The ‘I Need Healthy In My Life’ Grain Salad

This light & cleansing dish will set you back on track

The ‘I Need Healthy In My Life’ Grain Salad

This is a great good-for-what-ails-you one bowl dinner, perfect to get yourself back on track after a weekend of decadence.

Adapted from Radish and Pecan Grain Salad from Food 52

2c. mixed cooked farro, pearl barley and brown rice
1c. arugula
1c. parsley
1/2 c. fresh tarragon
1/2 lb. pecans, toasted and chopped
1/4 c. walnut oil
1/4 c. tarragon vinegar
1 c. radishes, sliced wafer thin
1/4 c. shallot, minced
1/4 c. olive oil

Set a large pot of salted water on to boil while you prepare the salad.

While the water is coming up to a boil or while the grains are cooking, mince the parsley, tarragon and shallot. Slice your radishes wafer thin.

When the water has come up to a boil, add the farro, pearl barley and brown rice. Cook until tender, 30 – 45 mins. If you’re worried about everything not cooking at the same time, cook big batches of each separately and freeze the leftovers in zipper bags for a quick weeknight meal base.

When the grains are done to your liking, drain into a colander and set aside to cool.

While the grains are cooling a bit, place your pecans into a dry pan over medium-high heat. Toast until fragrant and beginning to color. Remove from the heat and chop.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl of grains, toss, season to taste with salt & pepper and serve.

Serves 2 for dinner with enough leftover for lunch.

Faker Pot Roast

Beefy, Satisfying Goodness

This recipe takes leftovers from a pretty good dinner and transforms them into satisfying comfort food that won’t break the calorie bank.

Dinner 1: Slow-Cooker Chipotle Beef Tacos with Cabbage and Radish Slaw from Real Simple Magazine

This dinner was pretty good. The beef smelled great, but came out somehow lacking in the spice and smoke department. Don’t get me wrong, this beef was good — juicy, perfectly tender and all around a nice main component — it just wasn’t the ballsy spicy richness I half hoped it would be. It tasted more like a pot roast.

Which got me thinking….

Dinner 2: Faker Pot Roast

Mmmm…. pot roast. Pot roast is one of those dishes that picks you up, gives you a nice snuggly blanket, a soft place to sit and a nice book to read. Pot roast tucks you in. I remember as a kid opening the door to the house on cold winter nights and being buffeted by the wall of warm beefy goodness only pot roast that’s cooked all day in the Crock Pot can provide. Good times.

I wasn’t feeling making another haunch o’beast, so I decided to do the next best thing. I winged it with ingredients I had on hand.

Faker Pot Roast

This spin on pot roast transforms humble leftovers into a deeply satisfying super quick to throw together weeknight meal.

Leftover slow cooker chipotle beef, approximately 1 1/2 cup.
1 c beef broth
1/4 c. red wine
1 1/2 c. carrots, sliced into 1/4 inch thick coins
1 leek, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/4 inch thick moons
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 lb. egg noodles
1/4 c. chopped parsley
1 Tbsp. butter

Warm 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large high-sided pan over medium heat. Once the oil is up to temperature, add the leeks, onions, carrots, wine and broth. Sautee 5 mins.

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. Once the water is boiling, add the egg noodles. Cook to al dente according to package directions

Continue cooking veggies 10 minutes, or until the carrots are soft. If at any time things look too dry, add additional wine and/or stock.

About 2 minutes before cooking is finished, add the leftover beef. Stir to combine until the beef is warmed through. Add the noodles and toss to combine. Remove from the heat. Add the butter and parsley and stir to combine until the butter has melted.

Serves 2

Duck Tacos with Smoked Chipotle Sauce and Chickpeas

Mmmmmm….. Daffy

My debut recipe for this month’s Charcuetpalooza challenge, duck confit, was duck tacos. I couldn’t think of anything that would balance the ducky fattiness better than green apple, and what better way to get both to our mouths at once than a taco? Tacos are awesome!

A note about removing the duck from the fat: I’m completely sure I did this wrong. I had put the pot of confit in the fridge to set up and it didn’t dawn on me that cold fat is hard. Like, really hard. Bend your fork if you try to ice-chipper-the-duck-out-of-the-pot-with-it hard. So, I ended up gently heating the pot of confit on the stove and fishing the duck out of the warm fat. Be careful if you use this retrieval method. I then got the bright idea to switch the confit to smaller containers so I wouldn’t have to go through the same drama again, and ended up getting fat all over my kitchen. And on the dogs. So, tread carefully and it might not hurt to have a helper and/or funnel for pouring. It turns out, fat strewn about the kitchen isn’t the most pleasant thing in the world. The dogs were excited. Me, not so much.

Duck Tacos with Smoked Chipotle Sauce and Chickpeas

The tacos

2 legs confited duck
1/2 Granny Smith or other tart apple, julienned
Corn tortillas

In a pan over medium to medium-high heat, sautee your duck legs until the skin is nice and crispy. Beware sputtering fat. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.

Once the duck has cooled, carefully remove the skin and shred the meat with your fingers taco-sized.

Don’t get rid of that skin! chop it up fine and top the tacos with it. Trust me: y-u-m.

The chickpeas

2 roasted poblano peppers peeled, de-seeded & chopped
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 palm cumin
1 tsp. powdered garlic

When your duck is finished crisping, toss the chickpeas into the leftover fat. Watch your temperature; I added my chickpeas when the pan was on medium-high, and had exploded chickpeas all over my kitchen to go with the duck fat. You’re looking to cook the chickpeas over a hot enough temperature that they crisp up, but not so hot as to be dangerous. Or, if you’re like me, throw caution to the wind and burns be damned.

Once your chickpeas are looking nice and toasty, add the poblanos & spices. You’re looking to warm them, not burn them, so you will only need an additional minute or two on the heat.

The sauce
Adapted from Gluten Free Girl’s Smoked Paprika Chipotle Sauce

16 oz. jar light veganaise (you could sub regular mayo, but the thought made me queasy)
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
3 Tbsp. smoked sweet paprika
1/2 palm ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, peeled
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
2 big pinches salt

Combine all ingredients in a blender and let it run until fully combined. If the ingredients aren’t whizzing to your liking, add a splash of water to serve as blender lube. Taste. Add seasoning as needed.

Assembling your tacos

Depending upon the brand of tortillas you have purchased, you may need 2 tortillas per taco. We sure did. Assemble your tacos: duck on the bottom topped with a little sauce, some apple and finished off with duck skin was our preferred layering technique.

Serve with a side of chickpeas.

Fiesta Quinoa

Informed by a vague Mexican vibe, this lively (and healthy!) salad packs a nice kick

I didn’t tinker much with this recipe. The fresh healthy combo of Mexican-ish ingredients looked intriguing and I thought this dish would be just the thing to cure our recent string of ‘no taste dinners’ (at least so says my DH. I’ve been tinkering on my own for awhile and have been kind of stuck in an olive oil/garlic/parsley/Parmesan rut).

I did however, significantly up the spice quotient in my version of the recipe. The original called for timid half teaspoons; as we all know, I just can’t live with half a teaspoon. I estimate I actually used a little over a teaspoon of each spice in my final version. I went with the more reasonable doubling of the original spice for clarity purposes here.

A note on chipotle powder: Don’t be scared. This isn’t cayenne. Chipotle powder is mildly spicy and has a nice deep smokiness that works really well here. Sure you’re getting smokiness from the cumin, but the smokiness you get from chipotle powder is a little different and totally worth checking out if you have not already.

Fiesta Quinoa
Adapted from Spicy Black Bean and Quinoa Salad by lastnightsdinner on Food 52

1/2 c. quinoa
1 c. water
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. chipotle powder
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
3 scallions, sliced thin
2 roasted red peppers, chopped
1 15oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
Kosher salt

In a small pot, bring the quinoa and water to a boil. Cover and drop the heat to simmer. Simmer about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa coils release and the water has been absorbed.

While the quinoa is working, make the dressing. Whisk the lime juice, lime zest, big pinch salt, chili powder, chipotle powder and cumin. Stream in the olive oil and beat until a nice dressing forms.

Combine the cooked quinoa, beans, red peppers, scallions and cilantro in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss well to incorporate.

Serves 2 for dinner with enough left over for lunch.

Ketchup for Grownups

Mmmm….. Nope, no purple squeeze-bottle ketchup here

This sweet/tart/savory condiment is the LBD of condiments, pairing equally well dressed-down on top of a burger, dressed-up as the star in a quick weeknight sauce or dressed to the nines as the main performer on a toasted baguette. You’ll want to keep plenty on hand. This recipe makes enough to fill 3 pint jars: two for you, and one to give away to your nearest and dearest.

Ketchup for Grownups
Adapted from Sweet & Savory Tomato Jam from In Jennie’s Kitchen

3 1/2 lb. Roma tomatoes (or whatever looks the best that day), chopped roughly
1 onion, diced, about 1/2 c.
1/2 c. dark brown sugar (a slack half cup)
1/2 c. white sugar (a slack half cup)
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. coriander, ground
1 1/2 tsp. cumin, ground
1 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds, whole
1 1/2 tsp. hot paprika
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 c. Granny Smith apple, diced
1 c. water

Add all ingredients to a large pot over high heat. Bring up to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until thick and jam-like, about 3 hours. Transfer to sterilized jars and stash in the fridge for up to two weeks, or break out your favorite canning rig and can, making sure to boil for 15 minutes.

Serve slathered on a burger; with simple ricotta, burrata or goat cheese on a toasted baguette; as a topper for chicken; mixed into a nice big bowl of grains or pasta; with grits, greens & smoky bacon; or on crackers with cream cheese for a late night snack.

Makes 3 pint jars.

Israeli Lentil, Leek and Onion Salad with Spice Spiked Yogurt

There’s something magical about the combination of lentils, leeks, butter and sweet nutty maillard that’s intoxicating in this dish

This dish makes a wholly satisfying weeknight meal with tons of flavor and texture. Don’t skimp on the yogurt sauce when making this meal. The buttery, nutty lentil salad is intoxicating on its own, but the yogurt adds a nice little spicy counterpoint to the rich butteryness and should not be missed.

Israeli Lentil, Leek and Onion Salad with Spice Spiked Yogurt
Adapted from Mujaddara with Spiced Yogurt from Food 52


3/4 c. green lentils
1 c. long grain white rice
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 leek, washed, halved and thinly sliced

Yogurt Sauce

1/2 c. plain fat free Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. spicy Hungarian paprika
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
Juice and zest of half a lemon

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

While the oven is going, start your lentils. Combine lentils, big pinch salt and 4 cups water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil. Once your pot is up to the boil, kick the heat back and simmer the lentils until they are cooked but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Drain and add to a large bowl.

While your lentils are going, combine the rice, another big pinch of salt and 1 1/2 cups water in an oven-safe pot on medium heat.  Bring up to a boil. Once the water reaches a boil, cover and transfer the whole pot to the oven. Cook for 17 minutes until the rice is cooked. Remove from the oven, uncover and fluff with a fork. I didn’t think this cooking method would work either, but the geniuses at Food 52 were right and it went off without a hitch. Add the rice to the lentil bowl.

While all this is cooking, set your largest sautee pan over medium low heat. Add the butter and 2 Tbsp. olive oil. When that has melted down, add the leeks and onions and toss to coat. Cook gently for 5 minutes or until the mixture has softened slightly and begun to release its liquid. Kick the heat up to medium and cook, stirring occasionally and adding dashes of water if things start to stick, until the onions and leeks are well browned. This will take you 12-20 minutes, depending upon your pan and the day. You’re not looking for burnt here, just a nice deep brown nuttiness. Once the mixture is looking good, add the last Tbsp. olive oil and crank the heat to high. Cook 3-4 minutes until the bottom layer gets a little char. Still not burnt, but crispy.

Add to the lentil & rice bowl and let sit 15 minutes to allow the flavors a chance to get to know each other.

While the ingredients are mingling, combine all yogurt ingredients together and stir.

To serve, scoop servings of lentils into a bowl and top with a dollop of yogurt.

This recipe makes enough for 2 for dinner and lunch the next day (and its perhaps even better the next day, too).

Scarpett-ish Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce


We recently ate at Scott Conant’s ode to Italian fine dining, Scarpetta, and although neither of us are fully on board with true serving and a half sized vegetarian spaghetti for $23 a plate, it was damn tasty nonetheless. We went into the dinner wanting to find fault, too, since Conant can come off as bristly and derisive to say the least when he judges on Chopped (one of our favorite shows). See our full Scarpetta review on Foodie In Miami .

So, we ate there, and predictably fell in love with the pasta sauce (it seems everyone has the same reaction to this sauce, too). And, in a providential all-things-are-connected-on-the-Internet twist, it just so happens Deb & Alex from Smitten Kitchen had recently visited Conant’s NYC location and determined the very same thing at nearly the same time. We (mostly) followed their recipe for this first foray, and found it a worthy sauce, but not quite up to the Scarpetta standard. Something is missing, and I can’t quite put my finger on it just yet. I’m sure the restaurant uses more butter than we did, and maybe that’s all it takes to get the velvety creaminess they achieved. I can’t help but think there was a wallop of cream hidden in there somewhere, though. We shall see in future iterations.

Scarpett-ish Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce

A note on pasta: We used bucatini, a spaghetti-shaped pasta with a hole in the middle and cooked it to just barley al dente. Conant would approve. The bucatini holds up perfectly with its little hole, which holds small bits of saucy goodness for extra taste with every bite. If you cannot find bucatini, you can certainly use spaghetti, but I would lean more toward using something with some ridges or a hole so the sauce can cling to each and every bite.

Based on Smitten Kitchen’s Naked Tomato Sauce

28 oz. can San Marzano tomatoes, squished over a strainer to become seedless
Big pinch Kosher salt
1 large garlic clove sliced wafer thin
Big pinch red pepper flakes
A small handful of fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
1/4 c. olive oil
12 oz. dried bucatini
1 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Pour the tomatoes and salt into pot (large enough to accommodate the tomatoes with some room left over to toss the pasta) over medium-high heat. With a potato masher, break the tomatoes down until you reach the desired consistency. For us, that was somewhat chunky but mostly on the smooth side. Bring up to a boil, then knock the heat back until the pot is just barely simmering.

Gently simmer 35-45 minutes, adding a splash of water if things look too dry in the pan.

While your pot is simmering away, combine the garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil and about half of the basil in a small pan over the lowest heat setting. Gently bring the oil up to a simmer (don’t raise the heat), and strain into a small dish. Set aside.

After the sauce has been simmering about 25 minutes, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a palm full of salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (when it’s still firm to the tooth, aka could use another minute or two on the heat) and drain, reserving half a cup of the pasta water.

Once the sauce reaches the consistency you like, stir in the olive oil and adjust seasonings to taste. Add the pasta along with half the pasta water to the sauce and toss together, cooking for another minute or so. If things look dry, add the rest of the pasta water. Add the butter and remaining basil; serve immediately.

Serves 2, a reasonable amount and perfectly fine for a nice dinner

Garlicky Lentils – The Perfect Foil For Pork

Don’t worry about the amount of garlic in this dish. My DH saw that it called for a whopping 12 cloves of garlic and was immediately concerned that I would be up for days with heart burn. Not so. cooking the garlic until crisp gives it a deep nuttiness and takes the burn right out. Yum. This dish makes the perfect foil for pork. We served alongside this month’s Charcuteapalooza challenge, pork terrine.

The perfect fall foil for pork – garlicky, nutty and just bright enough to cut through fat from the mustard and apple

Garlicky Lentils

Adapted from Salata Adas from Saveur Magazine

1 cup green lentils
6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
12 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. minced parsley
1 Tbsp. minced mint
1/2 Granny Smith apple, minced
Salt & pepper

In a medium pan over high heat, bring the lentils and 3 cups water up to a boil. Reduce heat to medium- low and simmer until lentils are tender (about 35 minutes). Set aside, draining if lots of excess water.

Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until nicely browned and crisp but not burned, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the remaining oil, lemon juice, cumin, allspice and mustard. Pour this mixture over the lentils. Add the parsley, mint and apple and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

This dish makes enough for two hearty side dishes and lunch the next day.

Black Beans Cubano

Mmmmm… Multi-purpose beany goodness…

This is one of those simple go-to staples that takes a little bit of planning, but is well worth the effort. Simmer a simple pound of beans on a lazy Sunday morning, and eat all week. Sure, you could just eat black beans out of the can as desired, but home made beans come alive with the spices (and smoke) you’ve added, lending a touch of homeyness to meals throughout the week (or even beyond — they keep really well).

There is a reason cultures throughout the Caribbean and South America subsist largely on beans… beans are not only inexpensive, they are nutritional powerhouses and can help stretch your food budget dollars a long, long way. Have I mentioned beans are darn tasty, too?

Uses for leftover beans:

  • Stand-alone as a satisfying soup
  • Added to tacos, nachos, quesadillas or burritos to stretch your meat portions
  • Mashed up and made into veggie burgers
  • Tossed with veggies and pretty much anything else you have on hand to make a bean or taco salad
  • Used to bulk up a pasta dish
  • Used as an added protein hit for any grain-based meal
  • Eaten simply with rolls for sopping up the extra juice

Black Beans Cubano

This dish made a light and satisfying summer week night meal, with enough beans left over for mango salsa and bean tacos for lunch the next day, a big bowl of black bean soup the day after that and a big bowl of beans with sopping bread the day after that. Yay, multi-purpose ingredients. I really could have stretched my beans even further, but I was out of almost everything else in the pantry when lunch rolled around.

Basic Beans
These beans can be made a million different ways, with any bean you happen to have on hand. This is that simple and versatile a recipe.

1 lb. dried black beans (or any other bean)
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 ham hock or other smoked meat (smoked turkey works great here)
1/2 bunch cilantro

The night before you want to cook the beans, put into a vessel of some sort (making sure to pick over for rocks or other undesirable package inclusions) and cover with water. Soak for 8 hours or overnight on the stove or counter top. Do not place the beans in the fridge, or they will get tough.

Drain the beans and add to a medium pot. Add the onion, garlic, ham hock, cilantro and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, cover, and knock the heat back to a simmer. Simmer for 2 1/2 hours or until tender. After the beans are tender, remove the garlic and cilantro and season to taste.

Coconut Rice
Adapted from Saveur Magazine’s Coconut Brown Rice. This rice is simple, light and tastes of warm nights and island breezes.

1″ knob of fresh ginger, peeled and whacked with the back of a knife until it breaks up a bit and begins to let off some juices
1 cup rice (our favorite is long grain brown rice, though your favorite rice will do, just adjust the cooking time accordingly)
3/4 c. light coconut milk
3/4 c. water
pinch salt

Rinse the rice and add to a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the coconut milk, water, salt and ginger. Stir to combine, making sure the ginger is fully submerged. Bring up to a boil, stirring frequently, cover, and kick the heat back to a simmer. Simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 45 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and let sit 10 minutes. Remove any large pieces of ginger you run across. Taste for seasoning and add as necessary.

Mango Salsa
This style of salsa is a Miami staple during high mango season, and makes a great addition to any dish you’d like to inject a sunshiny brightness to. Serve the leftovers in tacos, mixed into a cold rice salad, or spooned over your favorite meat. Tastes even better the next day.

1/2 c. chopped cilantro
1 mango, peeled & chopped
1 jalapeño, chopped (de-seeded if you want less spicy, seeded if you like a big spice kick)
1/4 c. diced red onion
1 lime, juiced

Combine all ingredients and season to taste. Use to bring a bright summery finish to any dish.

Ramen with Kickass Broth, Fresh Bacon and Mousseline “Scallop”

So. Frickin. Good.

This dish was intended to be a showstopper. Picture it: Miami, 2011. A group of 40 seasoned foodies gathered on a sweltering late July Saturday in a Midtown penthouse with sweeping views for a potluck promising gastronomic delights. A XX-something year-old me with my Darling Dedicated Husband sous, bustling around to make sure our dish turns out right.

I’m happy to say that my two weeks of freaking out trying to make sure our dish not only fit the ‘avant garde’ theme of the potluck, but was damn tasty, paid off. The dish was a smash success and avant garde enough to wow. Go, me. I even managed to make 40 servings that were just the right size — a little cup full — so no one was completely stuffed after eating it. More on the potluck.

This recipe is not a quick cook by a long shot and the broth makes a big batch. Freeze the leftovers in quart freezer bags to pull out and thaw as necessary. Although it takes a long time to cook, this broth is totally worth it. Definitely the best broth I have ever made by far.

So nice, I just had to take another shot of that scallop

Ramen with Kickass Broth, Fresh Bacon and Mousseline “Scallop”

Don’t be afraid of the long ingredient list. This dish, while not quick, is well worth the extra effort. Makes a great showstopper for company, and the extras can be dressed up in a million different ways.

1.5 lbs. scallops
1.5 lbs. crab (I used 8 ounces claw meat and 16 ounces lump meat)
3 large egg whites
1 1/4 c. heavy cream
5 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. white pepper
Juice of half a lemon
2 oz. Wakame seaweed
1 1/4 gallons water (16 cups)
1 1/2 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms, ground into as fine a powder as you can get them
5 pounds chicken wings and necks
1/2 pound chicken wings
1/2 cup sake
1/2 cup mirin
1 cup usukuchi (light) soy
1/3 pound double-smoked bacon
Ramen noodles

Enough house bacon to make a nice garnish, sliced into small batons and fried
Finely diced chives (optional, for garnish)
Finely diced red jalapeños (optional, for garnish)

Mousseline “Scallop”

Mousseline “Scallops”

This recipe is adapted from Michael Ruhlman’s Maryland Crab, Scallop and Saffron Terrine from Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing

1.5 lbs. scallops
1.5 lbs. crab (I used 8 ounces claw meat and 16 ounces lump meat)
3 large egg whites
1 1/4 c. heavy cream
5 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. white pepper
Juice of half a lemon

About half an hour before you want to start making your mousseline, put the bowl of a large food processor, the blades, and another large bowl in the freezer.

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.

In the food processor (out of the freezer), puree the scallops and egg whites until smooth. With the motor running, add the cream, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Blend to combine.

Dump the crab into your chilled bowl, picking through the meat to ensure there are no shells.

Fold your mixture into the crab and set in the fridge to chill while you prepare the terrine.

To make a quick & dirty terrine, take two small disposable aluminum meatloaf pans and line them with enough plastic wrap to completely cover the bottom and sides and fold over the top. Wetting the
pans slightly before placing the plastic wrap will help the plastic wrap stick in the corners.

Gently fill your terrines – this recipe makes enough to just about fill two of the meatloaf pans, or one large bread pan. Fold the ends of the plastic wrap up on the top and cover with tinfoil.

Place in a large roasting pan, and add hot water halfway up the sides of the terrines to make a water bath.

Bake until a thermometer inserted in the center reads 140 degrees F.

While your mousseline is baking, prepare the terrine “lids”. Cut cardboard (I used the container from a 12 pack of pop) so it fits as snugly as you can get it in the meatloaf pans. Make sure the edges of the “lid” aren’t getting hung up on the inner lip of the terrine. Cover with tinfoil and set aside.

When your mousseline has reached 140 degrees, pull from the oven and remove from the water bath. Cool and add your terrine “lids”. Weight both (I used 2 15-ounce cans of beans for each terrine) and chill in the refrigerator overnight.

To make the “scallops”, unmold each terrine and cut into 8 equal pieces widthwise. Use either a very small round cookie cutter or a film canister with the end snipped off (I’ll give you one guess as to which method I used) to carefully punch out your scallops. This quantity makes 40-something small scallops, with enough scraps leftover to completely fill a quart freezer bag.

Kickass Broth
Adapted from David Chang’s Ramen Broth 2.0 from Lucky Peach Volume 1

2 oz. Wakame seaweed
1 1/4 gallons water (16 cups)
1 1/2 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms, ground into as fine a powder as you can get them
5 pounds chicken wings and necks

Kickass Broth Seasoning
Adapted from David Chang’s Tare 2.0 from Lucky Peach Volume 1

1/2 pound chicken wings
1/2 cup sake
1/2 cup mirin
1 cup usukuchi (light) soy
1/3 pound double-smoked bacon
Make The Broth

Heat the water in your largest stock pot to 150 degrees F. Add the seaweed, turn off the heat, and let steep 1 hour.

Fish out the seaweed and discard. Add the chicken and bring to a simmer. Simmer 15 minutes and scrape off any chicken scum that has risen to the top. Add the mushrooms and kick the heat down until the pot is very gently simmering. You’re looking for an occasional lazy bubble to rise to the top. Simmer gently for 5 hours, checking every once in awhile to make sure you’re neither too cold or too hot.

Strain and chill. For a more refined stock, strain, chill and remove the fat that solidifies on the top.

Make The Seasoning

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F. Place the chicken wings in an oven-safe pot or steep-sided pan that is large enough to hold them without overlapping. Roast 5 minutes just to get the fat to start rendering out.

Crank the heat to 400 degrees. Cook, flipping occasionally, until the chicken is deeply mahogany–you’re not going for burnt, but the more color on the chicken = the better the resulting taste. This process took me around 40 minutes.

Remove the chicken and deglaze with the sake, scraping the browned bits of lovely goodness off the bottom of the pan. Set the pan over medium-high heat, and add the remaining ingredients (including the chicken).

After your mixture comes to a simmer, kick the heat back until you have the barest of simmers going. You’re not looking to reduce the liquid, just infuse it. Keep at a bare simmer for an hour and a half.

Strain and chill. Skim the fat that rises to the top.

If you’re feeling really froggy, you can save that fat to use as a topper for your ramen. Conversely, if you’re feeling really rushed for time, you can skip the skimming step and all will be well.

Finish The Broth

Season the broth with seasoning sauce until it tastes perfect to you. You may need additional salt or some heat, you may not. We added all of the seasoning sauce to the whole batch of broth and the taste came out perfect. And there you have it, a whole big pot of fabulous, rich, flavorful broth.

Cook The Noodles

Cook noodles according to package directions. Rinse in cold water to stop them from clumping and divide into your serving bowls.

Assemble The Dish

Add broth to your noodles until only a small island of noodle is left peeking out. Top the small island with a mousseline scallop, garnish with fresh bacon, chopped chives and jalapeños.

Stand back and enjoy a dish well done.