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Let’s Talk Food: Reasons to celebrate this weekend


Friday is Chinese New Year and what better way to celebrate than having a symbolic Chinese meal to assure good fortune and long life. Preparing a Chinese meal usually means cleaning, peeling and chopping ingredients to get them ready to cook, but this noodle dish is very simple, with just a few ingredients.

Longevity noodles are served to ensure a long life. Noodles are not cut into shorter lengths. This is when it is okay to slurp it up!

Longevity Noodles

Serves 4

Bring 2 quarts water to boil in large saucepan, add in a strainer and lower into boiling water:

One package mung bean sprouts (about 2 cups)

After 10 seconds, remove strainer and rinse the sprouts in cold water, drain well.

Add salt to the water in the saucepan and bring back to a boil. Add and cook for one minute, stirring to separate noodles:

1/2 lb. fresh Chinese egg noodles

Drain noodles thoroughly in a colander and rinse them in cold water, drain. Rinse again then drain, lifting them to separate and dry the strands

In a small bowl, combine to make sauce:

1/4 cup chicken broth or vegetable stock

1 tbs. plus 1/2 tsp. soy sauce

1/2 tsp. Asian sesame oil

Warm a wok over high heat for 45 seconds. Add and swirl to coat the wok:

1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil

Stir in and cook for 10 seconds, until fragrant:

One 1/4-inch thick slice of fresh ginger, lightly smashed

Add and stir-fry until bright green, about one minute:

1/4 lb. snow peas

Add and stir-fry for 30 seconds:

3 large water chestnuts, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick

Add mung bean sprouts and stir-fry for one minute.

Stir in the sauce, bring to boil. Add the noodles and stir-fry until the noodles have absorbed the sauce, about 2 minutes. Transfer the noodle to a platter and serve at once.

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Then on Super Bowl Sunday, the big game between Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos, here are some munchies to watch the game. This chili con queso does not contain Velveeta cheese, which seems to be in short supply. When you are planning a dish and cannot get the most important ingredient, it can be very frustrating so try this one in your slow cooker.

Chiles Con Queso

Makes 5 cups, serves 10

In a large bowl, microwave, whisking occasionally, until smooth and thickened, about 5 minutes:

1 cup chicken broth

4 oz. cream cheese

1 tbs. cornstarch

1 tbs. minced chipotle chile

1 tsp. minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Add and stir until combined:

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup shredded American cheese

Transfer to a slow cooker, cover and cook until cheese is melted, 1-2 hours on low. If using a large slow cooker, 5 1/2 to 7 quart slow cooker, transfer cheese mixture to a 2 quart soufflé dish, set dish in slow cooker and pour water into slow cooker until it reaches about one-third up sides of dish (about 2 cups of water).

Cover and cook until cheese is melted, 1 to 2 hours on low. Remove dish from slow cook.

Whisk cheese mixture until smooth, then stir in:

1 (10 oz.) can Ro-tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies, drained

Dip can be held on warm or low setting in slow cooker for up to 2 hours.

Serve with tortilla chips.

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Chicken wings are synonymous with Super Bowl and are great baked instead of fried. Here is a tasty recipe from The Food Network Magazine.

Chile-Rubbed Chicken Wings

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly oil.

Mix together in a large bowl:

1 1/2 tbs. ancho chile powder

1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

2 tsp. salt

3/4 tsp. black pepper

Add to bowl and toss to coat:

3 lbs. chicken wings, split at the joint, tips removed

Spread wings, spaced apart, one prepared baking sheets. Bake, turning once, until browned and crisp, about 40 minutes.

If you want them hotter, place in a bowl of a food processor:

2 jalapeno peppers

1/2 cup cilantro leaves

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Juice of one lime

1 1/2 tbs. vegetable oil

Toss wings in rub from above and pepper/cilantro mix, marinate for 2 hours. Brush off the marinade and rub and bake for 40 minutes at 450 degrees.

FOODIE BITES

The Hawaii Community College Cafeteria is open from today till Friday, 10:45a.m. till 12:30p.m. Check out their daily specials, ranging from local favorites like sweet-sour spareribs to my favorite, eggplant parmesan on Friday, by calling 934-2559. The Bamboo Hale opens today with a European Standard Menu as well as a Spanish special menu. Please call 934-2591 for reservations.

Gong Xi Fa Cai (Mandarin) and Gong Hey Fat Choy (Cantonese), or Happy New Year! This is the year of the horse, the favorite animal of the Chinese, bringing a year of speedy success to all!

Please feel free to email me at wilson.audrey@hawaiiantel.net if you have a question. Bon appetit until next week.

 

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