Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008


I've got a couple pictures from Thanksgiving this year. There were a bunch more dishes including one of my mom's bread & butter dishes : baked string beans with cream of mushroom soup and fried onions but unfortunately the pictures didn't come out great so I got rid of them.

In addition to the turkey and string beans, we had the usual fixings (stuffing, cranberry sauce), in addition to some mashed sweet potato, fresh bread, and apple pie for dessert. Yum! I got to make the mashed sweet potato and helped with the stuffing and I also picked up a few tips on preparing a turkey from my mom and grandfather.

I don't know how he does it, but my grandfather always manages to get the turkey to come out nice and juicy, with the white meat soft and tender but not undercooked!


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Noodle Soup!

Noodle Soup

With the weather turning cold, I've been turning to much more comfort food type dishes lately. After making chili a while ago and a new batch of wontons, I've been on a soup noodle kick as of late. There's a myriad of different kinds of noodle soups available at all of the different eateries around town (I'll have another post detailing many of the different kinds as soon as I finish sampling them :P), but I decided that I should be able to have this at home too.

So in celebration of the first snowfall of the winter, I set off to make myself a steaming hot bowl of soup. With a trip to Super 88, I had all of the necessary ingredients for just a few dollars. There's not much of a recipe but I'll try my best to detail the steps I took.

Rice Noodle Soup

Rice Noodles (Pho noodles) - 4 ounces (or more, depending on whether you want more or not)
12-16 oz Chicken Broth (I just used one can)
6 oz Water (half the can of chicken broth)
beef balls
fish balls
fish cakes
pork wontons
bok choy
dash of 5 spice powder

1. Depending on if you have fresh rice noodles or not, you may be able to skip this step. If you have dried rice noodles, follow the directions on the package. Strain noodles and put in a bowl.
2. Blanch the bok choy, set aside.
3. Heat up the chicken broth and water, add the dash of 5 spice powder. Bring close to a boil.
4. Add the wontons, beef balls, fish balls, and fish cakes. Cook wontons through.
5. Add the bok choy in for a minute or so.
6. Pour soup over the noodles in a bowl and chow down

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan

Everytime I end up in Davis Square, I always stop by Dave's Fresh Pasta and pick up some form of fresh pasta. This last time, I picked up some basil & lemon papardelle (I think it was basil & lemon at least) among the usual sandwich and multitudes of other tasty goodies :)

So, with that in mind (and in hand), and with some freshly made tomato sauce (for another post anyway), I set off making one of the classic dishes that you seem to find in almost every Italian restaurant, Chicken Parmesan. I remember eating this all the time growing up whenever my family went out and occasionally, I'll see it in the cafeteria at work but otherwise, I don't have it very often.

The recipe I used was inspired by Simply Recipes, one of the most well-designed and easy to use sites around (And that's not even mentioning the wealth of great recipes!). As soon as I looked at this recipe, I knew I had to try it out, and sure enough, it turned out well! I did make a couple substitutions but they were rather minor, chicken breast for chicken thighs and eggs instead of butter for dredging.

Chicken Parmesan

Serves 4-6
Time: 30-40 minutes

- 2-3 eggs (Can substitute butter)
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup bread crumbs (plain)
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan (or Romano) cheese
- ½ tsp Italian seasoning (basil, parsley, oregano)
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp garlic salt
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 lbs chicken breasts/thighs, pounded, cut into large pieces
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese, grated


1. Combine the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt, garlic salt, parsley, and black pepper in a bowl. Put eggs (beaten) and flour in two separate bowls.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
3. Dredge the chicken first in the flour, then the eggs, then the bread crumb mix.
4. Set on a baking sheet (greased or foiled)
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
6. At 15 minute mark, drizzle some mozzerella cheese on top. Or, remove into a bakeable dish, spoon some tomato sauce on, and drizzle mozzarella cheese.