Ramen Soup with Greens

Ingredients

7 cups dashi (Japanese stock)
2 tablespoons Japanese soy sauce, or dark soy sauce
1-1/2 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
2 fresh shiitake mushrooms, finely sliced
6 oz dried ramen noodles
8 quail eggs or 4 eggs
8 oz pickled Japanese wild vegetables (sansai) or 7 oz. baby spinach mixed with 1 oz chopped bamboo shoot
2 scallions, finely sliced diagonally

Method

  1. To make the broth, put the dashi, soy sauce, and mirin into a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer for 5-6 minutes.
  2. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Bring a large saucepan of unsalted water to a boil, then add the noodles and cook for about 4-5 minutes until tender. Drain and tip into a bowl of cold water set under cold running water. Using your hands, carefully rinse the noodles of excess surface starch. Drain again.
  4. Bring a large skillet of water to a boil. Carefully prick the quail eggs with the point of a sharp knife, piercing the tough inner membrane. Crack the eggs into the simmering water, cover, and immediately remove from the heat. Let stand for 1 minute until just set, then transfer to a bowl of cold water to arrest cooking. If using eggs, cook for 4 minutes, then transfer to cold water.
  5. Return the broth to a boil, add the noodles and pickled vegetables or spinach and bamboo shoot, and reheat for 1 minute. Divide between 4 heated soup bowls, top with the poached eggs and scallions, then serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Noodles and Pasta

Orecchiette Bolognese with Chestnuts

Ingredients

1-1/4 pounds thickly sliced smoked ham, torn into small pieces
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/4 pounds ground beef chuck
Pinch of ground cloves
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped sage
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1-1/2 cups dry red wine
1 (28-ounce) can tomato puree
2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
pinch of sugar
freshly ground black pepper
1 pound orecchiette
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup vacuum-packed chestnuts, coarsely chopped (4 ounces)
2 tablespoons very finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
salt
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Method

  1. Pulse the ham pieces in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
  2. In a large, deep casserole or Dutch oven, heat the oil. Add the chopped ham, beef chuck and cloves. Cook over high heat, stirring once or twice, until the meat begins to brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic to the casserole and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are barely softened, about 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the sage, rosemary and crushed red pepper and cook until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Add the red wine and cook until it is nearly evaporated, about 10 minutes.
  6. Add the tomato puree, chicken stock and sugar, season with black pepper and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Simmer uncovered over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the Bolognese sauce is thick and reduced by half, about 45 minutes.
  7. in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the orecchiette until al dente.
  8. Stir the heavy cream into the Bolognese sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.
  9. Stir in the chopped chestnuts and parsley and season lightly with salt. Drain the pasta and transfer to a large bowl. Spoon the Bolognese sauce over the pasta and serve, passing the Parmesan at the table.

Makes 6 servings.

Source:Chef Daniel Boulud

Orecchiette with Sausage and Roasted Peppers

Ingredients

2 medium red bell peppers, four flat sides sliced off core, ribs and seeds discarded
2 medium yellow bell peppers, four flat sides sliced off core, ribs and seeds discarded
coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
1 pound orecchiette or other short pasta
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Method

  1. Heat the broiler. Place the peppers, skin side up, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 4 inches from the heat until charred, 18 to 20 minutes.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Steam for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Using a paper towel, rub off the pepper skins, reserving any juices in the bowl.
  4. Thinly slice the peppers crosswise into 1/4-inch strips. Return to the bowl and set aside.
  5. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  6. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the sausage, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned, 7 to 10 minutes.
  7. Add the roasted peppers. Cook until heated through.
  8. Transfer the sausage mixture to a large bowl. Add the pasta, butter, reserved pasta water, and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Great Food Fast

Chicken Dumplings with Cilantro-Za’atar Sauce

Ingredients

8 ounces ground chicken
1/2 cup finely chopped bok choy (1 small head)
1 scallion, white part only, finely chopped
2 teaspoons sambal oelek
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon mirin
1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup rice flour
1 (12-ounce) package round wonton wrappers

Sauce

1 garlic clove, mashed
1 tablespoon sambal oelek
1 tablespoon chopped almonds
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 scallion, green part only, finely chopped
1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves and stems
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice wine vinegar

To Finish

2 tablespoons expeller-pressed canola oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Method

  1. Put the chicken, bok choy, scallion, sambal, soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix well.
  2. To make the dumplings, have a small bowl of water with a pastry bush nearby. Lightly dust a baking sheet or platter where you will be placing the filled dumplings with the rice flour. Place 4 wrappers on a clean work surface. Cover unused wrappers with a damp towel or plastic wrap so they will not dry out.
  3. Lightly brush the wrappers with water. Place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of each wrapper. Moisten the edges with a bit of water and fold over to make a half-moon. Using your fingers, carefully crimp the sealed edges in a scalloped pattern. Repeat with the remaining 3 dumpling wrappers. Continue this process until all the dumplings are made.
  4. Place the dumplings on the prepared baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate until ready to cook them.
  5. Place the garlic, sambal, almonds, and sesame seeds in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides as necessary.
  6. Add the scallion, cilantro, and lime juice to the food processor and blend to a puree. Through the feed tube, pour in the olive oil; add the salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons water. Blend until the sauce has the semismooth consistency of pesto. Add the sesame oil and vinegar and blend. Transfer to a bowl and set aside until ready to serve.
  7. To cook the dumplings, place a steamer in the bottom of a large pot. Add 1 to 1-1/2 inches water to the pot. Arrange the dumplings on the steamer, cover, and turn on the heat. Steam for 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon and taking care not to burn yourself from the hot steam, transfer the dumplings to a platter flat (bottom) side down.
  8. Heat the canola oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Using tongs, transfer the steamed dumplings to the skillet, flat side down, and cook until they are golden brown on the bottom. Transfer the dumplings to a paper towel-lined platter and continue until all the dumplings are cooked.
  9. Spread the Cilantro-Za’atar Sauce on a platter. Arrange the dumplings on the platter and garnish with the sesame seeds before serving.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: True Food

Scallops on Noodles

Ingredients

4 oz dried green tea noodles, or the thinnest green noodles you can find
1 oz butter
1 garlic clove, crushed
pinch of paprika
1 tbsp peanut or corn oil, plus a little extra for cooking the scallops
2 tbsp bottled mild or medium Thai green curry paste
2 tbsp water
2 tsp light soy sauce
2 scallions, finely shredded, and extra scallions, sliced, to garnish
12 fresh scallops, removed from the shells
salt and pepper

Method

  1. Boil the noodles for about 1-1/2 minutes, until soft, then rinse with cold water and drain well. For any other noodles, follow the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter and cook the garlic in it for about 1 minute. Add the paprika and set aside.
  3. Heat a wok over high heat. Add the oil. Stir in the curry paste, water, and soy sauce and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the noodles and stir round to reheat. Stir in the scallions, then remove from the heat and keep warm.
  5. Heat a ridged, cast-iron grill pan over high heat and brush lightly with a little oil. Add the scallops to the pan and cook for 3 minutes on the first side, then no more than 2 minutes on the second, brushing with the garlic butter, until just cooked (the center shouldn’t be totally opaque if cut open). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Divide the noodles into 4 portions and top with 3 scallops each. Garnish with spring onions before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Noodles