Financial Friday (on Sunday): Save Money By Cooking from Scratch
This post was inspired after one of my readers, Adele Flannery, praised Jamie's Food Revolution cookbook in the comment section of this post. Since this month we are trying to cut back on restaurant expenses, I took her advise and bought the book. I'm so affected by my readers comments and money saving tips! Thanks Adele! Great suggestion!
I adore the concept of Jamie's Food Revolution. It's made for people like me who never cook. It's basic with a capital B. In the introduction, Jamie suggests mastering one recipe from each chapter and then passing it on. It seems like a manageable goal. Here's my first attempt of passing it on (without breaking any copyright laws!) Below is an adapted version his Asian Chicken Noodle Broth from Chapter 1 entitled "20 Minute Meals".
The first time I tried his recipe, it took me 38 minutes, I burned the mixed seeds, and over cooked the veggies. The second time I made it, I made some changes, felt more comfortable with the recipe, and it took me around 30 minutes. Both times, the soup was delicious.
The problem I found with Jamie's cookbook is that he doesn't do lot of prep work and expects us to do a lot of multitasking to save time. For example, he'll write: While the chicken is cooking, peal and slice the ginger and slice your chili . . .
I don't know about you, but while my chicken's cooking, Oscar is screaming about my computer freezing, Ella's asking me to sharpen her pencil, and Owen is crying about a paper cut. I need to have all my food prepped and ready to go before I start cooking, just in case all hell breaks loose. If I don't, I'll end up burning something. If I find myself twiddling my fingers with nothing to do while my chicken is cooking, I can always load the dishwasher or drag a kid in time out or attempt to prop style my ingredients (below! ha). I'll find something to do, Jamie, trust me.
Things I've changed from his recipe:
I replaced the asparagus with shittake mushrooms, chicken with shrimp, and soy sauce with double fermented soy sauce. I also eliminated the baby corn and green chili. For ease, I doubled the recipe because his only serves 2. I also tried to simplify his directions into categories. My brain works better that way. His directions are lumped into 2 giant paragraphs, and I found myself getting lost. I hope that's enough changes to post this recipe on my blog. If not, print it out now before Jamie personally comes after me. It's really that good. Restaurant quality! Enjoy while you can!
Asian Noodle Shrimp Soup
adapted from Jamie's Food Revolution
2 small handfuls of raw cashew nuts
2 tablespoons mixed seeds (pumpkin, sesame, poppy, sunflower)
2 quarts chicken broth
1 lb large uncooked peeled shrimp
4 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 thumb-size pieces of fresh ginger root, sliced thin
4 ounces rice sticks
2 handfuls of snow peas
2 handfuls shitake mushrooms, sliced thin
juice of 2 limes
4 tbs double fermented soy sauce (or regular, whatever the store has)
2 small handfuls of spinach leaves
THE NUTS AND SEEDS:
Throw cashews and seeds into a frying pan. Turn heat to medium. Toast lightly while the pan is heating up. Remove contents from pan and set it aside.
THE BROTH (part 1):
Heat the chicken broth into a large pot on high heat.
While the broth is heating up, toss shrimp with five-spice powder and a reasonable amount of salt and pepper. Heat up one or two tbsp olive oil in frying pan. Cook shrimp. Set aside.
THE BROTH (part 2):
Throw in sliced ginger root, snow peas, sliced mushrooms, lime juice, and soy sauce. Cook until veggies and noodles are done.
Put a few spinach leaves on the bottom of a bowl, add soup, places shrimp on top, and sprinkle with toasted nuts and seeds.
Wow. I have a new respect for food bloggers and cookbook writers. It's harder than it looks. This post has taken me forever to write! Hope you like it because I might never do a recipe post again. :)