Sunday, January 30, 2011

Using My Noodle

As you’ve probably heard about (or have been digging yourself out of), here on the East Coast we’ve been getting slammed with a record breaking number of consecutive snowstorms. This month, it’s been snowing in blizzard-like proportions just about once a week. It seems like we’ll be living in a colorless snow globe for quite a bit.

Snow can be beautiful. Even despite the impending hassle; it’s hard not to be taken by the marshmallow world of fresh and untouched snowfall. For a short while, it’s an excuse to just stay inside and be cozy. Then, there’s the reality: stuck cars, dirty slush, and who can forget the absurd apocalyptic panic mode people go into when they hear that accumulations are on the way again?

The weather man could be calling for two inches or two feet; either way, you can bet droves of people will be on their way to the store to shop for their lives. Apparently, no one has enough food in their house to make it through one possible day of being snowed in. Without a bag of white bread and a carton of milk, one just might starve to death.

As the food manager for a local culinary school, grocery shopping is pretty much my job. Whether it is going to snow the next day or not, I still have to go to the store to buy food for classes. Crazed mobs of snow shoppers taking up all the parking spaces and forming lines out the door are simply in my way.

Lately, I’ve been finding myself caught in the snow shopper madness a lot and it’s been pretty interesting to see what people stock up on when they think the sky is falling. Of course, milk, bread and eggs make the top of the list (maybe there is a big blizzard brunch that no one is telling me about where everyone makes French toast and scrambled eggs?). Of course, canned goods are also a big one, and another item that I’ve really started to notice lately—peanut butter.

It makes sense. Peanut butter is a pantry staple. Although I wasn’t snowed in (yet), it came in handy for me the other night. Luckily, I happened to have a bunch of other great flavors on hand to make a delicious spicy peanut and coconut noodle bowl: cilantro, peanuts, one trusty lime, sambal oelek chili paste, and a can of coconut milk—very Thai-ish. It’s really easy to make, and is a perfect way to use up some of that peanut butter when you’re stuck inside!

Spicy Peanut and Coconut Noodle Bowl

Yield: 4-6 servings

- 1/2 pound round udon noodles or spaghetti
- 1, 13.5 oz can coconut milk
- 1 lime, juiced + lime slices for garnish
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon sambal oelek chili paste
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, grated
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, lightly chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup roasted peanuts, lightly chopped
- Toasted coconut to garnish

• In a medium bowl, whisk together coconut milk, lime juice, peanut butter, sambal, soy sauce, and grated ginger until fairly smooth.
• In a medium sauce pot with salted water, cook noodles until done and strain.
• In a wok, heat vegetable oil and add minced garlic; cook until fragrant. Pour in sauce and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 3 minutes until thickened; add cilantro at last minute and salt and pepper to taste.
• Mix the noodles into the sauce. Put into bowls and garnish with peanuts, toasted coconut, and lime wedges.


Evan Thomas said...

Great recipe! This sounds very comforting and hearty with the peanut butter and coconut milk. A winner for sure.

Roxan said...

Ooo, how funny I totally have all the ingredients to make this right now. It looks great!
Sorry to hear about all the snow you've been getting, I know that can get hard to live in. It's been pretty dry in our mountains the past couple weeks but finally we got some snow in mammoth today!

Claudia said...

In MN, I run to the store... for wine... and food the day before the snow is supposed to hit. It is pretty to look at - but I panic about my kids driving in it, me driving in it - so maybe I should move south. But this year it'snowing there, also.

Meanwhile, I love a noodle dish and this is packed with so much goodness, I might even drive in the snow for ingredients!

Krissyp said...

You got your noodle fix yeh! I love that you used chili paste and cilantro. I am trying that next time. Looks great, beautiful pic.

Deborah Dowd said...

This looks great snow or no snow!Except for the coconut milk, these are all staples in my pantry, so I am going to try it out- it sounds simple and delicious and I love Thai-ish!

Foodtographer said...

This sounds soooo good...and I have all this ingredients on hand...sounds like a dinner this week....

Victoria said...

Love these flavors!! Such an easy dish to put together too, the peanut butter and coconut milk sound decadent together :) I also believe everyone makes French toast during a snowstorm, nothing else explains all that bread, milk, and eggs, haha.

Healthy Mamma said...

*ICK! I would not be able to deal w all that snow! I'm a desert rat for sure!
This. Looks. So. Yummy! love every single ingredient going on in this pasta! bookmarked for this weeks dinner! Better make that tomorow! ;)
teeheee, blizzard brunch! ;)

Adelina said...

I can't imagine how that may feel living in Los Angeles. Thanks for your interesting findings! Love the flavors of your noodles. I love Thai flavors and I would totally devour this dish!

Frank said...

I love the snow, too--and nothing is so satisfying as scarfing down a nice bowl noodles as you watch the snow come down... :)

Elisabeth said...

I loved your post, the cute cartoon, and especially the healthy and comforting yummy recipe. Good way to get your peanut butter fix for the day.
Thanks for sharing!

Karen @ Mignardise said...

This dish caught my eye on Foodgrazing - all my favorite ingredients. Here in Maine we're buried in snow too. I'll keep this recipe ready for the next storm.

Chef Dennis said...

hi Marisa

how that noodle bowl would certainly warm your body! I love that spicy noodle mixture. Hope your doing ok with the weather, we have missed most of the bad weather the last week, just a little freezing rain in Philly

Hope your weekend is going well Dennis

5 Star Foodie said...

A wonderful noodle bowl with pb & coconut milk, I like the addition of sambal oelek chili paste here too!

Island Vittles said...

what a great from-the-pantry recipe! Perfect for a stormy night (our power is flickering as the wind picks up)...but this I can make on top of the wood stove! Theresa