Sautéed chicken and noodles with mushrooms and cream

6 09 2010

On Sunday night, Chris and I made sautéed chicken and noodles with mushrooms and cream, fried potatoes, and broccoli for dinner. I like to think of it as a a combination of Julia Child’s sautéed chicken with mushrooms and cream and chicken marsala and a side dish of our very own fried potatoes and broccoli for all the nutrients for a heart-healthy dinner.

Ingredients:

For the sauce:

  • Pan
  • ~3 teaspoons of butter
  • Small box of bella mushrooms (~2-3 cups)
  • 1 onion
  • 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine

For the noodles:

  • Pot
  • Water
  • Vermicelli noodles

For the chicken:

  • Pan
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 3 boneless chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the fried potatoes:

  • Pan
  • 2 potatoes

Preparation:

  1. Peel and cut potatoes, dice mushrooms, and chop the onion.
  2. Rinse the chicken in cold water, pat dry with clean paper towels.
  3. In a pan, place butter in and add mushrooms. Sauté them around on high heat.
  4. Add the chopped onion in with the mushrooms and stir.
  5. Pour in some heavy whipping cream into the same pan with the mushrooms and onion. Stir and mix well.
  6. Add some white wine, salt, and pepper for taste into the sauce pan. Boil down rapidly for a minute or two, or until the sauce starts to thicken.
  7. In a separate pan, sauté the boneless chicken thighs in butter and olive oil. Add some salt and pepper to taste. Sauté for 5-6 minutes until underside is browned. Turn pieces over and sauté the same way for an additional 5-6 minutes until browned.
  8. In a separate pot, add water and place on high heat. When the water begins to boil, add the vermicelli noodles.
  9. In another separate pan, fry the potatoes. Make sure they do not burn.
  10. Take a plate and place the vermicelli noodles on it. Add the fried potatoes next to the noodles. Finally, pour the sauce over the noodles and chicken.
  11. Optional: For a vegetable side dish, boil some broccoli and add next to your noodles and fried potatoes for a colorful addition.

The sauce cooking

Finished product!

The sauce was my favorite part; it really elevated the taste of the otherwise dry chicken and thin noodles. I thought the fried potatoes was a great touch and you don’t feel too guilty eating it because you’ve got chicken, noodles, mushrooms, onion, and broccoli all on the same plate. Of course, this isn’t exactly what you call a diet dinner, but it’s just too irresistibly delicious to pass up. A little butter and cream certainly never hurt anyone. Anyways, I thought this dish was very creative; it incorporated a little bit of Julia Child’s culinary delight with the chicken in mushrooms and cream, but also let us follow our culinary drive and add in some other common ingredients that made the dish even more rewarding.





Ni Hao Café

10 05 2010

The end of the spring semester is just around the corner, and Chris and I are finishing our junior year of college. Since we’re currently busy studying for finals and wrapping the semester up, we unfortunately do not anticipate a lot of cooking going on until after finals are finalized.

Today, however, we went to Ni Hao Café, which is a Chinese restaurant located right on the Corner (a popular food spot for students, locals, and visitors alike). Ni Hao Café caters mostly to undergrad and grad students, as the food is pretty quality and the prices are relatively cheap. Typically, it is under $10 for an entrée. During lunch, there are $5 specials that come with rice. They even have Happy Hour, Mondays-Fridays from 4-6 pm!

Chris and I have actually been to Ni Hao Café several times, mostly with our classmates. However, today, we decided to go there for lunch! We were the only ones in the restaurant for awhile, although there were some people who came in for takeout and eventually by the time we were ending our lunch, two groups of people came in. Chris and I both ordered beef noodle soup (the third time NRM has come up in our blog!). We wanted to compare their NRM to ours.

The first thing I noticed about Ni Hao’s beef noodle soup is that the noodles are very thick and wide; Chris calls them fat rice noodles. The noodles we used were pretty thick and wide too, but I don’t think they were as wide as Ni Hao’s. The beef seemed pretty good. Chris thinks that it was more restaurant-style than the traditional NRM. It wasn’t spicy and didn’t have a very distinguished star anise-taste like ours did. Overall, it was pretty good beef noodle soup and I would recommend it to friends/family/strangers and eat it again.

Ni Hao Café's beef noodle soup

Yum! Next time we go to Ni Hao, we’ll be sure to try other delicious dishes. I’m especially interested in their dim sun plates! :)





Beef Noodle Soup + Sushi!

8 05 2010

This past week, Chris and I made beef noodle soup (牛肉麵 aka NRM) again.

We still had Chinese green veggies, tomatoes, noodles, mustard greens, and star anise from last time, so all we had to buy was beef shank. We went to Harris Teeter again and bought the much-needed beef shank for our NRM.

At home, Chris first cut the beef shank into cubes.  Then, I placed the beef shank into cold water heated until just boiling.  Chris strained the beef and rinsed it with cold water.

Then, Chris first sautéed a little bit of ginger, sesame oil, and spicy chili bean paste.  After the mixture was hot, he added the beef to pan-sear the meat. Afterwards, Chris added a little bit of water and rice wine together to cover over the meat along with the star anise, garlic, and some sugar. He let it boil for ~30 minutes. He added chopped tomatoes in, reducing heat down to simmer for about an hour.

Meanwhile, I boiled some water for the noodles in the rice cooker.

When everything was ready, Chris ladled the NRM soup and veggies and then added some noodles on top. He added some chopped mustard greens and placed it on top of the noodles along with the boiled green vegetables. Chris added some cilantro and green onion as a garnish at the end.

The NRM was very successful; in fact, several of our hallmates came to the room, commenting on the overwhelming smell that was wafting down the hall. So we ladled some soup and noodles for them as well. Overall, another successful NRM story :)

NRM Finished product

Beef Noodle Soup!

I almost forgot to mention! Chris and I also made sushi the other day! We bought a large cucumber, avocados, and surimi. Ching-san gave Chris a bag of Japanese sushi rice (Premium Grade Rice Nishiki). So, we cleaned everything and then Chris chopped the cucumber into very thin, long slices and cut open one avocado and chopped them as well. He also cut the surimi.

Meanwhile, I prepared the sushi rice in the rice cooker and then Chris added rice vinegar to the sushi rice when it was all cooked and I mixed it up. After everything was chopped up and cooked, Chris spread the sushi rice onto a piece of cling wrap on top of the bamboo sushi mat we borrowed from Ching-san. He used a spoon to flatten the sushi rice and then placed pieces of avocado, cucumber, and surimi. Then, he rolled the sushi and cut them into California roll makizushi-style sushi (the most familiar kind to foreigners). Unfortunately, we forgot to buy nori (seaweed), but it’s okay because the sushi was really delicious and tasted exactly like California roll sushi!

Chopping sushi ingredients

Chopping the avocado for the sushi

Rolling the sushi

Bon appetit!





Surprise Dinner

25 04 2010

Since Alice is home for a job interview (good luck!), and because I haven’t cooked for a while, I decided that I would surprise Alice with a traditional Chinese dish: Spicy Braised Beef Noodle Soup (牛肉麵) (i.e., niu rou mian or NRM).

I bought the necessary ingredients at a Far Eastern grocery store and Kroger:

  • Beef shank
  • Chinese green vegetables (青菜)
  • Tomatoes
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Sugar
  • Star anise (八角)
  • Spicy chili bean paste (豆瓣酱)
  • Rice wine
  • Noodles
  • Garlic
  • Ginger (Eww..I hate! ginger >.<)

    First, I cut the beef shank into cubes.  Then, I placed the beef shank into cold water heated until just boiling.  I strained the beef and rinsed it with cold water to prevent overcooking the meat.  I like to do this preparation step in order to remove some of the blood and impurities from the beef.

    Then, I first sautéed a little bit of ginger, sesame oil, and spicy chili bean paste.  After the mixture was hot I added the beef to pan-sear the meat temporarily. Because it’s a braised dish, one needs to sear the beef first and then cook it in liquid in a covered pot.   One of the secrets to good NRM is this braising process.  In a perfect NRM, the beef will be very tender, and chewy with minimal loss of flavor to the soup.  The braising process allows for all of these delicious things to happen just before you eat the first spoonful!

    Afterwards, I added a little bit of water and rice wine together to cover over the meat along with the star anise, garlic, and some sugar. Then, I let it boil for ~30 minutes.  I then chopped two tomatoes, and added those in, reducing heat down to simmer for about an hour.

    Meanwhile nearing the end of the hour, I boiled some water with a little bit of salt and heated up the vegetables.  In another pot, I boiled the noodles.

    When everything was ready, I ladled the broth with some meat into a bowl removing the ginger, garlic, and star anise.  Then I places some noodles on top.  I chopped some sour mustard greens and placed it on top of the noodles along with the boiled green vegetables.  As garnish, I added some cilantro and green onion.

    Braised Beef Noodle Soup

    The final product!

    Congratulations to Ching-san on signing with Cornell’s graduate program for financial mathematics! We wish you good luck in the future. Ganbatte!