Thursday, June 24, 2010

Back in Action with Something Spicy

Oh Summer.  How you steal time away... tempting with fun little projects and getaways.  And then there's summer heat.  It's hot out and I am constantly sticky.  Which brings me to today's dish... Spicy Chipotle Peanut Noodles. 

Now.  These are lovely.  This is an easy recipe and is just the ticket if you want noodles, want spice, and want something velvety and peanut buttery.  All you need to know how to do is boil water, chop, open a can and stir.  Let's get cookin'!

You will need some cilantro, soy sauce, pasta or Chinese noodles, bell pepper, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, peanut butter, apple juice and carrots or peas & carrots.

First, set your water to boil.  Dump in your noodles when it's the right time.  You'll know.  Follow package instructions.  Always a good idea.

Then open up your can of chipotle peppers.   I have a strong belief that you should have some on hand at all time.  They're delicious!  There is not substitute for their hot, smoky and sweet flavor.  Anywhoodle, fish two of those babies out!  Then chop 'em and dice 'em until they're real fine.

Combine some peanut butter, soy sauce and apple juice and the chipotles in a bowl.  Add a little adobo sauce.  You'll feel much, much better about yourself if you do this.  Trust me.

Then stir that mess up, y'all!  Combine well.  It won't look pretty.  But this is a dressing, not a painting, so relax a little, will ya?

Then slice up some bell pepper.  You can use whichever kind you like.  The original recipe calls for red, but I had green on hand.  I'm a rebel, you see? 

At this point in the noodle cooking process, I threw in some frozen peas and carrots.  There was only about a minute left on the pasta, so it feel like the right time.  If you are using fresh carrots, you may want to throw them in a little earlier.  Then, once all of that is cooked, drain it and throw it in a bowl.

Then be kind and toss the hot pasta with the bell pepper.  I like my peppers a bit crunchy, so I use the heat of the noodles to cook them just slightly, but you can saute them before if you really have a thing for softer peppers.  It's your life. 

Then toss with the dressing that looked ugly.  It will look so much better when dispersed over the noodles and veggies.  Stir it up really well, y'all.  If the pasta absorbs too much dressing, add a splash more apple juice.

Scoop the noodles into a cute bowl and sprinkle with cilantro.  In real life, it will be in focus for but a moment, and then things get blurry because the adobo and peanuts and cilantro smell intoxicating together.  Allow yourself this buzz.  'Tis the stuff of life, my friend.


Here's my recipe, adapted from the goddess herself, Betty Crocker.

Spicy Chipotle-Peanut Noodle Bowls
serves 4

1/2 C creamy peanut butter
1/2 C apple juice
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 chipotle chiles in adobo, seeded and chopped
1 tsp adobo sauce from can
1/4 C chopped cilantro
1/2 C frozen peas and carrots or 2 medium carrots, julienned
1 medium bell pepper, julienned
10 oz dried whole-wheat spaghetti, or 8-10 oz of Chinese noodles

1.  In small bowl, combine peanut butter, apple juice, chiles and adobo sauce and soy sauce.
2.  Boil water, add pasta or noodles.  Cook peas and carrots/carrots in water at the end of cooking process.  Can boil or saute bell pepper if desired.
3.  Toss noodles, vegetables and dressing in a bowl.  Sprinkle with cilantro.

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