drunken noodles

The name drunken noodles apparently has quite a few meanings. I’ve read that it is used to cure hang-overs and I’ve read that it is so spicy, it is an implication to how much you will drink while eating it. Through experience I’ve found that neither of these are really necessary to enjoy some nice drunken noodles. Hangover or not, alongside a beer or not, these noodles are just plain good.

It all started as an innocent trip to the neighborhood Thai restaurant and ended as a full-on obsession with these noodles. “Were getting drunken noodles on Sunday!” I (soberly) exclaimed on a Thursday night. We didn’t get them that Sunday, but I’ve been thinking about them ever since, wondering if a home-made version would be anything like that flavorful bowl of chewy rice noodles I had at the restaurant.

The recipe inspiration came from an old Bon Appétit but there was some major tweaking that occured.  I didn’t get the chance to stop by an Asian market so I used my low-sodium standard soy sauce instead of the “black soy sauce” and the “light soy sauce” which to me sounds like when mixed together it makes regular soy sauce? Someone, please enlighten me. From the general idea of the sauce I took it to a veggie-filled meal that tuned out to be just as addicting as those take-out noodles.

Drunken Noodles – 2 servings (As I’ve mentioned before I generally only make about 2 servings (which is probably more like 4 actual servings) of pasta or we eat too much :)

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeños, chopped *I like spicy food, if you don’t want it too hot, decrease the amount of peppers!
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 servings rice noodles (wide ones)
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 white onion, chopped
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 4 leaves basil, thinly sliced

Prepare the rice noodles as directed. Set aside.

Prepare the sauce: mix the fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar and set aside.

Heat the oil in wok over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add garlic and jalapeños and stir-fry for about 3-4 minutes.

Add sauce, peppers and onions and stir-fry until peppers are crisp-tender, another 3-4 minutes.

Add noodles and spinach and toss until spinach has wilted and noodles are coated with sauce.

*I served our noodles with some crispy tofu instead of adding meat to the noodles.

I used my new wok to prepare this meal, which was sent to me by CSN Stores as part of their preferred blogger program. Thoughts on the wok? It did seem a little easier to stir-fry, although certainly not necessary, and there was definitely less stove top clean-up as it kept everything in the pan! And I did feel like a professional ;) The pan itself was also very easy to clean up, now I just need to find somewhere to put it!


cuban cobb salad

There are times when I like my salad to have some meat to it. Literally.  And this salad fits that bill precisely.

It is filling and flavorful, an easy way to fit in your vegetables and incredibly easy to put together. When I make salads for lunch I need them to keep me satisfied for a few hours and I also need them to come together in a pinch so I don’t spend hours the night before on my lunch. (Someday I’ll start making peanut butter and jelly) The pulled pork came from Brasa, a local rotisserie, and so any part of this salad that would have taken any time was done for me. The rest required a bit of chopping and I was left with an amazing brown bag lunch. :)

Cuban Cobb Salad - 2 servings

  • 10 cups romaine and baby romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups cucumbers, chopped
  • 1 cup yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup sweet butter pickles, roughly chopped
  • 4 slices smoked ham, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 pound pulled pork
  • dijon dressing, see below

Layer all ingredients over lettuce and drizzle with dijon dressing.

Dijon Dressing

  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey

Whisk all ingredients together.

wild mushroom & truffled brie

You can say any of these words (truffle, brie, mushrooms) and it is a guaranteed swoon. But when you put them all together? It gets a little tricky to hold back. And it seems any desire to hold back is left by the wayside.

It actually wasn’t my intention. You see I was planning on adding some thyme from my “garden” but that truffle oil and salt always seems to catch my eye at the most perfect moments.

Would it be too much I wondered? Too rich and too ridiculously over-the-top it was not. There was definitely swooning and not just by me.

Warm brie, truffled mushrooms and crispy bread – I’m not sure if I can think of many other combinations quite like it. But then again, I’ve got everything I need right here.

Wild Mushroom & Truffled Brie

  • 8 oz wheel of brie
  • baguette slices, toasted
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 8 oz mushrooms, roughly chopped (I used an exotic variety of baby bella, oyster and shittakes)
  • 1 tsp truffle oil
  • 1 small pinch of truffle salt

Pre-heat oven to 375°. Remove wrapper from brie and place back in bottom half of cardboard. Bake on a sheet pan for about 10-15 minutes, until brie is soft.

Heat large pan over medium heat. Add olive oil to pan. When hot add shallot and saute for about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook for about 5-7 more minutes, until mushrooms are tender. Remove from heat and add truffle salt and oil, stirring to incorporate.

Invert warm brie on platter and cover with mushroom mixture. Serve alongside baguette slices.

pancetta-wrapped peaches & vinho verde

A topic I’ve been longing to learn more about is wine and of course along with that comes wine and food pairings. While I can easily say that wine is my favorite liquid, I will admit that it is something I don’t know much about. I’ve got books, I’ve got a BF who sold wine for a short stint and yet I can barely determine if something is “oaky” or not.  But what I do know? I know that a vinho verde tastes just perfect with peaches & pancetta.

With a short ingredient list and the use of cured pork I was sold on this recipe when I came across it on the Food & Wine website. Although I’m almost convinced you could wrap anything in pancetta and it would turn out delicious.  

And until my wine palette is more refined, I’ll just have to stick with what tastes good. I think I can handle that.

Pancetta -Wrapped Peaches from Food & Wine, serves 4 as an appetizer

  • 2 ripe peaches, sliced into wedges
  • a few basil leaves, torn into about 12 pieces
  • 12 slices pancetta

Roll pancetta in half. Place basil leaf and peach on one end and wrap pancetta around peach. Fasten with a toothpick if necessary.

Coat pan with cooking spray. Heat to medium-high heat. Add peaches and cook on both sides until pancetta is crispy. 

Serve!

Do you know of any good wine resources to help me out?