Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Thai Noodle Recipe (& a Summer Picnic!)

I've been wanting to make a dish with peanut sauce ever since a delicious dinner with some friends a few months ago where I left with a burning mouth (I'm a wimp with spicy foods) but also so satisfied. A good Thai peanut sauce can make anything taste better, whether it be on top of grilled chicken, as a dipping sauce for sushi or spring rolls, or in this case, on noodles.

For this dish, I roughly followed this recipe but modified it a bit, adding a few things like bean sprouts, extra ginger, & slightly less red pepper than the recipe calls for. On a hot night in the city, it was the perfect light, refreshing dinner we were craving. It makes approximately 6 servings, so would also be great for feeding a crowd at a summer dinner party.

Here's what you need:
- box of spinach linguine or fettuccine
- 2 cups of broccoli
- 2 cups of snow peas
- 2 cups of sugar snap peas
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1/2 cup of natural creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup of soy sauce
- 1/4 cup of water
- 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of lime juice
- 2 scallions, cut
- 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
-  2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup diced unsalted peanuts

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, drain, and rinse with cold water. While the pasta is cooking, steam or cook the broccoli, snow peas, & snap peas in a pan, covered. I added the snap peas a little later so they were still crunchy. Set the veggies and pasta aside.
Next, toast the peanuts in a pan for about 5 minutes or until they are brown. Set them aside to cool.
Make the sauce by pureeing the peanut butter, soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, lime, scallions, ginger, brown sugar & red pepper flakes in a blender or food processor. You can make the sauce as mild or spicy as you want by adding more/less red pepper flakes.
Finally, add the pasta, bean sprouts and sauce to your pan of cooked veggies and mix with tongs.
Divide into bowls, sprinkle with the toasted peanuts, & enjoy!
When we had finished cooking, we were craving some fresh air so threw some waters, a blanket, and some forks in a bag and walked down to the Boston public garden to enjoy our noodles. It was such a perfect temperature outside and it was so nice to just lie in the grass with some yummy food and my two favorite boys. We also brought along a toy filled with leftover peanut butter for Mac so he could enjoy the peanutty-goodness with us. That kept him distracted for all of about 5 minutes before he turned his attention to our bowls. They key to making a dog stick right with you in a park filled with dogs and ducks? Food.
^ josh's "be a good boy" face

Great night & great food! I think if I were to do it again I would add shredded carrots for some color and surprisingly, a little more red pepper. I think this "spicy" thing is starting to grow on me. What do you think of this recipe? Would you try it?

Psst if you live in Boston and are looking for good picnic spots I would highly recommend the public garden or the Esplanade. After about 7pm, they are both fairly quiet & peaceful while also having great people watching. 

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