Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sesame Soba Noodle Salad

Sesame Soba Noodles

Something momentous happened yesterday.

I became the first food blogger ever* to nearly mess up boiling noodles.

I whipped up this awesome sesame noodle salad for dinner last night, and after I finished boiling the edamame, I looked at the medium-sized saucepan and thought to myself, "That entire package of noodles will totally fit. Spatial relations skills and common sense are for losers," as I stuffed the noodles into the undersized pot.

I'm sure you can see where this is going. I turned my back for about 20 seconds after putting the noodles in, and boiling water was spewing everywhere. Not just a little overflow - I'm talking a full on boiling tidal wave. Most normal people would've taken the pot off, drained some water, and moved on. Not this braniac. I wielded a ladle in one hand, and a slotted spoon in the other, and scooped out water ladleful by ladleful, hurling the excess water into the sink as I went, while simultaneously stirring the noodles.

Please consider this a cautionary tale. Use a large pot when cooking soba noodles.

Do as I say, not as I do. Because I do dumb things.

(*at least I hope...)

Here's what you'll need:

For the salad:

1 red pepper, diced
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup finely minced cilantro
1 1/2 cup frozen edamame, cooked according to package directions and cooled for a few minutes
1 8.8-ounce package of soba noodles
Sesame seeds, for garnish

For the dressing:

3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon tahini
2 teaspoons honey
Salt, to taste

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

In a large bowl, combine the red pepper, green onions, cilantro, and cooked edamame.

When the water is boiling, add the soba noodles, and cook until they're done. These cook much more quickly than traditional pasta, so make a note of the cooking time indicated on the package, and start checking for doneness about a minute before time is up.

While the noodles are cooking, whisk all of the ingredients together for your salad dressing.

When the noodles are done, drain in a colander and immediately rinse with cold water. Add the noodles to your bowl with the vegetables and toss with the dressing. Check to see if you need more salt, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and enjoy!

Source: Daily Garnish (If you're not already a reader of Emily's site, do yourself a favor and check it out. She pretty much has the cutest baby ever. And she went to culinary school, so I'm doubly jealous!)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Banana Buttermilk Muffins

Banana Buttermilk Muffins

Guess who has electricity again?! This moi.

I've already made 3 new recipes since the power came back. I was extremely glad that it was back in time for the 4th of July. A friend of mine has a view of the Washington monument from his balcony, and had people over yesterday to watch the fireworks. Since I don't like showing up to a party empty-handed, I brought Audra's lemon-blueberry cupcakes, and a jalapeno popper dip that I will share here once I tweak the recipe a bit (it was good, but way too mild for my tastes.)

The 3rd recipe that I made was this banana muffin recipe. I had half a carton of buttermilk leftover from making the cupcakes, and 3 blackened bananas sitting on the counter. These quick muffins are delicious, perfect for using up leftovers, and make an excellent breakfast or snack (especially when they're slathered with peanut butter.) I don't know the nutrition info for these, but they are butter free, and only contain 2 tablespoons of oil, so I have a feeling that they're not that terrible for you. They're definitely not a cupcake masquerading as a muffin like so many muffins tend to be. 

Here's what you'll need:

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup well-mashed ripe banana (about 2 1/2 bananas)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and line a muffin tin with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.

In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, mashed banana, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and stir together with a rubber spatula until just combined. Do not over mix.

Using a level 1/3 cup measurement, add batter to the prepared muffin tin. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes (mine took 17 minutes), or until a toothpick comes out with crumbs attached, and the tops are light golden brown. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Makes 13 muffins.

Source: Adapted from Williams-Sonoma

Monday, July 2, 2012

4th of July Recipe Roundup

I don't have a new recipe for you today.

This isn't due to kitchen laziness. I do most of my blog-related cooking on the weekend, but thanks to Mother Nature being a royal pain in the tookus, I could not. You see, there were crazypants storms in the DC area on Friday, and as I type this on Sunday evening, I have no power, and am sitting in a hotel room drinking beer while huddling next to an air conditioner that is spewing out 65 degree air. I'd be remiss not to mention that it has been 100 degrees here for 3 days. Clearly my efforts to escape the heat go far beyond sitting still in the dark like a normal person.

Since my name isn't Laura Ingalls Wilder, and I haven't yet figured out how to cook with fire or cure deer meat or do whatever she did to nourish herself, I have no new recipe today, and I am giving you some 4th of July recipe ideas from my archives instead.

Please pray that my power comes back soon. I'm a major germaphobe, and hotels frighten me. Whenever I stay in a hotel, I put the remote control in a plastic baggie and use it through the bag. That way germs can't get to me. It's science.

Now for some regurgitated content!

Are you barbecuing this weekend? May I suggest making these scrumtrulescent green chili cheeseburgers?

Maybe you're not the burger type. That's cool, because you can make barbeque pulled pork sandwiches. Is it just me, or is pulled pork total summer food?

Of course it wouldn't be a BBQ without some kind of cold salad. This spicy pasta salad that's full of chipotles and smoked gouda is one of my favorite recipes of all time.

Lastly, you really need a dessert with some patriotic colors. This summer berry tart is super tasty. 

For my American readers, happy Independence Day, and I hope these recipes help you plan your menus. For my international readers, happy random day in July! I hope you eat something tasty even though it's a regular day for you. I hope to be back soon with some new content, as soon as I have electricity and can cook again! 
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