How to start your weekend (with carbs).

Oh, Saturday you're here at last. I've been thinking about you all week, you minx.

Big lazy plans for you include dinner with friends, that yoga class I desperately need, a little neighborhood exploring and some R&R with a splash of vino on the side.

But before anything, there will be pancakes. Any good Saturday should be fueled by fluffy disks of flour, sugar and butter. These, from Smitten Kitchen, are a must-have.

Happy Weekend!


It's Raining [ra]Men

Photo Courtesy of Jamie Federico

"This is healing food." I say the same thing every time I eat a hot bowl of ramen.

What can I say? Japan gets it. They know how to eat well, how to prepare simple delicious meals in a way that still feels smart and not at all contrived. 

I cuddle up to a bowl of this goodness, and things just feel better. My stomach is warm, I feel nourished. The beauty about ramen is that it is very much up for interpretation. 

Photo Courtesy of Jamie Federico

Keeping the flavor profile intact with the usual suspects--shallots, garlic, ginger and scallions--I usually make a kitchen-sink variety, meaning that whatever veggies I have on hand get thrown into the mix. 

Photo Courtesy of Jamie Federico

More often than not, things get topped off with a poached egg. 

Dipping plastic in hot water initially sounds like a bad idea, but trust me on this. Crack an egg in plastic wrap, create a little pouch with it, and place in your hot water. 

No more messy poaching in egg white-cloud water. Shout out to the brilliant Chef Carey Yorio for this.

Photo Courtesy of Jamie Federico

While hardboiled is more traditional, the oozy yolk from a poached egg lends an amazing silky texture to the noodles. Think Asian Carbonara.

Photo Courtesy of Jamie Federico

And please, always have Sriracha on hand. I practically wear it in a holster while cooking. And even sometimes when I'm not. 

Your Best Ramen in 5 Steps:

1. Boil and season water, cook noodles. Drain, set aside.

2. In a large pot, saute your aromatics: garlic, shallots, ginger, white parts of scallions or leeks. 
Bump up the heat until you're scared of burning something. Deglaze with a bit of lime juice and soy sauce. Scrape the little crispy bits off the bottom of the pan. 

3. Add the rest of your kitchen-sink vegetables, sauté until cooked through and flavors are well developed. 

4. Add in desired amount of desired stock. I use low-sodium vegetable stock, about 1.5 quarts. If you prefer a soupier dish, add more. 

5. Add your cooked noodles back in, turn off the heat. Dish it, top with desired toppings (chives, Sriracha, eggs, whatever you fancy) and enjoy!

*Note: If you want to get fancy, you can line bowls with seaweed before plating. Good times.

*Another note: This dish is proven to taste better in the rain, on your couch, in your most cuddly clothes, with a good movie on.