Tuesday, January 17, 2012
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Things are a bit crazy around here. This morning we woke to a light snow that dusted the trees and turned the ridgeline that's visible from the kitchen windows into a scene worthy of a Christmas card. However, the view of the road at the bottom of the hill told an altogether different story. There wasn't a car in sight. We don't get a lot of snow in this part of the valley and because it usually melts quickly, folks tend to stay in rather than chance roads that are in "iffy" condition because of black ice. Normally, that's fine with me. Not so this morning. I was impatiently waiting for a repairman to brave the hill that leads to our house and as I waited there were times I found myself beseeching the heavens with words that were less than prayerful. You see, I have a problem. I have been without an oven for a week now and this man was to be have been my Galahad and right a life turned upside down by the vagaries of a modern appliance. That didn't happen. Oh, he made it up the hill O.K., but the problem was a thermocouple and a part that had to be special ordered. His last words to me were, "maybe next week." Some prince! So, we are going to have another week of stove-top, microwave and toaster oven meals. Fortunately, I have some recipes for this contingency. Tonight's recipe is a really simple stir-fry that can be on the table within thirty minutes. It is great for days when the clock has won the race with time, but you still have a family to feed. This is an Asian-like meal that calls no country home. It consists of noodles and garlic and shrimp that are tossed and stir-fried in a simple soy-based sauced before being rushed to the table to feed the hungry hordes. This is a mildly spiced dish that works well for a week-night meal. It won't make anyone's list of favorites but it is a great fast family meal. You can use precooked shrimp if needs be and any type of pasta can be used if you don't have access to Chinese noodles. The only trick to this dish is not to overcook the noodles prior to stir-frying. Here's the recipe.
Shrimp Noodles...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
12 ounces Chinese noodles or pasta
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 pound peeled, deveined shrimp
2 cups mung bean sprouts
5 green onions (spring onions, scallions), white and green parts
4 teaspoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon Asian chile paste (I use Sriracha)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1) Bring 2 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil in a 3 to 4-quart saucepan. Add noodles and cook per package directions until noodles are just done. Drain noodles in a colander. Rinse with cold water and toss with sesame oil.
2) Rinse shrimp in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Remove tails from the shrimp if needed. In a medium saucepan, bring enough water to cover shrimp to a boil. Cook shrimp in the boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly.
3) Rinse mung bean sprouts and drain thoroughly. Chop green onions.
4) Combine light soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, sugar and chile paste in a small bowl. Set aside.
5) Heat a wok or heavy skillet and add oil. When oil is hot, add garlic and noodles. Stir-fry for a minute, and then stir in shrimp and mung bean sprouts. Give sauce a quick re-stir and swirl it into pan. Stir in green onion. Stir-fry for 1 - 2 minutes to heat everything through. Serve hot. Yield: 4 to 5 servings.
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