Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Smart Sunday Supper

This weekend would have been a "All Housework" (laundry, vacuum, cooking, cleaning and grocery shopping), "No Play" kinda weekend had it not been for an impromptu invitation from a close friend to meet at her place for tea.  I gladly accepted and loaded my troops into my faithful old Subaru to head over to hers.  She had also invited another sweet friend, and the three of us launched into our rants of wifely/motherly woes and delights, with lots of good laughs thrown in.

When we reached home, it was time for dinner, and all I wanted to do was to call it a night with a smile on my face as I indulged in an enjoyable recollection of our recent talkfest.  What could I whip up quick that no one would (hopefully) frown over, and it wouldn't take me more than 20 minutes (is this even possible?)?  At times like this, an imaginary timer goes off in my head that makes me dash about the kitchen like I was in a race to get to the finish line.  I decided to go with Oriental style stir fry and noodles.  The catch - this is quick only if you use frozen/pre-cut vegetables - but I read somewhere that they pack these fresh to keep all the nutrients in, so no guilt there, right?  For those of you who are willing to put in a little more time, especially for the chopping experts, I recommend using fresh vegetables for better flavor and well, freshness.

Noodles - Asian-style

1 pack instant noodles per person ( I prefer Ching's - they cook in four minutes!)
Vegetables strips/shreds: Carrots, Cabbage, Peas, Corn, Beans, etc - Or use the frozen mixed vegetables blend
1 tsp garlic per pack of noodles
1 tsp low sodium soy sauce per pack of noodles
1 tbsp oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp Sriracha sauce for spice (optional)
Put noodles to boil , add vegetables.  Drain and set aside in strainer. 
In a pan/wok, add oil, saute garlic.  Now add noodles and vegetables, mix in soy sauce and salt and pepper.  And voila! the noodles are ready in a matter of minutes!

This dish can be improvised with the addition of mushrooms, bean sprouts (fresh or canned), baby corn (frozen or canned),water chestnuts (canned) - these would be in the international section of the grocery store along with egg noodles and the like.  Also, some like to add white pepper instead of black, it is typically hotter and offers a better kick.  And last but not the least, drizzle some sesame oil on the noodles and serve.  Mind you, sesame oil has an intense aroma and flavor so check with everyone first!  Please let me know what your experience is like when making this, and share your variations.

Okay, so that's the noodles, now the stir fry - this is super easy with the frozen Stir Fry blend from the market.

Vegetable Stir Fry

1 large pack of Stir Fry blend from frozen section - this would include peppers, onions, broccoli and more
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp garlic ( you can tell I love garlic - it's all about the flavor)
3 tsp low sodium soy sauce 
salt to taste
Crushed red pepper for heat (optional)
Chopped parsley for garnishing

Add oil to pan/wok  and throw in vegetables, add salt.  Stir often until cooked but crunchy - make sure they don't get overcooked and mushy or they will be no fun to eat.  Once done, we flavor as follows - add the garlic and mix it in, add soy sauce, red crushed pepper and garnish with parsley.  Looks yummy, tastes great! 

I always complement this meal with fortune cookies or ice cream in the end.  The kids love it, and so do the grown-ups!

1 comment:

  1. Just love reading ur blog. Initial introduction to the day's topic is interesting & i can relate to it. It gets me in the mood to go in the kitchen & try the recipe ( & let me tell you it's very difficult to get me in the kitchen).