Archive | January, 2011

Pancit Bihon

20 Jan

My friend Michael pointed out to me, a brand new shipment of Filipino products we’re now carrying at work.  I was excited to see a sauce packet for Pancit.  Pancit is a noodle dish from the Philippine’s.  According to my boyfriend, who is half Filipino, there is no one way to make it… except last time I made it… I made it WRONG.  In my defense, I didn’t have a recipe, and I had never had it before… so I thought it was just stir-fry rice noodles.  Well, it isn’t… and it’s way better than stir-fry noodles.  Next time I make it, I won’t even need a sauce packet, because I read the ingredients, and it’s basically bullion and soy sauce.

What You’ll Need:

  • Pancit Bihon Rice Noodles (soaked in warm water for 10 minutes)

  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/3 head of cabbage, shredded
  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  • 1 packet of Mama Sita’s Pancit Sauce mix, dissolved in 2 cups of water

  • 4 chicken thighs, boneless/skinless, diced
  • Sliced green onions and sliced boiled eggs to garnish (optional)
  • Limes or Lemon wedges to squeeze on top

Method:

Cook chicken thigh pieces, seasoned with salt and pepper, in a skillet until done.  Set aside.

Coat the bottom of a large skillet (or wok) with oil and heat over medium-high.  Add garlic, and cook until golden. (I know, I didn’t want to add the garlic first either, it goes against everything I’ve ever learned about cooking, but just trust me here…)   Next, add the onions, and cook until translucent.  When the onions are fully cooked, add the cabbage, carrots, cooked chicken, and pre-soaked Pancit noodles.  Pour the sauce mixture over the noodles, and bring to a boil.  Cook for 2 minutes. That’s it!  It couldn’t be easier.

Place noodles in a large serving bowl, and garnish with sliced green onions, boiled eggs, and lime wedges.

Zuppa Toscana

6 Jan

Sorry for the terrible camera-phone picture. The battery died in my camera.

I’ve been on a soup kick lately, pretending that it’s cold outside, with the air conditioner blasting.  Oh the joys of living in south Texas.  Anyway, my favorite soup is Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana.  If you’ve never had it before, it’s a potato soup, with kale and Italian sausage.  It is creamy, delicious, and has a slightly spicy kick.  There are TONS of knock-off versions of Olive Garden’s recipe on the internet, but I couldn’t find one that I liked… so I guess you could say this recipe is adapted from every knock-off version I could possibly find.  I used 3 large potatoes, but I probably could have added another potato.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 3 large potatoes halved then sliced thinly
  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage (I shopped at the end of the night, and they only had medium, so I made up with it by adding some heat from red pepper flakes)
  • A sprinkle of red pepper flakes if you’re not using hot Italian sausage
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Method:

Melt the butter in the bottom of your soup pot over medium heat.  Add chopped onion, and cook until translucent.  Add the garlic, stir constantly for one minute.  Immediately add chicken stock, salt, and pepper.  Add sliced potatoes, and turn the heat up to medium-high.
In a separate skillet, brown your Italian sausage (casings removed), adding red-pepper flakes if needed.  When done, drain the fat and set aside.  You’ll add this at the end, because you don’t want it to overcook in the soup.

Add the sausage and kale to the soup once the potatoes are just about done (around 20 minutes), which should take about twenty minutes. Turn the heat to medium low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the heavy cream, stir, and serve!