Aheli Wanders…Around the Kitchen

Welcome to my newest series Aheli Wanders Around the Kitchen, where I’ll be sharing some of my latest budget-friendly but still creative recipes. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a chef. I don’t actually like cooking all that much. I generally live by the rule that you should make friends that like to cook, buy them wine and then be the best dishwasher/clean you can possible be. This has worked pretty well for me throughout college, my master’s degree and to a large extent throughout my first couple of years in the City. However, I just celebrated my three year anniversary in New York. My wallet needs a break, and frankly while I love take-out Seamless.com, I think it’s about time to learn how to cook beyond Easy Mac. Also I promised my friend Sars a hundred years ago that I would do this so there is that.

My goal is simple: Simple, creative and budget-friendly recipes. Some of these recipes are my pins, others are things my chef friends have created and I stole “creatively-borrowed.” These aren’t professional, so there are guesstimates , some photos, and lots of good wine suggestions. Hope you enjoy. x A.

My very first meal is a “Thai” Coconut Noodle Soup. I’m going to go ahead and air quote the “Thai” part. It’s Thai-inspired, but I don’t want to insult Thailand in anyway. I bought all my ingredients from a Chinatown SuperMarket and/or Trader Joe’s for about $15 dollars.

Thai Coconut Noodle Soup

Aheli’s Version of “Thai Coconut Noodle Soup”

Total Time: 30 minutes (from Prep to Serving)

You’ll need:

1 can Coconut Milk (I’m not being sponsored so I can’t recommend a brand. I chose the cheapest one and it worked out fine)

– 1 square of rice vermicilli noodles

– 1 handful of spinach leaves

– 1 portabello mushroom (cut into thin slices)

– 1 smallish red or white onion (I made the recipe twice. It works well with red and white onions)

– Some type of meat or tofu. (The first time, I boiled a package of shaved beef strips from Trader Joe’s The second time, I didn’t have any meat so I used a combo of tofu (cut into small pieces) and some eggplant. It worked. Whatever floats your boat]

– Ginger (Freshly Grated or Canned)

– Garlic ( Freshly Peeled or Canned)

– 2 Scallions

– Sriracha [Buy at least ten bottles if you are following my recipes]

Directions

1. Boil water

2. Add noodles, and follow cooking directions on the box. Boil for half the allotted time. [My rice vermicilli took about 12 minutes]

3. Add a garlic clove

4. [Option: Add sliced beef and boil around Minute 8]

5. In a separate pan; heat oil on medium intensity, freshly grated or canned ginger, and garlic glove.

6. Add meat; tofu; vegetables, (onion, spinach) etc. Stir-fry in some combination of soy sauce and/or sriarcha (to taste).

7.  Look back at your noodle pot. Is it still boiling? You’re good.

8. Drain out about 3/4 of the water in the noodle pot, and add can of coconut milk. Cook for another 8 Minutes.

[Disclaimer: I like my things extra coconut-y. If you aren’t like me, keep a bit more water in. Continue to cook noodles (and potentially your pork).

9. Add vegetable mixture to the noodle pot. Boil all ingredients for another 2 minutes. I like to add another dollop of ginger and garlic. And let’s face it another helping of Sriarcha. (The soup should be a nice light red colour).

10. Pour into a very pretty bowl. Add some scallions to garnish.

Eat with a nice glass of White Wine. I recommend a solid Muscadet.

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