To keep the noodles from strangling the beef jerky in our pantry, I cook with them.
Noodles throw themselves at me when I go to the grocery store. There’s no other reasonable way to explain why my pantry is overflowing with pasta. When my back is turned, noodles of every shape and size rock back and forth in their boxes, tumble into my cart, and get priority shelf space over Nate’s beef jerky. This annoys Nate, which leads to the following conversation:
Nate: Do we need all of this pasta?
Nate: But I can’t ever find the beef jerky.
Me: It’s always behind the pasta.
Nate: Can we stop buying pasta?
Me: Nope. It leaps into the cart and follows me home. Nothing I can do.
Nate: Can you put a cover over the cart?
Me: They’re noodles. They’re sneaky. They can get past anything.
Me: If you don’t keep your voice down, they’ll strangle your beef jerky.
So, into the pot they must go—circle of life—la la la la—that kind of thing. One of my favorite recipes for the noodles is a Cooking Light Magazine recipe called “Peanutty Noodles,” which can be found on this Food.com website. However, I have my own method of making this dish. The recipe adaptation follows below:
–2 teaspoons of minced, fresh ginger
–2 garlic cloves, minced
–1 cup of chicken broth or vegetable broth
–1/2 cup of peanut butter (the original recipe called for natural style—no sugar added—but I use the stuff with the sugar—I like the sweet/salty contrast)
–1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce
–3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
–1 tsp of chili garlic sauce
–8-12 baby carrots, sliced thinly, lengthwise
–1 cup of red bell pepper strips
–1 cup of snow peas in their pods
–1/2 of a 16-ounce box of linguine pasta
–5-6 boneless, skinless, chicken tenders—or 1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into strips
–1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
–1/4 cup of chopped peanuts
–Throw the garlic and ginger into a small saucepan and add about a tablespoon or two of the broth. Cook over low to medium heat until the ginger and garlic begin to sound like they’re sizzling.
–Add the rest of the broth + the soy sauce, peanut butter, garlic chili sauce, and vinegar. Stir until smooth. Let simmer over low heat while preparing the chicken. (Stir the sauce every once in a while and keep an eye on it, so it doesn’t reduce too much.)
–Preheat the oven to 450. Sprinkle just a little bit of soy sauce over the chicken and bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through. (Set aside and keep warm).
–Boil the noodles, carrots, pea pods, and red peppers together, according to the package directions for the noodles.
–Drain the noodles and vegetables. Slice the chicken on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces.
–Place the noodles and vegetables in a large serving bowl, add the sauce, toss well, and add the chicken.
–Serve in individual bowls with the cilantro and chopped peanuts on top.
This dish is the perfect combination of sweet, savory, and spicy. I absolutely adore these noodles. They can jump into my shopping cart any time—and they know it—those sneaky, sneaky noodles!
In Other News: I’ve had a few short stories run at basically the same time this week, so here’s the round-up, if you want to read them:
—“Flower Blog” in Coffin Bell—this one’s classified as dark/horror genre
—“Energy Immortal” in A Thin Slice of Anxiety—this one does involve a murder, so it’s definitely dark, but it was also inspired by an artist’s talk on folds at my place of work. So, it’s also kind of a study in folds/drapery.
—“My Road Trip with Rumphous”—I don’t even know what this is—it’s a road trip with a strange and unusual animal—in a quest to find love. There are some dark elements to it, but mostly, it’s silly. This one appears in Jake Magazine—which is a brand-new and super fun magazine.
What do you always keep in your pantry?