Saucy Giveaway

The first meal my husband and I cooked together was a stir-fry. Both he and I were unfamiliar with cooking (he more-so than me, but not by much!), so throwing together some vegetables, chicken, and rice in a sautée pan with sauce was a big deal for us. We proudly took a picture of our meal, and enjoyed it on plastic plates in our pseudo dining room.

Fast forward about three years, and while my cooking has become much more adventurous, every now and then we just need a quality stir-fry in our life. So, when I was contacted about receiving some House of Tsang sauces, I obviously jumped at the offer. I’ve actually used some of their sauces before, and they are good. Last night I made Chicken Sriracha Meatballs using this recipe, and paired it with noodles drenched in House of Tsang’s Padnag Peanut Sauce – it was a perfect compliment to the dish! The company included quite a few other sauces I’m looking forward to trying, as well as a set of awesome chopsticks from this site! Since my husband and I didn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day on Tuesday (well, we went for a run together), we’re planning to do homemade sushi this weekend. These goodies will definitely come in handy!

House of Tsang has so generously offered to send a lucky Foodosaurus Rex reader the same package! What’s included, you ask?:
-House of Tsang® Bangkok Padang Peanut Sauce
-House of Tsang® General Tsao Sauce
-House of Tsang® Ginger Flavored Soy Sauce
-House of Tsang® Sesame Seed Oil
-House of Tsang® Sweet & Sour Stir Fry Sauce
-House of Tsang® Hibachi Grill Sauce Kobe Steak
-Specialty Chopstick Gift Set

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment telling me your favorite stir-fry ingredients (I’m partial to some crispy tofu!). For an extra entry, go “like” House of Tsang on Facebook and leave a comment telling me you did so!

You have until Sunday 2/19 at 9pm EST to enter!

Spicy Eggplant Stir-Fry

I’ve been on a bit of an eggplant kick lately, and factored it in to last week’s meals again. I had every intention of making some breaded and fried eggplant to go along side some simple pasta earlier in the week, but the hectic work-week took over, and it was left for Saturday night. The eggplant was on it’s way out, but after doing so research I learned it would still be okay to eat, just possibly bitter. I made sure to cook it a little longer than I normally would have to hopefully cook out the bitter flavor, and instead of breading and frying it, chopped it up and made a stir fry of sorts.

I wasn’t completely sure what I was doing, so I kind of just threw some ingredients together. I don’t have any type of fish or oyster sauce, but I did have some Worcestershire sauce, so I figured that would have to work instead. The entire recipe only took about 15-2o minutes to make from start to finish, which was perfect considering I had spent 4+ hours reading and doing homework that day. Who would have thought online grad school would be so time consuming?! (Oh right, I knew that). One of these days I’ll have the time to bread and fry up some nice eggplant slices. But until then, I’ll keep throwing it into a stir-fry of sorts!

Spicy Eggplant Stir-Fry
– Serves 2 –

1 medium sized eggplant, peeled and cubed
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 Tbsp oil
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (or Oyster sauce)
1 Tbsp hot chili sesame oil
2 Tbsp red chili paste
1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
Your favorite noodles (pad thai, soba, lo mein, etc.) or rice

1.  Heat wok or skillet over medium high heat with oil. Add eggplant and sauté 5-10 minutes, until tender and heated through. Remove from heat (place in a separate bowl).
2. Cook noodles or rice according to package
3. Add onion and pepper, and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, and sauté for an additional 2-4 minutes.
4.  Add eggplant back into mixture, and cook additional 3-5 minutes, making sure to combine everything well
5. Add cooked noodles, making sure to fully coat in the sauce and combining ingredients.

Spicy Peanut Baked Tofu

Tofu is a rather new concept to me, only incorporating it into dishes a handful of times. Since my fiancé isn’t wild about it, I usually keep it out of the mix. However, after receiving a ton (ok, not a ton, more like seven) cookbooks for Christmas, and a lot of them being vegetarian themed, I wanted to throw some tofu into the mix. I’ve also seen baked or broiled tofu featured on a lot of my favorite blogs, so I figured I’d give it a shot.

I remember the first time I bought tofu, I knew nothing about it – silk, firm, extra firm – what does it all mean?! I wound up buying silken tofu the first time, and it was pretty much useless for what I wanted to do with it. I eventually wised up, and pretty much only purchase extra firm, which is perfect for baking, broiling, or frying.

When I was at the store on Saturday, I found a very interesting peanut butter flavor – Peanut Butter & Co’s “The Heat is On.” Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like, the label boasts “peanut butter blended with fiery spices.” While I didn’t purchase it, it was definitely the inspiration for the spicy peanut baked tofu. It’s really easy, and paired with some stir-fry veggies, and maybe over rice or noodles, it’s the perfect weeknight dish. I had mine over noodles with veggies and the left over sauce to make it a full meal.

Spicy Peanut Baked Tofu

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
2 Tbsp (more or less, depending on desired spice level) Sriracha
8 oz. extra-firm tofu

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees
2. Press tofu for 15-20 minutes between two plates with a something heavy (I used a cookbook) on top, then cut into even cubes
3. While tofu is being pressed, mix all ingredients in a medium sized bowl until combined
4. Place tofu, a few cubes at a time, into the bowl of sauce, using a a spoon to make sure the tofu is evenly coated
5. Once tofu is coated, place it on a greased baking sheet (I like to put foil down and spray that)
6. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until browned on both sides with a little crisp

Snazzy Ramen Noodles

I found this particular recipe on one of the most visually appealing food blogs I follow in my quest for deliciousness. Not only are there yummy recipes, but just the presentation of each post is beautiful. So what is this site you may ask? Cheeky Kitchen!

The recipe itself is called $2 Chinese Noodles, and basically plays on the concept of a take-out type meal made on the cheap at home. As a former college student, I have come to love and embrace Ramen Noodles. I have no shame in declaring my love for them, so when a recipe uses them, I’m all about it! It’s a plentiful recipe, offering to easily feed 8! Since it’s just me and my fiancé, I cut the recipe down so that we could have our fill, but also bring some leftovers for lunch.

Per the usual, I had some modifications to the recipe. For starters, I couldn’t find plain old sesame oil at the store. Totally ridiculous, I know! But, I did find hot chili sesame oil. Since as you know I’m a spicy food fanatic, I thought this would be a perfect substitution. Oh, and it was! I have a bunch of ginger left over from the Crisp Noodle Cakes I made back in April. The store also didn’t have beef flavored Ramen, so I stuck to four packets of chicken. As for the veggies, I went with the Bird’s Eye green bean stir-fry mix. It had green beans, water chestnuts, red pepper, broccoli and carrot. Other than that, I stuck to the recipe.

The whole meal took about 15 minutes to make and of course only about 10 minutes to devour. I would absolutely make this again! It was a great way to snazz up the A-typical, super cheap Ramen Noodles I grew accustomed to in college. One might say they were the grown-up version, and I think that’s a type of growing up I’m more than okay with.

$2 Chinese Noodles
– Serves 8 –

3 packs Top Ramen, chicken flavor
3 packs Top Ramen, beef flavor
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 package frozen stir-fry veggies or chow mein medley
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, finely grated

1. Fill a very large pot with water and bring to a boil.
2. Remove flavor packets and add ramen noodles. Boil 2-3 minutes, or just until softened. Drain.
3. Return pot to hot stove, add sesame and olive oils. Add the garlic and ginger to the oils, allow cook for about 1 minute, then add veggies and flavor packs.
4. Once veggies have fully thawed, add hot noodles back into the pot. Stir carefully until noodles are well coated with oil mixture.
5. Serve immediately.

Happy (cheap) nomzing!