I was not one of those dorm dwelling kids that cooked ramen on an illegal hotplate. I was one of those dorm dwelling kids that cooked 10 Minute Rice on an illegal hotplate. This may be one of the reasons I am still a total ramen nut.
Remember when I went to Japan and ate all the ramen and gyoza I could sniff out? Now, I cannot even pretend to come close to conjuring the magic I had while shoveling those amazing bowls in my face, but I can certainly improve upon that dorm room prison style ramen.
Cook up your noodles and the spice pack in a pot (stovetop, hotplate, whatevs). While that is cooking, throw a small handful of frozen peas in your bowl and chop up some random fridge bits to toss in the bowl as well. Today, I added some fake crab for my bowl, and some leftover chicken for my partner’s. Peel a boiled egg (a 6 minute egg is purrrfect) and slice. Grab your never ending green onions and slice those babies on a sexy bias (it helps if you pretend Gordon Ramsey is yelling at you).
When your noodles are cooked, pour the broth and the noods into your bowl and give them a light stir. Sprinkle your green onions and drop a shrimp or two on top (I always have frozen shrimp in the freezer. Imma seafood ho.).
But wait! What takes this beyond random ramen with kitchen sink leftovers? A splash of soy sauce, a dash of mirin, and a generous sploosh of sriracha. That’s it. It’s so easy. It’s so delicious. Are you ready to up your ramen game??
You know when you have the best of intentions to eat a whole bag of carrots, but then put them somewhere just far enough out of your eyeline that you forget about them and they all suddenly need to be used all quick-like….? Time to make soup.
Pull some of that badass homemade stock you have in the freezer and drop in a pot.
Dice and entire onion and one seeded jalapeño and dump in a pot. Peel and chop all of the carrots that you lovingly rediscovered and dump in as well.
Simmer, covered, until the carrots are soft and cooked through stirring as needed. Zip with your handy dandy immersion blender (or in an actual blender if that’s your style), throw in a generous dollop of sour cream (I’m an addict) and salt and pepper to taste.
It is so super easy to make and is super delish. The jalapeño gives it just a tiny kick and loads of depth. Now, go ahead. Forget about some carrots. You’ll thank me later.
My great grandmother Elizabeth Cszienski emigrated to the United States via Ellis Island from Poland in 1910 when she was 12 years old. Since then lots of ski’s and zak’s have married to keep the Polish in the family and makes me a 3rd generation Pole in the states (there’s Irish and English mixed in from my mother’s side which arrived at the same time, but Polish always seems to win). We still keep some of the traditions as best we can, and the holiday sausage soup is one of my favorites (Aside from pierogies. And I make a mean pierogie.). We make it for Christmas and Easter and we all look forward to it all year long. There are many variations on this soup known as zurek, but universally across the board it has a special polish sausage (known as ‘holiday sausage’ at the deli counters at Broadway Market in Buffalo – old school Polish) which has been smoked and contains marjoram, and hard boiled eggs.
Boil 2-3 pounds of link holiday sausage in a large pot of water for 20 minutes
Remove sausage from water and refrigerate the pot over night
Skim the fatty junk from the top of the water and bring to a boil one again on the stove top
Mix 1/2 cup flour with 1 cup cold water and pour into the rolling boil
Add cut sausage and a dozen hard boiled eggs (sliced) and simmer for 15 minutes
Salt & pepper to taste as well as a few splashes of vinegar
It’s true. If you didn’t grow up with it, it looks a little gross and probably tastes the same too. But I love it. Despite it being a Christmas morning dish (yeah, this was Christmas breakfast in our house), my husband is not a big fan, so I made it a little early for me. So. Good.
If you can’t find the sausage in your local market (which there is a really good chance you won’t) you can order it through Redlinksi Meats or Buffalofoods.com. Don’t forget to get a pastry heart or two while you’re at it….
This was my second month doing the foodie penpal swap. Jessica in Minnesota and I were paired and it was an interesting few weeks of flying packages. I sent along a fun bunch of weird and funky (yet super tasty) odds and ends from our local Asian market. I love this place. I may not know what all the packages are saying, but I interpret them to mean “delicious” and they often are. This appeals to my cheap sensibilities (as many of the packets run .80 – .90 cents each), as well as my adventurous wanna-be foodie side, and you get a lot for your $15 buck.
In return, I received a pound of Minnesota cultivated, cracked, wild rice! It also came with a recipe for wild rice soup. It looks nice and rich calling for among other things, 1 stick of butter, 1/2 cup of flour and 1 cup half and half. I haven’t had a chance to give it a whirl yet, but should you want to have at it first let me know and I’ll send the complete recipe along (makes approximately 6 cups). You can also grab your own bags of Gourmet House Minnesota Cultivated Cracked Wild Rice on Amazon: 4 16 oz bags for only $18. What a deal (or 6 for $22)!
I am unsure of whether I will sign up for the swap again this coming month or perhaps instead treat myself to lots of little bags of goodies from the market….I suppose time will tell!
We love cheese. We love bread. We love onions, too. So of course french onion soup is the perfect dinner in our house (Yes, dinner. None of this pre-dinner appetizer stuff). The only thing that has held us back from fully realizing our french onion dreams have been the perfect crock to broil the end product in. However, after a trip to our local summer hippie festival, we laid our hands on 2 matching, handmade, ceramic crocks. Let the festivitating begin!
Boil 1 beef bone, 4 chopped celery stalks, 3 chopped carrots, 1 chopped onion and 1 bay leaf for 15 minutes, then simmer for 2 hours with 12 cups of water (it will reduce & evaporate). Set aside.
Peel and slice width-wise 4 large sweet onions, & 2 garlic cloves, add to empty stock pot with 1 stick butter and saute until soft, approximately 15 minutes.
Pour strained beef broth mixture into the pot with the onions and add 3-4 bouillon cubes (it depends how beefy/salty you like it), simmer for 10 minutes
Salt and pepper to taste
Pour broth and onions into crock, top with sliced and toasted french bread and 2 slices of the cheese of your choice (I like provolone or mozz).
Broil on low until brown and bubbly. Eat. Love. Awesome.
We have been going crazy lately over my tomato soup, which, if you know me, you know I have kinda hated tomatoes with all of my being for all of ever. Tastes seem to be changing though and this soup doesn’t have that acrid, acidic tomato taste I have disliked for so long.
Saute 1 chopped onion, 3 chopped celery stalks, 2 chopped carrots and 1 half chopped pepper in 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 5-10 minutes
Add 3-4 cups of vegetable or chicken stock to your veggies (we make our own) and simmer for 10 minutes – add 1 teaspoon dried basil in this step too
Add your 6 pound can of whole skinned tomatoes including the juice (Costco! $2.50!) and continue to simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally
Taking an immersion blender puree your soup. Salt & pepper to taste
We add 1/4 cup of sour cream to the mix and then finish it off with 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda mixed with 2 tablespoons of water (to cut the acidity)
Top with chopped green onion and perhaps a little grated parm and serve!
It’s just so good….makes a big batch for 2 but can also be frozen if you aren’t going to make it through!
I made my first batch of tomato soup from scratch last night with a giant 6lb. can of whole skinned tomatoes from Costco ($2.68) and some onion, celery, milk and sour cream. It was pretty amazing but a little bitey. After a little research we found that sugar is used in most tomato products to mask the acidity (thus why it’s so hard to find ketchup, sauce, etc without sugar), but it doesn’t kill it. Welcome to the discussion a little science: add 1/8 teaspoon baking soda mixed in 2 TB of water and watch the acid and the base neutralize each other to make a purely smooth and low acid soup. Wow. I just blew my own mind.