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This was a random experiment, stemming from my desire to put some carrot and cucumber peels and some onions to good use. I boiled a few cups of water, and tossed in the veggies, letting them simmer for a good 15 minutes. I tossed in some chopped dill and cilantro for extra fresh flavor, and salt and peppered to taste. Letting the pot simmer for about an hour, the broth/stock took on a nice dark color, and had rich bold flavor. Sure, probably not a real recipe or process to make it, but mine nonetheless.
Not enjoying the taste of soft veggie skins, I drained the liquid into a separate bowl, making sure to press and squeeze every last drop out of the mush. Bringing the stock back on the heat, I tossed in some chunks of left over prime rib and some cooked ziti. A very light but tasty soup that heats up any cold body this winter!
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The way I see it, ramen is a lot like the Asian version of America’s mac-n-cheese. Cooking it purely with its package contents leaves little to the imagination, and produces an otherwise boring meal on it’s own. But, by adding one or two extra things you may have in hand (ie. - cut bacon strips in MnC), you add a depth of flavor that enhances a once mundane idea into a great tasting dish. Look at the transformation bulk cabbage and leftover steak did on a bowl of ramen noodle soup.
Sunday night dinner with the lady at Houlihan’s, feeding her undying craving for spinach pizzette: crispy, thin flat bread covered in cheese, peppers, and tomatoes, with a hot creamy spinach artichoke dip. She’s been talking about getting this for awhile, and Sam couldn’t have been happier.
As a fan of hearty soup, I started with a bowl of the corn chowder special. Each spoonful had heaps of corn spilling over the sides. My main course was the seasonal special chicken pesto penne. Big chunks of juicy chicken, and smooth basil pesto sauce with a solid garlic flavor.
Beef udon noodle soup from Water Cafe [130 Water St (between Pine St & Wall St) NY.]
A step up in flavor from the ramen soup a week or two ago for sure. Obviously, the two soups are from two completely different cuisines. But this broth is much lighter and less salty, with a subtle kick of heat on the back end. They added some green onions which also brightened up the flavors, and shredded carrots which gave it a very nice color. Paper thin mushrooms (think the kinds you would fine in a miso soup) and strips of beef foudn in nearly every bite. The noodles here were firm and flavorful, not soft and squishy like the ramen.
I think the big difference here is that while the ramen is made to order, this was not. The guy behind the counter took a total of 3 minutes to assemble this soup, and it showed. The broth wasn’t very hot, and the beef was a bit chewy to my liking in the soup. I also got a lot less noodles in this one, which is understandable as udon is much better quality and more expensive.
If I were starving and craving noodle soup, I would probably go with the ramen. The bowl was bursting with filler. Still, this was a bargain for $6.50. Flavors were great, and portions were enough to leave me satisfied.