Last Year's Post: Tomato Soup and grilled Cheese - All Grown Up
Two Years Ago: Greek Shrimp and Orzo
Ramen make a great base for any number of different noodle bowls - I particularly like them with leftovers as a clear-out-the-refrigerator dinner. Garnished with soy sauce or sriracha, they're an easy and interesting way to use up bits and pieces. Here's another idea for ramen, this time served with deeply caramelized broccoli, tender chicken and savory mushrooms in a sour cream-based sauce. It's very flavorful and the caramelized broccoli lends a nutty flavor. Everything (except the noodles) is cooked in the same pan which streamlines clean-up too.
The key to caramelizing broccoli is to cut each floret in half, so they have a flat side. They're placed flat-side-down in the pan for even browning, then covered and steamed until tender. The mushrooms are browned after the broccoli is done, then finally the chicken and onions are cooked. Everything is stirred together with the noodles, sour cream and spice mix for a very easy and very tasty dish.
Chicken and Caramelized Broccoli Ramen
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces broccoli florets (about 1 crown)
½ cup water
8 ounces fresh button, shiitake or cremini mushrooms, sliced
6 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 3-ounce packages of chicken-flavored ramen noodles
8 ounces light sour cream
In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the noodles (reserving the seasoning packets) and boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain.
Meanwhile, cut each of the broccoli florets in half lengthwise. To a large frying pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the broccoli pieces, cut side down. Cook until richly browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes, checking occasionally for brownness. Add the water, cover and turn to medium-low. Cook until the broccoli is just tender and the water has almost evaporated, about 6-7 minutes. Remove the broccoli and set aside.
Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and return to medium heat. Add the mushrooms in a single layer and cook until tender and lightly golden, 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the mushrooms and set aside.
Add the third tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and set over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for one minute, then add the chicken pieces and sauté until lightly browned and cooked through.
Mix the sour cream with the two reserved seasoning packets. Toss noodles with the mixture, then add the broccoli, mushrooms, onion and chicken. Let the mixture rest for a few minutes to blend and absorb, then toss again and serve.