I'm looking forward to doing a lot of cooking now that the weather is starting to get cooler.. there is just something about fall that makes you want to begin the hibernation with a homemade soup or stomach-warming dish and a tasty dessert of the season like apple crisp. I was talking to a friend today and she brought up apple crisp and I swear I started salivating from just hearing the words "apple crisp"!
Tonight I'm easing myself back into the kitchen with a simple but tasty stir-fry and my first crack at egg drop soup. I've been wanting to try making my own egg drop soup for a long time, so I'm pretty excited about tonight's dinner. When we went grocery shopping today I was also on the look out for the little crispy "noodles" that you'll often get as a topping in a Chinese restaurant when you order the egg drop soup. I'm not talking about the chow mein noodles that come in a can that my grandpa always used to tell me were worms that he was putting on his salad. These are sort of like the Chinese restaurant version of tortilla strips. If anyone knows what you call them, let me know.
I started thinking about the noodles, and I vaguely remember them being similar to the part of crab rangoon that doesn't have the crab in it. HMMM.... I'm trying out frying little rectangles of wonton dough tonight to see if I can replicate the restaurant soup even further.
|Egg Drop Soup with the crunchy noodles!|
4 cups chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons chopped chives (I omitted these because the chives at the store looked a little wilty and old- spring project: herb garden!)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 egg yolk
1. Reserve 3/4 cup chicken broth, pour the rest into a large sauce pan. Stir the salt, ginger and chives into saucepan, bring to a rolling boil. In a cup or small bowl stir together remaining broth and cornstarch until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture gradually until soup is at the desired consistency (careful here, or as a friend warned me, you'll end up with "Egg Drop Gravy")
2. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and yolk using a fork. Drizzle egg a little at a time from fork into boiling broth mixture. The egg should cook immediately. Stir in clockwise motion to mix soup together.
This soup can be frozen and reheated if you want to make a big batch and just have some on reserve for an easy meal later!
I find that the best stir-frys (stir-fries?)really come down to the sauce. You can use any vegetables you like- we're big fans of red peppers and mushrooms- and any meat you like, but the sauce makes the dish. Tonight I'm using one of my favorites that works well with shrimp or chicken stir-frys.
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon cooking oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1. Cut desired meat up into bite sized chunks. In a small bowl combine water, soy sauce, vinegar, cornstarch and sugar; set aside.
2. Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat. (Add more oil as necessary during cooking.) Cook and stir the garlic in the hot oil for 15 seconds. Add vegetables of your choosing; cook and stir for 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. (Add firmer vegetables first, if using mushrooms add after about 3 minutes.) Remove vegetables from wok with a slotted spoon. Add meat to wok; cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes or until no longer pink. Push meat from the center of the wok. Stir soy sauce mixture; add to center of wok. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.
3. Return cooked vegetables to wok. Cook and stir about 1 minute more, or until heated through. Serve with hot cooked rice.