pasta

Shrimp And Rice Stick Pillows With Peanut Sauce And Sweet Chili Sauce

Shrimp And Rice Stick Pillows With Peanut Sauce And Sweet Chili Sauce

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Last night on my way home I stopped at a Vietnamese restaurant where I used to eat pho. I stopped eating there because of the tiny portions (see my post about it by clicking this link:  ….Pho….
Knowing that I would be disappointed by the skimpy pho, I placed my hope into an order of summer rolls…….
Well, the same crappy principle as with the pho (a ton of stock, a tiny amount of anything else); only this time, there was a ton of wrapper (2 per roll !) and just a tiny bit of filling. I could have kicked myself for not following my own previous advise to avoid this place.
So, what’s an old cook to do? Well of course, make my own version of rice paper rolls 🙂
Mind you, these are NOT Vietnamese summer rolls! And, because of their plumpness, rather than eating them by hand, I suggest you use a fork in order to have a less messy encounter with these babies. 🙂
However, these rolls consist of the exact amount and ratio of ingredients I craved when I ordered the rolls in the restaurant and was so badly disappointed:
A small amount of wrapper, LOT’S of noodles and shrimp, and NOT drowned in fish sauce and basil. Ahhhh, the good life ! 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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P.S.
If you prefer the more traditional skinny shape, just arrange the filling accordingly.
P.P.S.
I am still hoping to find a decent Vietnamese restaurant around here 🙂
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Hans’ Peanut Sauce

This recipe may not be the most authentic, but it’s really, really good.
Serve it as a dipping sauce, over hot or cold noodles or as a salad dressing.

  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons chili paste
  • ½ teaspoon garlic paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use. Whisk again before serving.
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Shrimp And Rice Stick Pillows With Peanut Sauce And Sweet Chili Sauce

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Shrimp And Rice Stick Pillows With Peanut Sauce And Sweet Chili Sauce

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Pork Chop “Parisienne” With Orzo Al Pomodoro

Pork Chop “Parisienne” With Orzo Al Pomodoro

This wonderful dish is comfort food at its finest. (Obviously, pork chop is alway’s a hit with most folks, and so is pasta, so there is probably no argument here).
However, this dish up’s the ante another step by prepping the chop “à la parisienne”, as well as transforming the simple orzo into a flavorful and beautiful pasta dish, which I would be happy to eat all by itself without the chop or any other embellishment 🙂
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Please note:
#1:
  Eating the orzo with a spoon rather than with a fork will double the pleasure of eating it) 🙂
#2:  Eating the orzo with a spoon rather than with a fork will most likely double the size of your belly 😦
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Pasta  on  ChefsOpinion
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Pork Chop “Parisienne” With Orzo Al Pomodoro

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Pork Chop “Parisienne” With Orzo Al Pomodoro

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Pork Chop “Parisienne” With Orzo Al Pomodoro

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Convenient Food (Pansit/Pancit)

 

Convenient Food (Pansit / Pancit)

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Having visited the  Philippines  in the mid-to late 70’s often, and then lived and worked there for 4 years during the early 80’s, my eating habits have been strongly influenced by its wonderful food, especially the appreciation of fresh, well-seasoned vegetables and a myriad of exotic fruit.
While there are too many favorite dishes to mention, three groups of dishes stand out –
Roasted pork in its many forms,
Vegetable dishes with steamed rice in great variations,
– and, of course,
Pancit, in its countless, tasty incarnations. 🙂  (See a list of many different pancit at the bottom of this page)
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In Filipino cuisine, pancit or pansit are noodles. Noodles were introduced into the Philippines by the Chinese and have since been adopted into local cuisine. The term pancit is derived from the Hokkien pian i sit (Chinese: 便ê食; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: piān-ê-si̍t or Chinese: 便食; pinyin: biàn shí) which literally means “convenient food.” (Wiki excerpt)
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My version today is a typical “homestyle pansit”, in that one uses pansit noodles with some protein (optional) and some vegetables, whatever one finds in the market that day. (When I was living there, regular folks bought all food that was not dried, fresh in the market every day. Few working -class families could afford a fridge, never mind a freezer. By the way, it was the same when I was a small kid back in Germany, my mom got her first fridge when I was about 6 years old. We did, however, have a freezer, albeit only during winter time –  it was the shelf in front of our kitchen window which during the rest of the year held plants and flowers 🙂  
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The great convenience of pancit noodles is that you cook them right in the stock you are using. The noodles will keep their “al dente” texture even if you add a bit too much stock or if you cook them a minute longer as you should. They will soak-up all the stock and its flavor, as long as they have simmered for a few minutes and then rest in the stock until done. Convenience food ! 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Convenient Food (Pansit / Pancit)

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Convenient Food (Pansit / Pancit)

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Convenient Food (Pansit / Pancit)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Wiki excerpt:

  • Buko Pancit (coconut strips are substituted for noodles, a specialty of Quezon province)
  • Pancit Abra (common in Northern Luzon particularly in the province of Abra)
  • Pancit Alanganin
  • Pancit ni Juli
  • Pancit Alahoy
  • Pancit Batchoy
  • Pancit Bato is local to the Bicol Region; especially the town of Bato in Camarines Sur.
  • Pancit Bihon Guisado
  • Pancit Bihongundoy
  • Pancit Cabagan
  • Pancit Canton (Lo mein and chow mein)
  • Pancit Canton Ilonggo
  • Pancit Chami (Lucena City, Quezon)
  • Pancit Estacion (Tanza, Cavite)
  • Pancit Habhab (Lucban, Quezon)
  • Pancit Kilawin (a variety pancit originated from Rosario, Cavite. In lieu of pancit noodles, shredded unripe papaya fruit is used cooked with vinegar and fish. Usually partnered with Dinuguan dish)
  • Pancit Kinalas (Naga City, Camarines Sur)
  • Pancit Lanu (San Vicente Street in San Pedro, Laguna)
  • Pancit Lomi (Batangas)
  • Pancit Lucban
  • Pancit Luglog
  • Pancit Malabon
  • Pancit Mami (round egg noodles)
  • Pancit Mayaman (Guinayangan, Quezon)
  • Pancit Miki (round egg noodles)
  • Pancit Míki-Bíhon Guisado (round egg noodles + bihon)
  • Pancit Olongapo (Pancit Miki with Sarsa sauce. Miki cooked in tradition added with sarsa a thickened chicken and pork broth, darkened a little with soy sauce of choice)
  • Pancit Molo (wonton soup with wonton wrappers added to the broth, serving as its “noodles”)
  • Pancit Moròng
  • Pancit Palabok
  • Pancit Pula (variation of Pancit Miki from Batangas City)
  • Pancit Pusit
  • Pancit Sotanghon
  • Pansit Sabaw (Pansit Miki with soup)
  • Pansit Tuguegarao or Batil Patong
  • Pansit Sinanta (also from Tuguegarao, consists of flat egg noodles, bihon, clams and chicken, with broth colored with annatto)

Pancit bihon (bijon)

Pancit bihon (aka bijon) is the type usually associated with the word “pancit“, very thin rice noodles fried with soy sauce some citrus, possibly with patis, and some variation of sliced meat and chopped vegetables. The exact bihon composition depends on someone’s personal recipe but usually, Chinese sausage and cabbage are the basic ingredients in a pancit bihon.

Pancit palabok and pancit luglug are essentially the same dish, the difference being primarily in the noodles used in the recipe. Luglug uses a thicker noodle than the traditional bihon of a pancit palabok. Both pancit dishes use a round rice noodle (often specifically labeled for pancit luglug or palabok) smothered with a thick, golden shrimp sauce or other flavored sauce, and topped with:

  • Shrimp, (the size and shell-on or shell-off depending on preference)
  • Crushed or ground pork rind
  • Hard-boiled egg (sliced into disks or quartered lengthwise or chopped)
  • Tinapa (smoked fish) flakes
  • Freshly minced green onion

Pancit palabok/pancit luglog and pancit canton are communal comfort food, and can be found at nearly all Filipino potluck parties. They are best made and eaten in batches for they are easily consumed.

Pancit sotanghon is a cellophane noodle soup with a chicken broth base. It may include some kind of meat and vegetable. A typical sotanghon is made with calamansi, sliced straw mushrooms, slivered dark-meat chicken and green onion.

Batil patong is not commonly known outside of Tuguegarao in the province of Cagayan in Northern Luzon, Philippines. It is an unusual noodle dish with a sauce based on soy and “cara-beef” beef broth. It is served with two piquant side dishes: a cup of egg-drop soup made with the same cara-beef broth; and a dish of chopped onions, vinegar or calamansi, chili peppers, and soy sauce. The noodles are usually wheat-based and are topped with ground cara-beef, pork liver, mung bean sprouts, and poached egg from whence the name batil patong literally “scrambled and placed on top” is thought to be derived. Sometimes, other vegetables, crushed pork-rind cracklings or chorizos are also added on top.

Pancit Lomi Originally from Batangas, Pancit Lomi is usually sold in eateries across the province. With the mobility of the Filipinos; however, other people got wind of pancit lomi and now you will see different lomihans (eateries with just lomi) whipping up their own pancit lomi, panciterias (eateries specializing in pancit) adding it in their menu, and carinderias (which are usually offering the usual viands and not pancit) starting to offer it alongside its other rice-based meals.

Seaweed pancit

Tiwi, Albay residents created a new pancit made from seaweed, which has health benefits. It is rich in calcium and magnesium and the seaweed noodles can be cooked into pancit canton, pancit luglug, spaghetti, or carbonara.

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Not Your Typical Poolside Snack

Stir Fried Rice Flakes With Shrimp And Spicy Sausage

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Lately, the weather has been perfect for poolside meals – not too hot, not too windy, no rain.
Bella has taken on to take a swim in the pool whenever we are in the back. She used to hate the water, but all of a sudden she has become a big fan. For me, the water is still a bit too cold to enjoy swimming, but I love to cook outside and eating al fresco next to the water. Life is Good 🙂
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Bon Appetit !  Living In Florida Is Great (Mostly)  🙂
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Click here for more  Shrimp  on  ChefsOpinion
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Stir Fried Rice Flakes With Shrimp And Spicy Sausage

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Stir Fried Rice Flakes With Shrimp And Spicy Sausage

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Stir Fried Rice Flakes With Shrimp And Spicy Sausage

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Stir Fried Rice Flakes With Shrimp And Spicy Sausage

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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A Regular Day In The Life Of A Food Blogger

Here is how my usual day-off’s  look like. (I still work part-time)
I don’t go out, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, and my conversations with Bella are usually pretty one-sided.
Movies and reading a few hours a day.
The rest of the time is usually spent prepping, cooking and eating.
(Bella only helps with the eating).
.So here is what we’ve enjoyed today:
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Breakfast – Dutch pancake with caramelized fruits
Lunch – Porkchop “Parisienne” with tomato/garlic orzo
Dinner – Sautéed bone-in rib eye with potato and Brussels sprouts
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All in all, a day as any other., nothing exciting, but great food 🙂
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( Post’s to follow soon)
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Breakfast – Dutch pancake with caramelized fruits

Lunch – Porkchop “Parisienne” with tomato/garlic orzo

Dinner – sautéed bone-in rib eye with potato and Brussels sprouts


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Flaming Hot Chili Chicken Noodle Bowl With Broccolini And Straw Mushrooms

Meanwhile - in Florida..........BBQ Floridian Style

Meanwhile – in Florida……….BBQ Floridian Style

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OK,  while you let this sink in, let’s move on to today’s featured dish :
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If  you are not used to VERY hot food, don’t try these noodles !
If you love bland and boring noodle dishes, don’t try these noodles !
If you don’t want to open your mind and taste buds to new sensations, don’t try these noodles !
But, if you love the sensation of flaming hot (spicy) food and the incomparable mouthfeel you get when the pain of the first few spicy bites subside, to be replaced by the warm, slight numbness which can only be achieved by eating large numbers of chilies, then this dish is for you. (Think Szechuan hot pot)
While I don’t eat VERY spicy food as often as I used to, once in a while I need my fix, and today was the time to get it. 🙂
A wonderful dinner, a full belly and clear sinuses – another great and very enjoyable evening !
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Flaming Hot Chili Chicken Noodle Bowl With Broccoli And Straw Mushrooms

Flaming Hot Chili Chicken Noodle Bowl With Broccolini And Straw Mushrooms

 

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Flaming Hot Chili Chicken Noodle Bowl With Broccoli And Straw Mushrooms

Flaming Hot Chili Chicken Noodle Bowl With Broccolini And Straw Mushrooms

 

 

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Gnocchi With Creamed Leeks And Grape Tomatoes

Gnocchi With Creamed Leeks And Grape Tomatoes

Gnocchi With Creamed Leeks And Grape Tomatoes

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I always  wondered why leeks are such an underrated vegetable ?
Leeks look good, taste good, are healthy, available year-round and very cheap economical 🙂
When I was a kid, braised leeks were a common side dish on most restaurant menus. I have NOT seen leeks on any menu for years 😦
So as usual, if I have a specific food craving, I have to take care of it myself. To up the ante, instead of just featuring leeks as a side dish, I made it an equal partner to the gnocchi in this dish.
And what a great dish it is !
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Gnocchi  on  ChefsOpinion
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Gnocchi Recipe:
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Ingredients:
1 lb Russet potatoes,   cooked, peeled, mashed
A/P flour,   sifted – as needed
2 Eggs,  whole, whisked
Kosher salt, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 0z Butter
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Method :
Add eggs, seasoning and flour to potatoes, mix lightly until smooth.
Shape into gnocchi.
Make light indentations with a fork.
Cook a sample in simmering salted water. If too soft, add flour. If too dense, add egg.
Cook gnocchi in simmering water until gnocchi float. Remove with slotted spoon into a strainer. Saute in melted butter.
Serves four.
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Gnocchi With Creamed Leeks And Grape Tomatoes

Gnocchi With Creamed Leeks And Grape Tomatoes

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Pasta & Love / Love & Pasta

Pasta & Love / Love & Pasta

Pasta & Love / Love & Pasta

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So this is what happened last night –
I was working on this post for ChefsOpinion.
While processing the pics from the day’s dinner, I came across this sign of love (I did NOT arrange this before I took the pics).
Not only does it look like a heart, it also resembles two stylized swans heads and necks, an image we use often in food decoration.
What are the odds ?????
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Bon Appétit !   Love is Good !
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P.S.
It would have been even more awesome if it would have happened on the 14th (Valentines Day),
but then certainly nobody would have believed that it happened by happy chance 🙂 
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Spaghetti With Cabbage, Peppers And Gorgonzola

Spaghetti With Cabbage, Peppers, And Gorgonzola

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Pasta & Love / Love & Pasta

Pasta & Love / Love & Pasta

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms

Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms

Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms


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Here  is another simple, hearty and delicious dish that I prepare often, since gnocchi and broccolini are some of my favorite ingredients to a happy meal.
Add cheese, mushrooms, butter and pangrattato and you’ll end up with the dish pictured here 🙂
However, if you are not a fan of any of these ingredients – just nix any one of them, or replace them with something you prefer to the original – shrimp instead of mushroom, another pasta instead of gnocchi , another vegetable instead of the broccolini, etc.
Let your imagination, wallet and available time be the guide to your pasta of the day, while using the one featured here as your inspiration 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more Gnocchi  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more Broccolini  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more Pasta  on  ChefsOpinion
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Gnocchi Recipe:

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Ingredients:
1 lb Russet potatoes,   cooked, peeled, mashed
A/P flour,   sifted – as needed
2 Eggs,  whole, whisked
Kosher salt, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 0z Butter
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Method :
Add egg, seasoning and flour to potatoes, mix lightly until smooth.
Shape into gnocchi.
Make light indentations with a fork.
Cook a sample in simmering salted water. If too soft, add flour. If too dense, add egg.
Cook gnocchi in simmering water until gnocchi float. Remove with slotted spoon into strainer. Saute in melted butter.
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Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms

Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms

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Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms

Gnocchi With Broccolini And Mushrooms

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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End Of The Month Noodles

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While  we like to believe that most folks nowadays can afford any food they like, this could not be further from the truth.
Since the beginning of time, providing nourishment for oneself and ones family has always been and still is an important part and often a struggle of the majority of people around the world, although we usually are ashamed of admitting that it can be hard to feed our-self and our loved ones on a level we would love to maintain at all times, especially the good folks who live on a monthly income. Sometimes, towards the end of the month, it can be a bit difficult to keep the excitement for the next meal going, when the purses get lighter and lighter and the freezer, fridge and cupboards are getting emptier and emptier as the month stretches toward the next payday. Many will just give-up at this point, believing that a meal without meat or seafood is substandard and not worth being happy about. This opinion is of course absolutely misguided, especially since there are many food groups besides meat and seafood which are full of protein and nutrition, which can be prepared to be most attractive and yummy.
However, there are also lots of people out there who really love any type of food, no matter what its consists of, as long as it is great to look at, tasty, filling and nutritious. And sometimes, one just gets tired of the usual stuff and opts for something like the meatless dish featured here (as I did today).
To prepare such a meal is super easy, all you need is love, fantasy and “the spirit”, especially in a time when you can search for anything on the net and get a variety of answers within a split second. For a good example, please click on the “Mamapedia”  link below)
To prepare a successful “End Of The Month Dish”, you can use any kind of pasta/noodles/starch, any kind of vegetables, mushrooms or no mushrooms, any type of seasoning (curry, tomato sauce, reduced chicken stock, hoisin, etc), any thing you have available or anything which is economic to purchase, as long as it comes together as a wholesome meal.
And of course, you don’t have to be broke to enjoy a tasty dish like this!
But then, as the end of the month draws closer…………… 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  End Of The Month Tips  on  Mamapedia
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Click here for  Non-Meat/Seafood  Protein Sources
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Click here for more  Noodles  on  ChefsOpinion
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P.S.
IF you have a sense of humor, you might want to click here to see how they make ketchup on another planet
 🙂
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End Of The Month Noodles

End Of The Month Noodles

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 End Of The Month Noodles

End Of The Month Noodles

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Rice Noodles

Rice noodles are much more delicate and fragile than their wheat noodle counterparts. This actually makes them so easy to prepare that we hardly think of it as cooking.

Place all your rice noodles in a deep mixing bowl, trying to snap as few of them as possible as you remove them from the package (always a challenge for us). Bring a good amount of water to boil. Pour the boiling water over the rice noodles until they are completely submerged.

Every minute or two, give the noodles a stir to loosen them up. When they are completely limp, give them a taste to see if they’re cooked through. The thread-like vermicelli noodles used in spring rolls will cook through in just a few minutes. The flat rice noodles might take upwards of ten minutes depending on thickness. Pay attention and test the noodles frequently because they’ll become mushy if they overcook.

Once the noodles are tender, drain them and run them under cool water to stop the cooking. Toss them with a bit of sesame oil to keep the noodles from sticking to each other if you’re not going to use them right away.

More Tips:

  • If the noodles will be used in a stir-fry dish like Pad Thai, you definitely want to under-cook them a bit. They will absorb more moisture and cook the rest of the way through once in the stir fry. If your noodles are perfectly cooked to start, they will turn to mush in the stir fry. Trust us, we’ve done that more times than we can count!
  • If you’re making a soup, you can cook the noodles directly in the broth. Add them just before serving and monitor closely to make sure they don’t over-cook.
  • Even with a bit of sesame oil, the noodles still tend to clump up after you drain them. They will loosen again once you mix the noodles into your dish .

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