Ramen Inspiration

Several months ago the Test Kitchen team was given an assignment for the current (Jan/Feb) issue of the Food Network Magazine. Our challenge was to come up with creative new uses for ramen noodles.

One day, my daughter, who was home visiting from college, stopped by the Test Kitchen to say hello. Her timing could not have been more perfect, since Bob Hoebee, one of our recipe developers, had just called for a tasting of his Ramen Noodle Cake with Swiss Chard. Much to my daughter's delight, she was invited to join in the tasting.

Now it wasn’t just because she is a vegetarian that this dish appealed to her; there was something so appetizing about the way the noodle cake looked -- so golden and crispy on the outside, but still moist and tender on the inside.

One bite was all she needed to be motivated to try this recipe out when she returned to campus.

Please note: (I hope I don’t get in trouble for this later) you may expect that cooking comes naturally to her since her mom and many others in her family love to cook, but the apple fell a little further from the tree where cooking is concerned. While she certainly appreciates a great meal, she is less inclined to spend significant time in the kitchen. However, this dish seemed right up her alley: cheap, easy and delicious.

A few weeks later, a campus pot luck was the perfect opportunity for her to test it out. After a very successful first attempt, she called excitedly to inform me that it was a huge hit and she was surely going to make it again. Each time, she happily reported that it was a major crowd pleaser. The dish has become a favorite; on her latest visit home, she decided to try it again, this time for the family.

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