Farris/ Young Family Dinner at Cascones








Vegetarian Sukiyaki!

Two years ago I learned how to cook sukiyaki from my friend Jennifer. I made it for a Sunday Night Dinner and since the whole fam lived here, we all got to experience it for the first time together (you can check it out at http://thepiesthatbind.wordpress.com/2010/12/12/jennifer-gathering-round/)

Now that I’m vegetarian I wanted to make sukiyaki again, but do some substitutes for the chicken and shrimp I used last time.
After researching on line I decided to add eggs, more greens and some vegetarian wontons I found at Whole Foods.
Here’s the recipe and how it went…

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup tamari
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup mirin
2 cups dashi (Japanese stock- I used veggie stock but created a soy sauce, mushroom base in the pot first then added my broth to that)
Cooking oil
1 small Bok choi
1/2 cup of green onions chopped
1 can bamboo shoots (drained and sliced)
4 cups spinach
2 cups Renkon or white sweet potato
1 block medium tofu pressed and cut into chunks
1 package of rice noodles or chewier undon noodles.
1 egg
4 white mushrooms, sliced
Frozen vegetarian wontons ( not necessary but fun! I found mine at Whole Foods)

In a separate frying pan sauté tofu in a tablespoon or two of cooking oil. Cook until crispy and golden. Add shiitake mushrooms, sauté for one minute. Add egg and scramble until tofu and mushrooms are coated and the egg is cooked.


Set the tofu mix aside- it’s ok if it cools.

In the soup pot add 2 more tablespoons of oil. Sauté white mushrooms for 3 minutes on medium heat. Add soy sauce and tamari and simmer for 3-5 minutes. This will make a base for your broth.

Add a cup of broth and boil for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the broth and a 1/2 cup of water, the sugar, and the mirin.

Bring to a boil.

Add the rest of the sukiyaki ingredients one at a time letting each one cook for a couple of minutes before adding the next ingredient.


While this is cooking prepare your noodles according to package direction. I cooked mine in another pot.

Add the tofu, shiitake, egg mixture, and the cooked noodles last!



Springfield Style Cashew Chicken recipe! (and a veggie version recipe too!)

Here’s the recipe that Lyn and I use to make Springfield Style at home. It’s straight from the Junior League of Springfield’s Sassafras Cookbook. Now I will say this– I use my grandmother’s fried chicken recipe to make the chicken. This involves soaking the cut chunks of chicken in buttermilk for a half hour before dipping and dredging through egg and flour. It’s just how we fry chicken, so you can add that extra step if you like!

Recipe as the cookbook says, “A Springfield Tradition!”

Serves 4


1/2 cup milk or buttermilk

2 tablespoons water

2 eggs, well beaten

(cup of flour if you frying the chicken like grandma!)


4 large chicken breasts halves cut into bite-size pieces (or tofu – see note)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 1/2 cups of chicken broth

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

pepper to taste

1 cup flour

Vegetable oil for frying

1 cup of cashew nuts

1/2 cup of chopped green onions

Soy Sauce and cooked rice

Making the brown sauce….

This is the most crucial part of the recipe and I tend to make it first before I fry the chicken (or tofu) and cook the rice.

In a saucepan, dissolve cornstarch in a small amount of broth; add remaining broth gradually to make a paste. Now this is serious people– if you add all the liquid or grow impatient (like me) and pour all the liquid in, you will regret it. Your paste will take 3 times as long to form, so just give it little drinks of broth! I do this “paste” step on the stove top using very low heat.

Blend in oyster sauce, sugar, and pepper. Stir over medium high heat until sauce boils and begins to thicken. This can take longer than you would expect, so just keep stirring. You’re looking for a pudding like thickness.

Set aside on a cool burner when thickened.

The chicken prep…

How the chicken is prepared is where me and this recipe part ways. I’ve never tried it the recipe way, so I’ll give you my version and their version.

My version: Get out 3 bowls. Pour buttermilk into one large bowl, crack and beat eggs into another medium bowl and put flour into another large bowl (salt and pepper it a few shakes).

Place chicken chunks in the large buttermilk bowl and let the soak for 30 minutes in the fridge. When time is up, take them out and dip them in the egg bowl, then dredge them in the flour bowl. I tend to leave them in the flour bowl.

Their version: Marinate chicken in milk (they use regular milk), 2 tablespoons of water, the beaten eggs, and a sprinkle of salt for 20 minutes. Dredge chicken in flour.

Frying it up!

This works for either prep method! Fry chicken in oil in a heavy skillet until crisp and golden. To prevent chicken pieces from sticking together, drop into hot oil one piece at a time. Drain on paper towels.

Get ready to be Springfield Styled!

Reheat brown sauce. Put a serving of rice on the each plate. The chicken on top of the rice and the pour the brown sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with chopped green onions and cashews! Serve with soy sauce (but not necessary in my book!)


**Please note that due to my recent vegetarianism I do make Springfield Style with crispy tofu and veggie broth (the oyster sauce can’t be modified!)

It’s just as good. Here’s the crispy tofu recipe.


  • 1 block firm or extra firm tofu – I often freeze my tofu the day before, then thaw it for 30 minutes in hot water before I’m going to cook with it. The freezing gives it a more hearty texture.
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
Slice the tofu into 1/2 inch cubes.In a small bowl, combine the tofu with the remaining ingredients, except the oil, and toss gently to coat the tofu well. Or, place all ingredients in a zip-lock bag or covered container and shake well.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and add the tofu. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown and lightly crispy.