Kentucky Corpse Reviver

KentuckyCorpsReviver

If you’re celebrating the launch of a blog – or a Warriors’ win – or just getting through another day, we recommend a Kentucky Corpse Reviver!

And did you know that the cute beach town north of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, which is called “San Pancho” by locals is officially named San Francisco? That’s why Sara and Joe, our SF kiddos, named their bar Bar San Pancho.  How clever can you get.

Kentucky Corpse Reviver

  • Servings: 1
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Ingredients

  • 3/4 oz Bourbon (my dad would have used Ancient Age; we use Bulleit)
  • 3/4 oz Curacao (Cointreau may be substituted)
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz Lillet Blanc (which you’ll love having on hand for warm summer evenings when a little apertif is needed)

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.  Add bourbon, curacao, lemon juice, and Lillet Blanc.  Shake until well chilled, about 15 seconds.

Strain into a chilled cocktail glass; garnish with a mint sprig.

Longevity Noodles

The perfect dish to begin our blog: Longevity Noodles.

I’m addicted – both to them and to the idea of longevity – within reason, of course. We’ve adapted this recipe from Grace Young, the food writer whose cookbooks adorn our shelves. Our daughter, Sara, introduced us to Grace in New York City 12 years ago, so I was delighted when I found this recipe in the New York Times and saw that it came from Grace’s Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge. And I was even more delighted to find that Longevity Noodles are both simple to prepare and delicious to eat. And they warm up beautifully on that day you don’t want to cook.  Just pop them in the microwave.

And, just so you know: these noodles are typically served during the Chinese New Year and represent longevity, intelligence, and prosperity. What more could we wish for you, our new and not-yet-devoted readers!  Plus, you’re packing big hopes into this little dish.  Now, according to the Chinese, just don’t break the noodles up – or all longevity goes by the wayside.

FYI: this recipe may be more labor-intensive than most of our other recipes, but it is so delicious – and starting out with longevity noodles is so perfect – that we couldn’t resist.  

Longevity Noodles

  • Servings: 4
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Adapted from Grace Young

Ingredients

  • 12 oz thin fresh egg noodles
  • 1 T sesame oil

Chicken and marinade

  • 1# boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into very small pieces (about 1/2″)
  • 2 tsp rice wine or dry sherry (optional)  I have read that gin makes a fine replacement for rice wine.  Go for it!
  • 1T very finely grated ginger
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper (preferably white pepper, but I used black)

Ingredients for the stir-fry

  • 2 T peanut or vegetable oil (divided)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  •  about 4 c thinly sliced Napa cabbage (about 1/2 of a large head)
  • 3 c sliced shiitake mushrooms with the stems removed.  I haven’t tried the ordinary already-sliced readily-available mushrooms.  It would save time – but might not be as good.  Report back if you try them.

To add at the very end

  • 1 1/2 T soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 T rice wine or dry sherry (optional) – or more gin
  • 2/3 c thinly sliced green onions
  • 3/4 tsp salt – depending upon your salt love

Directions

  1. Fill a medium-sized pot with water and bring to a boil.  Cook the noodles just until done (3-5 minutes is what Grace recommends).  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Return noodles to the pot and toss with the sesame oil.
  2. Put the diced chicken in a bowl and add the rice wine, ginger, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Mix gently.  This marinated chicken can sit for a bit – even enhancing the flavor.  I’d use it within an hour, though.
  3. Heat a wok (preferably) or large frying pan until very hot.  Add 1 T of the peanut oil and swirl, then add the marinated chicken and the pepper flakes.  Let the chicken sear for one minute and then stir-fry until the chicken is just done – less than 5 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the pan and put in a good-sized bowl.  Add the cabbage and mushrooms to the pan (once it’s hot again) and stir-fry until the cabbage is wilted but not completely cooked and the mushrooms are soft.  Add the cabbage and mushrooms to the chicken.
  4. Heat up the wok again to very hot, add the last 1 T of peanut oil and add the cooked noodles.  Stir-fry for about 30 seconds, then add the “add at the very end” ingredients – the soy sauce, rice wine, and green onions.  Add the chicken and vegetable mixture and the final 3/4 tsp of salt.  Stir-fry it all until everything is heated through.

And I swear it’s better warmed up the next day.  And it will freeze.

Super Simple Tomato Pasta Sauce

SpaghettiPlated

This one is for Becky.  She’s a CC-er; GPB-er; fellow native Coloradan; fellow West-Coaster; fellow mother-of-kids-in-NYC-and-SF and definitely a BFF-er! Knowing we were putting together this web-site, she forwarded this the other day:

BeckiesCartoon

Well, BFF, here’s a recipe from the legendary Italian cookbook author, Marcella Hazan. It’s been written about more times than can be counted.  Nonetheless, when you’re looking for big flavors and really REALLY simple, this can’t be beat.  Go for it, Becks!

Super Simple Tomato Pasta Sauce from Marcella Hazan

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients

  • 1 28-oz can of whole peeled tomatoes (San Marzano, preferably)
  • 5 T butter
  • 1 onion (medium sized), peeled and cut in half
  • pinch or two of salt (I used 1/2 t kosher salt)

Combine the tomatoes, juice, butter, and onion halves in a saucepan.  Add the salt.  Place the pan over medium heat, bring to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for about 45 minutes.  Stir occasionally and mash up the whole tomatoes with a spoon.

Before serving, discard the onion, then toss with about 1 pound of cooked pasta.

Here’s the scoop:  We like the recipe just as is, but you can add your own touch.  Maybe fresh herbs to the simmer.  Maybe cooked meatballs or sausage – on the side or mixed in.   Many folks say  a pinch of sugar should go in all tomato recipes.  We like grated parmesan on top….and tend to cut up the chunks of tomatoes into small pieces.  Go forth and create!

Recipe provided by Big Little Meals and Andy and Ann

Super Simple Quesadillas

If you’re living in our ‘hood  (which includes the lovely town of Sonoma, as well as Glen Ellen), you’ll recognize those fabulous, super thin flour tortillas as coming from Tortilleria Jalisco at 897 W Napa.  We couldn’t live without them – and hope if you’re elsewhere you can find an equally special tortilleria.  Andy is off to SF today with a bunch of them to use while staying with our grandsons for a few nights.  He’ll make egg burritos in the morning and maybe quesadillas for lunch.

After-SF-Stay Postscript: the grandsons, both teen and tween, refused the egg burrito breakfast.  Teen toasted himself a bagel.  Tween had a sweet potato muffin.  Grandpa Andy was despondent. 

Even our Tween and Teen grandsons can easily fix themselves these delicious, quick quesadillas without a recipe (maybe :), but if you want a little cheat sheet here it is.  

Super Simple Quesadillas

  • Servings: 1
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Directions

You need a skillet large enough to hold the flat flour tortilla and you need some grated cheese (queso fresco and cheddar, or whatever melting cheese you have), a little hot sauce, and some soft butter to spread lightly all over one side of the tortilla.  Heat the pan to medium, then place the tortilla, butter-side down, on the skillet.  Sprinkle cheese and a bit of hot sauce over half of the open tortilla, then fold once.  As soon as the skillet side of the tortilla has browned a little and the cheese has begun to melt, flip the tortilla over and lightly brown the other side.  Remove from the pan and cut into pie-shaped pieces.  That’s it!

Almond Crackle Cookies

AlmondCookies2I avoid cookie-making.  Now that our kids are long-since gone and our grandchildren are infrequent visitors, I figure I don’t have the patience or desire to bake cookies.  However (HOWEVER) I am now in love with Almond Crackle Cookies from Dorie Greenspan (whose new cookbook, Dorie’s Cookies just won a James Beard award).  The recipe is unusual, simple, and the cookies are delicious. Of course, I love all nuts (both human and non! 🙂  And,  in case you’re avoiding flour, they’re gluten free.  Plus, they freeze well and, put into a plastic zip-lock bag, will stay crisp and perfect for at least 3 days (no need to refrigerate).

Almond Crackle Cookies

  • Servings: 18 to 20 cookies
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Adapted from Dorie Greenspan

Ingredients

  • 6 T sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 cups sliced blanched almonds

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line 2 bakings sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  Whisk the sugar and egg together well, then add the almonds and stir until the almonds are evenly coated.  Do not let it sit long before using and stir it occasionally while spooning the batter onto the sheets.

Use a 1 T measuring spoon and fill it almost to the top (2+ teaspoons worth).  Spoon that onto the baking sheet (go ahead – use your really clean fingers to scrape out the tablespoon measurer!) and flatten the cookie dough slightly.  Proceed with the remaining dough, leaving about 2″ between each mound of batter.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cookies looked brown on the edges and crispy/crackled on top.  Transfer the baking sheets to a rack and let the cookies cool for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes use a spatula to remove each cookie from the sheet.

Recipe provided by Big Little Meals and Andy and Ann
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