It's been girls' week at our house. Or at least girls' three days. With Dennis and Noah away, this is our opportunity to eat weird stuff that they'd rather skip.
I had hoped to have some lovely photos of the totally kickin' udon and tofu noodle soup I made last night, but, alas, the teenager took my camera to camp for a school trip and I screwed up something during the download from Olivia's camera. So, no photos, but I will tell you this: Udon noodle soup is delicious, whether you are vegetarian or not (it's actually vegan). In fact, it's so good it's a favorite with four out of five in our household, carnivores included.
It starts out with a shitake mushroom "dashi," or broth, made by simmering dried shitakes with slices of ginger and a little soy sauce. Once that's done -- after 15 minutes of simmer and 15 minutes of steeping. You pull out the ginger and prepare to make the rest of the soup. At that point you add rice wine vinegar, sake or sherry, mirin, more ginger, and soy sauce, and simmer. Meanwhile, you boil the udon noodles (You can also use soba noodles). When things are close to done, you add some cubed tofu and edamame to the soup and stir in a little light miso. When the noodles are done, drain and add to the soup. Top with chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds. Delicious. If you want specific amounts, email me or leave me a note in comments and I'll get you the recipe.
Tonight we opted for homemade hummus with store-bought pita chips and leftover udon noodle soup. A fairly simple dinner (see photo above) after a cold night at the soccer field. Both girls declared the hummus the best they've ever tasted and asked to take the leftovers for lunch tomorrow, so that was nice. Pretty basic recipe from Mark Bittman, although I changed it up. I can't help it. I just can't leave well enough alone when it comes to recipes. I decreased the tahini and olive oil. I think it worked out fine. So it was basically a can of chick peas (drained), 1/4 cup of tahini, a good pour of olive oil, two cloves of garlic, slightly less than a tablespoon of cumin, juice of one lemon all whirred in the food processor. I added a little water to thin it, added some salt and pepper, and topped with fresh chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. It can't touch my friend Michele's hummus, which really is the best I've ever tasted, but it came close.
So that's it from here. We're eating hummus and tofu. Dennis is dining at Manhattan restaurants. I think we both know who's got the better deal this week. On the other hand, Noah's eating camp food. So I guess it all evens out.
Have a great weekend. Eat some great food. Drink some great wine, or even some mediocre wine. But whatever you do, enjoy!