The Chef: Katie Anderson

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From Staff Reports

The Chefs column highlights our local culinary masters. They share a recipe that has a lot of meaning to them and thankfully, how to make it. (Well at least most of it, sometimes secrets must remain that.) This month’s chef is …

Katie Anderson

I come from a long line of good southern cooks. And eaters. The love of cooking, and eating, is in my DNA.

Forgive my bragging, but several of my family members have recipes in church cookbooks all over the South. I’m quite proud and, honestly, where would we be without the church cookbook?

I learned to cook as a creative outlet, and as a way to show love. But what’s a home cook to do when we’re tired of chicken, my husband wants healthy, my daughter wants comfort, my son wants veggies, and I just want easy?

To get out of a recent rut, I turned to Asian flavors. I found some recipes that could make all of us happy.

I adapted a New York Times recipe for a spicy, savory noodle soup by cutting back on the sodium. Eat the noodles and then drink the warming broth. Veggie sushi rocks as a side, and is fun and easy to make with the kids. (Check out Oriental Marketplace at White Oak Shopping Center for supplies.)

Spicy Asian Noodle Soup

Asian Noodle Soup

(Makes 4 servings)
3 T olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 shallots, sliced
Pepper
8 oz (or more, you do you!) cremini mushrooms,
cut in bite-sized pieces
Jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
¼ c low sodium soy sauce
¼ c rice vinegar
4 c unsalted beef broth
4 c water
8 oz rice noodles or spaghetti
Fresh cilantro

Saute garlic and shallots with pepper in oil over medium heat, 3-4 minutes. Add half the jalapeno and all the mushrooms; cook for 10-12 minutes, until the mushrooms are browned.

Add soy sauce, vinegar, broth, and water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes.

Cook your noodles as instructed on the package. With tongs, put cooked noodles into the broth for 1-2 minutes.

To serve, place noodles and mushrooms in bowls. Ladle broth on top, and garnish with cilantro and jalapeno.

Veggie Sushi

Veggie Sushi

(Makes one roll)
Sushi nori wraps
Sticky sushi rice, cooked (I use microwaveable Annie Chun’s Sticky White Rice)
Rice vinegar
Red pepper, sliced into thin strips
Matchstick carrots
Cucumber, cut into short, thin sticks
½ Avocado, thinly sliced
Low sodium soy sauce

Place seaweed sheets on a bamboo sushi mat or wax paper.

Mix in a splash of vinegar in rice, if it doesn’t already have it.

With damp fingers, spread a layer of rice onto seaweed, leaving the top ¼ empty. Along the bottom inch or two of the seaweed, layer the red pepper, carrots, cucumber, and avocado on top of the rice. Tuck the veggies under as you roll the seaweed to make a roll. Cut gently in half with a serrated knife. Cut each half into 4 pieces, giving you 8 pieces. Dip in soy sauce and enjoy!.

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