Cheat Chicken Phở ~ with Lemongrass & Ginger Chicken

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When you have a choice, always choose Phở. You just can’t go wrong and there are so many variations to choose from; beef, meatballs, chicken, seafood, vegetarian, etc. How can you go wrong with the national dish of Viet Nam? I don’t know if that’s true or not but I’ve never met a Vietnamese person who didn’t like phở or who’s family didn’t make it. It’s like how pizza and hamburgers are to Americans.8-)

But first, let’s step back for a minute and talk about the pronunciation of the word, Phở. Please click on the You Tube link for the pronunciation, PLEASE, I beg of you! It sounds more like “fuh” and not with the long “0” sound like I hear a lot of people say. That is like nails on a chalkboard to me. I’ve taught my husband who is not Vietnamese how to say it and even he corrects people now. It’s a phenomenon people, get on board.

Now, onto the good stuff. I call this “Cheat Chicken Phở” because I’m not making the broth from meat and bones. I’m using a soup base and adding some spices so you know there’s very little fat in this. I’m also baking marinated chicken in the oven instead of the traditional method of boiling the chicken and bones and shredding it after. My husband doesn’t like the taste of boiled chicken so I’m trying out a more flavorful way of cooking the chicken this time.

First I turned the oven on to broil and cut a large onion in half. A small or medium-sized onion would’ve worked also. I saved the other half to slice later to garnish the phở bowl. I also peeled the skin off of a knub of ginger. Then I drizzled some extra virgin olive oil on it to help it brown. If you have a gas stove top you can just brown them on there without the oil.

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This is what it will look like out of the broiler after 5 minutes and the best part is you can just toss the tin foil afterward.

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I took the other half of the onion and thinly sliced it.

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WARNING: I strongly advise you use gloves whenever you chop chili peppers and jalapeño peppers! I think I picked these gloves up at Dollar Tree.

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I just use whatever I had in my fridge for the garnish; sliced white onions, chopped green onions, lime wedges and jalapeños and chili peppers. I didn’t have cilantro but I did have some fresh basil that I garnished on top later. It helps to have all of your accoutrements ready to go when the phở is ready to eat.

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For the chicken, I used thinly sliced breasts and marinated them with lemongrass and ginger paste, fish sauce and soy sauce, salt and pepper and extra virgin olive oil. I placed them in a pan and baked them in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes, turning them over half way through.

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This is what the chicken looked like when they were done cooking and resting before I sliced into them.

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While the chicken is resting, you can put together the spices. I use a large tea strainer to hold all of my spices and it conveniently has a hook on it to keep it from sinking into the pot. I also used a mortar to crush the coriander seeds before I added it to the tea strainer.

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Since I wasn’t cooking any meat and bones to make the broth I used these pho bouillon cubes to help flavor it instead. You can use this for beef or chicken phở.

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After you broil the onion and ginger, you can add it into a pot of boiling water with the strainer of the spices, the bouillon cubes, fish sauce, salt and sugar.

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At the same time that you have a pot of water boiling for the pho you can start another one to boil the rice noodles. These are pretty easy to find at your local grocery store in the ethnic foods section.

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While the broth is boiling, slice the chicken into bite-size pieces against the grain.

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Traditional pho takes at least 6 hours to cook so that the spices and flavors are concentrated. This Cheat Phở is ready right away because you’re not waiting for the bones to cook and the flavors to absorb into the broth. You can assemble it once the noodles are done cooking and then pour the hot boiling broth on top.

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I taste-tested the recipe at lunch 😉 and then assembled these bowls for dinner. Sadly my youngest child, Lucy does not eat pho yet so I gave her some of the chicken and some left over pasta for dinner. I’m still working on her and haven’t given up yet. After all, she is part Vietnamese!

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Although Lucy didn’t eat it she still loved smelling the aroma of the spices while I was cooking. She also wanted me to take a picture of our Lazy Susan in the center of our table with all the sauces and accoutrements. She has this weird thing of loving watching me add all of the sauces in and the basil, cilantro and bean sprouts (which I didn’t have) and squeezing in the fresh lime juice. I imagine it’s like watching a ritual for her. I’m hoping this will translate into her eating it one day. We just got her to love eating Vietnamese egg rolls last year so baby steps.

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So after my little experiment of not cooking the chicken on the bone in the broth and baking it instead, my husband and oldest daughter declared it was the BEST Cheat Chicken Phở I’ve ever made. MAD Goddess For The Win!

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I’ll post the exact ingredients shortly but wanted to get the method on here first.

 

 

JALAPEÑO MARGARITAS

If sugar and spice make everything nice then this makes it real good. Ay caramba! I love to cut a sweet and tangy margarita with some fresh jalapeños.

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Put some chopped jalapeños in a glass with lime juice and margarita salt.

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Muddle it all together.

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I used a tall shot glass and used:

  • 1 part tequila
  • 4 parts margarita mix
  • 1 part cold water
  • lime juice

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Put it into a handheld shaker and add some more chopped jalapeños with the seeds and some more margarita salt with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a glass 3/4 full of ice. I had some chopped jalapeños already in there and topped with some more margarita salt instead of on the rim. That way I’m sure to get some salt without it slipping down the glass.

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Wait, I’m going in for seconds…..

 

Okay I’m back now after I found feeling back in my lips again after all those jalapeños. Please let me know if you’ve ever tried this, if you’ve made this, if you hate it, love it, think I’m crazy, whatever!

Lasagna A La Bolognese

Servings: 4-6                  Prep Time: 15 minutes               Cook Time: 45 minutes

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Who doesn’t love a hearty lasagna or a bold bolognese sauce? Here’s a family weeknight meal that combines both of those flavors, is easy to make and easy to eat! Warning, this is definitely NOT a diet meal, it’s more like a cheat meal. That’s why I only used a small square 8 x 8″ baking pan and not a 9 x 13″ baking pan!

Ingredients – 

  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil (I like to use Colavita brand.)
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped (You could use pancetta but it’s much saltier than bacon.)
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, roughly chopped (I happened to have both type of onions so I used both.)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of baby carrots, finely chopped (You could use 1-2 whole carrots if you have it.)
  • 1 lb. of mild Italian sausage
  • 1-25 oz jar of marinara sauce
  • 8 oz. of sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 9 oz. box of Barilla oven-ready lasagna
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sprinkle of dried Italian herbs (basil, oregano, thyme)
  • Fresh basil, julienned for topping if you like

Directions – 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

When I’m in a hurry I microwave my bacon. I used a microwave-safe plate and lined it with a paper towel    below and on top of the bacon and cooked it on high for 5 minutes.

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Meanwhile, chop the onions, scallions and mince shallots and garlic.

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Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to a medium heated pan and add the onions, garlic and carrots. Lightly salt and pepper the pan. Remember that the bacon is already salty. Cook for a few minutes on low heat until carrots are tender and onions have caramelized a little.

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Then add the chopped bacon and sauté for another minute.

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I used Johnsonville mild sausage. If I had ground beef I would have added it as well.

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Brown the sausage until no longer pink.

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Then add the whole jar of marinara sauce. I like to use San Marzano Marinara sauce made with heirloom tomatoes. It’s the bomb!

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Sprinkle in Italian herbs and salt and pepper to-taste. Cook for about 5 minutes.

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Now you can begin to assemble your lasagna. Spoon a small amount of the sauce on the bottom of the baking dish.

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Then put your first layer of flat lasagna noodles. The Barilla Oven-Ready Lasagna is our favorite in our family. It’s easy to use too because you don’t have to boil it first. You just use it straight from the package and it will cook in the oven. I find that it breaks less easily than the other kind as well. After you have put down a layer of pasta, add the meat sauce until it has covered the pasta.

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Here’s where it gets fabulous, each layer gets a full coverage of mozzarella cheese! Yup, I told you this isn’t a “diet” meal.

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Repeat this 2 more times. The top should be a layer of the sliced mozzarella cheese again and to top it off I like to sprinkle on the shredded cheddar cheese here to give it that yellowy color on top. Cover with tin foil and place the baking pan on top of a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Then remove the tin foil and bake for another 10 minutes at 425 degrees. I added in cheesy garlic bread for the last 10 minutes of cooking so they were both done at the same time.;-)

I did have basil that I had planned on sprinkling on top of the lasagna but it didn’t make it that far. I also didn’t make a salad either. This went straight in my belly, twice!

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I made my family play a trivia game during dinner and guess what was in the lasagna. It was funny! They didn’t know half of the ingredients. That’s what I love about chopping up vegetables really small, they can’t even really taste it and don’t know they’re eating them until after I tell them and I love the surprised look on their faces.

This is basically a lasagna dish with some bolognese flavors. You can add and substitute so many different ingredients in here but I was trying to keep it simple. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and any of my other recipes. Bon Appétit!

Vietnamese Tofu Tomato Soup

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Please, if you haven’t run for the hills yet then at least read the recipe and then you can add whatever you like in it if you’re not a tofu fan. I even used basil instead of cilantro for the cilantro haters!

Seriously though, this is a childhood favorite of mine and something that my mom used to make all the time. It brings back so many fond memories of my mom cooking in our old kitchen and me just watching her do her magic.

A traditional Vietnamese family meal would consist of steamed rice, a meat dish, a vegetable dish and a soup and the whole family would share it. The dishes would be in the center of the table and each family member would have a small bowl with rice. We used our chopsticks to pickup the food and then eat it in our rice bowl. Unlike American traditions, the last part of the meal is the soup. We would pour the soup into our rice bowls to finish it off with our remaining rice.

Ingredients

  • 14 oz. package of extra firm tofu, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 stalks of green onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced into bite-sized pieces about the same size as the tofu
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce to stew the tomatoes and onions and 2 tablespoons of fish sauce for the broth
  • Cilantro/basil for garnish
  • Sriracha hot sauce, optional

Here’s a the tofu package that I used that I bought from Kroger. Normally I buy the extra firm tofu that is already pre-sliced.

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It just saves me a step but no biggie, it’s not like tofu is hard to cut.8-) IMG_8042

I laid the tofu on the side and first cut it in half length-wise. Then I sectioned it into thirds and then cut it into half-inch sized pieces.

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I used a small 6 quart sauce pan because I wasn’t planning on making a lot of soup. On medium heat, sauté the onions and garlic for a couple of minutes and lightly salt and pepper. I like to add salt and pepper to every layer so that it is well seasoned. Then add the tomatoes, fish sauce and black pepper.

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When the tomatoes have been stewed for a few minutes, add water to the pot about 3/4 of the way full. Turn the heat on high and add the tofu, rest of the green onions, fish sauce, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Let it simmer on low heat for 5 to 10 minutes until the soup has reduced a little.

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Spoon into a bowl and add fresh basil or cilantro to serve.

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A more traditional Vietnamese way of making this soup is frying the tofu pieces first. You could do that but I think this is a quicker, healthier version of it. Sometimes I like to add in chopped chicken breast or ground pork as another protein in the soup if I have some left over from another dish I’m making that day. I suppose if you are not a tofu fan at all you could omit it and just use another protein like chicken, pork or shrimp.  That’s not really the soup I’m making here but as always, if you like the basis of the soup then you can change it up according to your liking. You could also use a chicken stock or vegetable stock as well but I’m fine with just the water as long as it is well seasoned.

Oh and by the way, if you haven’t figured out by now that Vietnamese cooking requires fish sauce then you might not want to read the rest of my blog posts.;-)

Mississippi Mud Cake

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I need Mississippi Mud Cake like I need a hole in the head! Sheesh! This wintry cold weather has got me cooking and baking and it’s all going into my belly! This is not good, it’s irresistible! Usually when I crave a sweet treat I eat a few bites of it and then I’ve had enough. This one’s got me coming back for more. It reminds me of McEntyre’s Bakery’s TV Bars with it’s gooey marshmallow topping under a chocolate glaze icing. Now I can make this cake whenever I crave it and not have to drive twenty some miles to get it.

Here’s the recipe I used, http://tastesbetterfromscratch.com/2015/09/mississippi-mud-cake.html.

Ingredients – 

Cake

  • One Chocolate Cake, baked in a 9 x 13” pan (I used a glass pan and bought the chocolate cake mix at Target.)
  • 1 (10.5 oz) bag of miniature marshmallows

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I found this cake mix at Target and it is very moist as it calls for 4 eggs in the recipe.

For the frosting

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Instructions – 

Bake chocolate cake according to instructions. Remove cake from oven and sprinkle marshmallows all over the cake, completely covering it. Return to oven (at 350 degrees F) for 3-4 minutes or until the marshmallows are just slightly puffed and melted. Allow cake to cool completely before drizzling frosting on top. This was one of the hardest parts, is to wait!

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For the frosting: Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add milk and cocoa powder and whisk well. Cook for about 2-3 more minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened slightly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and powdered sugar. Use an electric mixer to make the frosting smooth. (I don’t have a hand-held mixer so I just heavily whisked the frosting until I got most of the lumps out. As you can see in the photos, it didn’t really make a difference.) Drizzle warm frosting immediately over cake. Refrigerate cake for for about 30 minutes or until frosting has set. It is best served and stored at room temperature. Try keeping your husband and kids away from this one!

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Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Medjool Dates with Goat Cheese

Warning! These are extra good!

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Who doesn’t love a good bacon app? Again, I don’t show up without bacon to a party invite. I brought these bad boys with me and of course they were gone by the time we left the party and I had made over 40 over them!

This is very simple to make, you just assemble the parts and put it in the oven. No mixing, no measuring ingredients, no nonsense. So if you’re trying to come up with a delicious and easy appetizer for a party, this one is a must and a crowd-pleaser!

Ingredients

  • 30-40 Medjool dates, sliced open and pitted (Trust me you’ll need to make a lot if serving at a party because it will be gone in minutes! I bought a container about the size of a medium-sized strawberries package of Medjool dates from Trader Joes.)
  • 2 packages of bacon, cut in half or thirds, depending on how thick and long your strips of bacon are. They will need to be long enough to wrap around the dates.
  • 4 oz. container of goat cheese, crumbled

Preparation

  1. Slice open the dates and take the seeds out.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Stuff the dates with a very small amount of the crumbled goat cheese.
  4. Cover a large baking pan with tin foil.
  5. Wrap each piece of stuffed date with the cut bacon and secure with a toothpick, piercing through to the other side. Repeat until all the dates have been wrapped in bacon and place onto the baking pan.

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Bake for 20-30 minutes until the bacon is brown and crisp. Keep checking every 5 minutes so you don’t over cook the bacon. I had to do 2 batches to spread out the dates enough for the bacon to crisp. Serve on a pretty platter and watch how fast they get gobbled up!

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Warm & Cheesy Bacon Jalapeño Dip

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I never show up to a party without BACON! Come on, if my friends are gracious enough to invite me and/ my family to a party, I can at least bring the bacon! This is what I made and brought to a New Year Eve’s party that was a dessert theme. I figured there would be enough sweets to eat that a savory dish might cut the cheese. Hahahaha I amuse only myself. I asked the hostess ahead of time if this was okay with her. Thanks, Michelle! I’m sure you didn’t mind.;) We brought store-bought tortilla chips to eat with the dip.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. of softened cream cheese
  • 16 oz. of sour cream (large container)
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4-6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled/chopped into small pieces
  • 1 stalk of scallions, chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, chopped, no seeds (Tip: Wear gloves, my eyes learned this from experience!)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook bacon and crumble. Set aside.
  3. Chop green onion.
  4. Combine all of the ingredients into a large bowl and mix until well combined. Remember to save some of the bacon, cheese, green onions and jalapeños to garnish on top. I like to do this so people can see what’s in the dip. Transfer mixture into a serving dish that is oven safe. I used a square glass baking dish that’s 8 x 8″.
  5. Bake in oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly.
  6. Serve immediately with sliced French baguette, tortilla chips, crackers or veggies sticks.

Photo of the dip before I put it in the oven.

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Thai-Vietnamese Curry Chicken Noodle Soup

Serves: 6 to 8               Prep Time: 30 minutes              Cook Time: 15 to 20 minutes

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I’ve never done this before but I made this dish on a Friday night and then three days later I made it AGAIN! That’s how much we liked it. Except, I can’t leave well enough alone and had to put my Vietnamese spin on it. I first found the recipe on Pinterest for 15 Minute Coconut Curry Noodle Soup and since I already had most of the ingredients I thought I’d try it. I love to take simple recipes that are easy to make and then add more depth and flavor to them by adding more spices and ingredients such as veggies.

This photo below was my 10 year old daughter’s bowl and yes, she actually ate it!

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The photos that have more of a red sauce are from the original recipe and the photos that have less red in them are the ones from when I added my additional spices to it. I’ve also added in links to products that I use if you would like to see brand suggestions. Most of my links are to websites where you can purchase the items if you do not have an Asian grocery store near you, like Amazon for instance since they seem to carry most items.

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(I forgot to include the coconut milk cans in this photo.)

Here’s the original recipe with my changes and additions below in blue.

Ingredients – 

Soup Base

  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemongrass, grated OR 1 tablespoon of lemongrass paste OR 1 tablespoon of lemongrass powder (fresh is always best)

Here’s a photo of the kind I have in my pantry that I picked up at our Asian grocery store.

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  • 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons of madras curry powder (This is what gives it the Vietnamese/Indian curry flavor. You could use curry powder for convenience but it just won’t have all of the same spices in it.) 

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  • 1-2 tablespoons of light brown sugar (to counteract the savory spices, add to-taste)
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to-taste

Other Ingredients

  • 8 oz. boneless chicken breast or thighs, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 4 cups chicken broth (=32 oz. box of chicken broth)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cans of coconut milk OR 1 can of coconut milk + 1 can of light cow’s milk for less fat
  • 16 oz. dried rice vermicelli noodles OR flat rice noodles

Vegetables (and other optional ingredients) – sautéed in a separate pan before adding to the broth

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 carrot, shaved with a peeler so they are thinly sliced
  • 1 red and 1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thick slices
  • 8 oz. of shrimp, de-shelled, deveined with tail on

Garnish

  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Sliced red onion, cilantro, green scallions to garnish
  • Thai basil
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Sriracha sauce
  • Red chili peppers, chopped

Preparation – 

  • Chop all of the ingredients and set them aside.

(I had chopped all my vegetables for the week earlier in the day and this is a photo of them.)

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  • Thinly slice the chicken breasts on a diagonal and set aside.
  • In a large pot over high heat, prepare the noodles per the package instructions. If you don’t have or can’t find flat rice noodles you can use 4 Ramen noodles packages, leaving out the spice packets.
  • While the noodles are being prepared, in a large frying pan over medium heat, add the oil, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and add salt and pepper. Sauté until browned. Set aside.

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  • In another large soup pot over medium heat, add the coconut oil, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and Thai red curry paste and sauté for about 5 minutes.

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  • Then add the chicken and cook for a few minutes until the chicken is cooked.

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  • Add the chicken broth, water, fish sauce and coconut milk. Bring to a boil and add the vegetables and the rest of the spices (madras curry powder, brown sugar and bay leaf). Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
  • Then pour the boiling soup over noodles prepared and set into a bowl.
  • Garnish with your favorite toppings. I have diced scallions, red onions and basil below. You can use cilantro as well.

Enjoy!

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“PANCETT-I”

Prep Time: 2-3 minutes (boil pasta)         Cook Time: 5 minutes                Serves: 4

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My daughter asked me where I got the recipe from and I said, “my head”. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to come up with a pasta dish that has butter, olive oil, garlic, pasta, a veggie and a meat/protein. It’s something filling, savory with the pancetta and has something green in it! You can mix and match whatever veggies or pasta or protein you want as long as you understand the basis of the dish.

So we were trying to come up with a name for this dish over dinner and my daughter said it was like a spaghetti but with pancetta so we combined the two names and called it “Pancett-i”. My husband called it “Chau-ghetti”, after my name.:) Whatever you call it it was “gone-i”.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz of linguine (I used BUITONI)
  • 4 oz of diced pancetta (I used Boar’s Head brand)
  • 5 oz package of baby spinach (I used Organic Simple Truth)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon of butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (My favorite is Colavita), 1 to sauté and 1 to boil the linguine
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • chili pepper flakes (optional)

The linguine only takes 2-3 minutes to boil so timing was of the essence. Boil the pasta according to the package instructions and add sea salt and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil into the pan. Meanwhile heat a sauté pan on medium low heat with 1 tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil. Then add the pancetta and sauté for a minute or two before adding in the garlic. You just want the garlic to brown for the aroma but you don’t want to burn it. If this is done cooking before the pasta, set the pan aside. When the noodles are ready, add them into the sauté pan with the pancetta and garlic. Then add in the baby spinach.

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Combine everything thoroughly and add about a small ladle of the pasta water into the mixture. This helps with flavoring and keeps the pasta tender. Add salt and pepper to the pan. If you like you can add some red chili pepper flakes. I just added them to my plate though.

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Another winner in this house. I know that may sound like a very small target audience but trust me, that’s like a a miracle over here!

 

Christmas Day 2015

We started out opening presents on Christmas day so we planned on having a light, late lunch. Here’s what we planned.

Brunch:

Charcuterie Board

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Isn’t a picture worth a thousand words? Then I’d say this was worth more than that to my mouth. My mouth did a happy dance that day. It was Christmas day for us and we were planning a heavy dinner, surf and turf so I wanted to have a late, light lunch while sipping on spirits. What easier better way then with a charcuterie of our favorite meats, fruits, breads, olives and cheese? It was scrumptious and easy to make. The only thing I actually made was the baked pastry puff with brie cheese and pomegranate jam inside. So hot and gooey. As for the bread, I sliced a French baguette into thin slices for dipping into the extra virgin olive oil with shaved parmigiano reggiano cheese, red chili pepper flakes and salt and pepper.

This is the recipe I used to make the Baked Brie – http://dashofsavory.com/savory/sweet-savory-baked-brie/

Christmas cocktails – we sipped on sparkling wine, a splash of Simply Mixed Berry Juice Drink and fresh pomegranate.

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Fruit Flavored Water – Sliced oranges, strawberries and pomegranate seeds and water. I know it sounds so simple but yet my kids BEGGED me to make this again. We drank it all day long. Last time I used sliced lemons and kiwi but some said it was too tangy so I didn’t use the lemons this time.

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Christmas Dinner:

Herb Roasted Potato and Arugula Salad – with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese with a home-MAD lemon vinaigrette, http://www.veggieinspiredjourney.com/2015/07/15/herb-roasted-potato-and-arugula-salad/. It was to-die for!

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Lemon Vinaigrette – 

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup good extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of honey if too tart from the lemon
  • chopped thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons Red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoon of minced cilantro
  • 1/4 lb. chunk very good Parmesan, grated

Seared Shrimp with Bacon in Lemon Butter Sauce – My family doesn’t like scallops so I changed this recipe to shrimp instead, http://juliasalbum.com/2015/10/seared-scallops-with-bacon-in-lemon-butter-sauce/.

I tried to use common ingredients in the different dishes so that I would have them, lemons, parsley, thyme, etc. I guess you could substitute chicken if you’re not a seafood lover. I bet with the bacon and the lemon butter sauce it would still be delicious!

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Filet Mignon with Fresh Herb and Garlic Rub – http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/filet-mignon-with-fresh-herb-garlic-rub

While our Christmas Day dinner was not the usual gluttony of dishes, all three of these paired so well with each other that we were all happy with it. It was definitely enough!

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