Author: Dax Phillips

Huevos con Tacos (Tacos with Eggs)

Huevos con Tacos (Tacos with Eggs)

Over the last couple of weeks we decided to start our final harvest and breakdown of our vegetable and herb garden. It was a bit sad to say the least, but we are always thankful for the abundance it provided us, our neighbors, and our […]

Nacho Style Zucchini Boats

Nacho Style Zucchini Boats

Have I mentioned that our garden has been nothing but pure joy this summer? My wife and I took a chance, built a couple of garden boxes, threw some seeds in them and let nature do its course. Weeks later we were exposed to radishes, […]

Ramen Stir Fry

Ramen Stir Fry

Instant ramen. What is a kid (or adult) to do when it comes down to this fairly dirt cheap square shaped puck of dried noodles? Well, lots of things. It seems as though instant ramen, Maruchan oriental style ramen packets is what invades my pantry closet on a fairly regular basis. The noodles are pretty much always there, and at least six or so packages (as many as I can grab with my two hands), and they either sit in the pantry for awhile, or they are consumed immediately. Ramen is one of those things where two of my kids will attack them for brunch, or sit for a couple of months. So as my oldest came home from college a couple of months ago, I thought I would load up the pantry with a handful of bags of instant ramen. Little did I know my kid was probably ‘ramen’d’ out by the time he got home from college. So it was up to me to figure out what do do with them to make myself feel better about not wasting them, and that is when I simply came up with a ramen stir fry.

Ramen Stir Fry Recipe
Ramen Stir Fry Recipe

I went with the ramen stir fry because I was thinking of ‘hot noods’. Something along the lines of pancit canton or pancit canton (Filipino dishes), and see how I would fair with instant ramen. Only the noodles though. Save those seasoning packages for some chip dip, or cream cheese spread!

This ramen stir fry is one that you can twist your own way, which I love, and use up pretty much any garden, pantry or refrigerator items you have on hand. What’s not to love about that? Furthermore it is easy to make, and delicious to boot.

Let’s get started. Scale to your needs.

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages Maruchan instant ramen, noodles only
  • 1 tbsp neutral cooking oil
  • 1 lb ground chicken (beef, pork, or no meat will also work)
  • 2 whole eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 cup shallots, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp dark sesame oil
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes, to your spice level
  • 1 tbsp Chinese Shaoxing cooking wine
  • 4 cups napa cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 whole red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

Always start with your mise en place. To a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, white pepper, oyster sauce, light brown sugar, fish sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, cooking wine, and chicken stock. Give that a good whisk. Heat a sauce pot on medium heat, then add in the sauce mixture. Once it comes to a light boil, reduce the heat to low and let the sauce thicken, or reduce in half, then set it aside to cool.

Cook your ramen noodles according to package, but remove them when they al dente, or slightly before, and strain. Set those aside.

Ramen Stir Fry Ingredients
Ramen Stir Fry Ingredients

During this time, heat a wok, or large skillet on medium-high heat.

Add the oil and let it come to temperature for a minute. Add in the ground chicken and cook until the juices run free and it begins to turn a white color. Break up the ground chicken as you cook.

Add in the carrots, shallots, and garlic. Give this a good stir, and cook for about five minutes on medium-low heat.  Season with the chili flakes and give another stir.

Add the slightly cooked ramen noodles to the sauce, give a gentle toss or two, then add them to the wok.  Add the bell pepper and the napa cabbage, and give that a good stir or a few good tosses.

Add in the fresh cilantro right before serving, as well as those green onions, and give that a few good tosses.

Ramen Stir Fry
Ramen Stir Fry

Now you are ready to plate and serve.

The result is everything you would expect with a hot noodle stir fry. It’s pure comfort and every bite is a real treat. You get great texture from the cabbage and peppers, and just awesome Asian flavor. Whether you cook with meat, or all veggies, this one is a real easy dish(as well as inexpensive) and recipe to put together. Hope you enjoy!

Coconut Limeade

Coconut Limeade

I’m not sure what it is about this time of year, beyond the heat and humidity, that I always think of fresh citrus drinks. My default concoction is pretty much my mint limeade as there is always an abundance of fresh mint around my house. […]

Summertime Jello and Cool Whip Pie with Fresh Fruit

Summertime Jello and Cool Whip Pie with Fresh Fruit

There is something about this pie that just screams summer. Not only that but it is a pie that takes no time at all to put together, and really it is a simple waiting game for a couple of things to set for the pie. […]

Easy Sugar Cookies

Easy Sugar Cookies

I recently asked my oldest kid what his favorite cookie was. For whatever reason I seem to default a lot of my sweet questions to my daughter as she seems to always like dessert. I asked my oldest kid only because I rarely see him eat sweets anymore. Granted, the 34 pack of ice cream drumsticks I had stored in our freezer suddenly disappeared within days, but lets not go there. I was surprised as to what his response was. The first response was macadamia nut and white chocolate chip cookies, and the second is plain old sugar cookies. I think there were a few of us in the room when he said his favorite cookie was  macadamia nut and white chocolate chip, only because we never have those in the house, and he doesn’t really gravitate to nuts and white chocolate! Go figure. I was totally jazzed on his response.

Easy Sugar Cookie Recipe
Easy Sugar Cookie Recipe

We had our first family vacation coming up for the summer, and I decided I would make batches of cookies, including both of his favorites, and offer them out during the week for an any time of day snack.

The sugar cookies though! These sugar cookies are just too simple to make, and it is a perfect treat anytime (and I mean anytime) of the day.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, measured first then sift
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups of butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • parchment paper, optional

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees.

In the meantime, we will get to the relaxing part of creaming butter and sugar. Sounds good already!

Place the butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar in a mixing bowl, with a mixer attachment. If you are doing this by hand, you will be mixing for a bit of time but it is achievable.  While the butter and sugar are mixing, combine in another bowl the flour, baking powder, and salt. Give that a thorough mix.

Creamed Sugar and Butter
Creamed Sugar and Butter

After a few minutes of mixing the butter and sugar (you want to make sure it is nice, creamy, and a bit fluffy), slow down the mixer and add in the eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla extract.

Mix for about 15 seconds, then slowly pour in the flour mixture and turn up the speed slightly. Stop after about a minute of mixing, and wipe down the sides of the inside of the bowl with a wooden spoon or offset spatula.

Continue to mix for about 30-60 seconds until everything is nicely incorporated.

OK, time to form some cookies.

To a small bowl, add in the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. This will be used to top the cookies.

Take a large tablespoon of the of the cookie dough, and gently form and roll into a ball with your hands.

Roll the ball in the bowl of sugar to lightly coat.

Add the ball to the baking pan lined with parchment paper, and with the bottom of a glass (flat round shape works great), gently press down on the ball of the dough. Flatten to about 1/4 inch thick. Gently, but swiftly remove the glass from the dough leaving a nice round piece of cookie dough.

Sugar Cookie Ingredients
Sugar Cookie Ingredients

Repeat with the remaining dough, or until you fill up the sheet(s). These cookies will not spread out so don’t worry about them bleeding into one another.

Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them around 8 minutes in because once the edging starts to turn that light caramel color then they are about ready.

Remove them and slide them onto a cookie rack to cool.

Repeat the process until all of the dough is cooked.

The result? Let’s just say I know why these are one of my kids favorite cookies. They are light, a bit delicate, and perfectly sweet. They are so good they you still question why they are so good after every single cookie. AND TRUST ME, that is the hard part. You know that saying… ‘Please walk away from the cookies’ (in a police officer voice). That’s how these cookies are.

Simple, and awesome. That’s how these cookies are. Enjoy!