Tag Archives: Noodles

A Facsimile of Boston’s Creamy Chicken Curry Pasta for Niall

  • 3 cups dry penne
  • 2 Tablespoons or so of butter, or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 red pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons hot madras curry powder
  • pinch of dried chili flakes
  •  2 to 2 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces*
  • ¼ cup to ½ cup pineapple, cut into bite-sized pieces (fresh or canned, drained)

Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a rolling boil.  Add dry penne, stirring to prevent it from sticking together.  Cook according to package directions, approximately 7 or 8 minutes.  Drain well, but do not rinse!

Meanwhile, melt the butter or heat the oil, and add the red onion.  Stir and cook until it begins to sweat, and then add garlic and red pepper.  When they are softened, but still have a bit of a “fresh bite”, add the curry powder and chili flakes.  Stir and cook for a minute or two.

Stir in the heavy cream, bring to a very gentle boil and cook until it begins to thicken to the consistency you like for your alfedo-ish sauce.  Gently stir in the cooked chicken pieces and the pineapple, and cook till they’re heated through.

* to cook the chicken, one can bake in the oven or cut into bite-sized pieces and sauté with the vegetables until no longer pink.  To bake ahead, put two boneless, skinless chicken breasts onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Turn twice, two coat the entire breast.  Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, then bake for 40 minutes or so in a preheated 350F oven.

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Niall’s Summer Pasta Salad

Really an “anything goes” kind of salad, adapted from LLL’s “Whole Foods for the Whole Family

The Salad Ingredients:

  • ½ lb pasta, cooked and drained
  • ½ cup celery, chopped small
  • ¼ cup red or Vidalia onion, finely diced (use spring onions if you don’t have)
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • ½ red or green pepper, diced
  • 2 tins water-packed tuna –no hydrolyzed plant protein – flaked
  • ½ cup cottage cheese
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded, a handful
  • ½ cup cucumber, seeded and chopped

The Dressing/dip Ingredients:

This makes way more than the above recipe requires!

  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 cup real mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Whisk all dressing ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Gently combine all of the salad ingredients.  Add dressing, tossing, until the salad is coated to your preference; it’s likely that you’ll have about 2/3 to ½ of the dressing left over.  Refrigerate until flavours mingle.

The left over dressing makes a great raw veggie dip.

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Filed under food, Grains, Main Course, Protein, Salad Dressing, Salads, Vegetables

Pork Tenderloin, Lo Mein Style

  • 4 dried Chinese mushrooms
  • ¼ cup hot water (don’t discard the water)
  • 1 pork tenderloin, about 1 lb
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Chinese noodles (we like Rooster Brand noodles, and use 1-2 squares per person — these are not really “instant” noodles)
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 slice fresh ginger, minced or shredded
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cooking onion, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large stem of broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil

Soak mushrooms in the ¼ cup hot water until soft, about 15 minutes.  Drain, reserving liquid (pour through a paper towel to sieve, if desired).  Remove and discard mushroom stems.  Cut caps into shreds or tiny pieces.   To reserved mushroom water, add the soy sauce and oyster sauce.

Slice tenderloin horizontally, with the grain, so that you have two long pieces.  Cut these against the grain, into strips about 1/4 “ thick.

In a bowl, toss pork tenderloin with cornstarch and salt.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, cook the noodles until just tender, according to the package directions, or 5 to 7 minutes.

In a wok, heat vegetable oil until just smoking.  Add ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 20 seconds.  Add pork and stir-fry until meat loses its pink colour, about 3 minutes.

Mix together the reserved mushroom water, the soy sauce, and the oyster sauce, and set aside.

Add all of the vegetables, and the mushrooms.  Stir-fry until warmed through, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the sauce mixture, and the noodles.  Toss and stir-fry, coating to mix, until noodles are hot, about 3 minutes.  Drizzle with sesame oil and serve.

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Meatballs that are Easier

  • 1 ¼ pounds ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup dry breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp basil
  • pinch of red chilli flakes

Preheat oven to 425F.

Gently mix all ingredients together.  Form meat mixture into 1 ½” balls and place onto a greased, foil-lined or parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet.  Bake the meatballs for 10-12 minutes, until no longer pink inside.

Use with pasta and tomato sauce, in a sandwich, or just by themselves with a chutney or dipping sauce.

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Amy’s Pasta

This is the recipe that we use at our swim club’s annual fund raising pasta dinner; a local family of Italian heritage is in charge of the kitchen, and teaches everyone how to cook their recipes (which just come out of the tops of their heads!):

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon (or more) cold water

This recipe is for a food processor method, but can be made in the traditional way, placing the flour onto a flat surface and putting the wet ingredients into a hole in the middle.

Place flour into bowl of food processor.  Put lid on and remove the feed tube (you will need to be adding the wet ingredients through the hole).  In a small bowl break eggs and whisk lightly; add olive oil and whisk to incorporate.

While pulsing the food processor, slowly add the egg/olive oil mixture.  Pulse until the mixture gets “grainy” and begins to stick together — you’ll need to take the lid off and squeeze some of the dough together to check it.

Put the lid back on the machine and while pulsing, slowly pour in about a Tablespoon of cold water; the amount will vary.  The mixture in the bowl will start to come together into larger “balls”, but will still look mealy.  It’s helpful to take the lid off and squeeze some between your fingers.

Dump out the dough, and gather it up together into a ball.  Knead several times on a floured board, until it becomes rather elastic.   Wrap it up in some plastic wrap.  Let rest for 30 minutes.

Continue on and roll out as desired.

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Chicken Stir-fry

Chicken Stir-fry

Serve on top of — or tossed with — your favourite Chinese noodles.  This can also work well with a block of extra firm tofu, instead of chicken.


  • 2 Tbsp water (we usually add ½ cup or more of water to this and toss the whole recipe with our noodles)
  • 1 Tbsp Hoisin Sauce or Plum Sauce (made with plums, not pumpkin or “something else”)
  • 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp (or more) hot chilli paste
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1tsp sesame oil
  • 1 egg white, beaten with a fork
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 lb/454g boneless, skinless organic chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • ½ to 1 tsp fresh ginger root, grated
  • 2 small carrots, thinly sliced on diagonal
  • ½ medium green pepper, largely diced
  • ½ medium red pepper, largely diced
  • 1-5 fresh small red chillies, OR 1-2 finely chopped jalapeño chillies
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • Handful of dry roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

Sauce: stir first 5 ingredients into a small cup or bowl until smooth. Set aside.

Chicken #1: Stir second amount of soy sauce into second amount of cornstarch in medium bowl until smooth. Add sesame oil, egg white, and garlic and whisk until smooth. Add chicken and toss until chicken is very well coated.

Veggies: Heat wok or frying pan until hot. Add cooking oil. Add garlic, ginger and carrot. Stir-fry for 1 minute.

Add green and red peppers, and chillies. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes until peppers are tender-crisp. Transfer to a bowl.

Chicken #2: Add second amount of cooking oil (1Tbsp) to hot wok. Add all of chicken mixture that is in the bowl. Stir immediately to break up chicken pieces. Stir-fry on medium-high for about 3 minutes until chicken is no longer pink. Pour in sauce, and stir until boiling and thickened. Add pepper mixture, green onions, and peanuts. Heat and stir until peppers and onions are coated, and mixture is heated through.

Garnish with more peanuts, if desired.

Makes 4 cups.

*Note: double up on the sauce ingredients if you like lots of sauce with your noodles, or just add the extra water as noted!

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The Kids’ Favourite Mac and Cheese


  • 2 cups uncooked whole wheat (or regular in a pinch) macaroni noodles
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 cups skim milk (or other)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2+3/4 sharp (extra old) cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese for topping
  • OPTIONAL:  2 green onions, sliced, and 4 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled

Boil a large pot of water, add a teaspoon or so of salt.  Add macaroni noodles and cook until tender but firm, about 8 minutes.  Drain, and return to pot.

Meanwhile, in saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat; coon onion in the butter for about 5 minutes or until softened.  Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Gradually whisk in the milk, and cook, whisking, for about 8 minutes, or until sauce is thickened enough to coat back of a spoon.

Add mustard, salt and pepper.  Stir in cheese just until melted.  Pour over macaroni.

If using green onions and bacon, add now, and stir just until combined.

Spread into an 8″ square baking dish.  Top with the 1/2 cup shredded cheese.  Bake, uncovered, in a 350F oven for about 30 minutes, or until bubbly.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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Filed under food, Grains, Main Course, Protein, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Ruby’s Pancit

Another favourite of ours from sweet Ruby!  And another that always tastes so much better when she makes it — without a recipe.  I’ve had lessons for this Filipino dish from Ruby, and from Lita, as well!  Here’s the recipe that she kindly wrote out; it’s so hard to do that when one just cooks from one’s head and one’s heart and adds ingredients by feel and by eye.

  • 1/2 lb side pork or chicken, cut into thin strips
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons cooking oil
  • 3 to 4 Tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 medium carrot, julienned
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1 lb rice vermicelli sticks (soaked in warm water for 30 minutes and drained well)
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 2 eggs, hard boiled, shelled and sliced

Using a wok or a large frying pan, sauté garlic in hot oil until brown.  Add onion and sauté until transparent.  Add pork then cook until meat is opaque in colour and no longer pink.

Add oyster sauce, then the carrot strips.  When carrot is tender, add cabbage and rice sticks.  Stir fry until noodles are tender.  Garnish with green onions and eggs.  Serve warm.  YIELD: 5 to 6 servings.  (I will even eat this cold right out of the fridge when Ruby has brought some over!!!)

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Skillet “Stroganoff”

The original recipe appeared in my 1982 “Betty Crocker’s Working Woman’s Cookbook”.  I’ve updated it, however, I include the original recipe below my version.

  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced or chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 can beef broth, low sodium organic if possible
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 cups medium flat egg noodles
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, or sour cream
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a large lidded pan, sauté the onions, mushrooms, and garlic in a small amount of vegetable oil; when golden, add the ground beef.  Break up the ground beef as it cooks, until all traces of pink are gone.  Drain, if required.

Add the water, broth, noodles, and ketchup, and stir until combined.  Bring to a low boil, cover the pan, and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the peas in the last couple of minutes of cooking.

Gently stir in the yogurt, and heat till piping hot — do not boil.  Season with freshly ground black pepper.

From the cookbook:

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4oz can of mushrooms
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 can beef broth 
  • 1+1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup ketchup 
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups flat egg noodles

Cook and stir ground beef and onions in a large saucepan or skillet until beef is light brown and no longer pink.  Stir in broth, mushrooms, noodles, water, ketchup, and garlic powder.  Heat to boiling.  Reduce to low.  Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until noodles are tender — anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes.  Stir in sour cream.  Heat just until hot; do not boil!  Serves about 5.

skillet stroganoff

Skillet stroganoff, just prior to adding the sour cream.

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