Our Sip Snap Savor dinner in Columbia Heights actually started at the D.C. Downtown Farmers Market for supplies. We met David and his girlfriend, Addar, along with my friend David Turley on 8th and E street on a sunny Thursday Afternoon.
This was the first time I’d ever shopped with a Sip Snap Savor dinner host. It was really weird to just follow someone around and not give into my urges to buy EVERYTHING. I did pick up some Stony Man Cheese from Everona Dairy in Virginia.
“David? Oh, I saw him in the corner eating beef jerky. He’s behind the Chris Market Crab Cake tent.”
When I found David Turley again we all went and examined the mushrooms at the booth next door. Row upon row of maiake’s, morels, royal trumpets, pom pom’s, beech’s, shiitake and bear head ‘shrooms. Perfect ingrediants for Udon.
David and Addar also picked up Black Orchard fuji apples, because “These are much sweeter!” At sunset, we parted ways, for a few hours. David and Addar set off for home – cloth bags full of good stuff.
When we met up again at David’s home in Columbia Heights the kitchen was a flurry of action and motion and whirls of colors. Peppers were being diced, oil was sizzling, noodles were soaking, music was playing, people were stirring.
There was a real interest in the ingredients. Genuine. People were constantly referring to a printed out recipe and then changing the recipe instructions to fit their needs and wants for texture, flavor and look of their beloved ingredients.
At the end we cheers’d all the hard work with Torrontes wine from Argentina. Each mouthful perfectly balanced with a harmony of colors and taste.
Like many Japanese noodles, udon noodles are often served chilled in the summer and hot in the winter. Toppings are chosen to reflect the seasons and to balance with other ingredients. Most toppings are added without much cooking, although some are deep-fried. Many of these dishes may also be prepared with soba.
1. Unwrap a package of Frozen Udon noodles and put in a pot of boiling water for 4-6 minutes until soft and cooked. Drain noodles and set aside.
2. Saute in a large saucepan: 1 Head of Kale – sliced; 2-3 medium carrots – diced; 1 package firm tofu – cubed; 8 ounces shiitake and crimini mushrooms – sliced; 2 Tsp. ginger – minced; 4 Tblsp soy sauce; 1 1/2 Tblsp honey.
Start with the Mushrooms, Carrots and Ginger. When softened (about 4 minutes) begin adding remaining* ingredients. If your saucepan is overflowing add ingredients in 2 minute intervals to allow for bulk to reduce down and create more space in the pan.
*Combine soy sauce and honey in a bowl and whisk together before adding to saucepan. If you like your kale to be crisper in texture, add it into the saute at the same time you add noodles in step 5.
3. Add 3 cups chicken or beef broth to sauce pan; simmer 10-12 minutes.
4. Add 12 ounces of top round beef, thinly sliced to broth and vegetables. Simmer additional 6-7 minutes.
5. When beef is no longer pink add Udon noodles. Spoon into bowls and garnish with green onions.