• kabob

    Balsamic Maple Grilled Chicken and Summer Veggies

    All the flavors of summer, grilled and glazed with balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. Easy and completely delicious. INGREDIENTS ¼ cup balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons maple syrup 1 teaspoon of your favorite spice blend.  I’m a Savory Spice Shop junkie, so I used three different spice combos to see how they would taste:   Georgia Boys […]

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    Balsamic Maple Grilled Chicken and Summer Veggies

  • perry steak

    Finding Religion Grilled Ribeye, Adam Perry Lang

    I wrote recently about Charred and Scruffed, one of my very very favorite cookbooks by Adam Perry Lang — remember?  Okay, so don’t be scared, and you’re GONNA be scared when you look at the recipe below because it looks so long — but this is the steak version of Judy Rodger’s Zuni Chicken — […]

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    Finding Religion Grilled Ribeye, Adam Perry Lang

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    Four Seasons Blend

    Do you barbecue? Do you have Charred and Scruffed,  by Adam Lang — one of my top three cookbooks ever?  You don’t?  THEN YOU DON’T BARBECUE!  You just don’t! This book is a BIBLE — yes it is.  And I don’t dare approach the grill without having prayed with Adam Lang for a while.  I […]

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    Four Seasons Blend

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    Yogurt, Aleppo Pepper and Lemon Marinated Chicken

    Simple.  Delicious.  Tons of flavor.  So grab a lawn chair, arm yourself with barbecue tongs, and GRILL THIS CHICKEN!  Super easy to make, packed with flavor and the perfect amount of heat.  This recipe will make Aleppo pepper your new best friend. Ingredients 1 1/2 tablespoons Aleppo pepper, easy to find at Penzeys spices or Whole foods, […]

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    Yogurt, Aleppo Pepper and Lemon Marinated Chicken

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    Mucha Cerveza Marinade

    Another yummy steak marinade. . . ribeye for me, please. 1 bottle (8 ounces) dark Mexican beer 1/4 cup fresh lime juice 1 medium-size onion, finely chopped 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 to 2 (four for Mike) jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped (again — for Mike, leave the seeds in) 1/4 c. chopped cilantro […]

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    Mucha Cerveza Marinade

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    Bourbon Soy Marinade

    Beef and bourbon . . . perfecto. Loved this with ribeye steak.  But then I love anything with ribeye steak!   1 cup bourbon 1 cup soy sauce 3 T. dark sesame oil 2 T. sugar 2 cloves garlic 1 T. minced, peeled, fresh ginger In a bowl, combine the bourbon, soy sauce, sesame oil, […]

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    Bourbon Soy Marinade

  • Ribeyes with Goat Cheese, Watercress and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

    It’s summer time again . . . and even if the livin’ ain’t easy, ribeye steak always makes you THINK it’s easy. This is another DELICIOUS Bobby Flay recipe . . . I’ve made it three times — and each time as I’m enjoying every bite, I’m imagining that Bobby (yes, we’re on a first-name […]

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    Ribeyes with Goat Cheese, Watercress and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

  • Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad

    My favorite summer salad! ~~ Trisha Makes 4 servings 2 ears fresh sweet corn, shucked ¾ c. halved cherry tomatoes 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into chunks ¼ c. sliced red onion 3 T. crumbled goat cheese, divided 2 T. lime juice or white wine vinegar Kosher salt and pepper to taste Ancho chili […]

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    Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad

pasta with ricotta

Baked Penne with Italian Sausage and Creamy Ricotta

This is my favorite comfort food this year.   You can make it any way that works for you, but it is only sublime with homemade ricotta which takes only 3 minutes of active time — 15 minutes of just letting it sit in a sieve to drain — and which tastes NOTHING like that […]

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rosemary almonds

Brined and Roasted Rosemary Chile Almonds

Sweet and spicy crispianity! My addiction to nuts dates back a zillion years  to Sundays in Evreux, France.  I somehow got a job at age 12 playing the organ at the chapel at Evreux-Fauville Air Force Base.  Father Driscoll must have been desperate.  My mom would drop me off for the early mass, give me […]

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Moroccan Chicken, Preserved Lemons and Olives

My last day of cooking in Mark and Tony’s great kitchen in Sonoma, so I wanted to showcase some spices from The Savory Spice Shop–Tan-Tan Moroccan Seasoning, Saffron and Preserved Lemons.  And I’m off to do a little chopatta, so I can get this in the oven.   SERVES 4–6 INGREDIENTS 1 tbsp. kosher salt, […]

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Las Paletas

My new summer obsession.  More photos this evening as I’m limping out to pick up my mom to scout art galleries.  I’m channeling my inner Mexican here with my new popsicle/paleta mold that works perfectly. My first batch were strawberry for Addie, but when she wasn’t able to get to Sonoma, I was only able […]

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Asparagus, Lemon and Walnut Pasta

I think this took just 15 minutes altogether–and I was good.  I didn’t include bacon or pancetta . . . but it would have been so easy to do!  The creamy (no cream, no butter) asparagus sauce made this taste like thousands of calories.  Five stars!   8 ounces dried spaghetti (or pasta of your choice) […]

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Slanted Door Shaking Beef

Ever since Mary and I took a Vietnamese cooking class in Portland years ago, I’ve loved Vietnamese food.  Pho Van in the Pearl District was one of my favorite restaurants when I lived in Oregon, and since moving to California,  I love eating at the Slanted Door.  I don’t get to go as often as […]

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Balsamic Maple Grilled Chicken and Summer Veggies

All the flavors of summer, grilled and glazed with balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. Easy and completely delicious.

¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon of your favorite spice blend.  I’m a Savory Spice Shop junkie, so I used three different spice combos to see how they would taste:   Georgia Boys Barbecue rub on skewer 1, Catanzaro Herbs on skewer 2, and California Citrus rub on 3 — they were all so yummy that I couldn’t pick a standout.  So just sprinkle your chicken with your favorite spice combo ( but I wish you’d try some Savory spices — you’ll love them!).
¼ teaspoon sea salt
fresh cracked pepper

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders or breasts, cut into bite-size chunks
2 red and/or orange bell peppers, deseeded and chopped into bite-size chunks1 small red onion, chopped into bite-size chunks
1 zucchini, chopped into bite-size chunks
1 summer squash, chopped into bite-size chunks
10 slices bacon

If you plan to grill with wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in warm water for at least 30 minutes before grilling
Mix the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, your spice blend and sea salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for five minutes, until slightly thickened. Toss the chicken pieces with the balsamic glaze. If you have time, marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours. I didn’t have the time, so I tossed the chicken into the cooled syrup and started stacking the skewers — and it was delicious even with just 10 minutes of marinating.

Weave the bacon, chicken, and vegetables onto 12-inch skewers. You will probably need two pieces of bacon for each skewer though I stretched with just one. Start by piercing a piece of bacon near its end, and then add a piece of chicken. Weave the bacon around one side of the chicken and add a piece of zucchini or onion, repeating until your skewer is filled. Add bacon as needed.
Preheat your grill to medium high, or preheat the broiler.

Grill the skewers for about five minutes per side or broil for about 8 minutes per side, brushing on remaining balsamic/maple glaze once more on each side, until the bacon and chicken are cooked through. Let the skewers rest for five minutes and serve hot, preferably accompanied by a cold glass of white wine or icy beer. DUH-LICIOUS and EASY!!!

From a calculated whisk.com

Cauliflower, Apple and Walnut Salad


cauliflowerDinner last night — mmmmmm! all my favorite flavors — fresh veggies, walnuts, lemon and manchego cheese!

Serves: 4

Cauliflower and Walnut Salad
1/2 head of cauliflower – cored and cut into florets
2 celery stalks – trimmed
3 radishes – tops removed
1/2 small green apple – cored
1/4 small red onion
3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves – finely chopped
manchego cheese
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
Flakey sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
Simple Lemon Vinaigrette
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup walnut oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper

Make the Dressing:

Zest the lemon into a small bowl and then squeeze to add the juice. Whisk in the Dijon mustard. Then, gradually whisk in the oil until a smooth emulsion forms. Season to taste with salt and freshly cracked pepper.

Assemble the Salad:

Remove the strings on the celery with a peele. Then, thinly slice the cauliflower, celery, radish, and onion on a mandoline into 1/8-inch thick slices, or use a sharp knife or food processor.

Soak the red onion in ice water for 10 minutes to soften its bite. Drain and pat dry. Slice the apple into 1/8-inch slices before gently tossing the ingredients together in a large bowl with the parsley.

Drizzle in the dressing and use your hands to gently toss everything until evenly coated. Use a vegetable peeler to shave wide, thin slices of manchego over the salad. Be generous. Then, crumble the walnuts in your hand as you sprinkle them all over the salad. Season with a pinch of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper before serving.


recipe by Evan Kulman

Mexican Street Corn Salad

The flavors of summer. A delicious and quick summer salad. The original recipe calls for raw corn — super fast!  I grilled my corn because I preferred that flavor.
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1 cup cooked red quinoa, use package directions
3 cups corn (about 4 ears), cut from the cob (I prefer to roast the corn on the cob. I wrap each ear in foil seasoning it with a little salt and some ancho chili powder. I put it on the barbecue with the lid closed for about 20 minutes, turning it every few minutes.  Let cool and slice off the cob).
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
2 green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 handful cilantro, chopped
1-2 limes, juiced
3 tablespoons cotija (or feta), crumbled
chili powder to taste (I also used makrut lime salt and Peruvian Chile lime seasoning from Savory Spice shop
1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 avocado
salt and pepper to taste


Add the quinoa and raw corn to a large mixing bowl with the chopped jalapeño green onions, cilantro, half of the lime juice to taste, cotija cheese and a dash of chili powder. Toss to combine.

Remove the avocado from the skin and discard the seed. Place the flesh of the avocado in a blender or food processor with the remaining lime juice (TASTE AS YOU GO!) and blend until smooth. Add a few tablespoons of water as needed to make the mixture smooth, it should be a similar consistency to a mayonnaise. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the avocado mixture from the blender, toss it with the corn and quinoa mixture and top with the shredded jack cheese. Season with salt and pepper as needed and serve.

Little Gem Salad with Buttermilk Vinaigrette

I am addicted to little gem lettuce — it’s kind of like a miniature romaine.  Lunardi’s, a grocery store near my house, carries it, and it’s the only place I can find it except for the farmer’s market occasionally.   This is a pretty and delicious salad —  my new fave.


1 small shallot
1 1/2 tablespoons Moscatel vinegar
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon creme fraiche
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

Mince the shallot, then place in a medium bowl, and add the Moscatel vinegar.  Allow to macerate for about 10 minutes.

Add the buttermilk and creme fraiche and stir.  Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

1 head of little gem lettuce
2 tablespoons toasted breadcrumbs
2 leaves of basil, chopped
1 radish, thinly sliced
8 thin slices of fennel (cut the bulb in half, lengthwise, then slice into half moons)

kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground pepper

In another bowl, combine the gem lettuce,   toasted bread crumbs, basil, radish and fennel.  Whisk the vinaigrette, then pour over the salad.  Toss to coat the salad evenly.

To plate, stack the leaves from largest to smallest, making sure to include the vegetables and  basil.

Recipe by Brian Huston





Pasta alla Gricia

A 15 minute dinner from beginning to end with few ingredients — super delicious and so easy to make.   Be sure to save a cup of the water you cook the pasta in.  I’m straight up licking every drop off my fingers, it’s that good.


Kosher salt, to taste

1 pound spaghetti

1 tablespoon olive oil

7 ounces guanciale, cut into 1½-by-½-inch strips.  I can’t ever find guanciale in the third world country of Silicon Valley, so I buy 4 slices of pancetta at the deli counter and ask them to cut it in about 1/4″ slices.

½ cup white wine

1 cup grated Pecorino Romano, plus more for garnish

a pinch of red pepper flakes, or to taste

2 tablespoons minced parsley

Freshly ground pepper, to taste


1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Season the water with salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 9 to 11 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. DON’T FORGET THE WATER!!!

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the guanciale and cook, turning often, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Add the white wine and red pepper flakes, and cook until slightly reduced, 2 minutes. Pour in the reserved 1 cup of cooking liquid and bring to a simmer.

4. Add the pasta and the grated cheese and toss to coat. Cook, stirring vigorously, until a thick, silky sauce forms, 2 to 3 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Divide the pasta between plates and garnish with the minced parsley and more grated cheese and freshly ground black pepper, and eat it up!

From Tasting Table

Lemony Cacio e Pepe e Pancetta e Limone e Arugula


Super fast to make AND contains all the major food groups:  pancetta, pasta, cheese and garlic, and lemon and arugula which are good for you.

From my new cookbook by my new best friend, Chrissy Teigen (shhhhh — she doesn’t know it yet)!


Kosher salt
12 ounces dried spaghetti
1/4 pound (about 3/4 cup) pancetta or bacon, finely diced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons (about 4 big cloves) minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
2 cups baby arugula

and don’t forget to save a cup of pasta water!


  1. In a large pot of heavily salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti to al dente according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water (it comes in handy), then drain the pasta.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the pancetta over medium-high heat until crisped, 7 to 9 minutes. Add the olive oil, then add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and black pepper and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the lemon juice to the skillet, then toss in the drained pasta and toss to coat. Add the Parm and toss, adding the pasta water, a couple of tablespoons at a time, just to help the cheese coat the pasta–plus it makes the sauce silky and . . . unctuous (is that word?). Add the arugula and toss until it wilts, about 1 minute. Season to taste with additional salt, lots of black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Serve with more Parm.

As Chrissy and I like to say to each other:  This is the best — like go-to-sleep-grinning because what we just made was just so painfully, achingly incredible!!

Marcela Hazan’s Bolognese Sauce

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A long lazy Sunday with this braising slowly on the stove.  So worth the wait!


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons butterplus 1 tablespoon for tossing the pasta
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  •  cup chopped celery
  •  cup chopped carrot
  • ¾ pound ground beef chuck (or you can use 1 part pork to 2 parts beef)
  •  Salt
  •  Black pepper, ground fresh from the mill
  • 1 cup whole milk
  •  Whole nutmeg
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 ½ cups canned imported Italian plum tomatoes, cut up, with their juice
  • 1 ¼ to 1 ½ pounds pasta (used pappardelle)
  •  Freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese at the table


  1. Put the oil, butter and chopped onion in the pot and turn the heat on to medium. Cook and stir the onion until it has become translucent, then add the chopped celery and carrot. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring vegetables to coat them well.
  2. Add ground beef, a large pinch of salt and a few grindings of pepper. Crumble the meat with a fork, stir well and cook until the beef has lost its raw, red color.
  3. Add milk and let it simmer gently, stirring frequently, until it has bubbled away completely. Add a tiny grating — about 1/8 teaspoon — of nutmeg, and stir.
  4. Add the wine, let it simmer until it has evaporated, then add the tomatoes and stir thoroughly to coat all ingredients well. When the tomatoes begin to bubble, turn the heat down so that the sauce cooks at the laziest of simmers, with just an intermittent bubble breaking through to the surface. Cook, uncovered, for 3 hours or more, stirring from time to time. While the sauce is cooking, you are likely to find that it begins to dry out and the fat separates from the meat. To keep it from sticking, add 1/2 cup of water whenever necessary. At the end, however, no water at all must be left and the fat must separate from the sauce. Taste and correct for salt.
  5. Toss with cooked drained pasta, adding the tablespoon of butter, and serve with freshly grated Parmesan on the side.

Winter Salsa


This summer I cooked some delicious Mexican food with my friends Hector and Julio.  We made a bunch of tamales, short rib tacos, chicken with an incredible mole, rice . . . what DIDN’T we make?!  And we made a bunch of yummy salsas.  From that party emerged Culo de Fuego — A couple times a month, we make two salsas and share them at brunch at work.   We’ve had tomatillo avocado salsa, habanero salsa, corn and black bean salsa, a smoky chipotle salsa, salsa fresca, queso — pomegranate –cucumber, and I can’t think of what else.   It’s been delicious and fun and mind opening.

I am not a fan of winter tomatoes, so I tend to avoid salsas  that contain them, but I was so hungry for a tomato salsa for shrimp tacos the other night that I decided to make one from canned fire roasted tomatoes — it. was. AWESOME.  I use canned marzano tomatoes all year round for Italian sauces — why not Mexican?  Super fast — super delish.

  • 2 14 ounce cans fire-roasted canned tomatoes puréed
  • ½ cup roasted red pepper (jarred), packed
  • 1 4-ounce can green chiles (these are not spicy, just add great flavor)
  • ½ small red onion, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro (leaves and stems), packed
  • 6 medium green (spring) onions, cut in two inch pieces
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1-2 small jalapeños, seeded (if you like a spicier flavor, leaves the seeds in)
  • 1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar (I just like the taste)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  1. Drain the tomatoes, reserving the juice.
  2. Combine all ingredients except reserved tomato juice in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse on and off until all ingredients are finely chopped and salsa is desired consistency. I like it a bit chunky, but if you like a smoother salsa, just keep pulsing. If you like a thinner salsa, add a small amount of the reserved tomato juice and pulse one more time.
  3. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve with chips, tacos, or just drink it!

Carrots and Green Beans with Chardonnay Sauce

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I made this at both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners this year.  Pretty to look at and delicious to eat — make it in stages:  the day before cut, parboil, and shock veggies; the morning of your dinner, toast the breadcrumbs;  an hour before eating, make the sauce.

5 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 cups coarse fresh breadcrumbs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 14-oz. bag frozen pearl onions
Kosher salt
1 lb. green beans, trimmed
1 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks about 1/4 inch thick and 4 inches long
2 cups Chardonnay, preferably unoaked or lightly oaked
1 Tbs. honey
Freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbs. white or black truffle oil
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped if large
Flaky sea salt, for serving (optional)
Melt 3 Tbs. of the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs, season with salt and pepper, and stir to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown and chewy-crisp, 7 to 9 minutes. Cool completely. (The breadcrumbs can be made several hours ahead.)

Melt the remaining 2 Tbs. butter in a 5- to 6-quart heavy-duty pot, such as a Dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until thawed and well browned in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl. Do not wipe out the pot.

In the same pot, bring 4 cups water and 1/2 tsp. salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the green beans, cover with the lid ajar, and boil until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to the serving bowl.

Add the carrots to the same water, cover with the lid ajar, and boil until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer to the serving bowl.

Continue to boil the liquid in the pot until reduced to 1/2 cup, 25 to 30 minutes.

Add the wine and honey to the reduction and boil until reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 20 minutes. Stir in 2 Tbs. of the truffle oil. Add the vegetables and cook, tossing gently, until heated through and coated with the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Chop the parsley and toss it with the breadcrumbs. Serve the vegetables topped with the breadcrumbs and drizzled with the remaining 1 Tbs. truffle oil. Serve garnished with sea salt, if you like.

Make Ahead Tips
The vegetables can be cooked and the cooking liquid reduced up to 1 day ahead (do not add the wine and honey to the reduction yet). Refrigerate the vegetables and reduction separately.

The breadcrumbs can be toasted several hours ahead.

A Ciao Mein Confession

I don’t eat at fast food restaurants very often at all — an occasional hamburger at In n Out, and in the summer, I’ll swing by Wendy’s once in a great while for a chocolate frosty.  BUT (here’s the confession part) I do find myself at Panda Express once a month for some ciao mein.  I splurge on orange chicken  maybe twice a year, but mostly I pick up two containers of the ciao mein — one for dinner — and one for a couple of lunches, and I’m in junk food heaven.



But tonight, I’m so happy!  I made that ciao mein myself, and even made it a tiny bit better by adding some ground pork (sorry, Mary) to it, and it’s delicious and umami-y and doesn’t have as much  oil as the Panda Express version.  You want quick and easy and super delicious vegie ciao men?  DONE SON!!!!!

Here’s how.


1 package ciao mein noodles (not the refrigerated kind). Cook these in boiling water for a couple of minutes, then drain and rinse in cool water.

1/2 lb. ground pork (optional), sautéed until cooked through.

3 T. oil (I used peanut oil)
1/2 yellow onion, sliced thinly
8 oz. cabbage, sliced
2 oz. celery, sliced thinly
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce

Slice the onion, cabbage and celery.  Add the oil to a hot pan–I used a cast iron skillet on medium high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the veggies and let cook for a couple of minutes until they start to caramelize.

Add the cooked noodles and toss together, then add the soy sauce and oyster sauce and mix noodles and sauces well — I added a couple of tablespoons of water because it seemed a little thick. Toss with the ground pork if you’re using it. Break out the takeout box. Total time — 12 minutes.

That’s it. Welcome to the home version of Panda Express Ciao Mein, but seriously, use better chopsticks than their cruddy ones.