Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cold Sesame Noodle Salad

I have this recipe for Cold Sesame Noodle Salad that I made a while ago. I didn't put it in the cookbook because it was still experimental.

Cold Asian Sesame Peanut Butter Noodles
1 pound whole wheat linguine
3 tablespoon sesame oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1 Dash asian chili garlic sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 medium, scallions trimmed and sliced thin
1 carrot, shredded or Julienned into long strips
1/2 cucumber seeded and coarsely chopped into bite sized pieces
3 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1/4 - 1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts (optional)
1 chicken breast, diced (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped (optional)

1. Cook the Linguine according to the package instructions. Rinse in cold water and set aside.
2. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan and set aside.
3. Put the sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and chili garlic sauce in a pan and heat through.
4. Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar and peanut butter and mix.
5. Toss the noodles, chopped veggies and sesame seeds, with the sauce. Refrigerate till cool.
6. Serve with chopped peanuts, diced chicken, and/or chopped parsley.

I wanted to make it for a picnic but I didn't have all the ingredients so I improvised.

Revised Cold Asian Sesame Peanut Butter Noodles
1 pound whole wheat spaghetti broken into short pieces
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts
3 tablespoon sesame oil
1 medium onion, cut into strips
1 carrot, Julienned into strips
4 ribs celery, sliced on the bias
3 cloves minced garlic
5 pieces candied ginger, finely diced
1 Dash cumin
1 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cucumber, peeled, and coarsely chopped

1. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions. Rinse in cold water and set aside.
2. Toast the sesame seeds and peanuts in a dry pan and set aside.
3. Saute onion in the sesame oil until translucent.
4. Add the carrot, celery, and garlic and saute briefly until softened.
5. Add the ginger, cumin, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and peanut butter and heat through.
6. Toss the noodles, sesame seeds, and peanuts with the sauce. Refrigerate till cool.
6. Serve with chopped cucumber.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Spicy Pumpkin

We received a lovely pumpkin from the in-laws' garden and I was puzzled about what to do with it. Fortunately, I'd gotten Mario Batali's cookbook out of the library, and I found a great solution. The idea is as simple as can be: sweet and sour and spicy. It's a dish that could be from many places in the world, and the idea is as old as can be. This will make enough for dinner tonight, and for the potluck tomorrow:

1 medium-sized pie pumpkin (about 10-12 inches in diameter), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/3 c. olive oil
8 small cloves garlic, minced
3-4 tsp. red pepper flakes
3/4 c. honey
3/4 c. vinegar
1 tsp. salt
3 T. water or broth

Heat the oil until shimmering. Saute the pumpkin 4-5 minutes, until well-coated. Add the garlic and red pepper and let saute a minute or two. Add the honey and vinegar and salt. Stir for a few minutes. Add water as necessary. Let simmer 10-12 minutes, until pumpkin is soft.

Serve as a side dish or with pasta.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dad's Hungarian Goulash

My friends gave me a big jar of Paprika so I made this:

Dad's Hungarian Goulash
2 lb. beef, cubed (The beef can be fairly low quality because it will be slow cooked in moist heat.)
4 med. onion, coarsely chopped
3 Tablespoons paprika (regular paprika will do but hot paprika is more authentically Hungarian)
Salt & pepper to taste

Spread a little oil on the bottom of a heavy stew pot.
Brown the beef on all sides.
Cover the bottom of the pot with the onions.
Put the cubed beef on top of the onions.
Sprinkle on the spices.
Cover and cook on low (If you cook it too hot the meat will harden.).
Stir occasionally. Don't take the lid off very often, all the sauce comes from the onions dissolving.
While the meat is cooking, cook the Spätzle, Knopfli or egg noodles.
When the meat is cooked stir in the noodles and let sit for 5 min, then serve.

Theory of the Dish
The secret is onions 2 cups or more (more is better). The liquid could be supplied by the onions alone in which event the quantity of onions should be large – three or four cups, at least – or by a broth made by simmering beef in water for a few hours. Good Hungarian paprika. 1 - 2 lbs beef floured and browned on all sides. Save the remains from the browning and add in the finely chopped onions and sauté. Add the beef and simmer until the beef is tender, even flaky. Add a teaspoon (or more of vinegar). Serve while still hot with home made Spätzle, or prepared egg noodles

Keeps well and is even better a few days later.

2-3 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt

Mix the eggs, flour, and salt in a mixing bowl and add the water to get the right consistency.
Allow the mixed dough to rest for twenty minutes or so before placing in the spätzle machine or slicing them from the spätzle board.
Press through the machine or slice from the board into boiling water and remove the noodles when they float to the surface.
Serve warm with sauce – even with butter and perhaps a bit of parsley or onions.

Theory of the Dish
This is a basic recipe for noodles of all kinds but spätzle is a traditional Swabian dish. For spätzle stir everything together (in a mixer of the mixer is strong enough for the mixing), add water to get the right consistency – so that it will pass through the spätzle machine or slide easily from the spätzle board.

If you make them more dumpling shaped they are called "Knopfli". Spätzle means "little sparrows". Knopfli means "little buttons".

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Summer Squash Soup

I let my enthusiasm carry me away at the farmers market, so we have more squash than we need. Tonight I made squash soup, which is fairly simple, but tasty:

2 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. cumin
2 lbs. summer squash, cut into dice
1 small onion, minced
2-3 small cloves garlic, minced
1/2 serrano or one whole (small) jalapeño pepper, chopped fine
1 small red or yellow pepper or a carrot, minced
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
1 T. sour cream
salt and pepper
chopped herbs (cilantro, basil, or parsley) for garnish

Sauté the onions in the oil, add the spices and cook one minute, then add the garlic and peppers and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add the diced squash and let that cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the broth. Cover and let simmer until the squash and peppers are soft. Then purée the soup in a blender with the sour cream. Add salt and pepper to taste. I like this soup a little spicy, so I also put in red pepper flakes, and you could add other garnishes like crumbled feta or cooked corn.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Chicken Satay

I love Chicken Satay! Today I tried making it following my own recipe. Recipe testing is an important step in the cook book making process. Although it is better if someone else tests the recipe. But I think I just followed the instructions, this time. It's very yummy.

2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp paprika
3 cloves of fresh garlic, sliced
1 onion diced
4 silver dollar sized slices of ginger
1 Tbsp ginger flavored sherry
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp tamari (Soy Sauce)
2 Tbsp fish sauce

1 cup uncooked rice (cooked)
vegetable oil
3/4 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
1 (15 oz) can coconut milk

Slice the chicken into bite sized pieces and put them in a ziplock bag. Add everything except the rice, oil, peanut butter, coconut milk, and salt. Marinate the chicken overnight, or for at least 2 hours.

Cook the rice.
You can put the chicken on skewers and broil it or sauté the chicken in small batches in a little bit of vegetable oil.
When all the chicken is cooked throw out the ginger and cook the rest of the marinade, garlic, and onion. Add the peanut butter, coconut milk, and salt and simmer until it is a good consistency.
Mix the cooked chicken into the gravy and serve it over the rice.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


"Revenge is sweet" and "Revenge is a dish best served cold"
The second is a Pashtun saying.
There is a cold sweet Pashtun dessert called Firnee. So revenge is Firnee.

2 cups Whole Milk
1 cup Sugar
4 tablespoons Corn Starch
1 tsp. Cardamom
1 capful Rose water

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Green Bean Salad

At the farmers markets, green beans appear regularly now. You don't need to do much with fresh green beans, but we've been eating a lot of them, so I thought it was time for a little something different. For this recipe, the key is to add one subtle flavor plus a dramatic one:

Steam the green beans until just tender. If you want this as a cold salad, put the beans in ice water, but the salad is also good warm or at room temperature.

This is just a mustard vinaigrette, but ideally, you should use nut oil. Someone gave us walnut oil as a present, and we've discovered all kinds of delicious uses for it:

1 1/2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 T. walnut oil
1 tsp. coarse mustard
1 T. vinegar (preferably sherry vinegar)
pinch of sugar
salt & pepper

Whisk the dressing until well combined. Toss with the beans.