Glass Noodles with Pork

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I have been posting a lot of meat recently, well it seems that way anyway. So today I made a simple Chinese dish that my mom showed me how to make – glass noodles with minced pork. They are also referred to as cellophane noodles and are usually made of starch or beans and water.  I had a package of these glass noodles laying around from before and I know you can get them at most Asian markets, but I don’t know about regular grocery stores. I have never actually looked, but I assume they would be cheaper at Asian markets anyways. So this recipe comes courtesy of my mom and she gave me ingredients but no measurements, so nothing is exact as I am purely guessing/approximating what I used. But all in all, its fairly fast and easy and makes a nice side dish.

Ingredients

  • 8oz pkg of glass noodles
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chili paste/chili oil or to taste
  • 3/4 cup dark soy sauce, separated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 4 cups of water or until softened
  • 3 green onions, chopped

Recipe:

  • Marinate the ground pork in 1/2 cup of dark soy sauce
  • Saute the pork with the garlic and chili paste in a wok or large sauce pan over medium heat
  • Add the glass noodles to the wok and add ~3 cups of water, 1/4 cup soy sauce, salt, white pepper, and sesame oil
  • Add more water if the noodles are still absorbing it (they soak up a lot)
  • Top with green onions and enjoy

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Picnic Broccoli Salad

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At the request of the ladies in my life to eat healthier, I have been making more salads than ever before. When they asked, my first thought was boring! Then I requested if mac salad, potato salad, and pasta salads count, but apparently they do not. Thus, today is a broccoli salad, complete with mayo, bacon, and cheese…yummm healthy….Actually, it’s not unhealthy and its pretty good too. I mean you can always make it unhealthy by adding as much crap as you want into it, but I kept it pretty simple.

Ingredients

  • 3 heads of broccoli, florets chopped into eatable pieces
  • 1 cup mayo
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • 6+ strips of bacon (up to you)
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • Halved grape tomatoes
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (as much as you desire)
  • Chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
My bacon is happy

My bacon is happy

Directions

  • Blanch the broccoli florets in a pot of boiling water, drain and set aside
  • Mix the mayo, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar in a bowl
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Meanwhile, fry the bacon until crispy, dab with paper towel to get excess oil off
  • Chop the bacon
  • Add the bacon, onions, tomatoes, nuts, and cheese to the broccoli and mix well in a large bowl
  • Add the sauce and mix thoroughly (use enough to coat well, but you don’t need to use all of it)
  • Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 min
  • Serve and enjoy

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Chili and Cast Iron Corn Bread

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We had the slow cooker out from making the hummus and decided to use it again to make chili. What goes well with chili? Cornbread of course! Corn bread made in a cast iron skillet to be exact. So we put everything in the crock pot before going to work and came home to an apartment filled with the smell of chili, and in no way was that disappointing. Then we whipped up the cornbread and ate a terribly unhealthy, but terribly delicious meal. Got the recipe for the cornbread from here.

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Ingredients for chili (semi made up from a hodgepodge of other recipes Ive seen in the past)

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 3 cans of stewed/diced tomatoes
  • Shredded cheddar cheese and chopped onions for serving

Directions

  • In a large pan on medium heat, cook the onions and season with salt until soft
  • Add the garlic and chili powder and stir for a minute
  • Add the beef and cook until brown
  • Drain the majority to almost all of the oil and transfer to a slow cooker
  • Cook the chili in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours

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Ingredients for corn bread

  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups finely ground yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

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Directions for corn bread

  • Heat oven to 450 degrees
  • put 2 tbsp butter in a cast iron skillet and set aside, melt the other 6 tbsp of butter in a small dish
  • Whisk cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl
  • Whisk eggs in a large bowl until frothy, then mix in the buttermilk
  • Pour egg mix into the flour/cornmeal mix and stir until dry streaks are incorporated (easier if you use a rubber spatula), but careful not to overmix
  • Fold in the melted butter and let stand for 5 minutes
  • When the oven is hot, place the skillet with the 2 tbsp butter in for 5 minutes
  • Remove the pan and coat the bottom of the pan with the melted butter
  • Pour the batter into the skillet and bake until golden (~15 minutes)
  • After removing the pan from the oven, let it rest for about 5 minutes
  • Cut and enjoy

This meal was pretty damn good. It was hearty and nostalgic, but on the downside it lacked any form of real vegetables whatsoever. The chili was pretty oily in the cooker, so before we mixed and served it, I spooned out most of the oil that had risen to the top. I also added a little bit of cornstarch to the chili to thicken it up. The cornbread turned out perfectly, but next time we might add some cheddar cheese to the mix, and maybe some jalapeños too.

Scalloped Potatoes

I’m sure you have all been to the market and seen those bags of russet potatoes where its like $1.50/lb, or you can buy a 5lb bag for $4 or a 10lb bag for $5.  So obviously wanting the most bang for my buck, I always opt for the 10lbs, and to this day I don’t think I have ever finished all 10lbs before they went bad.  I’m Asian so most of my carbs come in the rice and noodle format, not so much the potato.  But since I bought a 10lb bag, what the heck, I’ll make some more potatoes.  This time I tried scalloped potatoes due to Jenn’s extreme, otherworldly, not quite sure how that happened love of cheese.  I followed this recipe and it turned out pretty well.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups thinly sliced potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper (didn’t have any so I used chili flakes)
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese, to sprinkle on top
  • paprika

Directions (b/c even men need them sometimes)

  • Thinly slice your potatoes (mandolin might be handy here)
  • Melt butter in saucepan, mix in the flour, and let it sit for a minute
  • Whisk in the cold milk
  • Season with salt and cayenne pepper
  • Cook until smooth, whisking occasionally
  • Reduce the heat and stir in the cheese (I used way more than a cup)
  • Place half of the potatoes in a greased baking tray
  • Pour half the sauce over the potatoes
  • Add the 2nd half of the potatoes and cover again with the remaining cheese sauce
  • Add extra cheese on top because obviously you would
  • Sprinkle with paprika
  • Bake at 350 degrees for an hour

The scalloped potatoes were obviously (not so obviously) a side dish to a pan fried chicken I made.  I seasoned bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs with a mix of seasoned salt, black pepper, thyme, rosemary, garlic powder and onion powder.  It was a mix that I got as a gift for attending my cousin’s wedding since they also like to cook.  After seasoning them, I pan fried them in some butter.  I like the skin-on thighs because I like the crispyness of the skin when I fry them.  So those two and a side salad completed the meal.  It was definitely on the heavier side, but it was delicious.