Somen Noodles and Sugar Snap Peas

Sandra Lee does it again with her so not meh noodles. This chicken teriyaki goodness with a side of snap peas is getting  a favorite recipe mark for sure. A previous owner agrees with me. I know this because they wrote good on the recipe.

As I’ve mentioned before, Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Meals is a cookbook sent from heaven, wrapped neatly with a bow and hand delivered for those of you who struggle in the culinary arts.

In other words, she makes recipes that are idiot-proof as well as scrumptious.

This is mostly due to the fact that she finds shortcuts. I’m ok with this, because in this day in age people are either too busy and let’s get real with ourselves, lazy, to make food completely from scratch.

I’m pleased to have another successful recipe, but I’m also sad. I have no more puns or rambling stories to add and that does make me sad. So, let’s get to it then.

For the Chicken Noodles

  • 6 ounces of somen noodles
  • 2 tablespoons of canola oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds of chicken tenders, but into bite sized pieces
  • 6 ounces of baby spinach
  • 1 cup of carrot slices
  • 1/2 cup of teriyaki sauce
  • 1/2 cup of reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon of bottled crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of bottled minced ginger

The first step in making the noodles is to prepare for the ceremony known as The Boiling of the Noodles. Tradition states that you place the noodles in water that has been blessed with salt for three minutes. Drain the noodles afterwards and then set aside

While this ceremony is taking place, you may heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet and stir for about 7 minutes.

Once the chicken is cooked, add the spinach, carrots, sauce, chicken broth, garlic, and ginger. Stir this mixture until well combined and then allow it to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the noodles right before you are ready to serve. When you do, toss and cook until the they are hot.

For the Sugar Snap Peas with Red Pepper

  • 14 ounces of sugar snap peas
  • 1/4 cup of roasted red bell pepper cut into thin strips
  • 1 teaspoon of dark sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds

Get a microwave safe bowl, unless you want to add melted chemicals to your meal. I’m not going to judge. It’s your body, your choice.

Anyway, get a bowl and add all the ingredients except the sesame seeds. Mix them all up and then heat for 6-7 minutes. Stir halfway through to ensure the mixing has been properly done. If you are a classy classical person like myself and don’t own a microwave I suggest you heat your oven to 350 and cook for 10-15 minutes.

When this mixture has been properly heated you may add the sesame seeds. I added black ones because they were left over from a previous recipe.

They taste the same to me, so I believe it doesn’t matter what color you get.

As I said before, this meal was a success. It was easy to make and satisfying.

I love you Sandra Lee. Why are you so perfect? You’re probably a real blonde too.

Nevermind, I hate you.

Just kidding. I hate myself.

Just kidding. I’m trying to be funny and this is the only way I know how.

….now I’ve confused myself.

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Somen noodles of goodness

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Snap peas!

 

 

Shallow Thoughts by Jill Shadey

Have you ever had a thought or a feeling that you know is completely shallow, but you still feel that way anyway?

You feel like Trump. You feel like a narcissistic POS that is quick to point out other people’s flaws when meanwhile you have shitty hair and are a shit person.

Then you think, but I’m not a shitty person. I do all these other thoughtful things and do my best to be good to people. Then you remember, “Trump thinks he’s a great person too! He thinks he can make America great again! Be honest, so do you! You’re like Trump!”

Worse of all, you know you can’t keep it to yourself either. Like Trump, you’ve got to spew your vile at something or someone. You can’t just keep it to yourself like a responsible person with self control. Oh no, you’ve got to think about writing a blog, a Facebook post, or a novella to a “lucky” winner of your choice.

You judge girls for taking lots of selfies, but you know damn well that you take selfies too. Your medium just happens to be writing instead of pictures.

Then it all makes sense why the very thing you were feeling shallow about is a more fruitful option than you.

Of course he’d rather be with the girl you think isn’t as attractive as you are. Of course. She probably has an award winning personality that doesn’t include shallow narcissism.

You know damn well looks aren’t everything, but you thought you had at all. At least for them anyway.

You don’t even know why you care. You’ve moved on. You want someone else even. Someone who also isn’t ready for you, but took you in anyway, for a little bit of time.

Your friends tease you about getting hit on. You laugh at it. You kind of enjoy it, but only because the ones you do want only want you temporarily.

You feel frustrated with yourself. You wonder if you’re severely flawed. You know you’re self involved. You write a narcissistic blog and you end it with,

You.

 

Coconut Bundle of Burnin Shrimp

The Everything Thai Cookbook truly has everything Thai. I thought I liked everything Thai, but sadly this cookbook is proving me wrong.

I don’t think it’s the cookbook’s fault. When I originally got this book, circa 2006, I only cooked the stir fry recipes. Those I can tell you are delicious. The appetizers are more traditional and some are difficult to make. I’m positive when I get past the appetizer section, I’ll be more pleased.

That being said, I almost didn’t want to write about Coconut Bundle, because I got a nasty comment about my views on  Mee Krob . I thought it was gross and my cooking experience of making it was not pleasant.

If you read that entry, you’ll see I did what I normally do with a recipe I fail at. I make fun of myself, it, and more. I have discovered that not everyone understands my, (what I thought was harmless) sarcasm.

So let it be known, dear readers, that I enjoy most Thai dishes. I especially enjoy stir fry with eggplant and basil. I have no problems with Thai people or Thailand. The only Asians I don’t like are North Koreans and that loathing is reserved for their government. I’m sure most North Korean citizens are a-okay.

Now that I have that disclaimer out-of-the-way, here’s what you’ll need for the coconut bundle.

  • 1 cup of shredded fresh coconut
  • 2/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup of shrimp paste
  • 1/2 cup of diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped lime segments
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/2 cup of dried shrimp
  • 1-2 jalapenos, seeded and sliced
  • 20-25 medium sized spinach leaved, washed and patted dry

The first step is easy enough for an American who is a novice cook.

Hey! That’s me!

That step is to saute the coconut over medium heat until it has browned. This should take 20 minutes.

While the coconut is browning, make some sauce by melting the brown sugar in a pan. Once it’s halfway melted, add the shrimp paste.

By the way, I could not find shrimp paste. I looked at two different Korean grocery stores, as wells as Vons. One of my best friends is from Japan and told me that she wasn’t surprised by this. She said shrimp paste is truly more of a Thai and Vietnamese specialty. So, if you decide to make this, I recommend going to a Thai grocery store because you’re probably not going to find it anywhere else.

I ended up substituting with fish sauce and it came out chewy and stringy. I’m guessing this is not what’s supposed to happen.

When your coconut has properly browned, you can move on to the next step which is mixing it with onion, lime pieces, peanuts, dried shrimp, and jalapenos. Mix it by gently tossing in a bowl.

There’s an ingredient in this that I don’t understand why I don’t like it. Dried shrimp. I like shrimp, but dried shrimp is an oddity for me. It kinda freaks me out. It doesn’t have much of a taste, so it’s not disgusting. I just feel like I’m eating a dried bug instead of shrimp. It’s a psychological thing I guess.

My Japanese friend assuaged my feelings of being an uncultured dumb American by revealing to me that she is also not a fan of dried shrimp. She says it’s a common snack to feed kids in Japan, but she never liked it. I’ve seen her eat some other kind of dried seafood snack. I think it was octopus. I don’t really remember because we were on a road trip when I witnessed this event. I was driving, so I only got a rear view mirror look.

Moving on, to serve this dish you place an appropriate amount of spinach leaves on a plate. An appropriate amount would be enough to hold a good-sized bundle of coconut. When you’ve assessed the serving size most appealing to you, you’ll sprinkle the bundle with your sauce.

Consume the bundle by scooping it up with the spinach leaves and popping it into your mouth.

Thankfully, I liked this recipe much better than Mee Krob, but I still thought it was weird. The lime segments are juicy and tend to overtake the flavor. I actually liked that, but a friend of mine found it a little jarring. The coconut tastes fantastic and pairs well with the rest of the ingredients.

The elements I did not enjoy about this dish was the sauce and the dried shrimp. We already know my feelings about the shrimp. The sauce, I screwed up and that made consuming the dish a little daunting. I felt like I was eating the La Brea Tar Pits.

I’d be curious to try this again without the dried shrimp and either making the sauce correctly or with a different kind.

The good news is that I did try this on a fish taco when a friend of mine had a fish fry party. It was actually pretty good as a topping. I’m thinking about opening up a taco truck in Silverlake and charging hipsters $12 for tacos.

Those hipsters will eat anything they think is odd. I can say that because I’m part hipster.

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The Bundle