Spicy Mushroom Udon Noodle Soup

Turned out to be just one of those weekends where things are just not going right. Had to go into the office on Saturday morning for a few hours to make sure things were going well. Unfortunately, I felt a cold coming on the day before and yes, stuffy nose and all, Saturday morning. I hate colds! On top of all that – it’s been raining for 2 days straight!  Now I know that most of you will go “really, rain for two days? What’s the problem?” However, I live in Arizona and this is not common for us; it’s supposed to be my favorite time of year.  Always sunny with temps in the upper 60’s and low 70’s.

With the rainy weather and “cold temps” (yea sorry, cold temps for me!), I was in the soup mood and Cavewoman was all for it. Being that I made chicken noodle soup a few weeks back, I decided I wanted something different. I decided to tackle a spicy Udon noodle soup. Traditionally, I am a huge chicken noodle, chicken and dumpling, & chicken pot pie fan – but I wanted to change it up with spicy zesty Asian flavors. That’s where the Udon noodle soup idea came in.

Being that I was a prisoner in my home, (rain and all) I went all out and made my own chicken broth. This really isn’t something I would recommend because nowadays you can buy chicken broth for a lot cheaper than you can make it. Don’t get me wrong, you can’t beat the flavors of homemade but for $10 a bowl, you can make it a lot cheaper with store-bought broth. So, if you’re feeling adventurous, check out my chicken broth recipe; if not, don’t be shy and buy the broth, I have plenty in my cupboard.

For more great recipes and tips go to http://www.cookingwithcaveman.comOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
What you will need:

  • 2 tbsp. bacon fat (or other oil)
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 tbsp. chopped ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 habanero, seeded and chopped (or 1 small jalapeno for less heat)
  • 3 oz. shiitake mushrooms, sliced (1 package)
  • 3 oz. oyster mushrooms, sliced (1 package)
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups shredded chicken breast recipe follows
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 (7-ounce package) udon noodles, prepared according to package directionsoyster1[1]
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • 2 baby bells chopped for garnish
  • 1 cup bean sprouts, for garnish (optional, adds a good crunch)

 

Prep

Grab a small stock pot and fill it with about 8 cups of water and 2 chicken bouillon cubes. Add your chicken breast and bring the water just to a rolling boil. Then you will want to reduce the heat to a simmer and let the chicken cook. It will take about 15 – 20 minutes. Once it’s cooked set the chicken aside and let it cool and then shred it with a fork.

Caveman Tip*** If you boil the chicken it will seize up and get tough. You want to gently boil or simmer the chicken. I also like to add some dried herbs to the water to help add flavor to the chicken. You could also bake it or grill it whatever you want to do.shiitake01[1]

Cook

I like to use the same stock pot as I cooked the chicken in, less dishes to clean. To the pan add the bacon fat or oil and give it a medium heat. Next add the onions, celery, carrots, ginger and garlic to the pan. Cook until the onions become soft, stirring frequently.

Once the onions are soft, add the 8 cups of chicken broth and the diced habanero. Now turn up the heat and bring it to a rolling boil. Let the broth simmer for about ten minutes with the lid off.

Caveman Tip*** By letting the brother simmer with the lid off, it will reduce the liquid slightly and give you a more concentrated flavorful broth. Always taste the broth at multiple times this will give you an idea if it needs more salt or other seasoning. I can’t say this enough; always taste your food as you cook.

While you are finishing you broth get a pan out and cook your noodles as the package describes, don’t forget to salt the water.Shredded Chicken

Caveman Tip*** I like to boil my noodles in a separate pan from the broth that way I can salt the noodles and the starch released from the noodles doesn’t get in my broth.

Once the broth is where you want it add the shredded chicken, shiitake and oyster mushrooms, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for another 20 minutes with the lid on. This will allow the beautiful flavor of those mushrooms to infiltrate that broth and give it an earthy flavor.

Grab a bowl; place your noodles in center and ladle the broth in. I like to garnish with a little cilantro, bean sprouts and red baby bell peppers.

Enjoy!

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Blackened Chicken Rub (we like it spicy…)

 

What you will need:

  •  1 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. oregano
  • ¾ tbsp. sugar
  • ¾ tbsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tbsp. salt
  •  ½ tbsp. thyme
  • ½ tbsp. red pepper flakes

 

Combine all the above ingredients and store in an air tight container until ready to use.  Shake and make sure they are mixed well.

  • 1-2 Limes (to squeeze lime juice)
  • Chicken breasts, (boneless works best depending on what you’re making but bone in  hind quarters are just as delicious)

Apply

Take the defrosted chicken breast put in a bowl and squeeze lime juice on both sides.  Let the chicken sit in the bowl for 5-10 minutes. Pull the chicken, pat dry with a paper towel.  Sprinkle liberally with seasoning and let sit another 10 minutes.  This allows the chicken to come up to room temperature prior to cooking.  **Caveman’s Tip: cooking cold meat on a hot grill makes the meat contract resulting in a tough, potentially dry meat

Prepare the grill

Get the BBQ ready, either coal or propane, I prefer having a propane grill for this because it’s usually a weeknight meal and after work I don’t have time to mess with the coals.  Heat the grill until hot, on a propane grill I get it up to 500°F.

 Cook

Put the chicken on the grill. Sear until the chicken is a deep red color with dark black grill marks on both sides.  (I like to have the grill lid open at this point because it allows me to sear off the chicken without overcooking it)

Still on the grill, move the chicken to indirect heat, off to the side. (I prefer to cook at this point with the grill lid down now) Continue to cook for 8-15 minutes depending on the breast size.

**Caveman Tip:  People often get hesitant when cooking chicken and tend to turn it into chicken jerky. I always use a good reliable instant read thermometer when cooking chicken and pork so I can make sure it always ends up plump and juicy. Chicken can be so flavorful when cooked correctly. (Please check out my blog on cooking the perfect chicken for more info)

Check the temperature of the chicken and make sure it’s 150°F and then remove it from the grill. 

Wrap it in foil or a container with a lid, and let it sit for 5-8 minutes. This allows the chicken to finish coming up to temperate without drying it out. It also allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.

Put the chicken on a cutting board and slice to serve, I prefer this in tacos, burritos and even a good salad.

Spanish Rice

What you will need:

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1-2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, shredded or diced
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (To coat the pan)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 packet Goyo Sazon Mexican seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (you can substitute with 1tbsp tomato paste or 1 cup strained canned tomatoes)
  • 2 cups medium or long grain white rice
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth or 3 1/2 cups water and chicken flavoring  (I  like to use Knorr Home-style concentrate or Swanson’s Flavor Boost you can keep them in the pantry and use single packets as necessary)
  • Hot sauce (always optional, but I love it!)

Prepare:

Under medium heat, sauté the onions, celery, carrots and garlic in a medium stock pan with EVOO for a couple of minutes. (This is called a Mira Pois and is a classic French technique to add flavor to soups, stews or any slow cooked meal.)

Then add rice, butter, chili powder, and cumin and continue to sauté for a few minutes, stirring frequently.  All the vegetables should be soft by now. Let the ingredients marry together. Your house should smell good at this point.

Add:

Add 3 1/2 cups of the chicken broth (or water and chicken flavoring). Then, add the tomatoes and Goyo Sazon seasoning packet, salt and bring to a boil.

Now, taste the liquid at this point…it will give you a good idea of what the rice will taste like. Add salt if necessary (I also like to add a couple of dashes of hot sauce to bring some heat to the rice!)

Give it one final stir and then put a lid on your pan and reduce the heat to a simmer.

**DO NOT remove the lid at any time during the cooking process. Just keep an eye out until all the water is absorbed.  This is the most important thing to remember about rice!

Once the water is absorbed (this could take about 15-20 minutes), remove from heat and let stand with lid on, for about 5 minutes. This allows any of the liquid on the bottom to absorb into the rice, without burning it.

Remove the lid and let stand for about 5 more minutes, and then fluff with fork.  Enjoy.

 

Corn Relish (Dee-lish!)

What you will need:

  • 6 ears of fresh corn, peeled
  • 2 large tomatoes, core then grill (see below)
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup total red, & green bell pepper (I like to get the bag of mixed baby bell peppers, it’s easier to use than the small ones so I don’t have to waste half a large one)
  • ¼ can black beans rinsed (I typically make the relish with tacos or burritos so I can use the remaining beans with that dish)
  • 1 Jalapeno finely chopped seeds and veins removed (optional)
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Prepare:

Peel 6 ears of fresh corn.  Coat with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Core 2 large tomatoes, slit an X in the bottom and coat those with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Set aside.

We love to grill anything we can to get the Caveman flavor.   So heat up your grill and lightly grill both the corn and the tomatoes.  Turn the corn frequently (we do not want blackened corn, just lightly grilled).  The tomatoes will only take a few minutes just enough to heat them up but not make them mushy.  This adds a little depth of flavor. Once grilled, remove both items and set aside to let them cool.  (Tomatoes can be put into refrigerator)

I always prefer to use fresh corn in any dish, ears of corn are cheap and add great texture to any meal.

 Assemble:

Shave the corn from the cob and put into bowl.  In a separate bowl, put your chopped red onion and coat with 4tbsp red wine vinegar and let rest for 10 minutes.

With corn, mix in the bell peppers and jalapeno. Chop the tomatoes and add to mixture.  Mix ¼ cup of black beans and stir.  Combine the red onion mixture into corn relish mixture and stir.  Add salt and pepper.  Don’t forget to taste your food and make adjustments as necessary!

Drizzle a light amount of balsamic vinegar over the mixture and stir. Top with cilantro and additional salt & pepper, if needed.

Memphis Style Ribs

 

 

 

 

 

 

RIBS

  • I prefer St Louis Style Pork Ribs because all of the fat and excess has been trimmed
  • The purpose of the Memphis rib rub is to give the ribs flavor without coating them in sauce.  By coating the ribs in a rub and letting them rest overnight – the strong flavors can penetrate the meat – making it a mouth-watering experience your friends & family will never forget!

 

Now let’s build the rub…

MEMPHIS RIB RUB

  • 6 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp powered garlic
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp Morton’s kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp celery powder
  • 1 tbsp dried crushed oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried crushed thyme
  • 1 tbsp ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp dry parsley
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar

 

Combine all the above ingredients and mix well, store in airtight container until ready to use.

You can always double the ingredients, and store it for next time!

RIB MOP –What’s this for, and why do I need to make it if I have BBQ sauce?

The mop will help the rub penetrate the meat and stop the ribs from drying out during the long cooking process.

  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • ½ Beer  any beer your preference
  • ¼ cup rub seasoning from above

Combine all ingredients and stir well, refrigerate until ready to use.  You will need to use a good basting brush to mop the liquid onto the ribs.

 

BBQ SAUCE

  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp table salt
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • ½ cup yellow ballpark style mustard
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup  lime juice
  • ¼ cup A1 steak sauce
  • ¼ cup dark molasses
  • ¼ cup Agave nectar or regular honey
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (or light if that’s all you have)
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp Memphis Rub (from above)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (can omit or try a hot sauce if you like)
  • 1 tbsp red pepper chili flakes (can omit if you don’t like that much heat)

Combine all ingredients cover and store in refrigerator until ready to use.

I prefer to prepare the Memphis Rub, the rib mop and the BBQ sauce the night before as it allows all the flavors ample time to blend, and the rub seasoning to really season the ribs

 

Apply the Memphis Rub to the Ribs

Prep the ribs by removing the membrane (I prefer a butter knife and dig in there)

The membrane is the white skin like coating on the back of the rib. If you don’t remove it the seasoning will not penetrate the ribs  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Generously coat the ribs with the rub (using your hands massage it all over the ribs, front and back)

Cover and store in fridge over night

 

Time to start the grill….

I prefer a slow hickory smoke when making ribs, but there are a number of options when grilling.

Here are Caveman’s tips for the best results:   

Get the BBQ ready.  I prefer charcoal but gas BBQ’s will work.  They are easier to set a temperature but in my opinion, the smoke pouches don’t work as well.

I also prefer to use the indirect heat method along with a water bath under the ribs.  It sounds harder than it is!  Simply have the heat source off to the side and put a tin of water or liquid directly under the ribs.  This allows steam from the water bath to penetrate the ribs and help keep them moist.

If you want to get really adventurous add flavor to the water bath. Apple chunks or any kind of aromatic ingredient (onions, celery, etc).

Example

The BBQ should heat up to about 225⁰F to let the ribs cook thoroughly.  If your BBQ doesn’t have a temperature gauge, get yourself a good BBQ (Oven) thermometer.   They can be purchased at most grocery stores for a few bucks.

 

 While the grill is heating up….

Pull the ribs from the fridge before you put them on the grill so they can come up to room temperature.

Keep the BBQ about 225⁰F and put ribs on, bone side down.   They need to cook for 4-6 hours * Be sure to check coals or temp every now and again.   

I like to baste the ribs with the mopping liquid at least once an hour.  Do not turn the ribs over! Let them cook bone side down the entire time.  Pouring your mopping liquid on the ribs every hour will allow the vinegar and beer to help break down the meat and keep it tender.

 

Additional Tips from the Caveman:

The longer you cook the ribs, the more tender and mouth-watering they will be. You be the judge.

Now, I prefer the Memphis Style Ribs dry, and having the BBQ sauce on the side.  This allows everyone to enjoy ribs as they choose, BBQ sauce or not!  For those that want the sauce, warm it up on a medium heat prior to serving.

If you prefer a wet rib, just pull the water bath, stoke up the flames, coat the ribs with the sauce and give them a few minutes on each side for the sauce to caramelize and thicken up on the exterior of the rib.

 

Cut and serve, with your favorite side, I prefer my homemade potato salad with a recipe to follow