Easy Chow Mein

Easy Chow Mein

Chow Mein seems to be a staple at Chinese Restaurants where it’s different versions of it are always on the menu.  It’s a dish of fried noodles and can be made with just about any meat and/or veggies that you want.

In Hawaii we simply call it fried noodles and expect to find char shiu, Chinese barbequed pork,  and Kamoboku, a Japanese fish cake.  Both ingredients are readily found in our local grocery stores as is the noodles which can be purchase dry or fresh.

Chow Mein ingredients are so easy to find just about everywhere specially if you have an Asian supermarket by you.  The first ingredients of course is the noodles and if you can’t find chow mein noodles you can actually use Ramen Noodles or even spaghetti!

As for the protein you can use beef, chicken, pork, seafood or the protein of you choice.  Then you toss in veggies which can be anything from carrots to spinach, just be sure you add fresh cilantro that’s what really pulls everything together!

In  my recipe for homemade Chow Mein, I use Char Shiu pork or chicken which I find at my local grocery store.  If you can’t find it omit it or substitute a different protein such as chicken, shrimp, or a plant based one.  I also use the Kamoboku fish cake mostly because I think it’s pretty, but again you can omit it.  As for my veggies I buy a Chop Suey mix that has bean sprouts, shredded cabbage and carrots, you can easily make your own mix.

To give it that Asian flavor I use Sesame Oil, soy sauce,  and Cilantro also called Chinese Parsley.  That’s really all you need!  Chow Mein can be served alone as a main dish or as a side dish.

So here’s my recipe, adjust it to fit your needs!

Easy Chow Mein

Ingredients:

1 Package Noodles (chow mein, ramen, or even spaghetti)

1/2 Lb. Char Shiu Pork or Chicken ( omit or substitute with your choice of protein)

1 Package Kamoboku or fish cake (omit if you want)

1 Package Chop Suey Mix (bean sprouts, shredded cabbage, shredded carrots) or veggies of your choice

1 Onion Diced

2-3 Cloves Garlic minced

1 – 2 cups chicken broth

3 Tbs. Soy Sauce

1 Tbs. Sesame Oil

1 bunch Cilantro chopped

2-3 stalks green onions chopped

Directions:

Heat Sesame oil in large wok or skillet

Add diced onions, stir until they start to turn translucent

Add garlic and cook until garlic starts to turn golden brown, do not burn

Add meats and veggies and stir until veggies start to soften

Stir in broth and noodles (use more broth if noodles are dry, less if noodles are fresh) cook until noodles are al dente and most of the broth has evaporated.  Keep stirring so you don’t burn it.

Stir in soy sauce.  Toss until everything is well combined.

Remove from heat and place in serving platter.

Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and green onions.

Serve right away.

Try not to have left overs as noodles do not keep well.  If you have to store leftovers place in sealed container in fridge for no more than a day.  To re-heat spread noodles out in a sheet pan and heat in the oven.

 

 

Easy Chow Mein
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Easy Chow Mein
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Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Heat Sesame oil in large wok or skillet
  2. Add diced onions, stir until they start to turn translucent
  3. Add garlic and cook until garlic starts to turn golden brown, do not burn
  4. Add meats and veggies and stir until veggies start to soften
  5. Stir in broth and noodles (use more broth if noodles are dry, less if noodles are fresh) cook until noodles are al dente and most of the broth has evaporated.  Keep stirring so you don't burn it.
  6. Stir in soy sauce.  Toss until everything is well combined.
  7. Remove from heat and place in serving platter.
  8. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and green onions. 
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Seared Salmon in Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce

Seared Salmon in Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce

Salmon, that pretty pink fish fillet rich in protein and Omega-3 Fatty Acids is not only good for you it’s delicious too!

I love salmon because of it’s mild flavor making one of the easiest fish to prepare in so many different ways.  You can make salmon patties, burgers or cakes; grill salmon steaks and kabobs; use it in fish stew; and fry or bake it topped with all sorts of sauces.  In short Salmon is like a blank canvas!

One of my favorite Salmon recipes is Seared Salmon with Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce.  It’s delicious!  I serve it with a side of poor man’s pasta (that’s spaghetti or any type of pasta tossed in butter and garlic then sprinkled with parmesan cheese) or if we’re on diets (which we are almost always on) I serve it with grilled asparagus or sauteed spinach.  Anyway you serve it this Salmon dish is wonderful!

Seared Salmon with Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce

Ingredients:

1 large Salmon fillet sliced into 3-4 strips (see picture)

1 Tbs. Olive Oil

2 Tbs. Butter

Pinch of salt & pepper

1 Tsp. Garlic – minced

1/2 Cup Chicken Broth

1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

2 Lemons – 1 with juice squeezed out and the other cut in slices for garnish

2 Tbs. Fresh Dill chopped

Directions:

Pat Salmon slices dry with a paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper.

In a medium to large skillet melt 1 Tbs. butter in the olive oil.

When butter is melted add salmon, cook both sides about 5 minutes per side.

Remove cooked salmon from pan, place on a dish and set aside.

Add garlic to skillet and cook just until it starts to turn brown.

Add chicken broth and lemon juice to skillet and scrape off any salmon pieces and garlic off the bottom.  This is called “deglazing”.

Bring liquid to a simmer and add heavy whipping cream.

Simmer for about 3-4 minutes until sauce starts to thicken a bit.

Place salmon back into skillet to warm up.

Add dill to sauce and spoon over salmon.

Place salmon on serving dish.  Pour sauce over salmon garnish with lemon slices to serve.

 


Seared Salmon in Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce
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Seared Salmon in Creamy Lemon Dill Sauce
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Spanish Chicken & Rice

Spanish Chicken & Rice

Since COVID-19 has put a temporary halt to this year’s travel plans I’ve been bringing our favorite travel destinations to our home by making the foods we’ve always enjoyed during our travels.

I know that travel restrictions have been eased and many countries are avidly awaiting the return of tourists.  But right now our family isn’t quite yet ready to resume our regular travel routines which in the summer usually includes several weeks visiting our daughter in Italy and a cruise around the Med.  So until we are ready to resume our normal traveling lifestyle we’ll just have to make do with enjoying homemade dishes from the countries we love to visit.

Recently I’ve had a hankering for Spanish cuisine, it reminds me of fun filled days spent wandering Barcelona or exploring sunny Ibiza and the Canary Islands.  So I’ve been putting together some of my favorite Tapas and other Spanish dishes to enjoy with my pitcher of Cava Sangria.

One of our favorites is Spanish Chicken and Rice.  It’s pretty easy to make, you  use just 1 skillet!  I love the taste and smell of the spices used to create this simple dish.  I make a seasoning mix to use in this dish, I usually make a jar and keep it on hand to use on other dishes we love.   I hope you’ll love it too!

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Spanish Chicken & Rice

Ingredients:

6 Chicken thighs – remove the skin

3 Tbs. Olive OIl

1 Cup long grain white rice

2 1/4 cup chicken broth

1 Lemon

Spanish Seasoning Mix (recipe below)

Directions:

Make 1 recipe of Spanish Seasoning Mix

Mix together:

2 Tsp. Smoked Paprika

2 Tsp. Garlic Powder

1 Tbs. Salt

1 Tsp. Ground Cumin

1 Tsp. Chili Powder

1 Tsp. Ground Coriander

1/2 Tsp. Italian Seasoning

Place chicken thighs in a bowl and toss in 2 Tbs. Olive Oil until well coated.

Rub 1/2 of the Spanish Seasoning Mix on the chicken.  Be sure you rub it on all sides of the chicken thighs.

Heat remaining Olive Oil in a skillet.  Cook chicken about 3 minutes on each side until browned.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Chicken will not be cooked at this point.

Add rice, chicken broth, and other half of seasoning mix to the skillet.  Squeeze 1/2 of the lemon over all and combine well.  Place chicken thighs on top of the rice and cover.

Cook for 25 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender and chicken is fully cooked.

Garnish with slices of the remaining lemon half and chopped cilantro.  Serve hot.

  • Instead of long grain rice I sometimes use frozen cauliflower rice.  When I do this I reduce the chicken broth to 1 1/4 cups and cook until the chicken is fully done.  If it is too watery I remove the lid and cook until the liquid has evaporated.


Spanish Chicken & Rice
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Spanish Chicken & Rice
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Spaghetti ai Frutti de Mare – Seafood Spaghetti

Spaghetti ai Frutti de Mare – Seafood Spaghetti

 

In recent years we’ve been constant visitors to Italy.  We’ve always loved the country and have been vacationing there at least once a year, but since my daughter and her family have taken up residence in Vicenza, a small town in Northern Italy, we’ve been going more often.  And when we do go we spend lots of time sampling the local cuisine in and around town, it’s a different experience when you dine where the locals dine and by pass the touristy restaurants that serve substandard fare at very high prices.

One of our favorite local restaurants in town is called Regina’s.  Its a tiny place with seating for less than 20 people.  But the service if friendly and the food delicious!  My favorite dish is Spaghetti ai Frutti de Mare or Seafood Spaghetti.  I know when you think spaghetti you think red sauce and meatballs.  That’s good too, but if you’re hungry for Seafood or just want something a bit more sophisticated then this dish is just what you need.

Spaghetti ai Frutti de Mare is a pasta dish made with all types of seafood including clams, squid, shrimp, and muscles.  It can have a tomato based sauce like Arrabiata or a white sauce like a pesto or Alfredo.

I personally love a lighter sauce made with white wine, lemon juice, and butter.  That’s the recipe I’ll share today.  I normally make it with shrimp, clams, mussels, and lobster if I can find some.  You can use whatever seafood you prefer.  It’s good with pretty much any type of seafood.

Here’s the recipe!

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Ingredients:

1 Lb. Clams

1 Lb. Mussels

1 Lb. Shrimp – peeled and deveined but leave tail on

2-3 Small Lobster Tails – cut into 1 1/5″ pieces with shell on

1 Tbs. Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Butter

2-3 Cloves Garlic thinly sliced

1 Tsp. Italian Seasoning

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 Cup White Wine

2 Cups Chicken Broth

1/2 Cup Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice

1/4 Cup Sundried Tomatoes

1 Lb. Cooked Spaghetti

Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

In a large pan melt butter in olive oil.

Saute garlic in butter mixture until it starts to cook, be careful not to burn.

Add seasoning, salt, and pepper.  Mix well.

Add wine and chicken stock.

Add clams and mussels.  Cook until shells open.

Add lobster pieces and cook until shell starts to turn red and meat starts to turn white.

Add shrimp.  Cook until shrimp turns pink and lobster is fully cooked.

Lower heat and stir in lemon juice and sundried tomatoes.

Remove from heat and serve over cooked pasta.  Garnish with shredded cheese.


Spaghetti ai Frutti de Mare - Seafood Spaghetti
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Spaghetti ai Frutti de Mare - Seafood Spaghetti
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Creamy Butter Garlic Chicken

Creamy Butter Garlic Chicken

My husband recently started a Keto Diet, again! Last time he did this, the summer of 2018, I was in Italy awaiting the birth of my 6th. grandchild; so no one was home to support my husband in his endeavor nor was anyone around to prepare Keto friendly meals and snacks. That’s probably why he did do so well on the diet.

Mind you this diet is not for everyone, in fact you should consult your doctor before trying a Keto Diet. I know for sure this diet is not for me as I have an autoimmune condition that affects my liver, and this diet according to my research is not recommended for folks that have liver and kidney conditions as well as a host of other medical issues. Again consult your doctor before going on a Keto Diet or any other diet.

But this article isn’t about the Keto Diet at all. It’s about a delicious chicken dish that I make for the family. As I’ve already mentioned my husband is on a Keto Diet, but I’m not and neither are my daughter and 2 grandsons who live with us. So really my problem was to find something we all could eat so that I don’t have to play short order cook and make different meals of the family.

This Creamy Butter Garlic Chicken is just the thing. It’s fatty and low carb enough to work in a Keto Diet, it has 8 net carbs for each 1/2 cup of sauce, and it’s yummy enough to serve the rest of the family. Best of all it’s super easy to make!

I serve it with riced cauliflower for my husband and mashed potatoes for the rest of us. Steamed veggies make for a balanced meal we all love it!

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Creamy Butter Garlic Chicken
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Creamy Butter Garlic Chicken
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Instructions
  1. Melt butter in a large pan
  2. Season both sides of chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder
  3. Fry chicken in melted butter until fully cooked making sure both sides are browned
  4. Remove chicken from pan and set aside
  5. Sauté garlic in pan being careful not to burn it
  6. Add broth and deglaze the pan (scrape stuck on chicken and garlic from pan and mix with the broth)
  7. Cook the broth down to about half then add heavy cream
  8. Stirring constantly to keep sauce from burning cook until slightly thickened
  9. Return cooked chicken to the pan and spoon sauce over it
  10. Serve with your choice of starch and veggies.
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