Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sesame Noodles

Of the many, many things Dan will eat, these Sesame Noodles aren't on the list. Which is such a disappointment because they fulfill the trifecta: they're delicious, they take about 10 minutes to make, and they make great leftovers.

I looove this peanut sauce. The peanut butter and toasted sesame oil make it rich and nutty, while the crushed red pepper, and fresh garlic and ginger add just the right amount of spice and layers of flavor. I mean, come on, what's not to like?

Another thing Dan rolls his eyes at- the way I buy ginger root. Instead of buying the huge hunk they always have on display, I just break off a tiny inch-long piece, just enough for whatever recipe I'm making. Seriously, don't be afraid. No one's going to yell at you. Or take away your shopping basket. Just take a little nub and break it off. And the best part? That little piece of ginger, it's only going cost you 12 cents. Win.

Sesame Noodles
Yield: 6 Servings

1 pound spaghetti
Kosher salt for pasta water
1 clove garlic
1 1'' piece peeled fresh ginger root
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp crushed red pepper, or to taste
1/4 cup hot water
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded 
Diced cucumber, scallions, and peanuts to garnish

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. While the pasta cooks, make the sauce.
2. Into a blender or food processor, combine the ginger and garlic. Process until minced. Add the peanut butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and crushed red pepper. Process until smooth.
3. With the motor running, stream in hot water. Set sauce aside.
4. When the pasta is cooked through, drain, and transfer to large serving bowl. Toss with sesame oil. Add cooked chicken and peanut sauce. Toss to combine. Garnish with cucumber, scallion, and peanuts and serve.

Recipe Notes:
  • I poach my chicken breasts in watered down chicken stock, with some salt, peppercorns, and any veggies I have laying around- carrot, onion, celery, etc. cut into big pieces. Put everything in a pot, bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Cool and pull apart. 
  • The easiest way to peel ginger root is with a vegetable peeler.
  • I like these noodles warm, room temperature, or cold. Basically, I just like them all the time.
Recipe courtesy of Food Network

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