Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tyler Florence's Sesame Noodles
Do you remember that old show on the Food Network, Food 911? This was back when they still had chefs for most of the programs, and not "personalities" who give you tips on how to take a store bought cheesecake and smush it into muffin cups so you could pretend you baked it yourself. For those of you who are too young to remember, the premise of the show was, you wrote in to Tyler Florence with a food dilemma, like "My fabulously wealthy great-aunt from Scotland is visiting and she said she'd disown me if I couldn't produce a tasty haggis by age 25!!" or "I finally met a nice Jewish boy, but I can't make matzo ball soup OR kugel. Please help me before my future mother-in-law calls off wedding!" Then Tyler would come over and show you how to make a marvelous version of your dish so that you could prevent any family disasters. My current letter would be "The Chinese restaurant around the corner, that we order from at least once a week, is closed for renovations, with no sign as to when they'll open again. Help us get our Chinese food fix without walking the 20 blocks to Chinatown!" Although Tyler didn't come over and personally save me, this is his recipe for sesame noodles, and will help you with your cravings, whether they're due to a closed restaurant or living in a Chinese food impaired part of the country.
TYLER'S SESAME NOODLES
adapted very slightly from Tyler Florence, Food Network
1/2 lb spaghetti
3 T sesame oil
2 T peanut oil
3 T soy sauce
3 T rice vinegar
1/2 C smooth peanut butter (I'm usually an organic kind of girl, but sadly, Jif, Peter Pan and the like work better in this recipe, if you do go the wholesome route, get the smoothest kind you can, serve immediately if you need it to look pretty, since refrigeration will make the sauce clump)
6 T hot water
1 T ginger peeled and minced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 T brown sugar
2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 t sambal (this is a red chili paste), or I use 2 of the small dried chilies you can buy at any Asian food market, just pull them out at the end if you don't want to shock your guests. Break them open first if you want it spicier.
Optional: 1 T toasted sesame seeds, cucumber slices, shredded carrot
Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions, drain, toss with the sesame oil and set aside.
Put the peanut oil in a pot and heat to medium-low. Add the garlic, scallion, ginger and chili and cook for a minute or two. Then add the brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, peanut butter and hot water. Mix well (I use a ball tip whisk), until smooth. Then pour over noodles and toss to coat. If desired top with toasted sesame seeds, cucumber slices or shredded carrot.