Sunday, December 13, 2009

Peanut noodles



As a busy law student, I haven't had a whole lot of time to make fancy recipes. Sorry! I will get some fantastic baking done over the holidays :) I plan on making some holiday macarons or madelines to take to my relatives.

In the meantime, all I have time for is making a quick dinner at home. Many people go out to eat when they're busy, which doesn't make sense to me. I feel like it actually takes longer to eat out than make something quick at home. Especially when you artfully minimize the number of dishes you have to do, like I do.

One of my go-to recipes is peanut noodles. I made this recipe to recreate a popular dish in Taiwan. When I used to visit Taiwan, I remember getting up early and going to the marketplace to get a package of peanut noodles along with the groceries. When I got home, I would mix the peanut sauce with the egg, cucumber and carrots and savor the creamy and crunchy cold noodles. The crazy thing about Taiwan is that even a roadside cart selling cold noodles in a package has the potential for brilliance. Hopefully, when I go to Taiwan this winter, I'll get a chance to taste the real thing and take some pictures of it as well. Then I'll know if it really is as good as it is in my memory.

While this recipe is not quite the same as those delicious noodles from my memory, they are very tasty and easy to make. To top it off, this recipe is super versatile as well. You can add whatever optional ingredients you have on hand. I only had broccoli slaw and slivered carrots and egg, so I used that.


Sesame Peanut Noodles

Ingredients:
  • handful of thin Asian noodles
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • sprinkle of red pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (or garlic powder)
  • optional: crushed peanuts, sliced thin egg pancake, julienned carrots and cucumber, thinly sliced deli meat
1. Boil noodles until done (about 10 minutes.) Remove from heat, rinse with cold water, and add some ice cubes to cool.
2. In a small bowl, mix peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, honey, garlic, and red pepper.
3. Drain noodles well and mix with the sauce. Add optional ingredients.

To make egg pancake: mix eggs in a bowl (but not too foamy, keep the bubbles to a minimum). Heat a large skillet and spray with non-stick spray or oil. Pour the egg in, tilting the pan to make a thin pancake layer. When mostly solidified, flip. Add a little salt. I like to fol the pancake in half and cut into thin slivers.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

(Sort of) Baked Eggs



I love eating baked eggs. The possibilities are endless! I like them with cheese, onions, veggies, mushrooms... or Mexican style with black beans, jack, salsa. It's funny because I never used to like breakfast that much, until my boyfriend (who firmly believes that breakfast is the most important meal of the day) showed me all the yummy egg breakfast combos. I used to hate runny yolks, but now I like them to a degree. I still can't stand sunny-side up yolks, but I can deal with over medium. Baby steps...

Anyway, so baked eggs. Baking is decidedly healthier than frying, but I can't justify heating up an oven in the morning for my one or two lonely baked eggs. I experimented with a quick and easy, although somewhat sacrilegious method this morning.



I sprayed a microwave-proof bowl with cooking spray. In the bottom of the bowl, I layered a big slice of turkey, some spinach leaves, a slice of pepper jack, baby spinach, and diced onions. Then I cracked two eggs, and added a little seasoning salt. I stuck it in the microwave for a few minutes, slid the eggs out on a plate, and ate with salsa and toast. How's that for an easy breakfast? The clean-up was easier than fried eggs or an omelet, too.






Baked (Microwaved) Eggs

Ingredients:
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Turkey
  • Baby spinach
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Onions
  • Seasoned salt
  • Salsa (optional)
  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, layer turkey, spinach, cheese, onions, and two raw eggs. Sprinkle with seasoning salt.
  2. Cover with a paper towel. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, about 1 minute total depending on your microwave.
  3. Slide out on a plate, cover with salsa and eat with toast.


Yum.




Out and Around: Little Sheep Hotpot




Last week was my mom's birthday. Happy birthday mom!! My mom is my source for all Chinese food, so expect to see some of that soon!


We had lunch with some family friends, but for dinner we had Chinese hot pot at Little Sheep.

Interesting Bamboo decor


We started off with a plate of yummy golden fried buns. Usually they come in plain and fried ("silver" and "golden") at this restaurant, but I requested for all of them to be fried. Hehe. Bad I know, but you only live once. These were delicious, especially with the condensed milk.

But this place is really about the hot pot. Here's a picture of the broth (1/2 spicy, 1/2 original):



The hot pot there is really superb. It's not the kind you have at home with just chicken stock. There are all sorts of condiments bubbling in the broth, which you can get original or spicy-flavored. The broth is delicious. I would drink a ton of it but it's probably full of fat from all the stuff you cook in it! I don't know exactly what's in it, but the menu said green onion, cilantro, vinegar, etc, and you can see garlic, Chinese herbs, goji berry, and other goodies.

You can pick whatever you want to go inside. We picked lamb, beef, assorted tofu, spinach, fishballs with meat inside, rice noodles, and blood cakes (this was kind of an accident, we thought it was those blood-flavored cakes but they were actual congealed blood??).

Assorted tofu platter


Meat, meatballs, blood!, spinach, rice noodles


The meat was fresh and sliced thinly. Everything was really fresh and delicious, actually. Little Sheep encourages you to not use dipping sauce, unlike normal Chinese hotpot. I think the seasonings and the freshness of the ingredients speak for themselves, so you don't really need the sauce anyway.

I would highly recommend this place, it's one of my favorites! In these winter months, it's Chinese comfort food.



Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot (小肥羊)
215 S. Ellsworth Ave., San Mateo
(650) 343-2566

My first post!

Welcome to my blog. :) I'm a law student in San Francisco who loves to bake, cook, and most of all, eat!! I plan to share recipes, restaurant reviews, and other food-related items.

As for lemons- they are one of my favorite ingredients- I love how they bring out the flavors in savory and sweet dishes alike. Look out for a lemony recipe soon!