Nutty Asian Noodles w/Carrots & Edamame

I was cruising through old magazines and happened upon a “Noodling Around” article in the June 2012 issue of Every Day w/Rachel Ray. The article was geared towards cooking with kids. No kids here, but I love noodles. The ingredients looked fairly simple and I already had most on hand, so I decided to be a kid and give the family friendly (their words) recipe a try. “Perk up pasta night with a yummy, nutty sauce and plenty of colorful, kid-approved veggies” by Tracey Seaman.

Nutty Asian Noodles with Carrots and Edamame – don’t mind if I do. I did make a few substitutions and they are noted in my ingredients below.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 Cups Unsalted Cashews – could also use peanuts
2 1/2 Carrots – original recipe called for 2
2 Dorat Crushed Ginger Cube – original recipe called for 1 inch piece of fresh ginger
1 Cup Vegetable Broth
3 Tablespoons Tamari/Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
2 Teaspoons Toasted Sesame Oil
2 Tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar – packed
Salt to Taste
2/3 lb. Dried Linguine – could also use 1 lb. fresh lo mein noodles
1 Cup Thawed Frozen Shelled Edamame

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spread the cashews on a baking sheet. Roast until toasted – about 8 minutes. Let cool. Measure out 1/4 cup nuts, chop and set aside for garnish.
  • Peel the carrots and shred them with a grater.
  • If using fresh ginger, peel the ginger and set aside.
  • Bring large pot of water to a boil
  • Measure the vegetable broth in a large liquid measuring cup, then pour in tamari/soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil; stir to combine.
  • Blend/Process the whole toasted cashews, brown sugar, ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until finely chopped. I used my mega blender, but if using a food processor, just pulse until finely chopped. With the machine running, slowly pour in the broth mixture and process or blend until smooth.
  • Add the noodles to the boiling water and cook according to package directions.
  • Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse well with cold water. What? Rinse my pasta? Um… o.k.
  • Transfer the noodles to a large bowl and pour the sauce over the noodles and stir. Add the edamame and carrots and stir again.
  • Serve noodles in bowls and sprinkle reserved chopped nuts on top.

I ended up using 2 1/2 carrots because my carrots were pretty slender and I always like to add a little more veggies to my salads than recipes suggest.

It was cut the top off your photos day… didn’t you get the memo? I mixed up my liquids and then put my cashews, brown sugar, ginger and salt into my blender.

I used the “stir” function until I got a finely chopped texture. I then slowly added my liquid mixture and blended until smooth.

I then added the sauce to my cooked noodles, but not before rinsing. Wow, had a hard time doing that. I’ve always been told… DO NOT RINSE your pasta. I’m guessing it was because the salad was meant to be served cold. At first you might think that there is too much sauce, but trust me… you will need it. The sauce does really soak into the noodles with time.

I then added my edamame and shredded carrots and gave the noodles a good mixing with tongs.

I garnished with the chopped cashews that I had set aside. I then proceeded to take a million different photos with different bowls, chopsticks, table surfaces and placemats. I was starting to lose my light and it was a reminder that Fall is indeed here. Time to break out my umbrella lights or do most of my recipe cooking during the day on weekends. The 8 to 5 job gets in the way of my food photography, but kind of nice that it allows me to actually eat. 🙂

The noodles just got better and better with each day. I pretty much ate them for lunch and dinner for 2 days straight. It was a fun twist to a pasta dish and the nutty flavor kept me going back for more. Next time I will probably add even more veggies. Some steamed broccolini or bean sprouts might be good.

An easy dish and a good one to bring to a party… it really did hold up well. Just make sure you know your audience or make a sign that lets people know that the sauce contains nuts. Guests whipping out epi pens or going into anaphylactic shock would NOT be a good thing.

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Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts

I finally jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon and I’ve been pinning up a storm. I was noticing a lot of my blog traffic was coming from Pinterest and search results over the past year have shown me that lots of Foodiddy photos and recipes have been pinned. So instead of fighting it for years like I did with Facebook,  I decided to just get an account. That is where I found the recipe for these wonderful baked pumpkin spice donuts.

My SIL got me a donut pan last Christmas and I’d only used it one other time. My obsession with Fall and all things pumpkin (ex: mainlining Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes) led me down the baked donut path. I recently purchased the following pumpkin products, fueling my pumpkin obsession even more.

The English muffins were pretty good… a little doughy, I liked them super toasted with a little butter. The bagel thins were also good toasted – in the event that you have been pulling your bagel thins apart and toasting each 1/2 separately… Stop. Right. Now! I used to do that and they would turn out like sheets of poster board. Now I just toast them whole, it made a huge difference. I put a little cream cheese on each 1/2 and I was good to go. The Entenmann’s pumpkin donuts were also good, but the baked definitely gave them some competition. The glaze on the Entenmann’s was borderline too sweet. Is that even possible? Who am I?

The Limited Edition Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Cheesecake cookies were great. I cracked open the bag and the spicy cake like smell that followed was pure heaven. They were soft and chewy with tasty bites of cheesecake. Probably a one time buy, but worth it.

The Planters Pumpkin Spice Almonds have been one of my favorite pumpkin finds this season. The perfect sweet snack. If you are looking for savory, you’ll need to add salt :).

O.k.. back to the baked pumpkin spice donuts. The recipe was pinned from the King Arthur Flour website. While I didn’t use King Arthur Flour, I did follow the recipe with only a few substitutions.

I had all of the ingredients except I was low on canned pumpkin and sugar. I’d been adding Libby’s pure pumpkin to smoothies and knew I didn’t have enough. I ran to the store and got a few more cans. Can’t wait until the cans are on sale pre-Thanksgiving.

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil

3 Large Eggs

1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar

1 1/2 Cups Pumpkin Purée (canned pumpkin)

1 1/2 Teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice (or 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus heaping 1/4 teaspoon each ground nutmeg and ground ginger) – I ended up using the pumpkin pie spice and fresh ground nutmeg and a pinch of ginger.

1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt

1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1 3/4 Cups + 2 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour

Coating Ingredients

3 Tablespoons Cinnamon and Sugar Mixed Together
1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray/grease donut pan. If you don’t have a donut pan, you can bake muffins instead using a standard muffin tin.
  • Beat together the oil, eggs, sugar, pumpkin, spices, salt, and baking powder until smooth.
  • Add the flour, stirring again until smooth.
  • Fill the wells of the donut pan about 3/4 full; use a scant 1/4 cup of batter in each well. If you’re making muffins, fill each well about 3/4 full; the recipe makes about 15, so you’ll need to bake in two batches (unless you have two muffin pans).
  • Bake the donuts for 15 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean. If you’re making muffins, they’ll need to bake for 23 to 25 minutes.
  • Remove the donuts from the oven, and after about 5 minutes, loosen their edges, and transfer them to a rack to cool.
  • While the donuts are still warm (but no longer fragile), gently shake them in a plastic or paper bag with the cinnamon-pumpkin spice-sugar. If you’ve made muffins, sprinkle their tops heavily with cinnamon-pumpkin spice-sugar.
  • Cool completely, and wrap airtight; store at room temperature for several days.

I measured out my pumpkin into my handy Alton Brown measuring contraption… love it!

I got all of my ingredients into the mixing bowl and mixed on low until smooth.

I measured out my flour and slowly added it to my pumpkin mixture.

I used my large cookie scoop (Yes, I’m a kitchen gadget freak) to place the donut batter into the wells.

I used a small rubber spatula to even out the batter in the wells.

I popped them in my 350° F. oven and checked them at 15 minutes. They were done, the toothpick came out clean. I then placed the donut pan onto my cooling rack for a good 5 minutes.

I poured my cinnamon-pumpkin spice-sugar mix into a plastic bag and gave each donut a good coating.

A plate of donut heaven… they were awesome straight out of the oven… and even hours later.

Cake like moist centers… love the bright orange color.

Enjoyed by all – even little Halloween critters. Yes, I busted out some of my Halloween decorations and the countdown begins to one of my favorite holidays to decorate for.

Now if only it would stop being 100 degrees out.

Dear Fall Weather,

I need you in my life.

Love,

Foo

Questions… Are you a doughnut, donut or doh-nut person? What’s your favorite type of donut? I have always been a donut person… pretty sure it’s because as a kid Winchell’s and Manley’s Donuts were my favorite places to go after church on Sundays. Had they been doughnut places… maybe I’d be typing/saying that. As for my favorite donut,  I’m a rainbow sprinkled cake donut girl with an occasional sugar or glazed. Dan is all about the jelly filled. Yuck.

Now I just need to try my hand at deep frying donuts.

Permanent link to this article: http://foodiddy.com/?p=7978

Wild Alaska Halibut w/Lemon and Thyme Sauce

I would like to thank the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) for reaching out to me through Foodiddy. They offered to send me different kinds of fish to help me in my quest to explore different recipes and cooking methods. After a few emails back and forth,  I received  the most incredible box of wild Alaska seafood, I could hardly contain myself.

I was overwhelmed by the size of the box and the amazing selection of fish.

Wild Alaska Salmon was the only thing I had previously cooked. I rifled through a stack of recipe cards I had gotten at the last Foodbuzz Festival in San Francisco and found the perfect recipe to try. Operation conquer my fear of cooking fish was once again underway.

Wild Alaska Seafood Quick Reference Guide

Alaska Seafood had a huge table at the Foodbuzz tasting pavilion event and I was able to sample quite a few things. I also picked up a quick reference guide that has a lot of nifty facts about the different species, cooking tips and harvesting information. We are towards the end of Wild Alaska Halibut season – it’s available fresh from March through mid November, but can be purchased frozen year-round. Are we really nearing November? Wow…

So back to the incredible wild caught Alaska Halibut…

Wild Alaska Halibut swim freely in Alaska’s pristine waters. Their abundance and sustainability is protected by law and the careful management practices of Alaska’s fishing families. Alaska Halibut is naturally lean and light, making it an excellent choice for me right now – I’ve been very conscious of the types of food I’ve been eating and trying to make the best choices to continue towards achieving an 80/20 healthy versus indulgent way of eating. I’ve given up on the idea that I need to be perfect.

The recipe I chose was Alaska Halibut with Lemon and Thyme Sauce – served on a bed of sauteed leeks, zucchini and spinach… and there just might have been some butter and wine in the mix. 80/20 people… 80/20. I made modifications to the recipe I found and those have been listed below in my ingredients and measurements.

Ingredients:

2 Wild Alaska Halibut Fillets – mine were between 7 and 8 oz.
2 Tablespoons Butter
Finely Grated Zest and Juice of 1 Large Lemon
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
6-8 sprigs of Fresh Thyme – the recipe called for lemon thyme, I already had regular
1-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Leeks – white and light green parts only
1 Zucchini
2-3 oz. Baby Spinach – could use more if you want
3-4 Tablespoons Dry White Wine – you could sub with vegetable broth/stock

Directions:

  • Heat broiler/oven to medium-high heat 450 degrees F.
  • Rinse any ice glaze from frozen halibut under cold water; pat dry with paper towel.
  • Arrange fillets on a spray coated or foil lined baking sheet
  • Broil 5 to 7 inches from the heat source for about 5 minutes.
  • Remove fish from oven, and place 1/2 tablespoon butter on top of each fillet. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper.
  • Return fish to oven and cook an additional 4-6 minutes for fresh, 7 to 10 minutes for frozen fillets.
  • Cook just until fish is opaque throughout.
  • While the fish is cooking, add remaining butter to saucepan with the lemon zest, remaining lemon juice and Dijon mustard. Medium heat, gently whisking until melted, then add the fresh thyme.
  • Heat olive oil in a wok or large pan, cook the leeks and zucchini over medium heat until softened. Add the spinach and wine, stirring until the leaves have wilted.
  • Serve the fish and vegetables, pouring the warm lemon and thyme sauce over the fillets.

The pieces of halibut were gorgeous! I defrosted them in the fridge overnight and used paper towels to pat them dry.

I knew the fish would require my attention during the short broiling time, so I started all of my prep work before cooking the fish. I washed and sliced my leeks. I forget how much I really enjoy leeks in a dish. Sure, they take some time to rinse properly, but they are worth it for sure.

I first wash the leeks in their whole state, then I re-rinse in a strainer once they’ve been cut into rings. It’s important to separate the rings, because the silky dirt likes to hide between the layers.

I measured out my Dijon mustard and it wasn’t until this photo that I realized my Dijon was “hot” – which was surprising, because I don’t normally like super spicy stuff… but apparently this brand’s “hot” is not so hot in a good way… and one of my favorites right now.

I zested and juiced my lemon… I swear I can’t zest a lemon anymore without thinking of Michael Symon’s method from The Chew. I rarely stick with DVR-ing daily TV shows – but I enjoy The Chew – it’s my lunch time escape and he sure makes zesting a lemon look sexy. Never thought I’d say those two words in the same sentence. Sexy lemon ,va va voom!

I preheated my oven to 450 degrees F. and then realized that I really wanted to broil the fish, instead of baking the fish – the recipe was a tad confusing. So I switched my oven to broil once it had already reached 450 degrees F. Once again my fear kicked in. What if I torch the fish? Is it too close to the broiler? Door open? Door closed? Yes… all of these thoughts went through my head. I placed my foil lined baking sheet into the oven and crossed my fingers.

After 5 minutes under the broiler, I pulled them out to coat them with butter. I used 1/2 tablespoon on each fillet. I then added a teaspoon of lemon juice and  freshly ground sea salt and ground pepper to each fillet.

While the fish was broiling for an additional 4-5 minutes, I got the sauce started – butter, lemon zest, remaining lemon juice, mustard and thyme. I also got my vegetables going in another pan. Juggling all of the pans and cooking time was a tad difficult, but I managed.The end result was nothing short of fabulous. I am in love with Wild Alaska Halibut now. I’m guessing that might be a pretty expensive habit to have. Probably not a frequent thing with my grocery budget, but I am going to splurge when I can fit it in.

 

The warm lemon and thyme sauce poured over the fillet was incredible.

Dare I even say cooking fish is pretty darn easy? I can’t even begin to express how happy I am that I have another 16 oz. piece of Wild Alaska Halibut in my freezer as I type. Who’s coming to dinner?

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