Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ajisen Ramen at Westfield San Francisco

The Asian in me L-O-V-E-S ramen.  I am not talking about cup-o-noodles or Top Ramen.  I am talking about real ramen.  The real Asian ramen.  The kind that old Japanese men are slaving over a hot stove over. 
That kind of ramen.  There is something about Japanese ramen that just hits the spot.  Something about that creamy broth, thin cut meat, and egg that just excites my heart. 

El Hubby and I love going to Ajisen Ramen at Westfield Mall in San Francisco.  We have been there a couple of times and it has never disappointed.  I know getting ramen from a mall food court sounds weird but trust me Ajisen Ramen is good.  Very good.

This last visit to the city we stopped by for lunch and I ordered the Ajisen Spicy Pork Ramen.  So yummy!  The broth is full of flavor and the noodles cooked just right.  For the price of food the portions are not too bad.  El Hubby usually finishes all of his and whatever I don't eat of mine.  We make a great eating team.  We ordered a appetizer of friend chicken too but it was gobbled up before I could get a picture. 

The place is pretty small so get there early.  If not just write your name down and head over to Sanrio across the way for some shopping to kill time.  Trust me you want to wait for this food.

Ajisen Ramen Noodle
Westfield San Francisco Center, #C-12 865 Market Street
San Francisco, CA94103
Monday - Saturday: 10:00am to 8:30pm
Sunday: 10:00am to 7:00pm

Khloe the pup only has 2 speeds: lazy and excited. 

Remember, the holidays are about giving and being thankful for what you have.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Spinach Artichoke Pasta

One of my favorite appetizers to get at a restaurant is spinach artichoke dip.  I know it goes straight to my thighs but oh it is so yummy.  So worth running a extra 2, 3, 4 ... 5 miles on the treadmill.  Okay wait!  Maybe not 5 miles!

So what could possibly be as good?  Spinach artichoke dip in pasta form.  O-M-G!  This is amazing.  I have made this 3 times before I could blog about it.  It is drool worthy and worth all the time it takes to make it. 

Spinach Artichoke Pasta
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

6 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 bags baby spinach
2 can artichoke hearts, drained and halved
2 bottle Alfredo sauce
crushed red pepper flakes to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese grated
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs

1.  Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot or skillet.
2.  Add garlic and throw in the spinach.  Stir it around until it's wilted, about 1 minute.  Remove spinach from heat and set aside.
3.  Add 2 tablespoons butter to the same pot and raise the heat to high.  Throw in the halved artichokes and stir it around until they get a little color, 1 to 2 minutes.  Remove the artichokes from the pot and set them aside.
4.  Reduce the heat to low.  Add the 2 bottles of Alfredo sauce.  Add Parmesan, mozzarella, salt and pepper.  Stir to melt and add chicken broth until desired consistency.
5.  Add artichokes and pasta, tossing gently to combine.
6.  Gently fold in spinach.
7.  Pour the pasta into a serving dish.  Sprinkle the top with crushed red pepper flakes and plenty of Panko breadcrumbs for crunch.

I made this as a test run before Thanksgiving and then made it for the vegetarians in the family for Thanksgiving.  It was a hit among the vegetarians and carnivores.  More and more of my family is turning vegetarian so gatherings are becoming a little tricky.  

Then for Tzu Chi's gingerbread house building party I made this pasta again and one of the little girls ate 3 plate fulls.  I would call this a successful recipe.  That pioneer woman knows what she is doing.

Khloe the pup is as spoiled as ever.  The holidays are her favorite time of the year because she loves to snuggle and in the cold weather everyone welcomes a good snuggle.  Also, my family tends to give her a lot of seafood during this time of the year.  Just over the weekend I think Khloe the pup had over 6 shrimpies during dinner on Sunday.  Granted they were small.  But still spoiled.

Enjoy the holidays friends!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Crab and Brie Stuffed Mushrooms

I love when a recipe turns out well and you end up making it again ... and again!  Successful recipes are always something to celebrate about. 

This crab and brie stuffed mushrooms is one of those recipes.  I hate ordering stuffed mushrooms at restaurants because they usually don't give you enough ... especially when you have more than 2 people.  So making this recipe at home is fantastic.  You can stuff as many mushrooms as you can with the filling and put as much filling as you want.  Costco here we come!

Crab & Brie Stuffed Mushrooms
Adapted from Pink Parsley 

button mushrooms
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup brie, cubed rind removed
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup lump crab meat

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.  Remove the stems from mushrooms, chop them finely, and set aside
3.  In a medium bowl, toss the mushroom caps with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then salt and pepper.  Arrange in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet, open side up.  Set bowl aside to use for the filling.
4.  In a medium skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.  Saute the onions and reserved mushroom stems until softened (about 3-4 minutes).  Remove from heat, stir in the cream cheese and transfer the mixture to the bowl.
5.  Mix in the parmesan cheese, brie, and panko bread crumbs.
6.  Lightly fold in the crab meat.
7.  Season with salt and pepper to taste
8.  Spoon the filling into the mushroom caps.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the mushrooms are browned and the filling is hot and bubbly.

My family gobbled this appetizer up at Thanksgiving.  I ended up making a huge tray of these and they were gone ... FAST!  Make these.  You will not regret it!

Keep the holiday spirit alive!