Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cuban Style Gourmet Ramen Noodles!

     Cubano Pollo Asado con Frijoles Negros Gourmet Ramen Noodles!
     Some modern noodle house restaurant chefs go all the way when creating new gourmet ramen entrées.  Ramen noodles are a creative medium that allows a cook to let it all hang out.  
     Ramen snack noodles are sold worldwide.  Everybody has their own way of fancying up a bowl of plain old ramen noodles.  
     Thinking of a geographic or regional theme is a good approach when designing a new ramen creation.  Throwing a dart at a world map, then creating a ramen recipe that represents the geographic and cultural location, actually is not a bad way to get the creative ramen thinking process started.  Doing a little bit of culinary research via the internet about the region that was pinned by the dart will provide plenty of interesting cooking ideas.  
     Cuban style slow roasted chicken and rice is better known as Arroz con Pollo.  Ramen noodles take the place of rice to create a gourmet noodle house style recipe.  
     The roasted Cuban spice chicken pan drippings can be used to flavor the noodles.  This alone is not enough to complete the overall picture of a ramen creation that represents good old fashioned Cuban food.  Black beans or black bean soup would definitely fill in the missing blanks!  
     When Black Beans & Rice is mentioned anywhere, most folks think of the Cuban version, which has a rich cumin flavor.  Cuban style black beans usually accompany arroz con pollo, so voila!  A Cuban Style Gourmet Ramen Noodles recipe idea takes shape! 

     Cuban Style Black Beans:
     This recipe yields 1 or 2 large portions of beans!
     Step 1:  Soak 1 1/2 cups of dried black beans in water overnight in a refrigerator.
     Drain off the soaking water and rinse the black beans under cold running water.
     Step 2:  Place the black beans in a sauce pot.
     Add 1 cup of chicken broth.
     Add enough water to cover the beans with 2" of extra liquid.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of cider vinegar.
     Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil or lard.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of cumin.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of coriander.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of Spanish Paprika.
     Add 1 tablespoon of minced roasted mild green chile pepper.
     Add 2 minced garlic cloves.
     Add 2 tablespoons of minced onion.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 3:  Bring the liquid to a boil over medium high heat.
     Step 4:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Cover the pot with a lid.
     Simmer the beans, till they become tender.  Add water as necessary to keep the beans covered with about 1" of liquid.
     Step 5:  After the beans become tender, simmer and reduce the liquid, till the level of liquid is slightly lower than the beans.
     Keep the black beans warm over low heat. 

     Cubano Pollo Asado:   
     Only a small 4 to 5 ounce portion of roasted chicken is needed per serving of ramen noodles.  2 large chicken wings is plenty for a bowl of ramen, especially when black beans are part of the recipe. 
     Step 1:  Place 2 large chicken wings in a small roasting pan.
     Sprinkle a few drops of vegetable oil over the chicken.
     Add 3/4 cup of chicken broth to the pan.
     Add 1 thin slice of onion to the broth.  
     Squeeze 1/2 teaspoon of lime juice over the chicken.
     Season the chicken with sea salt and black pepper.
     Sprinkle 1 pinch of cumin over the chicken.
     Sprinkle 1 pinch of Spanish Paprika over the chicken.
     Sprinkle 1 pinch of ground anatto over the chicken.  
     Step 2:  Cover the pan with a lid or foil.
     Roast in a 300º oven, till the chicken is fully cooked.
     Step 3:  Remove the lid or foil.
     Roast the chicken till it starts to turn a golden brown color.  (Be sure to occasionally baste the chicken with the pan juices.)
     Keep the roasted chicken warm on a stove top.  Save the pan jus.

     Ramen Noodles:
     Step 1:  Boil a pot of water over high heat.
     Add 1 portion of ramen noodles.
     Stir the noodles occasionally, till they become fully cooked.
     Drain the hot water off of the noodles.
     Step 2:  Place the noodles in a mixing bowl.  
     Add the pan jus from the roasted chicken.  
     Toss the noodles with the roasted chicken jus.
     Step 3:  Place 1 cup of the black beans and bean gravy in a shallow noodle bowl.
     Mound the noodles on the center of the black beans.
     Step 4:  Sprinkle some diced onion on the exposed black beans.
     Place the 2 roasted chicken wings on the noodles.
     Sprinkle 1 small pinch of Spanish paprika over the chicken and noodles.
     Step 5:  Garnish with a few sprigs of cilantro.
     Garnish with 1 pickled yellow chile caribe.
     Garnish the chicken with 3 long bias sliced green onion slivers.

     Voila!  A nice tasting Cuban Style Gourmet Ramen Noodle Bowl that has eye appeal! 

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