Thursday, April 26, 2012

Quick Vietnamese - Style Chicken Pho

My husband, kids and I have been into the spicy Vietnamese soups (pho) lately in a BIG way.  I am suffering with a lousy head cold today so I thought a chicken pho was in order for dinner tonight!  This is super simple and while you can go more elaborate and make your own stock, using a low-sodium chicken stock is perfectly acceptable.  I had chicken thighs which Greg browned for me and then I thinly sliced, and I had my own stock in the fridge already...this made the pho really quick to make!

2 cups of thinly sliced, cooked chicken
8 cups chicken stock
1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
1/2 - 3/4 tsp Chinese 5 Spice powder
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp sugar (I used 1 tbsp agave syrup)
Thinly sliced shiitake or porcini mushrooms (optional)
1/2 lb dried rice noodles
 1/2 cup of chopped, fresh cilantro
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 lime, cut into wedges 
Either sliced red chilies, or sambal oelek sauce
  • Heat the stock in a large pot on medium low heat.  Add the chicken, onion, 5 spice powder, fish sauce and sugar.  If adding the mushrooms, add now.
  • Once the stock is simmering, add the rice noodles and stir well.
  • Serve the stock in a bowl, and top with cilantro, green onions, chilies, and lime wedge squeezed.
  • ENJOY!

Mulled Wine

**Yet another recipe that has been lingering in my drafts file on this blog - I will try to get a photo when we make it for our Xmas Party 2012!!!**

This has been a staple at our annual Xmas Open House for the past 17 years and it is delicious!  It reminds me of being in the Christmas Markets in Munich and sipping on the Gluhwein while munching on a sausage.  Beware - this definitely is a hangover waiting to happen!!!  Let's just say that it warms the blood and the imagination (just ask our friend JP how he created the Micmac legends surrounding the mulled wine...! LOL!)

1 lemon peel
1 orange peel
1 cinnamon stick
Pinch ground nutmeg
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 bottles of full bodied red wine
2 cups ruby port
1 cup brandy
  • In a large pot add peels, spices and sugar to the wine.  Heat gently and simmer.  
  • Add the port and brandy  and heat until liquid just begins to simmer, but do not allow to boil.
  • ENJOY!
*If you need to stretch the mulled wine, add orange juice...but remember, that just waters down the alcohol!!  

Feta Artichoke Bites

Yet another easy, economical and tasty appetizer that I made for our annual Xmas Open House and upon looking through my draft file, realized that it didn't get published?!

1 jar (7 1/2 oz) marinated artichoke hearts
1 cup diced seeded tomatoes
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 baguette
  • Drain artichokes, reserving 2 tbsp marinade.  Chop artichokes and place in a large bowl.  Stir in the tomatoes, cheeses, onions and reserved marinade.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Cut baguette into 1/2" slices.  Spread with artichoke mixture.  Place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Broil 4 to 6" from the heat for 4 - 5 minutes or until edges of bread are browned.  
  • Serve immediately.

Soba Noodle Salad With Pea Shoots & Shiitake Mushrooms

Although I made this for a friend's baby shower and posted it three years ago, I recently had a request for it from another friend.  Therefore, I decided to separate it from the blog post entitled "A Sweet Pea Baby Shower" (although check this post out for some other delicious recipe ideas!!!)

1 pkg of soba noodles (8oz) - Japanese buckwheat noodles
1 tbsp each, of sesame & vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz (300g) of shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
12 oz snow pea shoots (375g)
1/3 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup sodium-reduced soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp granulated sugar
  • In a large pot of boiling water, cook soba noodles until tender (5 mins). Stir gently and reduce heat because they tend to boil over. Drain and rinse under cold water.
  • In a large skillet or wok, heat half of the sesame and vegetable oils over med-high heat; saute garlic until fragrant (15 seconds), add mushrooms and saute for another 4 mins, or until tender. Add to noodles.
  • In the skillet heat the remaining oils and stir-fry the pea shoots until wilted and tender (5 mins). Add to noodle mixture.
  • Whisk together mayonnaise, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sugar. Pour over noodles and stir well. Serve at room temperature, or cooled.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Refreshing Lentil Salad

My friend Michelle had me over for lunch the other day and she served this amazing lentil salad with the Mediterranean Squares from this blog ~ what an amazing combination!!!  I have made lentil salads over the years and I loved this one so much that I demanded she email me the recipe ASAP!!  It is not only easy and contains items you will likely already have in your kitchen, but since it is a heartier legume salad, you can make it and then have some for lunch or dinner (or both!) over the next three days without it getting wilted or losing its flavour.

2 plum tomatoes seeded and diced
2 oranges peeled and cut into segments
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 (19oz) can of lentils, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley)
3 tbsp coarsely chopped dried cranberries
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • Combine all ingredients in a serving bowl until well combined.
  • ENJOY!