I have really missed cooking – I didn’t cook much on vacation and got out of my groove. Well, baby, I’m back in the groove now!
I got this really cool cookbook for Mother’s Day and just made my first recipe from it (see below). This cookbook is a compilation of recipes inspired by Farmers and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) offerings. We did the CSA thing last summer and we really enjoyed it. Why not this summer? We were gone way too much. I’m definitely going to sign up for it next summer as we will be home more.
If you have never done it and you love fresh vegetables, herbs, or fruit, I would highly recommend signing up for a CSA share next summer.
What’s the name of this cookbook? Eating Local by Janet Fletcher and distributed by Sur La Table (one of my favs!). At first I resisted using this cookbook in my regular meal planning because, of course, these recipes are heavily veggie-based. I LOVE veggies, but I was concerned about the two in my house that aren’t veggie fans.
However, I’m not sure what happened to me while I was on cooking sabbatical, but now I don’t care as much about that. They need to suck it up and start eating more vegetables!
I am making 3 dishes from this book this week, so you can get a good sampling of what this book has to offer.
Sesame Noodles with Baby Bok Choy & Roast Chicken / Eating Local
Cook & Prep Time: 40 minutes tops (30 minutes for prepping and 10 minutes for cooking).
You will need:
- A large deep skillet
- pasta pot
- chef’s knife
- various spoons and spatulas
- measuring utensils (dry and liquid)
1 pre-roasted whole chicken from your grocer (deli section). You will need two cups of shredded roasted chicken (no skin).
1 lb of udon noodles (or chinese egg noodles)
1 lb of baby bok choy (6-8 pieces)
1 cup of green onions, both green and white parts, thinly sliced
1 cup of coarsely chopped cilantro (I forgot this ingredient!)
1/2 cup of coarsely chopped dry-roasted peanuts
1/3 cup of peanut oil
kosher or sea salt
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
2 teaspoons of Chinese chile oil (or hot oil)
1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil
This recipe takes more prep time than cook time.
Pull the roasted chicken from the bone and shred it. You need at least 2 cups.
Chop the 1 cup of cilantro
Thinly slice the green onions
Rough chop the peanuts
Once the above is done, get out the pasta pot, fill with water, season with salt, turn on high.
Now, for the baby bok choy: separate the leaves with the rib intact and discard the core. Using a knife, separate the leaves from the ribs.
Now, tear the leaves in half lengthwise (okay, I used a knife as my tearing skills were of no use here.) Cut the ribs (the white part) crosswise into 1-inch pieces.
If the pasta water is ready, throw in the udon noodles (they take about 8-10 minutes to cook).
Once the noodles are in, heat all of the peanut oil in a deep skillet over medium heat and add the bok choy and green onions and season with salt. Cover and cook 3-4 minutes, until just tender.
Okay, right before the noodles are done, I add the remaining ingredients to the bok choy – cilantro (I would have added it at this point, but I forgot it!), peanuts, sesame oil, chicken, fish sauce and chile oil. (The directions say to add the noodles first and then add all of this stuff, but it’s easier to add the noodles last.) Stir for a couple of minutes (or until the noodles are done) so everything is warmed through.
Add the cooked udon noodles to the large skillet containing the bok choy mixture and stir until everything is well combined. It is ready to serve!
Side Dish: Salad and good bread.
This meal received rave reviews from everyone – 5 sporks! Some even went back for seconds.
Maybe it was because it was the first serious meal I’ve cooked since early June and they went into shock or maybe it was because this meal was very tasty. I’ll have to make it again to be sure. I thought it was wonderful.
The hubs even suggested that this could be made for vegetarians and instead of chicken, I could add mushrooms and other veggies. He’s always thinkin’ (thinking of ways to incorporate mushrooms into everything).
I’m definitely going to work this into my monthly rotation (kind of like taco ring!).