Monday, August 18, 2014

In the Kitchen with Deb- Guest Chef Adventures in Vegas

You might remember our friend Deb Tedesco-Roberts from her culinary school interview she did with us a while back. Well.... Deb has been busy this summer! Traveling, enjoying the Vegas nightlife, gardening and COOKING up a storm, Deb has invited us into her kitchen to see what happens when you send men off to fish for trout, and they deliver the goods.

This girl belongs on Food Network!
Going fishing is a rite of passage for many men, and while the "Manly Fishing Trip" may not be as common as it once was, occasionally you do hear of a group of guys making the escape from the city to a secluded cabin or campsite and spending some time at one with nature, baiting hooks and hoping to snag something worth bragging about. Deb's guys loaded up the equipment and headed off to Panguich Lake in Utah for some trout fishing, and judging by the pictures, they have the perfect fishing spot.

Manly men doing manly stuff at the lake

Deb's hubby Kurt seems to have won the fish lottery

Oh yaaaaaa.
While I love fishing, I was more excited to see what sort of kitchen magic Deb would be working when she got a hold of those beautiful, freshly-caught fish, and I was not disappointed. Fresh herbs, lemon, olive oil, wine, all lined up on the counter top, ready to lend their flavors, and an unbelievable amount of beautiful, flawless trout sit waiting for their ultimate destination- the dinner plate.

Trout is one of my very favorite fish. It's so delicious and easy to prepare, and if you leave it whole and don't feel guilty with him looking at you while you're eating him, make a striking presentation. Deb was working with trout but you can use whatever fish you prefer.

Look at these perfect trout! Lemon and herbs are
waiting in the background for their turn
First things first- head on or head off? That's up to you really. I personally don't like my dinner looking at me while I'm eating, so I'm a heads-off gal and so was Deb. Second thing you have to deal with is the skin. Cooking a whole fish is so much easier and gives a moister finished dish when you leave the skin on, so make sure to thoroughly remove all scales from your fish if it's a scaled fish. Not all fish are!

Extra virgin olive oil and Sauvignon Blanc-
match made in heaven with fish
Seasoning your fish is a very important step. Of course you want salt and pepper, but you can add subtle flavors to fish by stuffing the cavity with thinly sliced lemon or other citrus, and lots of fresh herbs. Thyme, dill, Italian flat leaf parsley, fennel fronds all work well with fish.

Fish are stuffed with herbs and lemon
Adding a splash of a light wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil accent the fish perfectly while adding moisture.

Get all that good stuff in there!

Don't neglect the exterior of your fish either. A nice rub of olive oil and season with salt and pepper before you wrap up your foil packets will ensure a tasty fish skin, especially if you finish with a quick broil to crisp up the skin.

Wrapping up bundles of deliciousness
Wrap up the stuffed and drizzled fish in foil and seal tightly! Place on a baking sheet and pop into a preheated 350 degree oven and don't peek for 30 minutes or so (depending on the size of your fish). When ready to test, you can tell the fish is cooked when a fork inserted shows flaky meat. You can check with a thermometer as well- it should be 140 degrees.

Cooking show- right??
While your fish is cooking, get your sides in order- a mushroom rice pilaf is delicious with fresh fish, or a crispy fresh tossed green salad with a light vinaigrette- perfect!

Don't they look fantastic? 

Deb's delicious fish was served with garden-grown tomatoes
and rice drizzled with pan juices from the fish- simple and perfect
Freshly caught trout makes a beautiful dinner and is just as easy to prepare at the campsite- simply cook your foil packets over the campfire or on a grill.You can have lots of fun with this dish too- invite friends over for a stuff-your-own fish feast and get your guests in on the fun in the kitchen, open a bottle or two of wine and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cook it all day pasta sauce

Finding myself with some unexpected time on my hands means I get to spend more time in the kitchen. That means cooking up delicious meals that can simmer away all day. Pasta sauce is the perfect all day dinner, easy to put together and very versatile. Just add the pasta of your choice and some crusty garlic toast and you're set.

Everyone's family has a pasta sauce recipe they love. No one makes it quite like Mom's. Ours is no exception. The Chef's sauce is different than mine even, so we get two incredible family recipes to play with, update, and make our own. We love lots of garlic and herbs, layered flavors of herbs- both dried and fresh bring something to the sauce. Dried herbs lend their subtle flavors through long and low cooking, fresh herbs add that pop of flavor when added at the last minute. Onions and garlic are the backbone of my sauce and both diced tomatoes and tomato puree complete the sauce. 

Herbs? Italian flavors are what I want here. Oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme, and bay leaf fit the bill, and instead of just regular crushed red pepper I am going to use a pepper blend I picked up at Vom Fass, Aglio Olio & Peperoncino.

So let's get cooking! You will need-

  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 4 cups tomato puree
  • 8 cups chopped tomatoes
  • dried and fresh Italian herbs- oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme
  • crushed pepper to taste
  • cooking oil
Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a stockpot, add the onion and saute until softened. Add the garlic. I love sliced garlic in recipes like this (think Goodfellas and the scene in the prison kitchen- Pauly slicing the garlic with a razor blade). Cooking just melts the garlic into the sauce and it's so much more flavorful. Stir the garlic and onion for a couple minutes but don't allow the garlic to brown. It gets bitter and nasty if it browns.

Add the ground beef and break it up. Cook until done. Drain off extra fat if needed.

Add the herbs to the ground beef in the pot and stir. I use about 1-2 teaspoons each of dried herbs, a little lighter on the oregano than the basil.

Next, add the tomato puree and the tomatoes to the pot. Stir it all together, bring to a boil. Then reduce heat, cover and let simmer for an hour or so. 

Next, lift the lid and place it ajar so the sauce can cook down and thicken. Stir once in a while and taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper if needed. Let the sauce cook all afternoon over low heat. A crockpot is great if you have one.

As dinnertime approaches it's time to pick out a pasta. This sauce is very hearty and works well with just about any pasta, from spaghetti to lasagna. We will be having spaghetti tonight. Cook your pasta according to the package directions, drain well, and serve with sauce and hot crusty garlic bread. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 55: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Urban Foraging

I don't normally think of the city as a great source for foraging, but my eyes have been opened after talking with friends about their experiences in different cities around the world. When I think about it, and consider the number of beautiful flowering trees planted all over cities to make them more beautiful in the springtime, I should have thought about this before. Now it's starting to make sense!

Sue's beautiful blackberries
Not to be mistaken with the "freegan" lifestyle, which includes dumpster diving for food, rather urban foragers find free edible plants such as fruits and leafy greens. My friend Sue, for example, who lives in Rotterdam, normally shares pictures of her incredible curries and Asian style dishes, all homemade and flawlessly executed. Today she shared a couple pictures of pears and Damson plums she found IN THE CITY! So that started our conversation. 

Damson plums Sue found in Rotterdam

Sue called these stone pears. Aren't they gorgeous?
Not only does she find these beautiful fruits, but blackberries, raspberries, hazelnuts and more. I was immediately inspired to find out more. Foraging is nothing new to me- I live in the country, but in the cities? 

My friend Kevin, who lives in Des Moines, picks black raspberries, mulberries and elderberries in the city. Vivian, also from Des Moines, found an apple tree at a nearby business and had picked apples. Brianna found a fig tree at Georgia Regents University in Augusta, Georgia. More mulberries have been picked by Laura in Clarinda, Iowa, from a tree on a vacant lot. She says she has picked pounds of berries from that tree. Crab apple trees line many parking lots all over the city and people are picking them! It's pretty amazing when you think about how many sources there really are for free food if you know where to look, and carry a plastic bag with you of course!

Of course, if you are an experienced forager you already know you have a virtual salad bar right in your own lawn. Young dandelion greens and plantain leaves make great additions to salads. Many flowers, such as violets and roses, can be steeped as used for teas, jellies and more. 

Plantain, the menace of yard freaks everywhere.

Most of us know at least one homeowner in the city whose lawn is overrun in the fall with black walnuts strewn about, and their smelly and oily black shells decaying all over. My friend Ronda, who lives in Alabama, has a similar "problem" with pecans. I wish I had a pecan problem actually!

So what do we do with all these foraged finds? Let's make a simple salad using plantain.

2 cups young plantain leaves, washed and chopped
2 cups mixed baby lettuces
1/2 red onion, sliced
sliced cucumber or grape tomatoes, if desired
chopped herbs of choice
1/4 olive oil
2-3 tb white balsamic vinegar
1 tb dijon mustard
salt and pepper 

In a large bowl combine all the vegetables. In jar, mix oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper, shake vigorously. Pour about half the dressing over the vegetables; toss well. Add more dressing if needed. Serve on chilled plates.

NOTE:  There are lots of sources for foraging information online and in books. Make sure you know what you're eating. Pick from unsprayed, untreated areas and if permission is needed, make sure you get it. NEVER eat a berry or mushroom or plant of any kind unless you are absolutely sure it is safe.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Playing with fire- from Quick's Hot Spice

It's pretty cool as you get to know people, they like to have you sample their products and tell everyone what you think about them. In the course of food blogging and keeping up a Facebook fan page to go along with it, I have met some really great people, and I get very excited when a local producer asks me to try something they make and sell. In this case, it's hot peppers and seasoning mixes. Everyone who follows this blog knows we are nuts about hot and spicy food at the Little Lake House. We're brave enough to try anything! 

Quick's Hot Spice is a growing company on Des Moines' south side, owned by Paul Quick. We "met" on Facebook after having discovered we have several mutual friends- and we share a passion for HOT HOT HOT. Several conversations down the road and Paul offered to send us some samples of his seasoning mixes to try them out. Of course I agreed! A couple days later the mailman delivered the loot- Hot, Extra Hot and Blazzin' pepper blends (and a business card- Paul had no idea I am OBSESSED with business cards!!!). 

So what to do with this super hot surprise package.....

Let's talk about the seasoning mixes first. Hot is a fiery 17 pepper blend. It's a beautiful color- a lot like paprika but deceptively spicy. The blend is flecked with other spices as well, you can see little bits of things- but I don't dare ask for the secret combination. Paul recommends this as a shake-on spice for pizza, rather than the tired old dried out and stale red pepper flakes you see on restaurant tables. Until you know what you're sprinkling on, either taste test with a toothpick or start with just a LITTLE bit. 

Extra Hot is the same 17 pepper blend BUT Paul has added ghost chilis to the party. This amps up the heat quite a bit, but surprisingly you still get a real good deep pepper flavor, and not just heat. It's definitely not for the weak at heart- if you want to try something REALLY hot, this is a great one. 

Blazzin' is a masterpiece that is SUPER hot and definitely NOT for someone who has never experienced any of the superhots before. When using this blend START SMALL. You can always add more if you're crazy enough but if you overdo it up front, you can't take the heat out. Use this one with caution and make sure you tell anyone who is sharing your dish what to expect. Even the SCENT of this blend is a warning!

Peppers grown by Paul in his garden.
I promised I'd be cooking with these seasonings, so let's talk about how I used them.

HOT- Of course, we went with the recommended use- pizza! In this case I made a "white" pizza and I think those can always use a good boost in flavor- so mushroom, salami and 17 peppers spiced this baby right up! The pepper flavor is outstanding, and the heat is right on point. 

I also used the Hot Seasoning in a compound butter with some finely chopped chives. It is AMAZING on fresh Iowa sweet corn and melting over a sizzling steak, oh man......If you're looking to kick up flavor big time, this is the way to go!

EXTRA HOT- What can I say about Extra Hot except WHOA!!! Hang on to your meatballs ladies and gentlemen, this seasoning is NOT kidding around. I chose meatballs as a way to experiment with and showcase this wildly hot seasoning blend because hot and spicy foods make excellent appetizers and party foods, and this one is just waiting for football season. I used my regular meatball recipe with one pound of ground beef and added 2 tsp of seasoning to the meat mixture and another 2 tsp to the sauce, whether you're making a marinara type sauce or barbeque meatballs, and boy did it make it's presence known! If you like it hot, give this one a try for sure. Adding to barbeque sauce also gives you a lot more options for super spicy barbequed ribs, pulled pork, drizzled over sliced brisket, and serve with smoked sausage in a crusty bun. 

BLAZZIN'- Blazzin'......this one was just plain outrageous hot. Many of my friends would never eat something this hot. When you're working with a seasoning that packs this kind of heat you have two choices- showcase it in a supremely hot sauce, like mind-melting chicken wing sauce OR use it sparingly to add heat to a sauce, like a burger sauce. We've done the ridiculously hot wing thing so many times I thought a burger sauce would be a great option. So move over Sriracha, Blazzin' Barbeque Mayo has arrived on the scene and it's got something to say! For this spread you will need-
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (NOT Miracle Whip)
  • 2-3 tb barbeque sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Quick Spice Blazzin' Seasoning blend
Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and chill several hours for the peppers to meld with the liquid and evenly flavor the spread. Use on BLTs for a powerhouse summer sandwich or as a burger spread. 

I didn't stop with spicy mayo either! I already make a spicy tomato jam that a friend shared with me last year, so I figure, why the heck not, let's kick that up too, and stirred a 1/2 tsp or so into a couple tablespoons of tomato jam. WOW- it was CALL 911 Hot !!!! Not for the faint of heart, that's for sure!

Now that we have been able to play with the awesome hotness, let me tell you a little about Paul. He started growing peppers around 1998. Back then the hottest pepper was thought to be the Red Savina pepper. About the only plants and seeds available locally were the usual Habaneros, Jalapenos, and hot bananas so he started with those. In 2001, at the urging of some buddies, he began selling his seasoning mixes and discovered the internet as a great source for a much larger variety of peppers. As his pepper collection grew, so did his desire to find more varieties and eventually led him to the ghosts and trinidads and the hottest peppers we know of today. He has grown nearly thirty different varieties of hot peppers.  His peppers have also won awards at the Iowa State Fair.

Paul is using his hobby as a way to generate a little income on the side as well. Quick's Hot Spice sells the seasoning mixes as well as peppers on their website. He sells many varieties of dehydrated peppers so even if it's not in season, you can get your hot pepper fix. I highly recommend you give him a try. It's a great product, a great guy and who doesn't want to help support a LOCAL business??

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe are of good quality and safe. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Designer bags? No, designer BEEF!

Designer what? Designer beef, of course. You've heard of it- Wagyu and Kobe beef. Wagyu literally means "Japanese cow" and includes several breeds of cow. Named for the region they are raised in, and they way they are "finished", these types of beef are prized by gourmets all over the globe. An ancient breed of cattle, they have been in Japan since the second century, often used as work animals in rice cultivation, this beef is known for the intense marbling and exceptional flavor. Now Wagyu and Kobe cattle enjoy a much more pampered lifestyle.

Wagyu cow, photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Since the cattle are raised in areas of very hilly, treacherous terrain and don't have large pastures to roam on, and exercise their muscle tissue, they are massaged with sake. Crazy, right? Sounds like a trendy spa treatment. Wagyu beef is also finished by feeding beer, which helps to increase their appetite. Many farmers treat their herd to a serenade of classical music as well, to help them relax. Because of the location they are raised in, the herds are small, making the meat even more limited. There are four types of Wagyu cattle, Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Polled and Japanese Shorthorn. In the U.S., these Japanese cattle have been bred with Angus cattle and fed a diet similar to their Japanese relatives. some are finished with red wine as well. 

Unlike Wagyu, Kobe beef comes from the Tajima strain of Wagyu cattle and are raised only in the Hyogo Prefecture in Japan. Kobe cattle does not graze, they are fed rice straw, corn, soybeans, wheat bran, but never pasture grass. If this particular cow is raised anywhere else, it cannot be called Kobe beef, pretty much along the same lines of champagne vs. sparkling wines. It's virtually impossible to experience real Kobe beef outside of Japan, although there are different kinds of beef sold as "Kobe style." To get the real thing, you better start saving your pennies!

So what is so special about Wagyu and Kobe beef? Why would anyone want to pay $200 or more for a steak? That really depends on who's buying! Who wouldn't want to try one just once? I sure would. These beef varieties are famous for their marbling and higher levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It is exceptionally tender and flavorful compared to standard commodity cattle.

How do you cook it? Personally, I would want it prepared as simply as possible. A nice NY Strip cut, simply seasoned with salt and pepper and seared or grilled to medium rare. I would want to enjoy every bite of that steak, completely unadorned with steak sauce or meat rub. In fact, this type of beef really should NOT be cooked beyond medium rare, as the higher amount of marbling makes the meat melt. Overcooking would destroy the texture, and the experience.

I spent some time visiting with my friend Chef Todd Leech, from McCormick and Schmick's in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, and he talked about using American Kobe Style beef in a tartare preparation, and his restaurant is currently serving a Kobe style burger. Todd recommended not cooking beyond rare to preserve the best texture. Todd's advice was echoed by Adam Holland, writer of The Unorthodox Epicure. He STRONGLY recommended NO SEASONING other than salt and pepper, cooked at high heat quickly so you don't overcook it. Adam has had experience with the "American Style" beef that is the only thing you're going to find in the U.S. and said he thought it was better than any Prime cuts of regular beef, and "if you have never grilled or broiled a steak, don't let these be your experiments." At several hundred dollars a pop, I agree!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 55: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Three Fs- Fourth, Food, Festivities

Oh we had SUCH big plans at The Little Lake House this year. We live right across the street from the park, and the lake's events committee had scheduled a live band to perform in the park as part of the annual Independence Day celebration- basically our front yard. So while other folks had to load up coolers, lawn chairs, blankets, food, drink and use the dreaded Kybo, we were going to get to enjoy the party from our front deck, the fridge just steps away, loads of food to snack on and comfy patio chairs.

Sadly, Mother Nature had to throw a wrench into my plans and a rainy morning and stormy forecast caused the band to be cancelled. But the food and drink shall go on. My sister and her husband came, armed with St. Louis style barbequed ribs, and cocktails, and the night went on- with our own music!

Captain and Coke and a few ice cold beers got us started, and then the feasting began. Our menu for the night-
  • St. Louis Style Barbequed Ribs
  • Tacos Al Pastor with Jicama, Kohlrabi and Carrot Slaw
  • Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip with pretzel bread
  • BLT Dip with crackers
  • Assorted cheeses and sausages
  • Mixed olives
  • Chipotle Ranch Tortilla Pinwheels
Yum, right? The ribs were made by my brother in law, Kim, who used Jack Stack Barbeque meat rub and smoked the ribs on the grill. Cheese and sausage was just cut into bite sized cubes. The BLT Dip had a little help from a couple mixes I had on hand- BTL Dip mix from a craft show (small batch local company) and some Bacon Bacon from Tastefully Simple, mayo and sour cream. We had lots left- thinking it's going to make a great burger spread! The artichoke dip was cheesy and creamy with chopped artichoke hearts, chopped fresh baby spinach, cream cheese, sour cream and a little packet of Okey Dokey Artichokey dip mix I had tucked in the cupboard. Chipotle Ranch Pinwheels also used a seasoning packet I'd had around- this one from Pampered Chef, with cream cheese, shredded Colby Jack and chopped scallions, served with salsa for dipping.

The Tacos Al Pastor took some research. I've had these tacos at Malo, but they actually stack the meat on a vertical roaster, which I don't have. So I have to improvise. The spices and chilies required for this dish was also quite an extensive and complicated combination and I thought might be a little over the top heat-wise for our guests, so looking over our spice and pepper collection I decided to start with Arizona Dreaming seasoning from Penzey's and play with that.

For the pork I used a boneless pork roast, about 3 lbs. It was very lean already so had no fat to trim. I cut the roast into six thick "chops" and placed in a ziptop bag. In a small bowl I combined a can of crushed pineapple in juice with about 3 tb. of the seasoning and a couple shakes of chili powder. I poured this into the ziptop bag and sealed it, then massaged the marinade allover all the pork, and placed in the fridge overnight. The next day I removed the pork hunks from the bag, browned in a little oil, then poured the marinade over all and roasted, covered, at 325 degrees for about 2 hours. When done I removed the hunks of pork, sliced into bite sized strips, and returned to pineapple mixture in the pot.

To serve the tacos, spoon some pork and pineapple into a tortilla and top with slaw. You can add salsa verde if you like. No cheese, no lettuce, just the fresh, crunchy slaw. 

Jicama, Kohlrabi and Carrot Slaw
  • 2 cups jicama, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 cups raw kohlrabi, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 cup carrot, shredded or cut into matchsticks
  • 3 or 4 scallions, sliced, including green tops
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3 tb honey
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves (or Italian parsley)
Combine the vegetables in a large bowl. Zest the limes and add to vegetables. Season well with salt and pepper. Juice the limes into small bowl. Stir in honey till dissolved. Whisk in oil. Pour over vegetables and toss well. Add cilantro right before serving and toss again.

This was my first time cooking with both jicama and kohlrabi and I have to say- they were so crunchy and fresh and delicious. I am SOLD! The lime and honey dressing was the perfect partner for these veggies. I did have to use parsley because I had no cilantro but it was just as fresh and delicious.

Our evening was capped off by fireworks around the lake and a ride around the muddy backroads in a Jeep- muddy and FUN !!!! So today, it's muddy laundry and cleanup and RELAX. I hope you all enjoyed a safe, fun and happy 4th of July. 

*Fireworks photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 55: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Amazing Asian-style Dragon Noodles

Funny things happen when your friends are as foodie as you are. Normal conversations don't really exist. You spend hours discussing grains, or Kobe beef, or the best way to make kimchee. You each look up the same food blog online and pore over recipes, dissecting the ingredient list and making substitutions and technique changes that you usually agree on. Day long conversations (via email usually) center around food and drink, interspersed with  "OMG I'm getting sooo hungry" one of the most commonly used phrases.

My friend Andi and I are just like this. Every day, pretty much. We talk food like it's our job. What we had for dinner last night. A new restaurant in town. What we're cooking tonight. New versions of tomato jam. Things to do with bacon. The pros and cons of curry. Cake. Lots of cake. And we always land on "OMG I am sooooo hungry." 

Today for example, almost as soon as I got to work and signed online I got a message from her. It went something like this:

(link to recipe on website)

I'm just gonna leave this here

For you

I made them last night


You get the idea, right? We are OBSESSED !!!! By now you're probably wondering what in the kind of recipe we were talking about too, right?  Well Andi had come across a website called BudgetBytes. We are both always searching out new ideas and new dishes to make. We are not "same old same old" people- we like to find new recipes to try all the time. Anyway, she found this website and it's loaded with great budget-friendly recipes. EASY recipes with ingredients you probably have in your kitchen already. I think we spent an entire day discussing the meat-free noodle dishes ! We got to talking about which recipe looked super easy and delicious, bookmarking, printing and saving recipes, and we came across one that looked soooo good we were both dying to try it. She made it last night, I am making it tonight. The recipe is called Dragon Noodles, and to make it you will need:
  • 4 oz lo mein noodles (or linguine)
  • 2 tb butter
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tb brown sugar
  • 1 tb soy sauce
  • 1 tb Sriracha
  • 1 sliced green onion
  • handful fresh cilantro
Bring a pot of water to boil and cook noodles.  While noodles are cooking, mix the sugar, soy and Sriracha in a small bowl and set aside. In a skillet, melt the butter. Add the red pepper as it melts. Beat the egg and add to butter in skillet, cook, stirring until done. Remove from heat and set aside.

When noodles are cooked, drain completely, then add to skillet, adding sauce mixture. Return to heat and cook, tossing noddles until excess moisture is gone and noodles are coated with sauce. Sprinkle with green onions and cilantro and serve immediately.

I had a couple small pieces of sirloin in the fridge so I thinly sliced, stir fried, and tossed with my noodles. It was perfect- like a hot/sweet Mongolian beef. **NOTE- I also multiplied everything else by 4 to make leftovers, using a pound of pasta. This recipe is super easy to double, triple or go bigger.

Honestly, I wish I could claim to be the culinary genius behind these noodles. But that honor goes to BudgetBytes. I hope you stop by the website and check out all the delicious recipes there. Like so many recipes, Dragon Noodles is so ridiculously versatile. You can add whatever Asian veggies you like, cooked mushrooms, tofu, thinly sliced and cooked meat of almost any kind (imagine chicken or even shrimp.....yum!) to turn this into an entree (increase the sauce mixture by two or three times). This dish literally comes together in the time it takes to boil water and cook noodles. The sauce is the key to the delicious DRAGON heat with sweet, hot and salty all at the same time.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 55: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."