OMG They Actually Ate It–Chicken Ramen Stir-Fry

imageIt’s a truth universally acknowledged that, if all of my family were to agree on a dinner selection, we would eat the same seven meals for the rest of our lives. Likewise, trying new meals is met with groans, skepticism, and the wailing and gnashing of teeth. However, every once in a while, I try a new recipe that actually squeaks by and gets added to the rotation. I first saw this recipe on Food Network, and after making it a couple of times, I adjusted the proportions to better suit the consistency that they wanted.  While the Heathens pass on the final squeeze of lime and the Sriracha drizzle, I promise that you really should try it as it brightens up the whole dish.

Chicken Ramen Stir-Fry

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. grated ginger
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. honey
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. white wine vinegar
  • 2 large or 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. canola oil
  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup sliced purple cabbage
  • 1/4 cup water or chicken stock (preferably the stock but no biggie)
  • 3 packages ramen noodles (just throw out the seasoning packets)
  • Sriracha for serving
  • lime wedges for serving
  • (Note–The recipe originally called for a few green onions in addition to the yellow onion, but my husband says green onions are the devil’s playthings, so there goes that)

Procedure

  1. In a bowl, whisk together soy sauce, ginger, honey, vinegar, and garlic. Add the chicken and let marinate 15-30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, use a vegetable peeler to peel the carrots into ribbons and set aside. Also, get a medium pot of water boiling. You will use this to cook your noodles, but since they only take a two minutes to cook, you want the water ready when you get toward the end of the recipe.
  3. Heat 1-1/2 Tbs. of canola oil in a large skillet over med/high heat (or a wok if you have one, fancy pants). Remove chicken from marinade, reserving marinade. Cook chicken until done (5-6 minutes). Remove chicken to a plate. Add onion to the skillet and cook two minutes, then add carrot and cabbage and cook an additional minute (while this is cooking, cook your ramen noodles now in your pot of boiling water and drain). Add 1/4 cup water or chicken stock to deglaze the pan while your noodles are cooking. Add the cooked noodles to the pan, the chicken, and the reserved marinade. Bring to a serious simmer for at least four minutes.
  4. Dish up in bowls and serve with Sriracha and lime wedges for squeezing over the top.

 

Book Review–Southern Spirits: Four Hundred Years of Drinking in the American South

In case you missed it, summer has hit the hell-mouth that is commonly referred to as northern Louisiana. It’s the time of year when my husband makes me watermelon mojitos, and I try not to succumb to the Southerner’s version of cabin fever. If you’ve been reading this blog for more than one post, you know that I’m a girl who loves a good cocktail…or ten. That’s why I jumped at the chance to check out this book. Good food and cocktails are clearly ingrained in my DNA.

While there are numerous recipes in this book, it’s not a recipe book at all. Rather, it’s the best history book this Old Fashioned-swilling girl could ask for. It’s the “who, what, when, where, and why” of Southern cocktail history and culture. Yes, it’s a niche book that is probably more Father’s Day than anniversary gift (unless you’re weird like me), but this truly is a well-researched book about Southern hooch in all of its glory. So much of Southern food and drink is steeped in our stories that it’s sometimes fruitless to try and pinpoint their origins. Mr. Moss really did a great job of tracing back to those iconic drinks and brands that set the stage for the staples we know and love today.

That being said, this book isn’t for everyone. I think you have to be a history geek, cocktail geek, or Southern Living culture junkie to get it. For all its 300-plus pages, you’ll find less than 45 cocktail recipes, most of which are VERY specific about their ingredients down to the independent purveyors. While this book is definitely a niche product, I can say firsthand that it’s perfect for hooch connoisseurs like me.

**I was provided this book in exchange for a fair, honest, and no-BS review**

Butternut Squash Fries with Maple-Yogurt Dip

I know what you’re thinking, and no, I have not gone off the deep-end.

imageThis week, I tried a new recipe for shrimp tacos since shrimp was on a serious special at my local store. I can post that later if anyone is interested. As a lighter side dish, I whipped up these butternut squash fries and a dip for them that sounds weird, but trust me, makes the dish. On principle, the husband and Heathens promptly set the house on fire in squash protest (not really), but I ate the whole dang pan of this awesomeness. Those clowns need a taste bud transplant anyway. If you are not in the butternut squash=arson camp, you should try them.

Butternut Squash Fries With Maple Yogurt Dip

Ingredients

Fries

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into fry-like dimensions
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil (extra-virgin is fine)
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder

Dip

  • 1/2 cup good quality, unflavored Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbs. pure maple syrup (do not even think about using pancake syrup here)

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a sheet pan, toss squash fries with olive oil and arrange into a single layer. In a small bowl, combine salt, cumin, and chili powder. Sprinkle this mixture over squash evenly. You do not have to use all of it if you don’t want to, but seriously, the squash can stand up to a good level of seasoning.
  2. Place pan in oven and roast for about 25-35 minutes. I don’t care what anyone says, squash and sweet potatoes can be kind of finicky in that they can go from firm to burnt on the bottom very quickly. Oven temps can vary widely so my 425 could be your 400 or your 465, (unless you’re smarter than me and have an oven thermometer). You don’t have to babysit it too much, but start checking at the 25-minute mark. If the bottoms are browning too fast while the squash is still too firm, give it a toss. Take it out when you think it’s tender with a little crisp on it.
  3. While the squash is cooking, make the dip. Whisk the yogurt and syrup until smooth and set aside.
  4. Serve the squash immediately with the dip. Try to get over the fact that it seems too weird to be true and enjoy the deliciousness. (FYI, I did not get a pic of the dip. I’m clearly not a food blogger, and you try toasting tortillas and making individual, custom shrimp tacos for five people. The pic you see is the three seconds when I snapped a shot of my plate before another Heathen asked for a napkin).