Friday, March 02, 2007

Nutty Noodles

Once again I cooked from the March 2007 Everyday Food magazine. I liked the ideal of a boil and toss meal - it would be easy and delicious right? How could Martha lead me astray. It looked so delicious in the picture. And then....I thought very hard about the idea of boiled tofu. The recipe suggested BOILING tofu. Right. Obviously I was going to have to change this recipe up a little. The boiled tofu had to go. I begrudgingly tolerate tofu, but I like it better fried like in pad thai; it gets a nutty flavour.

One of my flickr contacts, tiny banquet committee had a nice picture of some peanut-sesame noodles. Perfect. I would have a boil, fry and toss meal. Sure there were a few more dishes, but no boiled tofu.

I was pretty happy with how this turned out. Although the sauce is very flavourful, the blandness of the noodles counters it. I think maybe the sauce needs something else - I will definitely be experimenting with again: I think chicken might be nice instead of tofu and I would like trying to make the sauce a little more sour. I will keep you posted if I can improve it.

Nutty Noodles
(1 serving)

for the sauce:
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp sesame oil

everything else:
2 tsp vegetable oil
3 oz tofu, in bite sized pieces
2 oz snow peas
1 carrot, in ribbons (see note below)
4 mushrooms, quatered
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

4 oz pasta (linguine or spaghetti)

1. Whisk sauce ingredients together. (I did this in a 1 cup measuring cup with a fork).
2. When you start cooking the pasta, start frying the tofu in the vegetable oil. Once the tofu starts looking golden (2-3 mins) add the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms and tofu for about another 3 mins, until the mushrooms get that dark cooked look. Finally add the snow peas and carrot. If your noodles are almost done, you can put a lid on the tofu mixture to speed the cooking of the carrot and snow peas. They will only need a minute.
3. Drain noodles and add to vegetable mixture. Toss with sauce. If sauce is too thick, thin it with some pasta water.
4. Plate, and top with some toasted sesame seeds

Carrot Ribbons

This is a great technique. I use my regular vegetable peeler to cut make long ribbons from the carrot. This is easy at first, but as the carrot gets thiner I found it helpful to rotate it by 90 degrees, and then make more ribbons.

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