Another week has come and gone. Although I miss being attached to the computer, blogging and commenting on your blogs, I hope you can all understand that being a soon to be bride has its hectic moments. Especially since the big day is a little over a month away. I have my dress fitting this weekend and have been working hard at the gym to look and feel my best. I am happy to report, the progress continues and I shall be sharing before and after photos very soon!
Tim and I recently visited our two besties Eric and LaToya (both EXTREMELY talented photographers). When we like someone, we like to pamper them. So when we come and visit, we tend to bring goodies. As in we shop for groceries, take over their kitchen and serve them a gourmet home cooked meal. It's safe to say they enjoy our company, and we most definitely enjoy theirs. Our great memories tend to revolve around great food, and this happened to be one of them.
This soup started out as a stir fry lunch Tim once made for me. There was plenty of juices left in the tupperware but not as much beef. So I decided to reheat it with some shredded grilled salmon. With the addition of noodles it turned into a soup. When a recipe is born from the mind of someone who has had one too many shots of blackberry brandy, I thought about naming it, brandy brew. But it might give the wrong idea. I smiled at the thought of one of my favorite child hood story books. A story about how hunger turned stones into the base for a soup that a once sad town was able to happily enjoy. So I shouted from the kitchen, hey Tim, I think I'll call this creation stoner soup. A modernized version of a classic. Sure, like that won't give people the wrong idea.
Well once again this recipe was altered to modern times. Modern as in our salmon went bad before we were able to use it. So a few tweaks were made that brought this recipe to a whole other level. The broth has a star anise flavor, smokey and peppery. When combined with the udon noodles, crunchy napa cabbage, carrots and scallions you are greeted by an array of flavors and assortment of attractive colors. The sriracha is a sweet and spicy addition that brings all of these ingredients together.
As we dined it was anything but silent. The slurping of noodles, the sound of our forks clanking against the bowls as if it would suddenly dish out some more broth and noodles. The aroma of star anise, sriracha and leeks followed us home from Brooklyn back to Jersey. With only the smokey sweet flavors left behind on our palates, the memories of the night faded along with it. After checking the calorie count and discovering all of the vitamins we unknowingly consumed, it made the lovely experience with our close friends that much sweeter. The calorie count is purely coincidental. ;)
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Spicy Sweet Beef Udon Vegetable Soup
Nutrition Facts (makes 6 servings)
15 grams of fat
20 grams of carbs
3 grams of fiber
51.4 grams of protein
66% Vitamin A
72.3% Vitamin B-12
46.4% Vitamin B-6
51.4% Vitamin C
2 lbs of stir fry beef
1 tablespoon of canola oil
1 pint of cremini mushrooms, sliced thin
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 leeks, whites only sliced thin
1 red pepper, julienned
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
2 star anise cloves
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
1 quart of low sodium, organic vegetable broth
1 package of organic, buckwheat udon noodles (228 grams)
Water for boiling noodles
½ head of napa cabbage julienned
1 cup of shredded carrots
1 bunch of scallions, sliced thin
Salt to taste
Sesame seeds, for garnish
Sriracha to taste
- Place a rondeau on high with canola oil. When hot, sear beef until a golden brown color is achieved.
- Remove from pan, set aside.
- Turn flame down to medium high. Add mushrooms and caramelize on both sides for about 3-4 minutes. Do not overcrowd pan, and only move them to flip over.
- Remove mushrooms from pan, set aside. Lower flame to medium. Add garlic, leeks and peppers and cook until translucent. Place caramelized mushrooms and seared beef back into the pot.
- Add soy sauce, star anise, cumin and vegetable broth into pot. Bring it up to a boil for one minute, then lower heat until it is at a nice, slow simmer for 2 hours. Taste and season with salt accordingly.
- In the last 30 mins of cooking, place a pasta pot of salted water to boil udon noodles. Boil until tender and strain.
- Place noodles into the bottom of a serving bowl. Ladle your stew on top. Combine napa cabbage and carrots like a salad, place a hefty portion on each bowl. Garnish with scallions, sriracha and sesame seeds or crushed cashews. Makes 6 servings. Enjoy.