Chicken Ramen

Ramen has a rap about it being a cheap as dirt staple of starving students.  While absolutely true, it makes a very tasty base for more upscale dinners.  I like poaching an egg or two in the broth.  I put a daub of sambal in mine.You could leave the egg in the simmering broth long enough to get beyond the runny yolk phase but that is not something I would do.  The yolk adds a richness to the broth that is hard to beat.


Kroger had pork shoulders for 99 cents a pound so I grabbed one.  I figured it was past time for a big pot of posole.Mrs J eats hers with crushed nacho chips but I like to go with the traditional garnishes, sans cilantro because reasons.  Posole as I made it here is a pork stew with hominy spiced with a sauce made from dried chilies.  I soaked the chilies in hot water and then liquified them in a blender.  Push the raw sauce through a sieve and saute the result in a shallow pan with a bit of oil to bring out the flavors.  Stir it into the pork broth.

Turkey Dumpling Noodle Something

We had one of those frozen turkeys leftover from the holidays and decided to free up some freezer room.  It thawed in the basement fridge for a couple of days and then spent a few hours simmering it in a big pot with lots of veggies because we wanted a nice stock to come out of the effort.  I had dumplings in mind.  I made a half recipe, using only 1 cup of flour, rolled the dough very thin, and let it air dry for a couple of hours.  The dumplings nearly disappeared in the pot they were so thin!  Mrs J said she would need a few crackers, disappointed that the dumpling were so scarce.  I have to say, though, that the broth was great – thick and tasty!We had plenty of broth left and, lest it go to waste, I boiled some wide egg noodles in a separate pot to add in lieu of more dumplings.  They were good, not dumpling good, but they sufficed.

Mmm… Roast Beef

DSC_7930 (1600x1060)Mrs J grabbed a big roast at the store the other day and we went with the crockpot to cook it.  She was wanting a basic pot roast supper and that is what she got.  I did tweak the menu a tad and made her mash her own potatoes but she didn’t mind.  The roast nearly filled the crockpot but I squeezed in carrots, onions, and celery and filled the rest of the space with beef broth and red wine.  I didn’t have any fresh herbs so dried thyme and bay leaves went in for seasonings, along with black pepper and salt, natch.DSC_7933 (1600x1060)There was still plenty of meat and gravy left so I added a few more veggies and broth for the next day’s stew.  I still have a fair sized lump of beef, I may slice it for sammiches before the day is out.  Speaking of that, it may reach above 70 degrees here today, which should melt the last traces of snow.  Just in time for more snow tomorrow!  Ahhhh!

Hambeans and Cornbread

DSC_7438 (1600x1060)Sleet and freezing rain turning to snow in weather news today.  Perfect day for ham and beans.  I keep tweaking the recipe for these, adding tomato paste today along with the mole sauce.  Main ingredients are pinto beans, cured ham, onions, chicken broth, various chili powders, a mole from New Mexico chilies and garlic.  The cornbread is a standard recipe of half corn meal, half flour, an egg, butter, milk, salt, and green and red peppers.  I tossed in a handful of shredded cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses, just for fun.

Stir-Fry Vegetables in a Bread Bowl

My favorite way to have vegetables is to quickly stir-fry them, so they are still crisp. A restaurant I used to go to a lot, served them in a beautiful woven lattice bread bowl and it was the perfect lunch. These veggies can be served over rice, rice noodles or as a side with stir-fried meat, poultry or tofu.

If you’re feeling creative I found a recipe for a lattice bread basket here.

Stir-Fry Vegetables

  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup water or broth (vegetable or chicken)


    Photo by

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 6-8 mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp ground ginger or 2 tsp fresh minced
  • ¼ tsp crushed garlic
  • 8 oz broccoli crowns
  • 8 oz sliced carrots, or baby carrots
  • 8 oz snow peas
  • 6 oz can sliced water chestnuts or bamboo shoots, drained
  • salt & pepper to taste

wok or deep skillet

Mix cornstarch, soy, water, lemon and honey together. Set aside. Heat wok, add oil add all the remaining ingredients. Stir-fry quickly, about 2 minutes, until vegetables are tender-crisp. Add sauce, bring to boil for 1 minute or more until thickened. Let simmer 2 minutes.

Mmm… mini pot pie

turkey pot pieWe bought a frozen turkey while at the grocery store the other day, they were on sale post holiday and the low prices made them hard to pass up.  I roasted it yesterday, and then Mrs J demolished the carcass for the meat but not before I carved out half the breast for these pies.DSC_4438 [1600x1200]Mrs J swore off ready made crusts after making those pumpkin/sweet potato pies the other day.  This time she went with the Smitten Kitchen recipe.  She has used it before and we liked the results.  The SK recipe calling for vodka in lieu of water works great, too.  Alton Brown used apple jack in a similar recipe that he used for an apple pie.

The filling for these mini pies was simple enough:  Make a roux then add milk to make the classic white sauce.  The peas and corn were from frozen and I just stirred them in with the diced turkey meat, the fresh carrots needed a few minutes at a boil first.  I also stirred into the mixture a little turkey broth that was left from the last turkey we cooked at Thanksgiving.  Seasonings were minimal, just some salt and white pepper, the broth added a hint of tarragon.

Beef Ramen

Occasionally I have a yen for ramen noodles so I try to keep a few packages in the cupboard.  Fast and easy meals.  This one has some of that brisket that has been featured here lately, a little Chinese cabbage that I bought the last time I was at my favorite Asian grocery, a broth made with shaved bonito flakes and dried kelp, the seasoning packets from the ramen, a spoonful of chili garlic paste, and some fresh onion and jalapeno.  I asked Mrs J if she wanted some but she declined, instead having a snack of chips and dip.