For the past 2 weeks, things have gone chaotic. Frederick is now in his busy season and that means our schedule now starts at 5 in the morning and continues til the clock strikes midnight. We used to go to work at 7.30am and it’s now changed to 6am. Plus, my office is moving to another building and we have to empty everything out within 2 weeks. Luckily, it’s still within walking distance. Not only that, I’ve been working on my final project, The Thesis, that is due Monday at noon. Yes, tomorrow and I’m still half-way done. To top it off, I’ve been having a cold all week. I don’t blame myself for not getting enough rest. So, when we got home the other night (late night, I must say), I just could not think of anything better than a warm comfort soup.
Do you know that chicken noodle soup helps cure the common cold? Chicken soup neuritis’s the body, thus strengthening your amine system to aid in fighting off the cold or flu virus. With a sore throught it is just easier to swallow a liquid over anything that is a solid. Anyways, here’s to something soothing and comforting – our family version of chicken noodle soup aka sausage macaroni soup. It is definitely comforting and often times, I replace sausage with spam. Slurp.
Sausage & Macaroni Soup
Serves: 2-4 people
- 3 cups water + more to boil the macaroni
- ½ cup chicken bones (or replace with ½ block of chicken stock)
- ½ cup macaroni
- 1 cup diced carrot
- 1 cup chicken sausage/ spam, cubed
- 1 egg
- Salt & black pepper to taste
- Blanch chicken bone and drumsticks in a pot of boiling water. Rinse and drain; set aside.
- In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- In a soup pot filled with water, add the chicken bone and sausage. Cook for about 10 mins or until the carrot gets tender. Reduce the head and add the sausage, cook for another 5 minutes, then add the macaroni. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Make sure your soup is at a bare simmer. Pour in the egg slowly while stirring the soup in the same direction. Break the yolk, let it spread and feather. Turn off the heat and serve immediately.
I bumped into so many coincidence lately, like bumped into an old friend whom I knew back in 1995, got a call from someone whom I have had in mind since a year ago (but I lose their contacts), and sunny sky in beautiful San Francisco last weekend. Good times! And what about this muffin – is it a coincidence? Well, I’ll let you determine that. But, let me tell you something that is not a coincidence, which is this giveaway! So, don’t be a stranger and take a peek!
Garlic, Spam, and Cheese Muffin
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tbs finely chopped (or grated) garlic
- 1 tbs thinly sliced basil
- 2 tbs butter
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup milk
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup spam, cubed
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese
- Optional: ¼ cup sun-dried tomato
- Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a muffin pan with non-stick spray.
- In a mixer, combine the butter and egg.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter and mix well. Then add the milk, garlic and basil.
- Using a spatula, add the spam, cheese, and sun-dried tomato (if using).
- Spoon the mixture into the muffin pan and bake for 20 minutes until golden and puffy and a toothpick comes out clean.
By the time this post is up, I’ll be on a jet plane for a business trip in LA. It’s been 6 months since we moved to SF and 4 months since my last visit there. Frederick has been dying to move back to LA, or at least visit there for a short vacation. Sad to say, his job is more demanding than mine and there’s no reason for him to travel there. I’m actually the opposite, I don’t miss living in LA, other than K-Town, lol.
As usual, I tend to clean up my fridge before I leave home for too long. Wait, is three days consider too long? I guess so coz I don’t like coming home to spoiled rotten veggies and this is actually a perfect time to ‘clean-up-the-fridge’. Not only that, do you know that today is National Pasta Day? I love having pasta for breakfast, lunch, or dinner – for salad, entree, or side dish. I don’t think I’ve ever seen pasta for dessert. Hmmm…maybe one day. Anyways, pasta is one of the world’s most favorite foods and there are over 600 shapes of pasta. Amazing, isn’t it?
Pasta’s origins are ancient. Contrary to popular belief however, Marco Polo did not discover pasta in Asia and bring it to Italy. In fact, in 1279 a.d., a will drafted by Ponzio Bastone was found bequething a storage bin of macceroni when Marco Polo was still in the Far East. Early Romans used a very simple flour and water dough. Pasta is the Italian word for dough. Thomas Jefferson introduced pasta to the Americas after first tasting it in Naples, Italy. He was the American Ambassador to France at the time. In 1789, he brought the first pasta machine, along with crates of macaroni, back to the United States. Pasta became a common North American food in the late 19th century with the surge in Italian immigration. Well, that’s enough history lesson of today, and now it’s recipe time, but you can check here
for more info on pasta. Now, to reward myself, I decided to add fried runny egg and avocado. I always think these two are buddies that almost go well in almost every meal.
Spam Pasta Salad
- 1½ cups spam, cubed
- 1½ cups penne or your favorite pasta
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup onion, diced
- ½ cup corn kernels, thawed
- ½ – 1 tsp sea salt + more if needed
- 1 tbs salt
- Dash of paprika
- 1 tbs basil, thinly sliced
- ½ tbs olive oil
- 1 egg
- 2 tbs avocado, cubed
- 1/2 cup cherry/ grape tomatoes
- Fill a large pot about 2/3 of the way with water and add 1 tbs salt over high heat. When water starts to boil, turn down the stove and add the pasta, then stir with a long serving spoon. Don’t let them stick to the bottom.
- Check the package for suggested cooking time. After 8-10 mins, try a piece of pasta and bite it. If it’s too hard to bite, it needs to cook a little longer. The pasta is ready when it’s cooked all the way through and still firm, and that’s referred to as al dente in Italian. Using a strainer, set the pasta aside and reserve the pasta water. Shake out the excess water.
- Preheat a pan over medium heat, and add the spam. Let is cook until golden brown for about 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
- In a same pan, add the oil over medium-high heat (you can omit this step if the pan has enough oil from the spam). Add garlic and onion and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the spam back to the pan, then add corn. Mix it together for about 1 minute.
- Add the pasta to the pan, then add sea salt, paprika, basil. Try not adding too much salt since the pasta is salty enough. Set aside.
- Fried Runny Egg: Add oil in the frying pan over high heat – just enough to coat the pan. Break the egg gently and immediately lower the heat to low. Baste the oil over the top of the egg and cook until the white is firm and the yolk is thick but not firm. You can check the consistency by shaking the pan gently and observing how the egg jiggles. Remove from the heat and gently place the fried egg over pasta.
- To serve: add cherry tomatoes, avocado, and fried runny egg over pasta.
The Urban Mrs http://theurbanmrs.com/
I hope you guys had a lovely weekend. Mine? It was hot, literally! The weather was unbelievable and just the time we thought of getting portable AC, they’re all sold out. Our place actually has 2 ACs, but they’re located in the hallways. I had no idea who came up with that plan in the first place.
Anyways, I now understand being in the oven, just like the dish I’m about to share. It’s called macaroni schotel as similar as mac-n-cheese in America.
This dish is quite popular in Indonesia, which I believe it has Dutch influence. It’s very simple and won’t take much of your time, and of course…let the oven do the magic for you.
- 1 cup macaroni
- ½ cup diced onion
- ½ cup milk
- 2 cloves of garlic
- ½ cup spam or sausage, cubed
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 tbs flour
- 2 eggs
- ½ tbs butter
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup 4-cheese blend (monterey jack, cheddar, queso quesadilla, asadero cheese)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease the baking pan with butter.
- Cook the macaroni in a boiling salted water until al dente, as directed.
- In a pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter, add onion and garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add spam or sausage and cook for another 3 minutes. Add milk and cook for a while. Let it cool and set aside.
- Beat the eggs in a small bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine macaroni, spam/ sausage mixture, egg, and flour.
- Spread a thin layer of macaroni in the baking pan. Layer with cheese mixture and mozzarella cheese. Continue layering until all ingredients are used.
- Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 10-15 minutes before serving.