CSA Recipe #2 – Noodles with Julienne Carrots and Bok Choy

When I realized that I had vermicelli noodles and bok choy I knew I wanted to make this. Not that I had a recipe.  I googled, found a few, and went for the easiest one. Well, maybe it wasn’t the easiest. It involved blanching vegetables, a thing I’ve never done before.

Making this took way longer than I thought. There was the carrot washing, the drying, the dicing (I really should buy a kitchen mandolin), doing all of that for the bok choy, then the cooking, the cooling, the patting dry again, and oh man there are so many steps to this. I suggest taking time to prep and being better organized than I was.

This is one of those recipes where there’s not really a recipe (hypocrite, thy name is me).  You add in as much as you think you’d like.  I had 7 small-ish carrots and one little head of bok choy, and then two big handfuls of noodles (I made enough for left-overs).  Next time I’d add more bok choy or maybe some other veggie (I don’t know… snow peas?).

Noodles with Julienne Carrots and Bok Choy (An approximation)

Blanching:

Wash, dry, and peel the carrots. Cut into long thin shapes (I tried for slightly larger than matchstick-size, but I lack consistency). Do the same for the bok choy.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the carrots for 60 seconds, remove carrots using a slotted spoon (or sieve if you don’t have a slotted spoon), put into a colander and rinse under cold water for 60 seconds. Dry.

Using the same pot of water, put in the bok choy for 30 seconds, remove, rinse under cold water, dry.

I was going to use the same pot for the noodles but the bok choy turned the water green. I was worried about my noodles tasting too ‘greeny’, so I poured it out and brought another pot of water to boil. Thankfully I had carrot top pesto to make while I was waiting.

  • Side note: the blanched veggies smelled and looked great. The blanching is supposed to kill enzymes or something. I’ve always just used them raw, but this is an interesting way to pre-cook them.

The noodles went in for 1 minute, then were rinsed under cold water. The recipe I found said to chop the noodles into 6 inch pieces so that they’d fry better, but since the noodles were just a huge mass I wasn’t very precise.  I may have gone a bit knife-crazy, because I ended up with diced noodles that were 3″ or less. At least that made it easier for me to eat this dish with a spoon.

Frying:

I heated up some sesame oil in the pan (enough to cover the pan), and added the noddles. Then I added the carrots and bok choy, and some soy sauce. I pretty much added soy sauce until it turned the colour I wanted. Then I added some greek spice mix, because I was worried that it would be bland.

I was super hungry by this point so I just cooked everything until my patience ran out.

However, I made sure to toss sesame seeds on top before eating, to make it look good.

End Result: Good enough, but could have used more spices/veggies.

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Chocolate/Chocolate Holiday Cupcakes

Step 1: Make cupcakes

Step 2: Ice cooled cupcakes*

Step 3: Spend more time than you should mucking about with really sticky candy** to make holly leaves and berries, but you can’t use a knife because it keeps getting stuck in the candy and not cutting, so you have to use your hands, even though it means washing your hands a billion times in the process, and why is it so difficult – I mean you’re only making 12 of these things; all so that these cupcakes look festive.

Step 4: Eat all of them.

cupcakes

_

*I also cut the cupcakes in half and piped chocolate mousse in the middle, just to make them a bit more fancy.

**I used Airheads because I didn’t realize they would be that sticky.  At least they looked & tasted good.

 

Don’t Forget Your Pencil

While towels* can be very useful in the kitchen (the amount of times I wash my hands or spill something would surprise you – or not), I always make sure that I have a pencil nearby when baking.

Whenever I make a recipe for the first time, I always treat it as a trial run.  What works perfectly for someone else might not work for me.  Maybe it’s too salty or not sweet enough for my taste.  Or maybe I completely misunderstood the instructions and need to write it a different way so that there are no misunderstandings in the future.  Or maybe I had a thought about a fun ingredient to add to it.  Whatever it is, I make a note of it in the recipe to be better prepared next time.

So here’s to the recipes I need to make a second time (Salted Chocolate and Caramel Tart), the recipes that don’t require modification (Chocolate Chip Cookies), and the recipes I just can’t get right (Wheaten Bread**).

Pencils ready!

*see: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)

**this bread will be the death of me