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(post, Quinn Losselyong)
I'm sure almost everyone who went through college, ramen noodles became a staple because they were easy to make, temporarily filling and most importantly they didn't mess with your beer money. I ate my fair share of ramen noodles during college and when I graduated I was so determined not to eat this college food ever again. Well, now that the economy is struggling and the price of food is increasing, I like to have an inexpensive meal a few nights a week. Now, my taste buds have changed drastically since the college days as well as my cooking skills so I wasn't going to just make plain old chicken top ramen straight from the package, the one that is loaded with MSG and a bunch of other ingredients I don't know and trust. I also decided that cooking inexpensively doesn't mean that you have to use poor ingredients. So this is a version of my kicked up Top Ramen we like to call Pho' Losselyong. I will put the full recipe in my queue, but here is the basic idea. I like to use a store bought roasted chicken that I cut up and use in the soup. In a 4qt soup pot saute' some sliced yellow onions, chopped celery, chopped carrots and quartered crimini mushrooms until they are al dente. Then I add water until pot is 3/4 full. Now open the ramen noodle package and immediately throw away the seasoning packet and reach for the BETTER THAN BOUILLON chicken version in the fridge and add 2-3 tsp to the water. Make sure it is all mixed in and that the water is at a full boil, now add the 2 packets of ramen noodles and set the timer for 2 1/2 minutes. Meanwhile I like to dice up some chicken and put it in the bottom of a nice big bowl (like you get at the Pho' restaurants). If you like kale or chard, slice some up and add that to the boiling water with about 1 minute left on the noodles. Timer goes off and you are almost done. Evenly ladle the noodles, broth and veggies over the chicken. As far as sauces to add after I like an even mixture of Hoisen, siracha and that nice hot chili in oil sauce. Toast a baguette for dipping and enjoy. The coolest thing about this recipe is that there are a million different variations. You can use anything that you have in the fridge or the garden. I welcome more ideas for this recipe if you can think of any. * if you have some frozen pesto from last summers harvest, a cube added near the end is extremely delicious!