Asian Inspired Noodles

Asian inspired noodles are simply my take on Pancit and Japchae. Yes, I know they are from different countries. Yes I know this recipe is nowhere near authentic. Yes I know they are separate dishes, but I can hardly tell the difference. Since I cannot determine which one this is more like, I just call them Asian Inspired Noodles. Makes my life easier, and everyone knows I am all about simple.

Like my other Asian inspired dishes, this is another way I like to get extra veggies into our diets.  I know, salads are good for that, but if you know me, you already know salad generally miss my plate somehow.

I also have a non-authentic recipe for Lo Mein that I will feature at a later date. When you see that one, you will think it is just combination of chow mein and Asian noodles.

I prefer this recipe with cellophane noodles or glass noodles. But my store doesn’t always have them available. There are several Asian markets in my area, but they are clean across town and I do not want to fight the traffic between here and there only to learn they are like all the other stores in town – out of stock or don’t carry them.

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Witch’s Stew

Witch’s Stew is just a Halloween party variation of Frog Eye Soup.

Frog Eye Soup is just a variation of chicken and pasta that had been started as a soup recipe and turned into more of a pasta dish.  But the name has stuck in our family for about 20 years.

Frog Eye Soup got its name from the pasta shape that I had on hand for a Frog Eye Salad.  For those of you who have never heard of Frog Eye Salad, it is kind of a sweet dish in which ambrosia and pasta salad got mixed up in the same bowl.  It was very popular in the 60’s and 70’s.

I’ll try to make some in time for the spring holidays.  Right now, my house is in full fall and winter holiday prep.  For the blog anyway, you won’t find any carved pumpkins, graveyard scenes, or Christmas trees in the house just yet.  But give it another month and you might.

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Spicy Chicken Corn Chowder

This is a recipe that Sam and I have been doctoring and tweaking for years. It’s a cheese spicy soup that’s prefect for those nights you want something warm and spicy.

Believe it or not, it actually gets cold in Mississippi. Once temperatures dip below 60°, people start pulling out their super thick winter coats and women pull out their ugly ugg boots. You would swear everyone around here is preparing to climb Mt. Everest. Even though I don’t share the low tolerance of Mississippian’s cold weather, I do love a nice bowl of hot soup on a cool or chilly day. Especially while watching college football.

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This recipe is super easy and super tasty. It features chicken, corn, and cheese. How can it get any better than that. We have experimented with a variety of cheeses, but our favorite cheeses are what we have listed in the recipe. Also, feel free to omit the cayenne if you don’t want it spicy. Add more if you want it hotter. I typically make the recipe as is and then sprinkle in my cayenne in my own bowl. My wife doesn’t like a super spicy recipe. Anyways, I hope you enjoy the recipe and be sure to give it a go this fall.

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Beef Tips and Mushrooms

Growing up, my mom made a version of beef tips that I always thought was kind of flavorless and tough.  But this meant she would making rice.  She hated rice and rarely made it.   If rice so much as touched her plate, she was done eating.  Imagine going out to a Japanese steak house with that……….

When I first made this myself, I immediately added beef base to the recipe.  It definitely gave it some added flavor, but it was still quite tough.

Since this was one of the first recipes I ever attempted on my own as a young cook in my own kitchen, I have had many years of perfecting this recipe for my tastes.

Mushrooms and onions have joined the party over the years, and green peppers made an appearance for some years.  If you like green peppers, feel free to add some during the last few minutes of cooking.

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Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan is the perfect marriage of summertime eggplants and Andy’s Favorite Pasta Sauce.  This can also be made with jarred pasta sauce, and Lord knows I have used jarred sauce before when I was too lazy or busy to make homemade.  No really, lazy is the better reason.

One trick I learned long ago, and even use with homemade sauce is to add a 15 ounce can of tomato sauce to extend and pasta sauce you are using.  Unless you are mixing it with less than 16 ounces of pasta sauce, you should not notice a huge difference in taste.  I like how it thins out the sauce for this recipe, as I don’t care for a big stiff glop of sauce on my eggplant or chicken Parm.

Eggplant may seems kind of intimidating, and I confess I was intimidated the first time I ever took a knife to one.  Now, I have never ventured outside my box on eggplant, I only use it for a fried version of eggplant Parm.

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Flat Burger Sliders

Flat Burger Sliders were created because, as you can only guess, there is no restaurant around here that serves decent thin patty burgers on slider buns.  In addition, there is no White Castle or Krystal Burger within easy driving distance of Tulsa.

I have seen the several hundred, maybe even thousands, of White Castle copycat recipes on the interwebs.  Yes, I have tried a few.  No they did not make me happy.

This recipe is not supposed to be a copycat of either of those restaurants.  I don’t believe you can accurately copy those recipes without their preformed patties, who knows what unhealthy additives, nor their large griddles.  I think there might even be some magic in the little boxes they stuff the baby burgers into.

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Beef Stew

Slow Cooker Beef Stew is one of my absolute favorite meals to cook when the weather turns cooler.  It is easy to put together and the smell coming from the kitchen reminds you there is going to be something yummy served up.

Beef stew is fairly adaptable too.  I stick with the traditional potatoes, carrots, and peas because that’s what I like.  Sweet potatoes, parsnips, rutabagas or any other sturdy vegetable could be added.

I do not use any tomato base in mine, but feel free to add it.  I prefer the pure beef flavor that shines through without it.

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Fried Butterfly Shrimp

Fried Butterfly Shrimp are not difficult to make at home.  I usually start with frozen shrimp I have thawed.  The only drawback to making them is that they are time consuming to make.  And they are only time consuming because shrimp are small.  Even large shrimp requires you to repeat these steps at least 6 times per person if you are serving this for dinner.  Since I tend to buy them frozen, it allows me to buy larger shrimp when I find them on sale.

You could probably get away with 2 or 3 smaller shrimps as an appetizer, but if you are going to go to all the trouble, do you really want to mess up the kitchen for a few shrimp?  Go ahead and coat all of the shrimp and freeze them before cooking.

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Sautéed General’s Chicken

General’s  chicken is a Chinese favorite, but we don’t always want heavy deep-fried food when we want Asian flavors for dinner. I also do NOT enjoy the task of cleaning up after deep-frying. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll do it, some things like fried mushrooms, fried chicken, and egg rolls are worth a mess.

We don’t call this General Tso’s chicken at my house. Number 1, we are not exactly sure how to say it and number 2 we can.

This chicken dish is kind of sweet and savory with a bit if heat at the end.  You can increase the heat in this dish by allowing the dried peppers to spend more time simmering in the sauce.  But be careful with the heat level you are looking for, I let this simmer for too long once and thought I had eaten lava.

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Meatballs

Meatball subs are in the regular rotation during football season at our house.  They can be made with frozen meatballs and jars of marinara sauce, homemade meatballs with marinara sauce, frozen meatballs and homemade sauce, or homemade meatballs with homemade sauce.

I have made them in all of the combinations above and I am not ashamed.  Even if you tell me how great the sandwich was you just ate, I will let you know I used frozen meatballs and which brand of jarred sauce I used, if I did.

The secret to great meatball subs using frozen meatballs is the cooking method.  Slow, slow, slow.  You can cook them on a stovetop, in a crockpot, or in a low temperature oven.  You just need enough sauce to cover the meatballs and a little water.  If I am using a jarred sauce I add about a quarter cup of water to each jar, this normally takes 2 jars when I cook for a party, replace the lid and shake the water in the jar to get out the last of the sauce and pour it in.

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