One Dish Meals

Singaporean Noodles

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Singaporean Noodles
Singaporean Noodles

Every time I deep clean my freezer or pantry, I make a silent and personal vow that I will use up what I have and not buy any more until we’ve made a significant dent in my stock of provisions. That vow usually lasts about two weeks, but nobody knows about my failure to keep it except me, and maybe my family. Well, about a month ago, at the very beginning of the virus escalation I renewed that vow and broadcast it about to all and sundry. “Hear ye! Hear ye! I hereby make a vow!” My daughter and I even made a list of food ideas incorporating some of these products. This is unheard of in our household. And do you know what? So far I’ve been keeping my vow and mostly buying essentials like fresh produce and dairy products. It feels good, people. Primitive and domestic and frugal, all rolled into one.

One thing on that list was an Asian-inspired meal. Singaporean Noodles has topped our list of personal favourites for many moons. We like it because it’s highly flavoured and uses a variety of items. With a few exceptions it’s also very adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand.

As with many Asian meals, I find that if you chop your ingredients ahead of time, it facilitates a speedy assembly once you’re ready to cook it. Generally the cooking steps are very quick.

So. Order of recipe is thus. 

  • Chop all vegetables and meat. 
  • Have your seasonings ready.
  • Cook noodles and begin frying chopped items at the same time.
  • Combine ingredients and add seasonings. Fry until it starts browning a bit. 

 

This post is sponsored by Martin’s Family Fruit Farm. Normally a lot of these produce items are stocked in our retail store, which is closed at this time to protect our customers, staff, and apple packing facility. Thank you for your understanding. 

Singaporean Noodles

Ingredients

  • 10 oz. (about 4 cups) dry thin noodles
    Singaporean Noodles
    Singaporean Noodles
  • 3 tablespoons oil, divided
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4″ strips or 3 cups of precooked chicken strips
  • 10 oz. raw or cooked shrimp, if desired (This happens to be something that was in my freezer. But now they’re gone. Sad, sad day.) 
  • 1 small to medium onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 cup green vegetable (i.e. Frenched green beans, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, garden, snow or snap peas)
  • 1 cup bean sprouts, coarsely shredded cabbage, cauliflower or a mixture
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp. curry powder, depending on how spicy you want it
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce 
  • pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil (This is not essential, but it definitely adds a lovely Asian flavour. A little goes a long way. And yes, it was in my pantry, so there.)
  • Green onions, if you have them. If not, tuck in a few more of the green vegetables.

Directions

Prepare all the vegetables and chicken for cooking. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in frying pan to medium-high and begin frying your raw chicken strips. Remove when the chicken is browned and continue stir-frying the vegetables and raw shrimp, adding a bit more oil if needed. Fry only until crisp-tender. If you’re using pre-cooked chicken and shrimp, just add them with the noodles.

Cook the noodles in unsalted boiling water with 1 tablespoon of oil added. The oil keeps the pot from boiling over. That is a beautiful thing. Don’t overcook the noodles; five minutes max. Drain them well. 

Add chicken and noodles to the pan of veggies and start adding all the seasonings. Stir everything together gently and fry until you start seeing some brown bits. Lift and turn about twice. You don’t want to create a mushy mess. This may take about 3-5 minutes. 

Sprinkle with green onions to serve, if using them. Oh, and if you like heat, have some red pepper flakes on the table. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Irish Skillet

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Irish Skillet

I know that some of you are busy roasting your Thanksgiving turkeys, but here in Ontario the aroma of roasting gobblers is but a faint memory tickling our brains and we have settled in to preparing comfort foods before the festive Christmas gourmet goodies are given priority on our tables.

One new comfort dish that I discovered completely by accident these last few weeks was this Irish Skillet dinner. Aside from the fact that it all cooks in one dish, there were a number of things that drew me in.

A. It uses cabbage! I love cooked cabbage.

B. It asks for apple juice. Yes! My eyes perked up at that idea. I can feature our fresh cider.

C. It’s naturally gluten-free, if you’re careful about which beef broth and Worcestershire sauce you use (French’s Worcestershire sauce does not contain gluten). 

D. And finally, it’s Irish! Lots of warm fuzzies here. Because it’s Irish, it gives me license to look at my photos from a couple of years ago when we visited the Emerald Isle. I will share some of them with you as we go along. Here are a few to get started. Ireland possesses a wild rugged beauty and the people match the landscape. 

I mumbled something to my daughter-in-law through my mouthful of the hash about the fact that it’s not exactly the prettiest dish in the world, and she replied that Irish food is not really known for its ascetic beauty, but for its taste. We both agreed that it was not lacking in the taste department whatsoever. I thought of various regional Irish dishes and this pretty much holds true for most of the foods. It tastes amazing, but it ain’t so much for looks. Sorry, Dad! I know you believed that food first should appeal to the eyes before it enters the stomach, and most of the time I agree with you. Here are some food pictures.

I made Irish soda bread to accompany the meal, of course, and it brought back fun memories of the Dublin giant who taught us how to make the bread, tossing the eggs to us as we were ready. Not a single one broke, believe it or not. He also taught us how to dance an Irish reel. He was definitely a highlight of that part of our organized tour. He also informed us that he’s single, for those of us who might be interested in that tidbit. Which I wasn’t, naturally.

The stories and recipes are provided by yours truly, sponsored by Martin’s family Fruit Farm. 

People often ask what the difference is between apple cider and apple juice. In our country, fresh apple cider is simply apples crushed and squeezed to produce a fresh tasting nectar. Apple juice, on the other hand, has been boiled and canned, sometimes made with a concentrate and water, and doesn’t have that fresh apple taste. One half bushel of apples will produce 1 1/2 gallon of cider. A variety of sweet and tart apples makes the best cider.

Fresh Apple Cider

 

Irish Skillet

Ingredients

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For the Sauce: 

  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup apple juice or cider
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

For the Skillet:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef or lamb
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 pound frozen hash browns or raw potatoes, chopped in 1″ pieces
  • 4 cups shredded green cabbage

Directions

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet, and brown the ground beef with the chopped onion. Add the oil, chopped bacon and frozen or fresh potatoes. (I used frozen hash browns, but next time I will use fresh chopped unpeeled potatoes. I think it would look nicer and be less mushy.) Cook uncovered over medium heat until the bacon and potatoes are starting to brown. Stir periodically to keep from sticking. Add the cabbage and the sauce and cook another 5 to 10 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed. Serve with Irish soda bread for the real deal.