The Roving Stove has been all systems go this month – with Super Bowl parties, the Grammy’s today, several Valentines Day dinners booked this week, the Oscar’s yet to come, plus securing new full-time clients for other chefs I’ve begun working with, in addition to my own regular clients. One of the things I love most about what I do is how truly personalized The Roving Stove gets to be; translation – it never gets boring. Every client has different preferences that present new challenges to rise to, and the opportunity for creative license in such varied menu planning.

Kay Saatchi & Julie Anne Rhodes

Kay Saatchi & Julie Anne Rhodes

It does mean my social life has suffered, so I’m afraid the blog has been more about service entrances in my apron, than VIP entrances in Versace of late. Last night I finally took a few hours off to celebrate a double birthday party for my friend, Kay Saatchi and Jany Davenport whose gorgeous home in Beverly Hills served as the elegant backdrop for the soiree. Arriving fashionably late, and apologetically gift-free due to my schedule getting the better of me, I was none the less thrilled to see my radiant friend looking drop-dead gorgeous, and surrounded by possibly the most chic crowd I’ve seen in Los Angeles, ever.

Linda snuggled with Jimmy and the rest of the girls last time I saw her

Linda Thompson snuggled with Jimmy Demers and the rest of the girls a few years ago

I admit, I was immediately distracted when my eyes were greeted with a spectacular visual and oral feast! I apologize for the lack of photos, but it was my first evening off in yonks, and I was like a child let loose in a candy store sampling all of the exquisite bites – my favorites amongst them being the steak and (quails) egg bites, pana cotta style goat cheese and beet salad parfaits, tempura vegetable filled cones, the caviar shots with lobster bisque gelee, and of course the miniature Asian take-away boxes filled with the garlic noodles that Crustacean are famous for (An Catering – sister establishment of the famed Beverly Hills eatery did the catering). J’adore the owners’ philosophy behind her food, “I am uncompromising when it comes to taste and health and I insist that my cuisine not only taste good, but also be good for you. I refer to this balance as the “Yin and Yang of Cooking,” where clearly hospitality is of equal importance – her daughter An graciously extended her hand in welcome, and introduced me to each tantalizing treat.

The engagement photo by Mathew Ralston

The Interview Magazine engagement photo by Mathew Rolston

Slightly out of practice in the art of mingling and small talk, I nervously began to circulate once I hugged Kay and wished her happy birthday, and she introduced me to a few of her lovely friends. I admit, I was relieved when I looked up to see jeweler Sandra Muller (Jewels always feels more comfortable in the company of jewels and their creators), last seen when we did a surprisingly challenging Bollywood dance class together two years ago, and then I bumped into photographer Mathew Rolston, who I hadn’t seen since he did my engagement photographs for Interview Magazine in 1983! It was lovely to reconnect and reminisce. I did notice a pattern developing though, note to self: you really must start getting more yin back in your social yang, when I realized it had also been several years since I last saw the ever stunning lyricist Linda Thompson, and ubiquitous art journalist, Susan Michals. In fact, I don’t think I had even seen Kay since my own birthday last March! It was great to see everyone.

Jewels with Susan Michels

Julie Anne Rhodes with Susan Michals

Alas, once the pumpkin cupcakes were served, I realized I had another early morning ahead, so I jumped back into my coach before it threatened to turn into a pumpkin too. Okay, so this is not even close to the artistry in presentation of the fabulous food last night, but these noodles are every bit as tasty for your dinner tonight. For more of my recipes, menus, and more – please join the Personal Chef Approach™. Please tell me what festivities do you have planned this month, and what will you be serving?

Udon Noodles with Tofu & Greens

Udon Noodles with Tofu & Greens

High in nutrients while full of flavor, this Asian dish is sure to help spruce up your weekly repertoire. Not a tofu fan? Substitute boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size chunks and use chicken stock in place of the vegetable broth, or chunks of sirloin with beef broth.

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

Noodles

  • 12 ounces udon noodles cooked according to package instructions
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil divided
  • 2 extra firm tofu drained and cut into bite size chunks
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 10 ounces mixed baby greens I used red & green Swiss chard, tat soi, arugala, and spinach
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/3 cup vegetable broth
  • scallions for garnish (optional)
  • toasted sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

Directions

Noodles

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of peanut oil in a wok or large saucepan. Dredge the tofu chunks lightly in the cornstarch, season to taste, and brown in the hot oil. Remove to a plate tented with foil it keep warm.
  2. Add sesame oil and remaining peanut oil to the hot pan along with the garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes, Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the greens, tossing to coat with the oil and aromatics, then add the soy sauce mixed with the honey and vegetable broth. Cook tossing gently occasionally, until greens wilt, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add noodles and tofu to the pan and toss well.

Serving Suggestions

Serve hot with scallions sliced on the diagonal and toasted sesame seeds to garnish.

Heat To Eat

Vent lid of container and heat in microwave on 50% power for 3-5 minutes, stirring midway to distribute heat evenly; or heat in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until heated through, about 8-10 minutes.

Variations

You can make this recipe with chicken, pork, beef, scallops or shrimp instead of tofu; but adjust the cooking time for the protein accordingly.

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  • February 12, 2013
    2:21 am

    It’s always fun catching up with friends. What a busy and exciting time for you Jewels.
    The food you described made me salivate. I can just picture it all. What a feast!
    I actually have 3 birthdays coming up. My two nieces and my mother all have birthdays at the end of Feb, however they will be quiet ones, nothing extravagent. However, my son Jack will be turning 1 on March 2nd and the following day on the 3rd he will be christened. Now, my husband comes from a very large Greek family, and of course it means that the Christening will be big. We have booked a new Greek restaurant which has had rave reviews and I cannot wait. We have a private room reserved and for once I am not cooking. I cannot wait!

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