Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mango Guacamole

Oh how I love California Avocados. Currently, mangoes and avocados are in season (among other summer fruits and veggies). I was looking at what I had on hand to see what we were going to have for dinner. I decided to make a mango guacamole.

Mango Guacamole
Prep Time: 15 minutes
1/2 onion (diced)
1/2 mango (diced)
2-3 small avocados
squeeze of lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Chop onions, mangoes, and avocados. Place in a bowl and mix with a fork. Cut a lemon in half. Squeeze some juice from the lemon on top of the mixture. Sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste.

Our dinner was an open-faced sandwich.

Toasted the wheat bread slightly. Spread a layer of the mango guacamole. Then I put a layer of shredded rotisserie chicken. Topped it with sliced pieces of Toscano Cheese (specifically, Toscano Cheese soaked in Syrah from Trader Joe's).

A plate of strawberries, a bowl of orange cherry tomatoes, and the rest of the cut mango complimented our meal well.

My favorite tomatoes are the orange cherry tomatoes. They are only available in the summer for a couple weeks. They are a sweeter variety than other cherry/heirloom tomatoes. I first discovered them at the farmer's market a decade ago. That and rainier cherries (the white cherries) are two of my favorite fruits in the summertime, besides strawberries of course.

I love getting a 1-lb of basket of strawberries for 88 cents!! =) love in season prices!!


To make regular guacamole, omit the mango.
To create your own flavors add what you want! Have fun!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Cold Noodles

When the weather becomes hot, cold noodles are a great solution to an easy meal. I love making cold noodles because you can make it the night before. For the thicker noodle, I use Quon Yick Noodle Co's "Chinese Style Dry Noodle". For a thinner noodle, you can use soba noodles or other noodles of similar thickness.

Taiwanese Cold Noodles
Cook Time: 7-8 minutes      Prep Time: 20 min
Noodles (This time I used 5 bunches of thin noodles.)
Sesame Oil
Persian Cucumbers
Bean Sprouts (Optional)
Carrots (Optional)

2 Tbsp sesame paste
Hot Water (1/2 cup is sufficient, you don't need to use it all)
Peanut Butter (but you can leave it out if someone has a peanut allergy)
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp hot sauce

Depending on how many meals of cold noodle you wish to cook at a time or how many people you need to feed, the quantity will vary. I fill a big pot with water. Heat the water on medium or high heat. When the water begins to boil, throw in the noodles. Use chopsticks to move them around making sure they don't stick by stirring occasionally.

Instead of following the noodle package directions by reading how many minutes to boil the noodles, I grab a noodle with my chopsticks to taste it. This is how I know if it is cooked al dente or not. If it is a bit hard, I will cook it for two more minutes until I try it again.

Here is the trick to making cold noodles...

When the noodles are done, put a big strainer in the sink. Pour the noodles in. Immediately run the noodles with cold water. If you do not do this thoroughly, the noodles will begin to stick. Make sure all of the noodles are not warm anymore before turning off the cold water.

Next, after a good straining, throw the noodles into a bowl. Pour one to two tablespoons of sesame oil on the noodles. Mix well so that the sesame oil is worked into the noodles.

On to the sauce...
Boil some hot water. Place the sesame paste and peanut butter into a medium size bowl. Add two to three tablespoons of water. With a spoon, mix well until the sesame paste and peanut butter are in the sauce (this means to make the sauce as thin as possible). If you still have chunks of sesame paste or peanut butter, then you need to add more hot water to help you break up the chunks.

Add minced garlic, vinegar, and sugar to the sauce. If you like it spicy like I do, add hot sauce (I use Yank Sing).

Wash some bean sprouts, slice persian cucumbers and carrots to add to your noodles. You may add shredded chicken if you like also.

I usually keep the noodles, sauce, and chopped veggies separate from each other. When you are ready to consume a bowl of cold noodles, you can add the amount of sauce and veggies to them.

Put it in the refrigerator. Any time you are ready to have your cold noodle meal, it will be waiting for you.