Saucy Peanut’s Thai Noodle Salad (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

Whew, It’s ben a long hiatus! And here it is, a long awaited new recipe!

You know the peanut dipping sauce you get with the gai satay appetizer at your favorite Thai restaurant? The one where you are tempted to lick the dish even though you are in public, and if you have no manners or are feeling especially weak in the morals department you do! Yea well, that delicious stuff is basically the dressing for this cold noodle salad but jazzed up with a TON of garlic and a bit of spice. The vegetables in the salad can be changed to anything you want as long as they are julienned-ish or small sized (cucumber would be great or sautéed mushrooms or snow peas).

I picked up this lovely celadon dish last weekend at the Port Chester Clay Arts Center during their springfest fundraiser. The artist, Dalia Berman was kind enough to tell me about the pieces I purchased and how the artists were affiliated with the center.

Saucy Peanut's Thai Noodle Salad (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: Mix, boil, cool, chop and stir
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Peanut Sauce:

3 Tbsp peanut butter

5 cloves of garlic minced or put through a press (or less if you are a wimp)

1 jalapeno minced (seeds and membranes removed for less spice)

2 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 Tbsp corn syrup or honey

sugar to taste (pinch-2tsp)

3 Tbsp chopped cilantro

Salad Stuff:

2 bunches (servings) of bean thread/glass noodles or rice vermicelli noodles or a mix of the two

2c julienned or matchstick carrots (2-3 carrots worth)

1 small julienned red onion

3 eggs

oil

salt and pepper

  1. Boil the water for your noodles and heat a pan to medium-hot for your fried eggs.
  2. Make the peanut sauce by mixing all the stuff together and taste it. It should be lightly sweet, a little salty and very garlicky, if you think it needs something more add it!
  3. While waiting for the pan to be hot/water to boil, julienne the vegetables and toss them with the sauce.
  4. Cook noodles per package directions and fry your eggs. (How I fry eggs: add oil to the ripping hot pan, it should shimmer. Crack in ze eggs, salt and pepper them. Leave eggs alone until they are brown around the edges and most of the white is set. flip them over, count to 15 or 30 depending on how you like your yolks and plate them immediately)
  5. Drain the noodles, rinse them under cold water and give them a few chops with your knife so you don’t end up having to eat a birds nest.
  6. Mix the noodles in, put an egg on top of each serving and garnish with cilantro if desired then EAT!

Note 1: The sauced noodles and fried egg will keep well over night and be a good lunch for tomorrow if you refrigerate the leftovers!
Note 2: The peanut sauce can be customized to whatever you desire. The parts you have to keep are the peanut butter, corn syrup and rice vinegar everything else is personal preference.

Paella on a Budget

Authentic Paella is so delicious but not all of us have the time or money to cook it over a wood/charcoal fire in a giant paella pan with a bunch of saffron threads. (If you’re looking to take the plunge and go all out try Alton Brown’s recipe here) This is my I’m-kinda-broke-and-don’t-really-need-to-cook-for-10 version.

The smoked Spanish paprika is essential, it’s definitely something to buy if you don’t have it on hand. If you’re not a fan of regular paprika (like me, I think its tastes like nothing) Smoked paprika is whole different ball game, its sweet, smoky and a whole lotta goodness. It’s also excellent in deviled eggs and egg salads.

The plate is by Andrea Keim and you can see more of her work here.

Paella on a Budget

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: One pan, one cutting board, one measuring cup
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1c of diced or crushed tomatoes (about half a can)

1c of rice

1/2 tsp rosemary

2 tsp-1 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tsp of garlic oil

1 tsp of oil

1 tsp of salt

1.5-2c of chicken or other broth

3 chicken thighs or 1.5c Shrimp

2c of vegetables (green beans, bell peppers, carrots, etc.)

  1. mix the spices, salt and rice in a bowl
  2. heat a large skillet over medium heat with the oils. If you’re using chicken thighs brown them on both sides then remove them from the pan. Stir fry the rice and spice mixture until browned and fragrant. Stir in the root vegetables if using and heat for a min.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes and 1c of the broth, place the chicken (if using) on top. Cover with a lid or foil. Cook for 10-15 min until liquid is absorbed. Stir in the remaining 1c of liquid, quick cooking vegetables and shrimp (if using). Cook for 15-20 min until rice is done. Serve and enjoy!

Not so Nacho, Roasted Roots and Cilantro Beef

This was such a delicious kitchen experiment. I ended up buying way too many carrots from the local co-op and was putting them in EVERYTHING and this was one of the best discoveries in the week of all-things-carrot.

I recently picked up this lovely Michael Connelly plate at NCECA at the Art-Stream trailer. Totally worth the splurge! The imagery on the plate (there is a yellow house hidden under all that food) is subtle enough to add interest but not detract from the food, and its a sturdy sucker so I’ll be sure to be using it for years to come.

Not so Nachos

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: dice, mix and bake
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DSC_0255Ingredients:

4-5 carrots

3 medium potatoes

1 ½ tsp cumin

1 ½ tsp Mexican hot chili powder (or chili power plus cayenne pepper)

1 tbsp garlic oil

Vegetable oil for greasing pan

½ lb ground beef

1 bunch of cilantro, chopped

1 lemon juiced

Salt and pepper

3  corn tortillas per person

Your favorite salsa and whatever else you wanna serve this with like rice, lettuce or whatnot

  1. Turn your oven to 350 degrees and oil/grease a pan/cookie sheet. Dice up the potato and carrots and toss with the garlic oil, cumin, chili powder and ½ tsp of salt. Roast for 30-45 min flipping/stirring halfway through until deeply browned.
  2. During the last 15 min of the vegetables roasting, cook the beef with salt and pepper in a small skillet. Toss the tortillas on top of the roasting vegetables or on another rack to crisp up (check on them every few min or they might burn!). Once cooked through add in the chopped cilantro and lemon juice and remove from the heat.
  3. Use the crisped corn tortillas as giant tortilla chips and serve with whatever else you want besides salsa.

NOTES: If you want to do your tortillas at the end crank up the oven to 425 degrees and cook on a wire rack (or the oven grates if your lazy) for 1-5 min until desired crispiness is achieved.

Smashing Strawberry Salsa

This salsa is like a taste of summer in the middle of the winter.

Normal salsa is made of a bunch of things I really shouldn’t have (tomatoes, onions and garlic). This has none of those and its DELICIOUS. I use it on all of my Mexican wannabe foods.

Plate by Jacob Hostetler. Follow him on Instagram @jadahost

Smashing Strawberry Salsa

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Dice, stir and eat
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1 1/2c frozen straberries

1/3 can pineapple chunks

1/4c pineapple juice

2 lemons, juiced

2tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

1/2  green pepper

1/2 c frozen corn

salt and corn syrup to taste

1 jalapeno seeded for mild or with seeds for medium-hot

  1. Defrost strawberries until they are soft enough to dice up but not yet mush. Dice up the rest of the ingredients and add in juices. Stir. Adjust with corn syrup and salt if needed.
  2. Serve now or refrigerate overnight and enjoy later! (This does keep for a few days.)

Effortless Asian Soup

Ok a smidge of misdirection in the title. I love this recipe because you can adapt it to how much energy you actually want to put into it. It can be as simple as pouring out some boxed broth, flavoring it and adding you fixings (noodles, greens, protein and siracha) or you can go all out and make your own broth like I did here. It’s also one of those recipes where you can specifically shop for ingredients that impress or you can just throw in whatever you have in the fridge/cupboard.

The flavors in the broth can be mixed and matched a hundred thousand different ways by combining any number of ingredients commonly used in Asian cooking. Things like ginger, garlic, soy sauce/tamari, fennel, coriander, curry power, five spice powder, fish sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, fresh cilantro, lemongrass, coconut milk, lemons, limes and chilis/spicy peppers all make great additions. So feel free to experiment and find some flavors you enjoy or take inspiration from a traditional recipe!

Bowl by Wendy Thoreson more of her work can be found here.

Effortless Asian Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Throw stuff in a pot and walk away
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Ingredients:

  • Enough chicken bones and water to fill a large pot
  • 1tbsp Tamari
  • 1.5 in of ginger, sliced
  • ¼ tsp Fennel seeds
  • ¼ tsp Coriander seeds
  • ¼ tsp Red pepper flakes
  • 3 dried shitake mushrooms
  • Siracha to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Rice or Glass noodles
  • Quartered baby Bok Choy
  1. Place your chicken bones and water in a large pot or crockpot along with all seasonings except garlic and salt. Simmer all ingredients for 2-4 hours adding water if necessary (AKA continue binge watching a show on Netflix and forget you have things on the stove). Strain and reserve ginger slices, mushrooms and any chicken that was on the bones.
  2. Prepare noodles according to package directions (boil or soak).
  3. Grate the ginger and garlic into the broth and dice up the mushrooms and chicken. Bring it all to a boil for 3-5 min. Season to taste with salt/tamari (the broth should be a little salty). Drop in the bok choy, cook for 30 seconds to a min (until bright green). Divide the vegetable matter, noodles and broth into 4 (or more) portions add siracha to taste and enjoy!

NOTE: if you are making this to divide up for lunches soak the rice noodles and don’t cook the bok choy. Put the bok choy and the noodles in the to-go container and pour the hot soup over them, the vegetables will cook as the soup cools in the fridge and the noodles won’t get as mushy!

Crazy Simple Fried Egg and Rice Bowl

This recipe is one of my staples. Its super easy to adapt to whatever you have in the fridge (just replace the greens with whatever vegetables you’ve got laying around). And if your hungry RIGHT NOW this can be made in as little as 5 min (well, if the rice has already been cooked).

Bowl by Andrea Keim, more of her work can be found here

Crazy Simple Fried Egg and Rice Bowl

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: crazy easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 Egg
  • Rice
  • 1 handful of greens like baby romaine or spinach
  • Tamari
  • Siracha
  • 1 tsp Canola or other cooking oil
  • Salt

Directions:

  1. Grab your cooked rice out of the fridge and microwave it with a little water (if it is dry) or start cooking some rice. Once the rice is hot/done drizzle with a little tamari.
  2. Heat a small skillet over medium to medium-high heat with about a tsp of oil until its shimmering and almost smoking. Crack the egg into the oil and sprinkle with salt (this would be the time to use one of those splatter screens if you got one). Cook the egg until it is bubbling and browned on the edges then flip and cook for a few seconds until the whites are set. Place the egg over the rice.
  3. Toss the greens in the skillet and squeeze siracha on to taste (1/4tsp-1tsp). Continuously toss the greens and siracha until they are wilted. Place greens over rice and serve!