Tag Archives: soup

Ramen – My Interpretation

My version of easy home-cooked "Ramen" using store-bought Ramen noodles. Cheap, easy, tasty.

My version of easy home-cooked “Ramen” using store-bought Ramen noodles. Cheap, easy, tasty.

Most evenings I have a plan. But this one evening I did not. I ate leftovers for a very late lunch so by the time dinner rolled around I had no desire to cook nor did I have ANY clue what to make. Usually on nights like this the kids eat cereal and I make something special later after the kids are in bed for daddy and mommy. But this evening Josie asked for Ramen noodles. So I got out two packages. I had an idea!

My version of Ramen was born. Now, I am fully aware this is not a traditional Ramen noodle dish that you would eat in an authentic Asian restaurant. The broth and noodles are homemade in a true Ramen dish. This is simply MY version. Frugal, quick, and tasty.

Ramen – Jessie’s Asian Noodle Experience

MAKES TWO SERVINGS

Check your fridge for yummy goodies to add to the soup. I used sliced leftover baked sweet potato, which I reheated a bit. Very thinly sliced beef barely cooked in a bit of olive oil with a splash of  low-sodium soy sauce. (If you check the butcher case you can find thinly sliced ‘steak sub’ quality steak. That will be perfect for this dish.)

Bean sprouts would be good. Sliced mushrooms would be good. Slivers of carrot would be good. Finely diced jalapeno pepper or pickled banana peppers would be good.

  • Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan that has a lid.
  • Add 2 packs of Ramen, BUT ONLY ONE packet of flavoring.
  • Turn the heat to low and sprinkle in a handful of baby spinach and submerge the spinach so it wilts.
  • Add a tablespoon of fresh lime juice OR rice wine vinegar to the pot and place a lid on it.
  • Meanwhile, get two big bowls ready because this comes together quickly.
  • Poach or pan fry 2 eggs. You want that yolk to spill out into the broth.
  • Place the broth and noodles in the bowls. Top with the sliced sweet potatoes (or whatever veggies you have), the steak, and the egg.
  • Drizzle the whole dish with toasted sesame oil, a few shakes of red pepper flakes, and some prepared teriyaki wok sauce/marinade. (I have a bottle of prepared stuff. The prepared stuff is thicker than straight teriyaki and is often blended with other flavors like sesame or sweet chili or mandarin orange.)

This isn’t really as much of a recipe as it is a suggestion.

The end result is bursting with flavor and makes you think you are eating a fancy restaurant quality meal. Don’t forget to eat it with chopsticks! It’s Umami at it’s finest. That ‘fifth taste’ that is hard to describe. It’s rich, savory, deep, mmm…. so delicious.

ENJOY!

 

 

 

Sausage and potato soup from Homemade Ham Stock

Find the recipe for Sausage and Mixed Potatoes here.

Take leftovers of that meal and add ham stock to it. Voila. Soup. Seriously. That’s it.

Of course, if you want to know how to make a delicious ham stock you can do this:

Baked Spiral Ham and Ham Stock Recipe

Place a seven to eight pound spiral sliced ham (with bone) into a roasting pan. Drizzle the ham with 1/4 cup of honey and smear dijon mustard all over the outside. Add 1/2 cup of water to the base of the pan. And about 1/2 cup of white wine (water, beer or lemon lime soda would work too). You need one cup of liquid. Seal the pan with heavy duty aluminum foil and baked at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours. (Usually it’s 15 minutes per pound of meat.) Check the label. Make sure you are reheating a ready-to-eat ham and not cooking a RAW ham. If it’s a raw ham, I can’t help you. I’ve never made one of those. Follow the directions. ;-)

Once it comes up to temp you are ready to EAT the ham. Or pull the ham from the bone and freeze for future meals. Pour the broth from the roasting pan into a fat separating measuring cup and pour the broth into a large stock pot (discarding the fat) and add 4 cups of water. Stir and simmer for 15 minutes with the lid off. Taste it. It could be REALLY salty. If so, add more water and stir and simmer again for 15 minutes. There ya’ go. Ham stock.

Allow to cool a bit and place into quart size canning jars (leaving a full one inch of space from the top of the liquid to the rim of the jar) and place in the fridge. Once completely cooled you can place in the freezer for up to a year. I made the ham the same day I made the Sausage and Mixed potatoes so I used the broth and the leftovers and made soup. It’s a very loose broth. Crackers are this soup’s best friend.

Ham & bean soup

ham and bean soup with rivels

ham and bean soup with rivels

This recipe is great for that leftover chunk of ham you are tired of picking at. Boiling the broth for hours makes the meat fall apart.

Ingredients:

1 good size chunk 3-4 pounds of baked ham (it’s okay to use leftover glazed ham from a dinner. The sweet glaze flavor just helps develop the broth)

2 unpeeled potatoes cut into cubes (I used a baked one from Easter dinner and then added a raw one. The baked one falls apart and adds a starchiness to the broth that helps thicken it. The raw one cooks in the broth and is perfect alongside the beans and ham.)

8 Cups broth and water (I had 3 cups chicken broth leftover from another recipe so I used that and used water to make up the difference.) – obviously, if you have ham broth or beef broth, that would work too. Or all water would work too. You just have to add bullion or tons of herbs. Taste and adjust as you go.

2 cans white beans drained and rinsed. I used Cannellini and navy beans. You could also use dry beans and follow the directions to cook them. (Any beans would work. Well, not baked beans. That would be weird.)

You can add a carrot and a celery stalk diced, too. I forgot both. ;-)

one hard boiled egg diced

flour, salt, water for rivels

thyme, salt, pepper, ground mustard powder, rosemary, bay leaves, garlic powder, parsley, white wine, sherry vinegar, etc. whatever herbs and spices you like. Again, sprinkle, stir, taste, repeat.

Directions:

Throw the broth/water, beans, and ham into a pot. Turn it on low and put a lid on it. Cut up the potatoes, carrots and celery (if desired) and add next. Add herbs and spices and a little salt. (if you are using dried beans, and not canned beans, you should put about a teaspoon of salt in now.) Cook for about an hour on low. Stirring every once in awhile to keep it from sticking. Potatoes and beans are very starchy and will stick… Go take a nap and let it simmer for another hour or so. I usually cook my ham and bean soup for about 3 hours on low. Then at the end bring to a boil and add the rivels.

REMOVE BAY LEAVES if you used them at this point.

Pull the ham out by tongs and place in a big bowl so you can pick through it. Using two forks pull the ham apart from all the icky parts and put the ham back in the pot. Throw the rest out for a neighborhood animal to eat.

Now, if you want the soup thicker, you can use an immersion blender to break up some of the beans and potatoes. It will thicken the soup naturally. Or, you can take a scoop of beans out and place on a plate and smash the crap out of them with a fork and put them back in the soup. Either way. ;-)

Bring the soup to a boil.

Meanwhile put about 1/2 Cup of flour into a bowl, an 1/8 tsp of salt, and about a 1/4 cup of water and mix with a fork. It should be thick and sticky. If it’s too runny, add more flour. Too thick add more water. Using clean fingers or a fork grab little blobs of the flour mixture and carefully drop into the boiling broth. Don’t worry about having consistent sizes. I had one that was about 3 inches long tonight in my soup and another one that looked like a little bird with a beak and a wing. Rivels are fun. ;-)

Now add the chopped hard boiled egg.  Stir for awhile. Cook maybe 3-4 minutes at a steady boil. This cooks the flour in the rivels and breaks up the egg so the yolk is sprinkled throughout the soup.

Serve warm with crackers.

Slow Cooker: chicken and apples

Autumn. I have a love-hate relationship with you. My son and I have birthdays that wrap around the autumnal equinox (9/22 and 9/23). You bring cooler weather — I like wearing jeans after 3 months in bathing suits. I love your warm colors — I enjoy farmers’ markets and picking up pumpkins and mums to decorate my stoop. But I don’t like the dreary stark months that follow you — No matter how much sleep I get I still feel tired waking up when it’s dark.

It’s been raining here for 7 days straight. This Nor’Easter has been sitting over us for a week. But today is football Sunday so I must press on. I got the kids set up with art supplies at the table and Daddy has The Beatles playing until kick-off.

I just got out the crock pot and grabbed some frozen chicken breasts from the freezer. I looked around and my eyes landed on a fruit-bowl full of Red Delicious apples that the kids promised they would eat. Yeah right.

So I think some apples and onions and chicken in the crock pot would be a great fall dish. Alas, no onions. And since I don’t own a kayak I’m not going to the store for an onion. Hmm.. what else can I do? Think Jessie. Think. Here is the dish. It rocked, if I do say so myself.

Slow Cooker: chicken and apples

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken – thighs or breasts (frozen is fine)
  • 1 can French Onion Soup – 18.5 ounce (I used Progressive. If you have an onion and 2 cups of beef stock… by all means… that’s what I would RATHER use. But I don’t have it so a can of French Onion Soup is it.)
  • 3 Red Delicious apples – cored and peeled (I didn’t worry too much about getting ALL the peels off. You’ll learn that I hate peeling things. Apples, potatoes, husking corn… ugh. Someone poke me in the eye.)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 T chipotle pepper sauce (or any hot sauce you like)
  • 1/8 C balsamic vinegar
  • Add salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 C honey bbq sauce (or whatever your favorite bbq sauce is)

 

Chicken, bbq sauce, spices, apples, soup - because I didn't have fresh onions

Chicken, bbq sauce, spices, apples, soup – (because I didn’t have fresh onions) – not pictured is S&P, chipotle sauce and balsamic vinegar

toss apples and chicken in soup and spices and BBQ sauce

toss apples and chicken to coat

Now, if you use the slow-cooker bags you can twist the top up (tightly!) and toss all the ingredients making sure to coat all the apples. (this helps to keep them from turning brown)

Cook on high 4-6 hours or low 6-8 hours until the chicken is done. You can shred it and eat it over egg noodles or rice*. Or slice it and eat it with a salad and crusty bread.

 

pulled chicken, on another plate, added 1 cup white rice to broth, put chicken back in and continued to cook until rice was done.

I pulled the chicken on another plate and placed back into the broth.

*I added 2 cups cooked white rice directly to the slow cooker once the chicken was finished cooking and I shred it. But serving the barbecue chicken and apples with the rice as a base would also be very pretty.

Autumn… today, you’re alright.

Pork & wild rice soup

I love making soup.  It’s one of my favorite comforts during the cold months; warm soup. It’s so easy and delicious. And it’s different every time. And it freezes well. And it makes a great gift in a big canning jar. Aaah soup. I love you. And really, it’s so easy to make… unless of course you are trying to imitate some thick concoction with little tiny sirloin burgers in it… you need not buy another can all your life.

pork and rice soup

pork and rice soup

This is what I did:
Pork with wild rice.

Crock potted my chili lime (dry rub from Pampered Chef) pork shoulder with a large sliced onion, 1 Cup orange juice & 1/2 Cup water until it shred easily with a fork. Pulled some pork for sandwiches and gobbled them up. Put the leftovers in the fridge overnight to cool.

Soup day: Removed fat. Put orange juice, water, pork broth & onions in pot over low heat with a bunch of stuff*. Used the immersion blender to purée the onions in the orange juice, water, pork broth from the crock pot. Added raw carrots, uncooked wild rice, & shredded pork …that’s it. Bring to a boil and cover so rice cooks in the broth. So yummy.

*stuff = spices and liquids to add layers of flavors. I never follow a recipe exactly so… for this one I’d guess I added garlic powder, sherry wine vinegar, worcestershire sauce, cumin, red pepper flakes, etc. until it had a flavor I liked. The point is, TRY MAKING SOUP. Once you cook the meat, you just have to skim the fat off (waiting a day after it sits in the fridge is the easiest because the fat just pops off like a hockey puck) and add what you want to the broth. Voila! Soup is served!