Monday, February 25, 2008

Peanut butter noodles...

We've been talking for the past couple of months about whether or not we should make any changes to the website - we pretty much like how it is right now, but are open to suggestions or ideas on what you might like to see or have changed. Neither of us have much experience in coding and whatnot, but we still try our best - so please feel free to let us know!

There was a bit of prep that needed to be done before we were able to finish making this Szechuan Spicy Noodles with Carrot-Cucumber Relish for dinner tonight. It's not that there is a lot of work involved - there are just a couple steps that require long downtimes. Cucumbers are fairly wet and light in flavor, so to extract some of the excess water and heighten their flavor, we shredded it and tossed the threads with salt. After an hour in the colander, you should have a good puddle underneath it. The rest of the relish is combined by tossing the cucumber with shredded carrots, seasoned rice vinegar, a couple teaspoons of sugar and toasted sesame oil. This now needs to chill out in the refrigerator for about another hour to let the ingredients mingle together.

Udon noodles, thick Japanese wheat noodles, are tossed into a pot of boiling salted water once you are ready to finish the dish. You should be able to easily find these in your regular market, but if you have trouble locating them, a decent substitute would be whole-wheat spaghetti. For a meaty addition, ground pork is sautéed with thinly sliced green onions, fresh ginger and a bit of garlic once the pork has lost is pinkness. The sauce, a smooth mixture of vegetable broth, natural peanut butter and sambal oelek (chile paste with garlic), is added to the cooked pork and bubbles until it thickens slightly. This pork ragout is tossed with the noodles and the dish is complete with a drift of the bright relish. The cooling relish tames the heat from the sambal to keep it in check so you can fully appreciate its flavor while the creamy dressing adds a nice mouth feel to the hearty noodles.


  1. STOP IT, Joe! :)
    I enjoy your blog, but every darn time I visit I add more recipes to my "to try" pile. There aren't enough meals in a day...
    This looks good for lunch this week, with ground turkey replacing the pork. Thanks!

  2. KQV - Okay, okay... I'll stop! Hee hee - my to-try pile is crazy, but I guess I would rather have too many than none!

  3. Lol! I know very well the madness that can drive one to radically change one's blog.

    Personally, I think your site is great the way it is- it's clean, crisp, and it seems to work well for you.

    That being said, switching to my own domain has been a blast. I've found Wordpress easier to use than I'd anticipated and my switchover was pretty seamless. I love my new look and I stop by the computer often during the day just to look at it.

    Feel free to bug me with questions if you have any- I'm still in the gushing stage, and would love to gush further about some of the great resources and things I've found along the way.

  4. Erika - I will take you up on that!