The salad days of summer continue……
Some people have signature dishes, something that they always bring, that they always serve.
I am not one of those people.
In part because, I have a very, very low threshold for boredom.
In part because there is very little I don’t truly believe that I could do better next time – and that means little changes, and those little changes add up over time.
In part, because once I ‘file’ a recipe – out of sight, out of mind.
Going through my books and folders for this blog has been a real trip down memory lane.
In the ‘why did I stop making that’ category:
RAINBOW PEANUT NOODLES
It’s tasty, it’s easy, it travels well…..but once I put my copy of the cookbook Asian Noodles away…….when I picked it up, it fell open to the peanut dressing recipe.
Rainbow Peanut Noodles
Chinese Peanut Dressing
One 1/3 inch thick slice fresh ginger, peeled and cut in half
8 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon hot chile paste (or more…)
½ cup smooth peanut butter (or more…)
¼ cup soy sauce
3 ½ tablespoons sugar
3 1.2 tablespoons Chines black vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons chicken broth or water (or more)
- In a blender or a food processor fitted with a metal blade, finely chop the ginger and the garlic.
- Add the remaining ingredients in the order listed. The dressing should be the consistency of thick cream. If it’s too thick, add more liquid; if it’s too think add more peanut butter.
- Refrigerate in a cover container (this is a good time to use a Mason jar). The dressing will keep for 2 to 3 weeks, she says – mine has never lasted past the 10 day mark.
Rainbow Noodle Salad
1 # thin noodles, cooked until just tender, rinsed under cold water, drained and tossed with 2 teas toasted sesame oil
8-10 carrots (2#) peeled and grated
4 good sized cukes, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, shredded and squeezed dry
4 cups bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
2 ripe bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into thin strings (about 2 cups)
4 cups sliced cooked chicken, cut into thin strips (or the meat from a Friday night special supermarket rotisserie chicken. Save the bones for broth)
2-3 tablespoons minced scallion greens (or garlic scapes)
- Arrange noodles in a large serving bowl or platter.
- Arrange vegetables in concentric circles over the noodles and pile the chicken in the center – or if there are vegetarians or food allergy issues, arrange the meat and veggies in smaller bowls/plates around the noodle bowl.
- Sprinkle the scallions or scapes all around on top.
- Serve at room temperature or chilled with the Chinese Peanut Sauce.
12 servings, depending on your crowd and what else is on the table.
Nina Simonds. Asian Noodles. Hearst Books. 1997. p.82.
Nina Simonds has a blog that has a tahini version of this sauce at ninasimonds.