The Bored Girl's Kitchen











{April 3, 2016}   Leftover Ham Casserole

One of my favorite things about casseroles is the fact that they’re so open to interpretation.  You can throw almost anything together in a baking dish and call it a casserole; and on top of that it’s a great way to use up random leftovers that you’re not 100% sure what else to do with.

We recently celebrated Easter, and with Easter comes  a lot of Easter ham.  If your family is anywhere near as awesome as my family you also got sent home with an abundance of leftovers from both events you attended.  I made a few omelets, but mostly stared at the ham for a while before I shrugged my shoulders and decided to do what I’ve become quite adept at lately: throwing things in a casserole dish with some cheese and seeing how it turns out.

What I used to make this is pictured below, but boils down to:

  • leftover ham – if I had to guess, I’d say it was probably in the neighborhood of a pound
  • an onion
  • pasta
  • one packet of pot roast seasoning mix
  • one 8oz package of cream cheese
  • one 8oz package of shredded cheddar cheese
  • milk
  • some butter
  • one pint of french onion soup (not pictured because I forgot the canning jar after I used it)

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I started out by putting a pot of water on to boil.  While that was working, I set to chopping up the onion.  I went with more of a rough chop but you can cut them down to whatever size you like. They went into a separate pot with some butter while I started cutting up the ham.

 

Unfortunately that’s the only picture I managed to get of the ham before it made its way into the rest of the mix.While I was cutting, I periodically checked the onions to stir and make sure they weren’t burning. As you can see there was a fair amount of fat left on some of those pieces. You can choose to discard or keep as much of that as you want; I got rid of most of the big pieces of it. The water had finished boiling before this point, but I waited to add the noodles until I had finished dicing up the ham and had turned my attention back to the onions. This is also about where I set the oven to 350 to start preheating.

The pictures above take you through making the sauce I used. To the now softened onions I added the packet of pot roast seasoning and 1 1/4 cup water and mixed it in.  Once it started heating up I added in the cream cheese.  This is where it started getting really thick, so I added in a cup of milk and a pint of a beef broth based mushroom onion soup I had previously made and canned. Once everything was mixed up and seemed pretty even I added in the ham chunks and the noodles so I could transfer everything from the pot to the dish.  If you used a smaller pot to make your sauce in, you can mix it all together in a large bowl or even just in the baking dish if you’re feeling extra risky.

I like to spray my baking dishes with a non-stick spray just to be safe most of the time, it’s up to you if you want to do the same thing. On the left you see it all mixed together, and on the right is the extra cheese that I added to the top before baking. Cover in foil, bake for 20 minutes covered and an additional 15 minutes uncovered then let it cool for a while before eating.

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This is what it looks like as it comes right out of the oven.  Husband got home shortly after this picture was taken and proclaimed the house to smell wonderful. After digging in, I think I could have used all of the ham my mother-in-law sent me home with instead of half, but it was delicious either way!

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There is nothing more delicious than fresh noodles, sea food and fresh veggies on a cool spring night.

And if you’re economic like me, there’s nothing better than all of that on a single plate and in every delicious bite.

After a year of tweaking, I’ve finally found my perfect dish after trying a version of this soup in an instant noodle bowl that has since changed. (saddd faccceee)

I present to you…

Stinky Noodle Platter

Make at your own caution.

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Ingredients:

1 package of bonito flakes

1 kombu kelp

2 cups water

1 bottle clam juice

1 tbp sesame oil

1 tsp turmeric powder

5 raw shrimp

6 oz salmon fillet

2 bunches of bok choy, chopped

¼ cup grated daikon

1 tsp grated ginger

3 cloves of garlic, grated

½  onion

8 shitake mushroom, diced fine

½ zucchini, julienne fine

½ package of fresh noodles

Dash of salt and sugar to taste

Dash of mirin (sweet cooking sake) to taste

This recipe calls for a lot of prep work, but once you have that out of the way, you’re golden.

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Alright, to start – soak the kombu kelp in the water for a half hour, no heat.

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While waiting, cut the onion into bite size pieces.

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Cut the bok choy leaves into fine shreads.

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Grate the daikon.

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Dice the shitake mushrooms.

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By now, the kombu kelp has hydrated, so turn the heat on and let it come to a soft boil. Add the bonito flakes and set on medium low.

Back to veggies!

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Grate the garlic cloves.

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Charming to look at, huh?

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Grate the ginger.

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I’m a huge fan of keeping my station clean, so everything onto a plate or dish if you haven’t already.

Back to cutting!

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Cut the zucchini in half. Cut that piece in half.  Cut that half of a half (zucchini inception anyone?) into three pieces width wise. Cut that now length wise.

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Onto the plate it goes!

Now we can start cooking.

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Add the sesame oil to the largest pan you can find.

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Add the onions, garlic and ginger to the pan and sauté. Add salt and turmeric.

Why turmeric now?

Oils really bring out the flavor of spices better than any sort of heating or cooking method. If I added the turmeric later, I wouldn’t get as much flavor and I really love the taste of turmeric.

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Let this cook until a gorgeous golden caramel color.

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Let’s check on our bonito/kelp stock – it looks plenty disgusting, which means it is done.

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Add the rest of the vegetation to the pan and sauté until slightly softened.

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If you were a quitter, you would stop now and devour this pan.

But you’re not a quitter, are you? You know paradise is just a bit more away.

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Separate the stock from the solids, we won’t be using that (I mean, you can if you want, but I don’t).

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Add the claim juice.

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Add the sugar to taste (shut up, I like it a little sweet).

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Add the dash of mirin.

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Set to medium.

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After 10 or so minutes, I add a little bit of vegan butter (curse you lactose intolerance) for extra creaminess. You don’t have to, I just do.

Now, you could stop right here, add the noodles and be done with it. But we’re going full stop here.

Onto the seafood goodness!

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Peel the shrimp from their shells.

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I don’t mind the skin from the salmon (and it holds it together), so drop that right into the stock.

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Nestle that shrimp in there good.

Alright, I forgot to take pictures of this, but add the noodles straight into the broth once the shrimp and salmon are about down. It’ll take only a couple minutes and really thicken up the soup into a sauce.

Serve on a single plate with a nice garnish of black sesame seeds.

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Enjoy.

Fin.

Rating:

I’m still dreaming of the next time I can make this.

Now, this is a very flexible recipe – you can use whatever vegetables, spices and meat you want. You can make it spicy, you can add cheese, you can make it into a completely different taste. The choice is up to you.

Good luck!



{April 6, 2012}   Pot Fried Noodles

Verdict: Damned delicious

I like pasta a lot, but sometimes it can get old and boring.  Something that never seems to get old for me though is doctoring up elbow noodles.  So that’s what you’re seeing today!  I was initially going to make just enough for myself, but my friend came over and made himself busy cleaning out my fridge, so I decided to be nice and make a little extra so he could have a good lunch as payment for his hard work.

To make this you’ll need:

– Elbow noodles

– Various veggies – I used a can of green beans.  The more people you’re feeding, the more veggies you can add in.

– Various seasonings – I used garlic powder, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and the last of that steak seasoning you’ve seen me use the last few recipes.

– 1 tablespoon butter

– Cheese (completely optional)

Step 1: Cook the noodles.  Drain, and return to the pot.

Step 2: Add butter, stir noodles until butter is melted evenly. Add a low head, and add all of your seasonings and veggies and stir often enough to keep the noodles from burning. When you’re about ready to serve it, add a splash of Worcestershire sauce. You can see in the photo about how much I added.

Step 4: Garnish with cheese if you want, or just enjoy without it.  Tasty either way!

This is a quick and easy dish I usually whip up in some variety just about any time I’m making something and don’t know what kind of side to add.  It’s more exciting than plain noodles, and can be customized and catered to just about any palate. It was delicious with the cheese, it was delicious without the cheese.  The friend who enjoyed it with me said that it wasn’t something that you’d want to eat right before kissing anybody, but if you’re anything like me you don’t care because you just love garlic that much.

If you have any questions or comments you can either leave them below, or email me.  If you have a suggestion for a recipe or any other ideas, that email address is theboredgirlskitchen@gmail.com.

Happy cooking!



{March 27, 2012}   Casserole Salad Sandwich

Verdict: Pretty Damn Good

This is yet another one of those ever subjective and customizable recipes in that it’s less a recipe and more me being bored and throwing stuff together.  I was in the mood for something like chicken salad, but have never made any official chicken salad recipe before, and didn’t even know if I had everything needed to make an “official” chicken salad.  So I perused the kitchen and got together a whole bunch of stuff and started making food.

To follow my “recipe” you’ll need the following:

– 1 carrot

– 2 small stalks of celery

– 1 can of salmon (but you can use a can of chicken or tuna or whatever else, or not add it at all)

– Any seasonings you want.  I used steak seasoning, garlic powder, freeze dried onion/garlic (didn’t have any fresh stuff around), and some taco seasoning

– lime juice and Worcestershire sauce

– Miracle Whip

– elbow noodles

(Not pictured: Bread or Worcestershire sauce, because I forgot to grab them when taking the picture)

Step 1: Start your water boiling, and then cook the noodles.

Step 2: While the water is boiling and the noodles are cooking, prepare all of your additives.  This is where you would chop up your celery and carrot and any other choppable veggie you want to add.  You’ll want to make sure you get as close to diced as you can.  I’m lazy and easily influenced and love my Slap Chop, so that’s what I used to get my veggies chopped up nicely.

Step 3: Once the noodles are done, drain them and put them in a bowl.  Open the can of whatever meat you’re adding and drain it as well as you can then add it to the bowl as well.  Add enough Miracle Whip to coat everything evenly, and mix it all up.

Step 4: Add the chopped up veggies and all your seasonings to taste.  I had a splash of lime juice and Worcestershire and just a pinch of taco seasoning and steak seasoning, and I was pretty liberal with the onion and garlic.   Stir it all together and  continue to season to taste.

Step 5: You can either add it to bread to make a sandwich, or chill it and serve it as a side.  I chose bread for sandwiches. I estimate there was enough for about 6 sandwiches, but I got 3 1/2 and had tasty bowl eating leftovers. Enjoy!

I know, it might have been easier if I had given you specific measurements.  Wait, no, it wouldn’t have.  Because this way you don’t have to take extra time to measure anything out! Another reason I don’t have any specific measurements is because I like just experimenting with things, and just add dashes and pinches until I like the way it tastes.

If you have any questions or comments you can either leave them below, or email me.  If you have a suggestion for a recipe or any other ideas, that email address is theboredgirlskitchen@gmail.com.

Happy cooking!



et cetera
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