Spring Ramen Noodle Soup

I’ve been craving ramen noodles for a few days now, and thought it would be a fun recipe to try out with all the Spring vegetables I had stalked in my fridge. I was going to go even further and attempt homemade noodles, but opted for the dry ones to save some time. Maybe on a weekend I’ll go the extra mile, but weeknights I need fast and easy! This ended up being one my favorite things I’ve made in a while. I was sad when I ate all the leftovers for lunch and knew there wouldn’t be more for dinner.

Ingredients: (serves 2)
Olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 ramps, ends and greens separated
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3 cups chicken broth
2 (3 oz) packs dried ramen noodles (noodles only, toss the flavor packets!)
1-2 baby bok choy, separated
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chives, for serving
2 small radishes, for serving
sriracha, for serving
2 eggs

Add a little olive oil to a pot and saute the ginger, garlic, and white parts (only) of the ramps for about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes or so. Next toss in the soy sauce and cook for an additional minute or so. Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 5 more minutes, then salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat and add your bok choy and ramp greens.

In the meantime, boil a small pot of water and gently add your eggs. Cook them for 7 minutes, then remove immediately and place in a bowl of ice water. This will help stop the cooking process and will leave you with the perfect semi-runny egg! To save dishes, I tossed my noodles into the same water I boiled my eggs in and cooked them per the package instructions. Once the noodles are done cooking, drain and rinse under some cool water.

To plate, add some noodles to each bowl, then cover with the broth and vegetables. Slice the egg and place on top, then garnish with fresh chives, radishes, and a few squirts of sriracha!

Strawberry Rhubarb Cakes With Homemade Whipped Cream

A very good friend was having his going away party at our office this week, so I made mini strawberry rhubarb cakes to have alongside the many bottles of wine and beer. I would have liked to have made sweet cream biscuits as the “cake” layer, but knowing I had to travel on the train in rush hour, I didn’t want to bring anything that had the potential to be squished and broken in my bag. So, I went the semi-homemade route and bought the little shortcakes, then made the compote and whipped cream myself.

2 cups fresh rhubarb, cut into small chunks
1 pound fresh strawberries, quartered
1/2 cup sugar
Zest of 1 medium orange
Juice of 1/2 medium orange
1/2 teaspoon salt
20 individual shortbread cakes (angel food cake works too!)
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, orange juice and zest in a pot over medium heat. Cook, mixing constantly, until everything has melted down together, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.

Next make the whipped cream! Place the mixing bowl in the fridge for about 20 minutes so that it is cold. Pour in the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix on medium until the cream gets thick and has stiff peaks when you take out the whisk.

Plate the mini cakes, then top with the strawberry rhubarb compote, and top with whipped cream!

Spicy Wedge Potatoes With Ramp & Cilantro Aioli

I’m really going wild with the ramps this Spring. There’s this pressure to just eat as many as humanly possible seeing they’re only in season for a few weeks each year! This time I used them in an aioli to go with the Adirondack red potatoes I got this week. These potatoes are actually red on the inside. They taste just like regular potatoes, but it’s fun to cut them open and not have them be the usual off white color we’re used to. I used Greek yogurt to make the aioli a little healthier. It went great with the spicy potatoes!

2 medium potatoes, cut into wedges (not too thin or they’ll crisp too much)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Good pinch of black pepper
1 cup Greek yogurt
3 ramps, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lime wedge

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the potatoes into wedges, and place in a large bowl of ice water for about 20 minutes. Pat the potatoes dry then toss them in a bowl with olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Spread the potatoes on a baking sheet and cooking for about 20 minutes on each side until golden brown and a little crispy. In the meantime, make the aioli. Sauté the ramps in a little olive oil for a minute or two, then place in a food processor with the Greek yogurt, cilantro, pepper, and lime juice. Mix until smooth. Serve the potatoes with a little fresh cilantro on top and the aioli on the side. Enjoy!

Spring Carbonara With Fiddleheads & Ramps

I have never eaten fiddlehead ferns before. I’ve seen them a few times the farmers market, but have always been too intimidated to buy them! This is what I love so much about being a part of a CSA, you get to learn about all these wonderful foods that you would likely never try, or even know about, if they didn’t show up in your bag each week. And as it turns out, I love fiddleheads! They taste sort of similar to a green bean I suppose, but smaller and a little crunchier. I’ll definitely be picking some up at the farmers markets from now on!

Ingredients: (serves 2)

1/2 pound pasta
4 slices bacon
1/2 cup fiddleheads, trimmed and boiled for 5 minutes prior to cooking
4 ramps, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 small handful parsley, chopped
Fresh lemon wedges, for serving
Black pepper, to taste

Start by washing the fiddleheads well, then boiling them for 5-7 minutes. You HAVE to boil them before cooking them, as there have been food poisoning relates cases of eating raw fiddleheads. By boiling them, you ensure that this will not happen. It’s really just a precaution, but recommended! Once your fiddleheads have boiled, set aside.

Cook the bacon until crispy and also set that aside. I would also recommend making one extra piece of bacon to snack on, because bacon is delicious. Next, get a large pot of salted boiling water going, and cook your pasta per the box instructions. While that cooks, saute the garlic, ramps, and fiddleheads in a little of the leftover bacon grease from the pan. If you’d rather use olive oil that is fine too. In a bowl, mix together the egg yolks, Parmesan cheese, cream, and some pepper. Strain the pasta and add to the pan with the ramps etc. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Turn off the heat and let the pan cool about 30 seconds, then pour in the egg mix and stir well until fully incorporated. Toss in the crumbled bacon pieces and some fresh parsley. If you feel it’s dry at all, add bits of the reserved pasta water to help smooth the sauce out. Plate and squeeze a wedge of fresh lemon on top. Enjoy!