall, they were alright, but I don't think they'll make my make-again list. It definitely needed more flavor. I added fish sauce, but it still felt lacking.
Huh, I know I made this to use up the spinach, but I have no idea what I used the spinach for originally. Maybe I just thought, I'll buy some spinach because veggies are good and spinach is easy to use. Anyway, if you actually follow my blog, you'll know that I'm really bad at making salads. I think this ended up turning out okay, and I think I also ate the whole thing in one sitting, but I don't think I'll really want to make this again.
Remember that 5lb family pack bag of chicken breast that I bought in December? I still haven't used it all yet. And you know what else? I was at that same grocery store on Saturday, and they were selling chicken breast for even cheaper! But the bags were even bigger! They must have been 10lbs! Anyway, I resisted the urge this time. But back to the point of the chicken. I made this recipe, and I think I finally figured out how to use the broiler. I just needed to put my food on the top rack. I ended up seriously overcooking the chicken here, but I'm optimistic about my next try at broiling!