Elizabeth from The Law Student's Cookbook is hosting Food'N'Flix this month. And her pick - Elf - is one that completely escaped my radar. So, when I saw her invitation here and heard it mentioned on NPR as a top holiday movie, I knew I had to see it. Finally.
On the Screen
If you haven't seen it, do. It's fun. Just imagine a human raised by elves - North Pole elves, not Lord of the Rings elves - who goes to New York to find his biological father who has no idea he exists. Oh, and add to that Will Ferrell, James Caan, and Zooey Deschanel and hilarity ensues.
I was tempted to create something with the Elf Food Groups - candy, candy corn, candy canes, and syrup - but my teeth ached just thinking about that.
I thought about spaghetti and meatballs, minus the maple syrup, but that's a already household staple. So, I went a different direction. The bowl of soup that Jovie (played by Zooey Deschanel) is eating when she sees Buddy (Will Ferrell) on the news in Central Park, with the news banner 'Holiday Hijinx', inspired this dish...
In the Bowl
When you say 'ramen' most people think of the almost instant Top Ramen, that horrifically unappetizing rectangle of freeze-dried curly noodles in a plastic packet that's ready in minutes and a staple of college students. Trust me, I ate my share while I was in school. But authentic ramen is world's apart from that culinary horror.
I was going to make my own noodles, but the month is whizzing by and I still have three birthday parties, two class parties, one cookie-decorating party, one 3-day birthday weekend, Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas dinner, and more to plan or attend. Yikes. So, I went with store-bought noodles. But I made my own stock from our roasted duck carcass.
- 5 C duck stock (or chicken)
- 5 servings of noodles
- 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, thinly sliced
- poached eggs, one per person
- 1 C enoki mushrooms
- 1 C baby corn
- 1 C sliced bamboo shoots
- green onion, for garnish
- furikake, for garnish
- soy sauce, for drizzling
ProcedureIn a large soup pot, soften the celery and carrots in a pat of butter. Pour in the duck stock and bring to a boil. Cook the noodles in the broth. When they are finished - for fresh noodles, it should only take a minute or two - remove from the heat and lay the mushrooms, baby corn, and bamboo shoots on top. In another pot, poach your eggs.
To serve, ladle the soup and noodles into a bowl. Lay a poached egg on the top. Sprinkle with furikake and sliced green onions. Drizzle with soy sauce.
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