I was born and raised in Kansas and learned to cook alongside my mother. Now, along with my wonderful husband, I have taken the plunge into the city life in New York. These are my food adventures: in my own tiny kitchen, and in the many restaurants of the city.

Showing posts with label Asian inspired. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Asian inspired. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pork and Soy Ramen

Joe and I often talk about all of the things we would miss if we were to move out of New York City. High on the list are the theatre, the abundance of museums, the fact that it's virtually impossible to be bored. But I think the thing that actually makes me fear for that day, if it were to ever come, is the loss of huge variety of great Asian food. The soup dumplings, dim sum, yakitori, Korean BBQ, Korean fried chicken, ramen, great pad thai, etc. etc. have all opened my tastes buds through our years here and I can't imagine living where they aren't readily available.

I have some moments of extreme panic when I think of leaving all of this behind (despite the fact that we have no plans to leave anytime soon) and feel myself drawn to the kitchen to hopefully recreate a dish or two to be able to always carry this cuisine with me, no matter where I go.

With the cold temps and even colder wind blowing through these parts lately my biggest craving has been huge bowls of ramen. We are lucky to live very near an excellent joint in our neighborhood called Chuko that I find myself drawn to over and over again (if you make it there yourself don't miss out on the kale salad as well as the ramen--probably my all-time favorite salad ever). Last night, however, I decided it was time to try a version of my own.

Shoyu ramen tends to be my favorite--I love the salty, unami filled broth, but I also love anything involving pork so decided to do a blend of styles based on a recipe from David Chang in the first issue of Lucky Peach (the tare recipe is basically his). It also involves mostly ingredients I could  find at my local grocery store (where we don't have a huge spread of Asian ingredients). My favorite thing about this recipe is that it is really very easy to play around with and change based on your own taste preferences. The ingredient list looks large and intimidating, but it really isn't much hard work--just a bit of waiting time.

Pork and Soy Ramen
(serves 3-5 depending on add-ins)
For the broth:
1.5 lb. pork necks
1 TB oil
2 carrots, peeled and cut into a couple of pieces
3 stalks celery, cut into large pieces
1 onion, quartered
3 cloves garlic, peeled
white and light green parts from 1 bundle of green onions
1/4 c. dried mushrooms
2 large sheets nori*
10 c. water

*many ramen recipes I found called for konbu, which is an edible kelp. Since I couldn't find any in my local grocer I decided to add a bit of "sea" flavor with sushi wraps. These broke apart a lot during the cooking but were mostly strained out through a fine mesh sieve after the broth was finished. The tare for this soup is so dark that I didn't mind the darker color of the broth.

Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot add the pork neck pieces. Sear these on all sides until they have a nice brown color all over. Then add the remaining ingredients to the pan. Bring to a boil, and then turn the heat to low and allow the mixture to barely simmer for 3 hours. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and skim off any fat/scum from the top.

For the tare:
(recipe adapted from David Chang's Lucky Peach)
.25 lb (1 medium piece) of pork neck
1 TB oil
1/2 c. sake
1/2 c. mirin
1 c. soy sauce
2 slices thick cut bacon, cut into thirds

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a small saucepan. Add the pork neck and sear until it is nice and caramelized and dark brown all over. Remove the pork neck from the pan briefly and turn the heat off momentarily. Add the sake to the pan (careful as it will pop and splatter a lot) and stir to deglaze the pan and pick up the porky bits stuck to the bottom. Turn the heat back on and add the pork neck back to the pan along with the remaining ingredients. Bring the liquid to the barest of simmers and then turn the burner to the lowest heat possible and cook for 1 1/2 hours. You don't want the mixture to really reduce--you are just infusing the flavor into the liquid. Then strain, allow to sit for a little bit of time and then skim the fat layer off the top.

Once both the broth and the tare are finished you are now ready to mix them together. I like an extra strong, salty broth so I used all of the tare. I would suggest adding a bit at a time and tasting to make sure you have a soup base to your liking. If you want it even stronger you could add even more soy sauce, fish sauce, mirin, etc. to the liquid for flavoring.

Now you are ready to build the ramen:

noodles (I used these, which are about 3 cups and are fresh/mostly cooked. If you can't find anything similar you can just use the noodles from a couple of packages of instant ramen without the seasoning packages)

cabbage, shredded
bok choy, shredded
green tops of green onions, sliced
bean sprouts
enoki mushrooms
meat (perhaps braised pork, cooked ground pork, chicken? I used thinly sliced smoked duck breast that I get at my farmer's market)
poached or soft-boiled eggs

Cook the noodles: I cooked mine for a couple of minutes in the broth, but you could cook them separately, drain, and then assemble.
Take a large, deep bowl and place a pile of the cooked noodles at the bottom. Top with any of the ingredients you would like and then spoon over a good portion of the broth. If using, top with a poached or soft boiled egg. Add some heat with chili garlic oil (recipe below). Serve with chopsticks and a large spoon. Feel comforted and warm and happy as you lean over the bowl to devour and the broth facial invades all of your senses.

Garlic Chili Oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 t.+ red chili flakes
1/3 c. olive oil

Place all of the ingredients into a small saucepan. Place over low heat and slowly cook, stirring frequently, until the oil is infused and the garlic has become very slightly browned and crispy. Remove from heat and use to stir into your ramen.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Inspiration from around the Web

The world has been offering up some truly inspiring recipes these days, so I thought it was high time I passed on a few recipes from others that I've loved lately so you can get in on the delicious action. These are all foods that will find their way onto my table again and again.

April Bloomfield's Oyster Pan Roast (from John Dory Oyster Bar)--if I died today, I would be happy that at least I had gotten the chance to eat this. One of the best dishes I've had, perhaps ever. This recipe from the NYT gets you pretty close to the actual dish served at the restaurant. I'd add a bit of butter at the end to finish it off.
Honestly, though? Just buy A Girl and Her Pig already. There's not a bad thing I've tried from this one and it is all simple, lovely fare that you can't get enough of (yes, even the veal kidneys. No lie.).

While we are on the subject of cookbooks--please also pick up a copy of Plenty from London's Ottonlenghi. You won't ever struggle with eating vegetables ever again. One of the best cookbook purchases I've ever made.

Corn with Miso Butter and Bacon from Savour Fare. She takes a slightly complex David Chang recipe and simplifies it so it is a breeze to prepare and let me tell you--you will be buying every ear of corn you see from here on out to make this again and again.

So, so easy refrigerator pickles from A Way to Garden. For some reason the husband and I have been on a pickle binge and these may be the best ones yet.

Brown Butter Tomatoes from food52. Can you even call this a recipe? Somehow, though, the caramel notes of the cooked butter coating the fresh tomatoes will make this one of the greatest simple treats you've tasted all summer long.

What have you been loving lately?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Oven Baked Spare Ribs

I know some people hate the heat of summer, but I have to disagree. It's not always comfortable being hot, but I would much rather walk down the street in a sundress and flip-flops than be bundled up and barely able to move in a huge coat, scarf, hat, gloves and boots. Summer means enjoying the stroll to the markets, lounging on a park bench with a good book, ice cream, trips to the beach. It means not having to have an excuse for a backyard barbecue, and farmer's stands overflowing with the treasure of their harvest. To me the summer means unlimited possibilities, in the kitchen and in the everyday.

Despite the sun beating down today, I had a wonderful walk over to Bklyn Larder, Fermented Grapes, and the grocery store for ingredients for tonight's dinner. I love knowing the neighborhood so well that I know where to stop for which particular products, and love knowing that many of the shop workers recognize me as well. The sense of community is strong and it feels great to belong to that. Between the gorgeous weather, the friendly neighbors, and the sense of opportunity on the horizon, it is a damn fine day (plus I get to finally have dinner with the husband again after a couple of crazy busy weeks).

These ribs are an excellent way to pass a perfect summer evening--lots of flavor from the soy and fish sauces, wonderfully tender with just enough bite, and the low oven temps help keep your home cool. Enjoy them with friends to make the experience complete.

Oven Baked Spare Ribs
2-3 servings
2.5 lbs. rack of pork spare ribs
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 TB fish sauce
1 TB white wine vinegar
1 t. sesame oil
1 t. liquid smoke
1 t. season salt
1 t. dried onion flakes
1/4 t. dried garlic powder
1/2 t. smoked pepper
1/2 t. salt

In a small bowl mix together the honey, soy sauce, fish sauce, white wine vinegar, sesame oil and liquid smoke. Pour this all over the spare ribs.
In another small bowl mix together the season salt, onion flakes, garlic powder, smoked pepper and salt. Sprinkle this all over the ribs. Cover the ribs with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
Pull the ribs out of the fridge and allow to sit at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes as the oven is preheating to 275 degrees. Then place them on a foil lined baking sheet or in a baking dish. Place in the oven and bake until the meat is fork tender (about 2-2 1/2 hours). Remove from the oven and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.
Slice the ribs between each of the bones and serve.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Chinese 5-Spice Slaw

One of the worst parts about not having a backyard or a balcony is not being able to own a grill. I miss the impromptu gatherings that are held centered on the grilling of meats with beers in hand and good friends all around. It is truly a downside to living in New York City.

In Kansas I remember many an evening perfumed by burning charcoal, the char of meat, a warm breeze on the air and the sound of laughter and conversation mingling together. It was never fancy or fussy and often was the result of a last minute phone call as an invite. You would be asked to maybe bring some meat and a side. Often it was as easy as swinging by Dillons to the deli department for some prepared potato salad or baked beans, or for a bag of chips, packet of hot dogs, and beer. As amazing as the grilled burgers and hot dogs tasted, the meal wouldn't be quite the same without the sides: some coleslaw, deviled eggs, etc. They made the event complete.

This is my attempt to recreate one of those summer evenings inside my NYC apartment. The meat isn't grilled, but it is deeply flavored and served on a toasted bun--just the sort of thing you'd crave at a barbecue. And served alongside (or right on top of that pulled pork if you are doing it right) is a crisp, easy coleslaw flavored with the warm notes of Chinese 5-Spice. Paired with a super cold beer and a few friends, and you can almost feel the grass under your toes and hear the locusts buzzing in the trees. Summer on a plate.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches
serves 8-10

2.5 lb boneless pork roast
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 TB dried mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2 t. seasoned salt
1/2 t. smoke seasoning (smoked sea salt and pepper)
1 t. dried onion flakes
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. salt
1/2 c. olive oil
3-5 c. beef stock
8-10 buns

Mix together the garlic, dried mushrooms, seasoned salt, smoke seasoning, dried onion flakes, pepper, salt and olive oil. Rub all over the pork roast. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight.
Unwrap the pork roast and place it into a crock pot. Pour in the beef stock until you have enough to come just over halfway up the side of the roast. Turn the crock pot on and cook until the pork is tender enough to shred with a fork (probably about 4-5 hours on high and about 7 hours or so on low. Go ahead and flip the pork roast over about halfway through the cooking process).
Remove the pork from the crock pot and shred all the meat using two forks. It wouldn't hurt to toss a few tablespoons of the braising liquids over top of the meat here for extra flavor.

Butter the inside of the rolls. Toast in a skillet or under the broiler until nice and brown. Top with the pork (and the coleslaw if desired) and serve.

Chinese 5-Spice Coleslaw
3 1/2 c. shredded red cabbage
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/3 c. white wine vinegar
1 t. Chinese 5-spice powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 t. seasoned salt

Mix together the mayonnaise with the white wine vinegar, 5-spice, salt, pepper and seasoned salt. Mix with the red cabbage. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Serve on top of the pulled pork sandwiches or as a side.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tried and True

As much as I enjoy creating my own recipes or only using others' recipes as jumping-off points when I cook sometimes there is nothing so nice as having a recipe that is already there in front of you to use. Especially one you know works. It takes away any guesswork and any stress that may come from off-the-cuff cooking. I want to share a few recipes that I have found around the web lately that I love and will be returning to again and again.

From Serious Eats: Quick Poached Asian Pears

From Baked Perfection: S'more Cookie Bars

From Vanilla Sugar (and maybe one of my favorite things I've eaten this winter): Mushroom Bisque with Crispy Shallots

From Saveur: Sauteed Ramps and Bacon

From Jaime Oliver via The Kitchn: Milk Braised Chicken

From Furey and the Feast (seriously, wow): Gorgonzola and Leek Creme Brulee

From Giada de Laurentiis: Chicken Piccata

Monday, July 27, 2009

Zucchini and Shitake Pot stickers

Do you find blog posts just piling up in the summertime? I know I do. I am struck by inspiration at every turn in the greenmarket so I'm constantly making new dishes but then I get so caught up enjoying the summer activities that I fall behind in my posting. Then I get really frustrated with myself when I've posted something after it's season has passed.

Thankfully these zucchini are still all over the place at the markets. Paired up with earthy shitake mushrooms and tart sherry vinegar they make an uncomplicated tasty dumpling.

Zucchini and Shitake Pot stickers
1 large summer squash chopped into small pieces
1/2 c. shitake mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
2 TB butter
1/8 c. sherry vinegar
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/8 c. chopped cilantro
20 wonton wrappers
2 TB oil
In a saute pan heat the butter over medium high heat. Add the zucchini and shitake mushrooms and cook for about 4-5 minutes or until tender. Add the sherry vinegar and soy sauce and cook another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to about room temperature. Mix in the cilantro.
Take the mixture and fill a little dollop in each wonton wrapper. Use a little bit of water to close up the wrapper in your preferred method (I like to make them into triangles in the first fold and then pull together the triangle edges to make little "bags").
Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large saute pan. Once very hot add a single layer of the dumplings. Cook until the bottoms are brown and crispy, about 4 minutes. Then pour in 1/2-3/4 c. of water and cover the pan to steam the dumplings, about 7-8 minutes. Remove the dumplings from the pan and serve.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Coconut Rice, and Carving Pumkins

Last night we were able to do something incredibly rare in our house: cook dinner together. I work a lot of evening shifts and when I'm not Joe typically gets home later so I will cook so we can eat as soon as he gets home. But last night I was off and Joe got off of work early, so we could spend the whole evening hanging out.
As soon as he got home, we popped open a bottle of wine (an amazing Chateauneuf du Pape from Domaine des Senechaux) and nibbled on some appetizers while preparing chicken lettuce wraps, coconut rice, and steaming some frozen shu mai from Trader Joe's. It was great being able to really enjoy one another and take our time preparing dinner. I think food always tastes better when you make it together, too.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps
1 lb. boneless chicken breast, chopped into small cubes
1 c. chopped cabbage
1 c. sliced mushrooms
4-5 green onions, chopped
2 TB cooking oil
1 t. sesame oil

2 TB peanut butter
1 TB coconut milk
1 TB oyster and shrimp sauce (or any spicy/sweet sauce)
4 TB soy sauce
1 t. season salt
1 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. pepper
2 TB hot sauce
2 TB vegetable oil

Mix together all ingredients for sauce and set aside. Heat 2 TB cooking oil and sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until mostly cooked through (about 4 minutes). Add mushrooms and cook for about 1 minute, then add cabbage and green onions. Cook until vegetables are ready, about 5 more minutes. Add sauce mixture and cook for another 3-4 minutes. This can be served over rice or served wrapped in lettuce leaves.

Coconut Rice
1 1/4 c. coconut milk
1 1/4 c. instant rice
Bring milk to a boil in a small saucepan. Add rice, stir, cover, and turn off heat. Allow to sit 3-4 minutes or until rice is tender.

After cleaning up dinner, we finally carved our first pumpkin together. It's been years since either of us have done this, so I think it turned out pretty well!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Greenmarket Stir Fry

When I am having a bad day, a trip to the greenmarket always puts me in a better mood. The smell of fresh produce and baked goods and the lure of thousands of recipe ideas is to good to pass up.
As I wandered around the Union Square market on Wednesday, I decided I would make a simple stir fry from the veggies I collected. From the market I purchased onion, green peppers, sugar snap peas, zucchini, and garlic scapes. I decided to buy some red peppers and mushrooms from my supermarket since I love them and couldn't find them at the market and add them to the mix as well. I sauteed them all in a pan with a little oil over high heat and added some already cooked, chopped chicken (leftover from the night before's quesadillas), and a simple sauce. I served it over some white rice and dinner was ready.

Greenmarket Stir-Fry
2 Green peppers, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/8 c. chopped garlic scapes
1 c. sugar snap peas
1/2 zucchini, sliced
chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
3/4 c. garlic ginger sauce
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. white wine
1 t. crushed red pepper
1/2 t. curry
Heat skillet on high heat with 3 tbsp. oil. Add the vegetables and saute until cooked but not mushy (about 5-7 minutes). Mix together sauce ingredients in a separate bowl. When vegetables are ready, add chicken and sauce and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve over rice or noodles unless you are trying to be healthy and go without. But I suggest the rice :-).

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Thai Chicken Pizza

In rummaging through my recipes to decide what to have for dinner, I came across this one. It sounded delicious and rather healthy (at least it had a lot of veggies) so I tried it out. I got the recipe from RR, but made a couple of changes to it. First of all I had the hardest time finding pizza crust in the stores--there was NONE. And I really didn't have the time to make it homemade. So, I took a package and a half of refrigerator biscuits and squished them all together and flattened it out to make the dough. I used my grill/griddle pan again (yay!) to grill the chicken, and I couldn't find seedless cucumbers, so I just used regular ones. I also added some pineapple chunks. Instead of just plan Monterey Jack cheese I used some with peppers in it. I also cut the bean sprouts. It was delicious. I was surprised at how much I actually liked the crust! (PS, sorry for the dirty stove and ugly pan :-).

Thai Chicken Pizza
1 pizza dough, any brand
1/2 cup duck sauce or plum sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 package (2 cups) shredded provolone or Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 rounded tablespoonful peanut butter
2 teaspoons hot sauce
2 teaspoons grill seasoning (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning) eyeball it
4 chicken breast cutlets, 1/2 pound
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1/4 seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into matchsticks
4 scallions, chopped
1 cup bean spouts, a couple of handfuls
Palm full cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 cup chopped peanuts, 2 ounces

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Form pizza crust on pizza pan or cookie sheet. Top with duck or plum sauce - spread it around like you would pizza sauce. Sprinkle the pizza with some crushed red pepper flakes then top with cheese and peppers. Bake until golden and bubbly, 15 to 17 minutes.
Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Combine vegetable oil, soy sauce and peanut butter with hot sauce and grill seasoning. Use the microwave to loosen up peanut butter if it is too cold to blend into sauce, 10 seconds ought to do it. Add chicken and coat evenly with mixture. Let stand 10 minutes then grill chicken cutlets 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until firm. Slice chicken into very thin strips.
While chicken cooks, mix honey and vinegar and add the cucumber. Turn to coat evenly.
Top the hot, cooked pizza with chicken, scallions, sprouts and cilantro. Drain cucumbers and scatter over the pizza. Garnish pizza with peanuts, cut into 8 wedges and serve.

I also made a cake. I admit that I used a box cake mix, but I made the frosting homemade!! I just didn't know the ingredients for a homemade cake off the top of my head and didn't want to go to the store again later. The frosting is one of my faves!

Mocha frosting:
1 cup shortening
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
4 tablespoons milk
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
1 cup hot water

To make the Mocha Frosting: In a large bowl, combine shortening with vanilla. Blend in half of the confectioners' sugar. Blend in 2 tablespoons milk. Repeat with remaining confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons milk. Mix in approximately half of the cocoa.
Dissolve the 1 tablespoon instant coffee into 1 cup of hot water. While still warm, pour two tablespoons of the coffee into the frosting mixture. Mix in remaining cocoa. Add coffee mixture, a tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is achieved. Fill and frost cake.