Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Very Mother-y Post

I don't care what the army says — motherhood is the toughest job you'll ever love. Most of the time.

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there. This is the most important job there is. And, if you screw it up, your kids'll put you in the crappiest nursing home ever. No pressure.

I work and have three kids and don't have enough money for all the help I need (nanny, driver, cook). So, I have to pick and choose what I do around the house. If you could see my home, you'd know that cleaning didn't make the cut. Instead, I cook nearly every day. On weekends, we feast on meals that take hours to prepare. Weekdays require less prep. I figure anyone — mom or not — could use a quick, easy recipe. This recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated "The Best Skillet Recipes" is a keeper.

Ramen Noodle Dinner
•1 lb stir-fry meat (it's already sliced and ready to cook!)
•8 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
•2 tablespoons vegetable oil
•1 package of shiitake mushrooms, cleaned* and stemmed (optional) and — if you're feeding kids — diced into teeny bits so they can't complain you used 'shrooms
•3 garlic cloves, minced
•1/2-1 teaspoon powdered ginger (go by your tastes, less if you don't like it; more if you do)
•3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
•4 3-ounce packages ramen noodes, throw out the seasoning packets
•3 tablespoons dry sherry
•2 teaspoons sugar
•1 12-ounce bag baby spinach
•2 or 3 green onions, chopped fine

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a nonstick pan. Toss the beef into the skillet with a few teaspoons of soy sauce. Cook until it's nearly cooked through. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel. Add remaining oil and heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms and cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
Stir in the broth. Break the ramen into small chunks and add to the skillet. Bring to a simmer and cook, tossing the ramen to separate. Cook until noodles are tender but there's still liquid in the pan, about 2 minutes.
Add the remaining soy sauce, sherry and sugar. Add green onions, if you're using. Stir in the spinach, a bit at a time, until it wilts down. Return the beef and any juices and warm until heated through.
And, that's it!
*I'm not really sure how to clean mushrooms. My mom always just wiped 'em with a paper towel. But, they're grown in dirt. Doesn't seem like enough. I had a special mushroom brush to buff those suckers clean, but ever since I caught my husband using it to scrape something off the floor, it doesn't seem right to use it on food.

1 comment:

Desert Flower said...

I think even I could make this.