Wednesday, September 7, 2011

spicy peanut sesame noodles

Welcome to my first post from my brand spanking new computer. Woohooo! There were some scary times in the squirrel household this week. Nobody likes the sound of a four year old laptop's hard drive clicking. Luckily I was able to salvage my data - tv series, music and some memorable pictures - and they're all safe and secure on my new MacBook Pro. Badaba ba ba! I'm loving it.

Buying a computer is not fun. It means (if you're on my side of the fence) that you have to go and brave the Apple Store and feel all the usual levels of Apple Store Rage. In order to give them their requisite $1400, you have to track down a genius and give him or her your name for the waiting list. You then get to wait, totally helpless, while employees wander aimlessly poking at their iPads or help people who came in the store after you did. It's exasperating. Apple's corporate arrogance is like... off the charts. Can they seriously have forgotten where they were 15 years ago?!

Unexpected expenses (especially so soon after a trip to New York City) mean that this squirrel is eating on the cheap for the foreseeable future. The first meal heralding my new age of poverty was spicy peanut sesame noodles. Cheap and filling and good!

spicy peanut sesame noodles
Adapted from Joy of Cooking 

1 cup unsalted peanut butter
1/4 cup rice vinegar or white vinegar
3 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
2-4 tsps chili paste, depending on your taste and and your paste 
1 1/2 tbsp sugar or honey (I used brown sugar)
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/2 cup freshly brewed black tea 

1 lb Chinese egg noodles or spaghetti (I used Farkay Wun Tun noodles - they were great)

Thin strips of English cucumber (seeded if necessary)
Chopped cilantro
Chopped green onions

In a medium bowl, mix together peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, chili paste, sugar, sesame oil and tea.

Boil noodles according to package instructions. Drain in a colander (reserving a cup of pasta water), then drizzle noodles with a little more sesame oil to keep them from sticking together. Toss with the sauce. If it is too thick, add a small amount of the pasta water until it loosens up (you will not need the whole cup!)

Serve immediately with cucumber, cilantro and green onions.

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