Toasted Sesame Noodles with Scallion and Ginger

Six To Eight Servings

¾ pound thin egg noodles such as spaghettini or angel hair

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

½ cup minced scallions, white part only

3 cups ¼ -inch sections scallion greens

3 tablespoons rice wine or sake

4 cups bean sprouts, rinsed and drained

Toasted Sesame Dressing, mixed together to dissolve sugar:

7 tablespoons soy sauce

3 ½ tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 to 1 ½ tablespoons sugar

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons Japanese rice vinegar

3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted until golden in a dry pan+

1. Heat 4 quarts water in a large pot until boiling. Add the noodles and swirl in the water. Cook until near tender, about 8 to 9 minutes and drain in a colander and rinse under cold water to remove the starch. Drain thoroughly in a colander. (It is considered bad luck, but you may clip in half the noodles to make them easier to stir-fry.)

2. Heat a wok or a heavy skillet over high heat. Add the oil and heat until very hot, about 15 seconds. Add the ginger and minced scallion whites, and stir-fry until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the greens, rice wine and bean sprouts and toss lightly for a minute.

3. Add the pre-mixed Toasted Sesame Dressing and the cooked noodles and toss lightly over high heat until the noodles are heated through. Add the toasted sesame seeds, reserving a little for the top. Toss lightly to coat and spoon onto a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Photo credit: http://limecake.net

 

Dim Sum Glossary

In some dim sum parlors in Hong Kong, where ingredients
are prime and innovation is encouraged, the dim sum are
extraordinarily diverse. The chef might experiment with
the traditional recipe, creating a new variation on an old theme,
or even a completely new type. There are, however, a number of
standard classics, and the following glossary covers the most traditional
forms which will be found in all fine dim sum restaurants – in any country.

CHA SHAO BAO (Barbecued Pork Buns) airy, globular buns with a
yeast dough skin stuffed with slices of barbecued pork coated in oyster sauce.

CHANG FEN ( Stuffed Sweet Rice Rolls) squat steamed rolls made with
a slippery, white sweet-rice skin and stuffed with a shrimp, beef, or scallop filling.

CHUN JUAN ( Spring Rolls) slender, deep-fried rolls stuffed with pork,
bamboo shoots, and shrimp and wrapped in thin skins made of flour and water.

DAN TA (Custard Tarts) flaky tarts with a rich and eggy custard center.

DOU SHI PAI GU (Steamed Spareribs in Black Bean Sauce) bite-sized
spareribs coated with a fermented black bean sauce.

LO PO GAO ( Fried Turnip Cake) slices of a steamed pudding-like cake
made with shredded daikon radish, chopped Chinese sausage, and rice powder
that are pan-fried until golden brown and crisp.

LUO MI JI (Stuffed Lotus Leaves) steamed packages of lotus leaves stuffed
with glutinous rice, chicken, diced shrimp, and black mushrooms.
(The lotus leaf merely provides flavor and is not eaten.)

SHAO MAI (Steamed Pork Dumplings) open-faced dumplings with a thin
flour and water skin, stuffed with ground pork and garnished with a variety of
ingredients, including peas, chopped ham, and crab roe.

XIA JAO  (Steamed Shrimp Dumplings or HAR GAO) delicate dumplings with
translucent wheat-starch skins stuffed with chopped shrimp and water chestnuts.
Soy sauce and mustard are often mixed and used as a dipping sauce.

XING REN DOUFU (Almond Bean Curd) a refreshing almond-flavored jelly
usually cut into squares or diamond shapes and mixed with fresh or canned fruit salad.

JIAO YU (Stuffed Taro Balls) deep-fried balls made with a mashed,
steamed taro skin and a pork, shrimp, and black mushroom filling.

GUO TIEH (Pan-Fried Dumplings) crusty pan-seared dumplings stuffed with ground pork and cabbage

 

Roasted Ratatouille

The simple technique of roasting accentuates the natural and delicious flavor of vegetables. I like to vary the vegetables in this dish, using fall or winter root vegetables like pumpkin or sweet potato, eggplant or fennel. The dish is especially good served over couscous or rice.

3 medium zucchinis, ends trimmed
1 medium eggplant, stem trimmed
1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded
1 orange bell pepper, cored and seeded
1 yellow bell pepper, cored and seeded
1 large red onion, peeled and ends trimmed
1 pound cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
4 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, stems trimmed, rinsed and blotted dry, about 7     to  8
2 teaspoons oregano
1¼ teaspoons salt
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Cut the zucchini eggplant, bell peppers and onion into 1-inch dice.
2. Put the cut vegetables and cherry tomatoes in a roasting pan, pour in the olive oil, garlic, tear the basil leaves and add along with the oregano, salt and pepper. Toss lightly to coat and spread out in a single layer.
3. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the vegetables are brown at the edges and very tender. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.

Serves 6
© Copyright Nina Simonds 2008

Roasted Beets with Ginger and Balsamic Vinegar

2 ½ pounds medium-size fresh beets with stems, about 10 (You may roast different colored beets if available.)

Flavorings:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 ½  tablespoons minced fresh ginger

2 ½ tablespoons Balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.  Trim the beet stems to 1- inch if necessary and scrub the beets. Arrange on a cookies sheet that has been lined with aluminum foil. Cover the top with the foil and roast the beets for 25 minutes. Let the beets cool enough to handle and rub off the skin.

2. Cut the beets in half, rearrange with the cut edge up on the cookie sheet and brush all part of the beets except the stem with the Flavorings. Return uncovered to the oven and continue roasting until they are very tender,

another 20 to 25 minutes. Arrange on a platter, cool slightly and serve warm, at room temperature, or cold.

Cardamon Rice

6 Cups Cooked Rice

There’s nothing more basic or delicious than fragrant white rice, particularly when you toss in a few smashed pods of cardamom. I prefer the fluffy long-grain varieties such as Basmati and jasmine, which are sold in Asian markets. The cooking time varies depending on the rice, so test the rice for doneness and cook until JUST tender. It will continue cooking even after being removed from the heat.

2 cups long-grain rice
3 pods cardamom, smashed with the flat side of a knife
3 1/4 cups water

  1. Put the rice in a bowl and, using your fingers as a rake, rinse the rice under cold running water to remove some of the talc. Drain the rice in a strainer.
  2. Put the rice, water, and smashed cardamom in a heavy, 2-quart saucepan with a lid. Heat, uncovered, to the boiling point. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until the water has evaporated and craters appear on the surface. Remove from the heat and fluff lightly with a fork to separate the grains. Serve, or, if using for fried rice, spread the rice out in a thin layer on a tray. Let cool completely, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator overnight.

© Copyright Nina Simonds 2008

Jesse’s Favorite Crispy-Baked Potato Pancakes

Makes about 28

¼ cup virgin olive oil

2 pounds Idaho or baking potatoes, about 4 or 5

5 whole scallions, ends trimmed and minced (about 1 cup) OR 1 ½ medium-size red onions (If no red, use yellow.)

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 large egg white, lightly beaten

1 cup sour cream and/or applesauce for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Brush two baking sheets liberally with the olive oil, reserving a tablespoon for the batter. Using a hand grater or with the shredding blade of the food processor, grate the potatoes and

transfer them to a large mixing bowl. Add the minced scallions (or onion), flour, salt, and pepper. Mix with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Add the egg, egg white, and the reserved tablespoon of the oil and stir to mix.
2. Drop the batter by tablespoons onto the oiled cookie sheets. Press lightly to flatten and form a circular pancake, about 3 inches in diameter. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown on the bottom. Using a spatula, flip the pancakes over and flatten with a spatula. Bake another 5 -6 minutes or until golden brown. Let the pancakes cool on a cooling rack and arrange, browned-side up on a serving pl the side.

© Copyright Nina Simonds 2010

Photo: http://www.holidays.net/chanukah/latkes.htm

Disclaimer: Herbs, foods, and other natural remedies are not substitutes for professional medical care.
For a specific health problem, consult a qualified health-care giver for guidance.

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