Decorating our little house has been a bit of a process. It had a lot of charm to start, but we knew that there were a few changes we'd want to make. Mainly, the wallpaper throughout. It had to go. It wasn't offensive in any way. In fact, it was all very sweet, including the pineapples covering our entryway and hallway. Cute... but it had to go.
When we first moved in, we had the living room and dining room painted. The living room paper turned out to be a bit of a challenge. When the painter tried to remove chunks of the wallpaper, the plaster started to come down with it. In the end, we had to have quarter inch wallboard put up throughout the room.
We were expecting the hallway to pose a similar challenge, but, thankfully, it was smooth sailing. As soon as I walked through the front door, I was elated. It didn't feel like we were coming into someone else's home. It was our home. Of course, there's still work to do. We have to decorate these newly painted walls. The process never seems to end.
While we had this work done, Eric and I spent a few days at my in-laws' house. I had some time to do a little cooking and came up with a few dishes to share here. The beet dip was one... these soba noodles was the other. We always have a few packages in our cabinet and they make for a wonderful weeknight meal. I find broccoli, especially when charred a bit, to have a wonderful sweetness to it. Mixed with the shiitakes and the bright dressing, there are a lot of bold flavors going on in this bowl.
Shiitake Mushroom and Broccoli Soba Noodles
Yields 4 servings
Ingredients 8 oz soba noodles 3 tablespoons butter 3/4 lb shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed 1 lb broccoli 1 teaspoon salt
For the dressing 1 garlic clove, minced 2 teaspoons minced ginger 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar 1/4 cup sesame oil 2 tablespoons soy sauce Juice of 1 lime 1 teaspoon red chili pepper
2 medium carrots, peeled and julienned Sesame seeds Scallion, chopped
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add soba noodles and cook for 8 minutes. Strain in colander and set aside.
2. Make the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
3. Cut broccoli florets into bite size pieces.
4. Set a large skillet over high heat. Add butter. Once the butter has melted, add shiitake mushrooms and broccoli florets and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the broccoli florets have begun to char.
5. Toss soba noodles with dressing. Transfer to serving bowls.
6. Top with sautéed mushrooms and broccoli. Add julienned carrot and sprinkle sesame seeds and chopped scallion on top.