Friday night noodle bowls, kudos, and wine for your weekend

Fall weather is quickly settling in on the upper Midwest, and though I’ve fought the increasing urge to turn on the heat, I’m fully giving in to the desire for warm, fall comfort foods. I love soups year round, but there’s something about sipping warm broth when it’s 90 degrees and humid outside that’s far less satisfying than when it’s 50 degrees with a breeze and drizzling. While apple cinnamon and pumpkin spice are the instagram gems of the fall food world, a warm bowl of savory vegetables in a flavorful broth is all the good thing your heart, soul, and stomach should crave as the weather gets cooler. Swap out the tuna for chicken or shrimp, or skip it all together if vegetarian is your style. However you serve it, it will not disappoint!

Seared Tuna Friday Night Noodle Bowls

Serves 4

What you need:
3/4 lbs shiitake mushrooms
2 medium shallots
1 “bunch” green onions
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp minced ginger
6 cups low sodium stock (chicken or vegetable works great!)
6 tbsp soy sauce
Olive Oil
Salt and pepper to taste
4 servings ramen noodles (We buy ramen rice noodles in serving size blocks and then just boil four of them. Consult your ramen package for recommended serving size!)
4, 3 oz ahi tuna steaks

Before you start cooking: 

Prepare your veggies. Slice shiitake mushrooms into thin strips. Cut the ends from the shallots and thinly slice into rings. Trim the white end off the green onions and cut the green stalks into half-inch pieces. Mince garlic, ginger, and chop the cilantro.

What you do: 

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Warm 3 tablespoons of olive oil with 3 tablespoons of soy sauce in a wok or large frying pan. Add shiitake mushrooms and stir fry until edges begin to turn golden.    

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Add the shallots rings. Continue to stir fry until shallots begin to brown and mushrooms show some caramalization.

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 Add ginger and garlic to the pan and continue to cook, stirring frequently for 3-4 minutes. 

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Add greens (peas, green onion, and cilantro) and broth. Add remaining 3 tablespoons of soy sauce and allow to simmer 15 minutes stirring occasionally. 

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Prepare ramen according to package directions. Our rice based ramen just soaks in hot water for five minutes and is good to go. Others will need to be boiled and drained like normal, Italian style noodles. Check your instructions, and plan accordingly!

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Prepare and sear the tuna. Generously salt and paper both sides of the fish. In a hot pan (I use our copper pan and do not add oil) sear each side of the tuna 2-3 minutes. A good cut of ahi tuna should be served rare. The fish will also continue to cook once it’s added to the hot broth. DO NOT over cook your tuna steaks!

To layer your bowl:
Put a serving a of noodle in the bottom of a bowl. Add broth to bowls fully submerging the noodles. (Make sure you scoop to the bottom of the wok to get those mushrooms and shallots in the broth!) Slice tuna thinly and layer across the top of the dish. Serve with chopsticks and enjoy!

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Friday kudos to…

Eric Samuel Timm, motivational speaker and artist extraordinaire came and spoke at the high school where I work, and he was phenomenal. Now that I’ve looked him up and learned a little bit more about the work he does, I think he’s even more fabulous. He’s worth a look up or a listen. Find out more about him on his website.

People who take responsibility for things, like the wonderful art teacher I work with who is repairing the theater flats that were damaged during prom last year without question. It makes everyone’s life easier when responsibility is taken when responsibility is called for!

Wine for your weekend

Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin – I’ve written about my love of zinfandel before as well as the supposed upside of finding a zin from “old vines.” (If you missed it, it’s because older vines produce smaller fruits with more concentrated flavors.) This old vine zin comes from the Sacramento Valley east of San Francisco at a vineyard in Lodi, a city known regionally as the world capital of zinfandel. If you like your zins “jammy,” Gnarly Head will not disappoint, offering deep flavors of blackberry and cherry with hints of rich mocha and layers of vanilla and a slight oakiness on the finish. Don’t confuse Gnarly Head zin with Gnarly Vine zinfandel, an excellent option from Louis M. Martini that’s also worth a recommendation, but not quite as pocketbook friendly as Gnarly Head, which is widely distributed and an affordable $11 a bottle. Gnarly Head recommends chicken enchiladas as a pairing, which is a first. But a wine this drinkable probably pairs well with just about anything!

Cheers!

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