Thursday, July 14, 2011

From the oddly stocked pantry

Sometimes I don't really plan meals, they spring forth from my cupboards, pieced together from odds and ends of my various shopping trips.  I don't think my pantry is quite usual since I pick up things that sound good or look good and if they're storable, it is likely that they will sit on my shelf until a night like tonight.  We are just back from a family trip and I have not done the usual shopping run.  I did manage to pick up some salmon last night, but that's about it, so I went to the cupboard, and this is what I ended up with.

Wild Yam Noodles with Peanut Sauce

1 12 oz package of Wild Yam Noodles (purchased on a whim at the local international market)

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/4 of a medium sized shallot
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground ginger (fresh would probably be better, but I didn't have it so there ya go)

Cook the yam noodles according to the package (in this case, the quaintly worded package that urged me to "Please do stir the noodles with chop stick").  While they are cooking put all the other ingredients into your food processor and process until smooth.  When the noodles are cooked, drain and toss with the peanut sauce.  Yep, that's it.

I served mine with broiled salmon that had been brushed with soy sauce and mirin and added a side salad of butter lettuce dressed with rice wine vinegar and olive oil.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Now if this isn't neglect...

I'm not sure I know what is!  I can't believe I haven't posted here in a year and a half.  I guess I haven't been doing that much cooking that needs to be documented lately.  In a rut, uninspired or just too plain busy to blog about it.  Anyhow, tonight I made up a recipe and I want to document it. Mark your calendar.
If you're in a marking your calendar mood, go ahead and mark July 30th for the day my new fancy induction range is being delivered!  I'm so giddy I can hardly sit still.  Quite a plunge considered before this morning I had never cooked on an induction ANYTHING.  But since we'd been talking about it, I got an induction counter top burner...ok, it's a fancy hot plate, but it is awesome and I'm putting it through its paces in prep for the big jump to a range that doesn't just flat out suck.
Tonight it was quesedilla for the veggie among us and steak to go with it for those who love their meat. Little Dog saw the sliced up stead on the serving plate and immediately started to complain, "What?!?! I don't get any meat?" but I reassured him he did and peace was restored to the dinner table.
Anyhow, on to that recipe.  I'm going to call it Mexican Pesto, though I just made it up.  I wanted something other than salsa to grace my quesedilla.  I armed myself with the food processor and before you know it, I had a really tasty pesto that made it look like dinner was super fancy instead of just things cooked in my cast iron skillets on my new hot plate.

Mexican Pesto
1 big bunch cilantro washed and the tough stems cut off (tender stem are welcome to stay)
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 a medium sized jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup toasted and salted pepitos
salt to taste (it probably takes more than you expect, unless you expect it to take a lot- then you'd be right)
Toss the cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, lime juice and pepitos into the bowl of your food processor (or robot culinaire as they call them in France- doesn't that sound so much cooler?) and slowly add the olive oil until it looks like pesto.  Taste it then add salt to cut the bitterness. 
That's it.  Don't expect the kids to eat it, or at least don't expect my kids to eat it.  Little Dog tasted it and decided it was "disgusting"  as many things are lately.  The grown ups loved it though so I'm taking the "more for me" attitude about it.