Asian Cabbage Slaw, Orzo with Sugar Snap Peas, Grilled Chicken, & Cake

We have two daughter-in-laws and they are both named Julie.  We call them Julie 1 and Julie 2, not based on age but based on the length of time in the family.  AND YES!!!! We are looking for a Julie for our third son...ha ha!!!

Julie 2 celebrated her birthday this weekend so today was another family dinner as  requested by the person celebrating the birthday.  She asked for grilled marinated skinless boneless chicken breasts, Asian slaw, and orzo with sugar snap peas.  She also requested a cake I have already written out for you on Emily's birthday that recipe is posted in mid June.  The chocolate, chocolate chip cake with ganache for frosting....mmmmmm.

Brian grilled the chicken to perfection and I had Randy the butcher run the chicken breasts through the meat machine they use on the cube steaks and then marinaded half of them in garlic butter and the other half in teriyaki sauce.  They were very moist, tender and full of flavor!!

The Asian Slaw I have made for many years and is quite close to a Norwegian Slaw I have also made with the only difference being how the cabbage was cut!!  The recipe is great to pack for a summer gathering as it uses no mayo and you don't have to worry over spoilage.  It keeps well and is good the next day should any be left.

3 pkg. of cabbage cut for slaw or 2 heads of cabbage you shred yourself (about 3 pounds)
1 bunch green onions sliced including tops
1 pkg. chicken Ramen noodles
1/2 C. slivered almonds
1/4 C. sesame seeds
1 C. sugar
1/2 C. vinegar
1/4 C. oil
1 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper

Open the ramen noodles and remove the flavor pack and set aside.  Place the noodles in a heavy plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin until well crumbled.  Set the noodles aside.

Heat a heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat and dry toast the sesame seeds, watching them very closely as not to burn.  Immediately pour them into a waiting cold plate when toasted.  Then toast the almonds in the same hot pan removing them quickly when golden brown as not to scorch them.
Set these both aside for now.

Combine in a small saucepan the sugar, vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, and the seasoning packet ingredients from the ramen noodles.  Bring to a boil stirring to dissolve all of the ingredients.  Remove from the heat and cool in a jar.  I often do this a day ahead and just leave it sitting on the counter overnight.  I also often toast the nuts and seeds ahead and break up the noodles then about an hour before serving time I put it together by just combining everything in a very large bowl and stirring well.

If you don't need this much slaw you can certainly cut the recipe in half by only using half the crushed noodles and so forth.  If you like to cut the cabbage yourself you can also throw in some red cabbage and shredded carrots as I have many times for a colorful and flavorful dish.


1 lb. uncooked orzo
1 pkg. 8oz. fresh sugar snap peas
Zest of 1 fresh lemon
Juice of 1 fresh lemon
5 T. butter
3/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese (save back 1/4 C. to sprinkle on top of completed dish)
1 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms, optional
salt and pepper to taste

Wash and drain the sugar snap peas and cut off the ends.  Then slice them twice from end to end much like the way you French cut green beans.  Set these aside.  Brush the mushrooms with a soft brush to remove any grit and slice them.  Set them aside too.  Zest and juice the lemon and grate the cheese.

Now this goes really quickly and you will ready to serve.

Bring a medium kettle of water to boil and salt it well.  Cook the orzo according to the package directions until al dente. Drain and immediately put the butter back into the bottom of the hot pan and add the peas and then the hot drained orzo, the zest, lemon juice and 1/2 C. grated cheese.  If you are using mushrooms they go in now too. Stir all together well.  Add salt and pepper and turn onto a serving dish.  Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve.

Both Julies love this one.  I hope you will too.

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