Friday, August 10, 2012

Midwest Chow Mein

Say What???

I know, the title is a little twisted. but, it's the closest thing to how I made a standard American-Chinese dish more mainstream Midwest. Up here in Northern Iowa, there aren't many Oriental restaurants to choose from and in the town where I live, pop., 2200, there are zip, zero, zilch. 

So when I get a craving for Asian American-Chinese food, fast, I have to adapt. Which is what I did when I came up with this dish. It can be made in a snap and will satisfy even the most picky person. All of my kids gobble it up whenever I make it. 
The beauty of this recipe is that it can be made with any variety of ground meat or TVP, even tofu, and the vegetables can be whatever you have in the freezer or canned ( I mean, come on...who doesn't eat corn). 

And, big bonus, IF.....operative word here, if there happen to be any leftovers, they are delicious cold as a salad. 

Which, unbelievably there was, so I also showed how I make my Hubs lunch for the next day.

Midwest Chow Mein Recipe*

1 lb. ground meat (any lean variety, I mostly use chicken)
3 pkg. Oriental Ramen (any flavor-whatever you have on hand)-broken up and seasoning packets set aside.
1 12-16 oz. pkg. of frozen Oriental vegetables or what ever you prefer
1 tbsp-freshly grated Ginger (opt.)
1 tbsp Sesame Oil
2 tbsp Reduced Sodium Soy or Tamari Sauce
Black Pepper to taste

In a large dutch oven or 6 qt. pot, thoroughly brown and crumble meat, sprinkling with one of the seasoning packets from the Ramen and adding the ginger if using. Pour in 3 cups of water and add the broken Ramen and the frozen vegetables. Cover and reduce heat to simmer and steam Ramen and vegetables, stirring occasionally. When noodles are tender and vegetables crisp tender, sprinkle with 1 or both of the remaining seasoning packets, Sesame Oil and Soy Sauce, and black pepper, stir to combine. Enjoy! This is also delicious over steamed white or brown rice. 

And in the event you have any leftover, I serve it cold the next day. For the Hubs I put a Sesame Ginger dressing in the bottom of a  container layered with lettuce and sesame seeds(I only had black) and then place the chilled leftovers on top. Delicious!!

*This recipe makes 4 generous servings, and can make more if served over rice, or by adding more Ramen or veggies, (just increase your water accordingly).