Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sesame Noodles

Here's a recipe for you. It's yummy!


Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Ready In: 30 Minutes (hot) or 2 hours, 30 minutes (cold)
Servings: 12

18 oz. Japanese Udon noodles (or 1 lb linguine pasta)
1 package (8 to 12 oz) broccoli slaw
1 small package (4 to 6 oz) shredded carrots
6 cloves garlic, minced (1 tablespoon)
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 tablespoons rice vinegar (white wine or cider vinegar works as well)
6 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon chili sauce
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 bunches green onions, sliced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add noodles, and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. When noodles are just at the point of doneness, add broccoli slaw and carrots to pot and stir well. Drain immediately, and transfer to a serving bowl (the idea is to quickly blanch the veggies so they stay crisp, not cook them completely).
  2. While the water is heating, prepare the dressing: add garlic, sugar, oil, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili sauce, and ginger to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil or medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Pour sauce over noodles and vegetables, and toss to coat. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.

Can be served hot as a side dish or cold as a salad -- if serving cold, rinse noodles and veggies with cold water after draining, and chill after dressing for at least 2 hours; garnish just before serving.

For a gluten-free version, use Soba noodles (Japanese buckwheat noodles) instead of the Udon or linguine and a gluten-free soy sauce.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tea Ceremony

In honor of today's summer solstice, I wanted to share my iced tea recipe, since tea is something that brings a certain amount of enjoyment into my life. Yes, you could simply by powdered iced tea mix, or even premade bottled iced tea, but nothing tastes as good as home-brewed, and it's really not as hard as people think.

Anne's Amazing Home-Brewed Iced Tea

makes 2 quarts (or 2 liters, depending on your chosen pitcher)

you will need:
1 quart (or one liter) of water and some way to boil it
8-10 individual tea bags, paper tags removed OR 2 one-quart tea bags OR 1 two-quart tea bag
1 quart (or one liter) of ice cubes
optional: sugar or other sweetener to taste

Bring the water to a boil. Put the tea bags into a 2-qt or 2 L pitcher (make sure it's heat-resistant) and pour the water over them. Steep for 8-10 minutes (If you prefer stronger tea, it's better to use more tea bags, as steeping for too long will make tea bitter). Using a slotted spoon, remove the tea bags and discard. At this time, while the tea is still hot, add your sweetener if you are using it so it can dissolve into the tea. I typically use 1/3-1/2 cup of organic sugar per 2 liters of tea, depending on what type of tea I've used. I'm afraid I can't give you any guidelines for honey, agave nectar, stevia, or artificial sweeteners; all I can say is add a little at a time and taste after each addition, and make sure you note how much you've used so you'll know for next time. Once your tea is sweetened to your liking, add the ice cubes (carefully, so the hot tea doesn't splash all over you!) and stir until the tea is cold (the cubes may not melt completely).

Obviously, using the larger 1-qt or 2-qt tea bags will be easier, but if you use individual tea bags you can blend different teas to your liking.

If you want to use loose-leaf tea, here's what you do:

Boil one quart of water in a heat-proof container (a large Pyrex mixing cup works very well, or just use a saucepan). Add 6 tablespoons of loose-leaf tea and steep for 8-10 minutes. Fill a 2-qt pitcher with ice cubes. When the tea is done steeping, use a small mesh strainer to remove most of the tea leaves, then sweeten the tea to taste. Line a larger mesh strainer with a paper coffee filter, hold this over the ice-filled pitcher, and pour the hot tea into the pitcher through the strainer (this will prevent the remaining tea leaves from ending up in the iced tea.) Once all the tea is in the pitcher, stir to chill (again, the ice may not melt completely).

Enjoy, and Happy Solstice!!