Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Peanut Sesame Noodles

No pictures, sorry.  And, if I had my druthers, I think I'd rather be posting about dessert right now.  I had a friend write on her blog not too long ago that there are only three things she's serious about--her family, her career and dessert.  To unashamedly steal that, there are three things I am serious about right now: my faith, my family and dessert.  I don't want to admit it, but I fear sugar might have a serious stronghold on me.  Unfortunately, because more important things (like dinner) have been taking up my cooking time (or lack thereof, it feels these days) and I have been making my way through a movie theater sized box of Sugar Babies the last few days, there will be no homemade dessert tonight.  There will most likely be sugary post in the near future, though...

Until then, I wanted to share the unbelievably quick dish we had tonight.  See this as your "Asian noodle dish launching pad" and check out my notes below for additional suggestions to fancy this up a bit!

 Basic Peanut Sesame Noodles
1 package pre-washed, cut broccoli florets (or substitute 3/4-1 pound vegetables of your choice)
1/2-1 package rice vermacelli (or other long pasta--amount depends on how noodle-y you're feeling)
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup fat free sesame soy ginger salad dressing (I used a Trader Joe's brand, but you can use whatever Asian-style dressing you find)

If using rice noodles, pour boiling water over the noodles and allow to soak for just a couple minutes or until very "al dente."  Be careful as rice noodles get mushy very fast!  It's best to drain the water even a moment early if you're in doubt because they'll continue to soften a  bit.  If you're using another kind of pasta, just prepare according to package directions.  Drain water and set aside.
In a saute pan, over high heat, steam broccoli in a small amount of water (1/4-1/2 cup) until crisp-tender (just a couple minutes, you're really just wanting to take the "raw edge" off).  Drain water and add to noodles.
In a microwave-safe dish, melt the peanut butter for about 30 seconds on high heat or until it's easily stirred.  Pour in salad dressing and stir until smooth (you can add a couple tablespoons of water to make it more pourable if needed).  Pour over noodles, tossing to combine.  Serve warm, at room temperature or cold.

Notes: This would be really lovely with a mixture of vegetables (carrots, red bell pepper).  Also, to bulk it up a bit I would suggest adding some cooked (grill or stir fry) chicken, shrimp, pork etc.  Finally, some cilantro or green onion and some crushed peanuts would make for a nice garnish.  Tonight, however, it was just about preparation to tummies asap!  Also, sometime soon I'll post the recipe to make a peanut sauce from scratch (just in case you don't have Asian style salad dressing lying around...)
Off to watch Avatar with my dear husband...

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