Peanut Noodles

Peanut NoodlesWhen it comes right down to it, the fact that this dish has a no-cook sauce and that I can make it entirely in the blender…well…that is really what drew me to it originally.  After I made it once, it was the flavor that drew me in.  The second time I made it, I started adding vegetables.  The next few times it barely made it to the table due to the extensive snitching that may or may not have been done by the chef.  Kitchen rights, you know.

As it turns out, I am a bit amazed at the fact that I have only added to the original recipe.  The flavor is so spot on, I have no improvements or detractions.  Only the addition of vegetables and chicken to make it more of a well rounded meal.  That said, this is very easy to make entirely vegetarian or to load it up with lean meat.  The sauce can be thrown together in a matter of minutes and the entire she-bang can be made ahead of time to make an easy weeknight meal you can just pull right from the fridge and eat.  Not bad for dinner out of a blender.
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Peanut Noodles
Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence

As I mentioned above, these noodles are entirely customizable.  Originally, they were meant to be eaten cold, but our family loves them warm.  Do what we do and enjoy them fresh and then fight over the chilled leftovers the next day.

12 oz linguini, regular or whole wheat
3 T sesame oil
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic
juice of 1 lime, about 1 1/2 T
1 tsp red chili paste
2 T brown sugar
3 T rice vinegar
3 T soy sauce, preferably low sodium
1/2 c creamy peanut butter
6-8 T hot water
Optional add ins:
1 1/2 c shredded, cooked chicken
2 carrots, peeled and grated
2 c fresh spinach, packed
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 T sesame seeds
red pepper flakes to taste

Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Drain and toss with sesame oil.  Set aside.  In a blender, combine all the sauce ingredients except the water.  Fear not!  This is not a spicy sauce!  Hence, the optional red pepper flakes.  The red chile paste is all for flavor so don’t be tempted to skip it!    Add the hot water, a tablespoon at a time, until the sauce is the consistency of heavy cream.  Err on the side of thin if you are uncertain.  Pour every bit of the sauce over the noodles and scrape the blender clean!  The pasta will absorb the sauce so you want every drop!  Toss in any add-ins you want (I recommend them all) and enjoy warm, or chill and eat cold.