Eilene’s friends are coming over again. Fortunately, she gave me a two hour notice this time. What do I have on hand to feed them—some leftover Italian sausage, pasta sauce and rotini.
Tag Archives: weekday dinner
Sometimes, I want something quick and easy for a weekday dinner. Trader Joe’s has frozen chicken mini wantons that make for a good soup starter. Turning to a broth for this soup I was in a dilemma, do I make it Chinese—with chicken broth and ginger—or Japanese—with miso and dashi? My daughters’ philosophy is, “Why choose?”, so I went with both. For vegetables, I went with some of my family’s favorites—Shanghai bok choy, napa cabbage, and green onion.
The most common bok choy found in Western supermarkets are the large white stalked kind. I find this type unappealing. While there is plenty of vitamins in the dark leaves, the stalks become slimy when even slightly overcooked. Shanghai bok choy are smaller and green all over, with a better balance between stalk and leaves.
Karl’s Chicken Wonton Asian Fusion Soup
1 can (14.5 oz) low sodium chicken broth
3-4 fresh ginger, sliced into coins
2 cups Shanghai bok choy, chopped into 1 inch pieces, stems and greens kept separately
1 cup napa cabbage, sliced thick and leafy parts kept separately
3-4 green onions, sliced into 1½ inch pieces, white and green kept separately
5-7 frozen chicken mini wontons per person, about half a bag
1. Put the chicken broth, ginger, and one cup of water into a medium soup pot.
Tip: Add the Hondashi to the pot later—it changes flavor if you boil it too much.
Note: While I usually prefer to make fresh dashi, for a quick meal I bend a little.
2. Put half a cup of boiling water into a measuring cup and mix in the miso paste.
Tip: If you just add the miso paste to the pot you might end up with lumps of miso in your soup. If you blend it with water first you can make sure that you’ve gotten all the lumps out.
Note: Some miso pastes have chunks of soy beans left in it. If you do have the chunky type of miso, the dissolved miso can be strained, as you add it to the pot.
3. Bring the pot to a boil and add the stems of the bok choi, the thick parts ofthe napa cabbage, and white parts of the green onions.
4. Reduce the heat and simmer the soup for 3-4 minutes.
5. Add the wontons, bok choi greens and leafy napa cabbage parts to the pot.
6. Continue simmering for another two minutes.
7. Stir in the green onion tops and dashi.
8. Simmer the soup for another 2-3 minutes and serve.
I have dozens of pictures on my desktop of dishes I have created and never gotten around to posting. This was a weekday meal and I had decided on broiled salmon, but how to make it special? That day, I chose to make a glaze of honey, lemon and tarragon, just to try something new.
Miso soup is perfect for a weekday meal. The soup broth itself is quick and easy to make, by itself it is simply dashi—a Japanese soup base—with some miso added for flavoring. After that, you may add pretty much anything you have available—a great way to use up any miscellaneous bits of vegetables that you have lying around. Today, I decided on shrimp, tofu, napa cabbage, green onion, and I happened to have some daikon sprouts and slivers of red jalapeño on hand.
When Safeway has a half price sale on hams (after a holiday) I buy a half a ham and cut it into ¾ inch ham steaks to freeze for later. A ham steak is pretty much just a slab of meat. The trick is what glaze do you put on it to dress it up. I have been experimenting with ways to use my marmalades—in other ways than just slathering it on toast and pancakes in the morning.