Monday, August 11, 2014

Spicy Szechuan Peanut Noodles

Before we officially moved to Chicago, we would spend any opportunity staying in the city; and, every excuse delaying our return home!

One of those excuses was stopping into Gameworks for an hour or two of solid competition playing Time Crisis3, or House of The Dead 4; and, then having dinner at Big Bowl to tame the ravenous appetite we had worked up.  Everyone had a favorite item on the menu--Jon anything with potstickers, PL and Ben the Spicy Steak Skewers, Mom: Spicy Szechuan Peanut Noodles. Somehow, though, we'd all dig in to Mom's dish, even if just for a few bites. Eventually, we just started adding 2 orders.


The Spicy Szechuan Peanut Noodles became a favorite, but when we settled in Chicago, trips to the suburbs along with popular chain restaurants ended...unless we needed something from IKEA. 

These noodles are simple, satisfying, and delicious with just the right amount of heat, and barely any preparation! Enjoy them warm or cold.

(Adapted from Moosewood Restaurants most recent cookbook!)

Spicy Szechuan Peanut Noodles

Equipment:
5 quart or large pot for boiling water
Mixing bowl

Ingredients
2/3 cup chunky or creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup warm water (if sauce to thick add a little more)
2-3 Tbls of soy sauce
3 Tbls of vinegar (apple cider, white, or rice)
1-2 tsp of toasted sesame oil (if you do not like this flavor, add less)
1-2 tsp of siracha / chili-garlic paste 


1/2 lb linguini or spaghetti, cooked
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, cut in halves
1/2 cup of green onions, finely sliced
1/4 cup of red onions, diced (optional)
Optional: jalapenos, snow peas, or sugar snap peas


Instructions:
1. Wash your hands.
2. Begin boiling your salted water (add 1 tsp of salt) and pasta.


3. Prep your cucumbers and onions. Use a spoon to remove the center seeds on a cucumber.


4. Combine first 6 ingredients into a bowl (or 'magic-bullet-type' blender) and mix until smooth.




5. Adjust flavors to taste.
6. Drain pasta and combine with peanut sauce once pasta slightly cooled.


7. Add in the cucumbers and onions.


8. Serve warm or chilled.