Spring may have already sprung but the weather is still cold enough to warrant Spicy Lemongrass Chicken Udon. Warm and comforting, this soup is good all year long but is best served on chilly nights when you can fully appreciate it.
My dad and I often order udon noodles at Japanese restaurants but never make them at home.
Lemongrass is a flavor my family loves but never has at home.
I like enoki mushrooms in ramen at restaurants but never have them at home.
What better way to embrace these ingredients than to meld them together in flavorful soup?
Happily, these ingredients were inexpensive.
Four stalks of lemongrass = $0.30
One pack of large enoki mushrooms = $1.99
One pack of dried udon noodles = $1.50
Thank you 99 Ranch. You may have just opened but I’m officially adding you to my usual rotation of Asian grocery stores. (Don’t worry Asian Food Market and H-Mart, I still love you both!)
Tonight’s plate appearance was made by Chive & Goat Cheese Gougères of the pâte á choux clan. Some may call her an airhead but you’ll never forget her delicate touch and light chive blossom fragrance. Somewhat of a rebel, she has forgone her family’s traditional Gruyère and and styled herself in a creamy goat cheese. You’ll rarely find her without her mate Onion Jam, who’s secretly sweet on her— but because he’s a caramelized fellow, it’s a very poorly kept secret.
Following these two are longtime friends Flank Steak and Mushrooms who have just returned from a trip to the Balsamic Bath House. Giving them a welcome reprieve from their long soak is Snow Pea Pods, with his crisp exterior and fresh attitude. Some people believe he’s immature but most appreciate his slightly raw sense of humor.
Bringing up the rear is Strawberry Cake, whose personality traits reflect elements from all her friends. Her own lightly crisped exterior is softened by a smattering of melted goat’s milk brie and fresh strawberries roasted in a maple balsamic bath. Topped with a kiss of powdered sugar, she might just be your new summer lover.
MAPLE BALSAMIC STUFFED PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS WITH HAVARTI + WALNUTS + SPINACH
I’ve never liked mushrooms. Combine the unappealing idea of eating fungi along with a rubbery texture and “earthy” taste (i.e. a polite way of saying they taste like dirt) and now you know why I never particularly dug these decomposers.
Did I think they looked cool? Of course. I always liked the shape as you can probably tell by the drawing below.
I always found mushrooms to posses an unusually alluring aesthetic. Some sort of odd combination of funkiness and beauty.
C’mon, a naturally growing circle of mushrooms is called a fairy ring so I can’t be the only person with mixed feelings about these fascinating organisms
Recently I’ve tried to be a little more open minded and have done some experimentation with mushrooms. Culinary experimentation only, thank you.
In July, I had some sesame flavored enoki mushrooms in ramen. In September, I made an apple-goat cheese risotto with both dried porcini and fresh mushrooms. And just last week I posted the recipe for my cremini mushroom mac ‘n cheese.
But mushrooms were never the main component of any of these dishes. It was time to cast the humble mushroom in the lead role.
MACARONI AND CHEESE WITH CREMINI MUSHROOMS + LEEKS CARAMELIZED IN FIG PRESERVES
I’m not ashamed— I like boxed mac ‘n cheese. Yes, it’s powdered cheese. And yes, I think it’s delicious.
For college students, it’s practically a food group. Just like instant ramen, it’s quick and cheap but nothing about it screams of sophistication.
So for those of you who scoff at powdered cheese or just want something different, meet my gourmet gemelli. It has plenty of cheesy goodness but there’s something special about this macaroni and cheese.
It’s secretly packed with vegetables!!
It’s perfect for getting kids to eat more veggies.
It’s also perfect for getting adults to eat more veggies. I’m looking at those of you who shrink away from spinach and disappear at the mention of daikon.
You know who you are
Veggie lovers and veggie loathers unite, I think this is a dish you’ll both enjoy. Read more →