Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Ginger Poached Noodles
On the infamous weeknight dinner debacle!
Between work, endless train commutes, shopping for groceries, walking Finn, and trying to get some exercise, our nights fill up pretty quick. The last thing I want to do is waste precious evening hours preparing an overly involved dinner (I'd rather watch my new obsession, Summer Heights High, on the couch with Nick & a glass of Sauvignon Blanc).
We have a handful of weeknight staples in the Waldman household - things we eat religiously: Tacos, Huevos Rancheros, Lemon-Tahini Quinoa (or in this case couscous), a multitude of Salads, but now to our newest addition....Ginger Poached Noodles! These noodles score an A in the "weeknight meal" test - few ingredients, cooked in one pot, fast, balanced nutritionally, adaptable to whatever you have around the house, and so super easy!
I should also mention inexpensive...as I saw the dreaded Sandra Lee on Good Morning America this morning, and she was pitching buying pounds of fattier beef (rather than lean), tubs of kool-whip (rather than bottles), and gallons of cocktails mixes (for "cocktail time"...you know how she says it in that annoying voice)....all to save some $ while throwing your summer parties.
Hmmm...I think I'll pass and stick to these noodles, thanks.
Ginger Poached Noodles:
Again, a wonderful recipe from Heidi Swanson
If you don't like picking around the ginger slices, tie them up loosely in a piece of cheesecloth. Also, I know that boiling pasta in a shallow pot of broth breaks rule #1 of pasta making - but it works out just fine in this case. I used dried noodles, but you can certainly use fresh noodles (use enough for 2-3 people).
4 cups vegetable broth
2 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
8 ounces firm tofu, cut into small cubes
1-2 cups (half a bunch) of broccolini, broccoli, or baby broccoli - trimmed
4 ounces dried spinach noodles, soba, or noodles of your choice
1 - 2 tablespoons shoyu or soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh basil, shredded
scant 1/4 cup fresh mint, shredded
a squeeze of lime juice
crushed red pepper flakes (opt)
toasted sesame oil (opt)
Place the broth, ginger and tofu in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Dial down the heat, and gently simmer for ten minutes or so. Remove (just) the tofu from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside. Now add the broccolini to the simmering broth. Cook for just a minute, until bright, and remove from pan with fork.
Add pasta to ginger broth and cook until done, stirring regularly. Remove pasta with fork, set aside, and pour out most of the broth and all of the ginger slices. Return the tofu, broccolini and noodles to the pot. Stir in the soy sauce, basil, mint, and a squeeze of lime juice. Finish with a couple pinches of crushed red pepper flakes. Taste and season to taste with salt, soy sauce, and perhaps a drop or two of toasted sesame oil.