Saturday, June 30, 2012

Spicy Peanut Noodles

Summer is the season for get togethers.  If you're in need of a new recipe to share at your next gathering, try this one for Spicy Peanut Noodles.  I first tasted this dish at my parents' house a few summers ago when my whole family gathered for a long weekend.  To ease the stress off my mom in preparing the meals, each family took a turn making things over the course of the weekend.  My sister brought this delicious noodle dish saying it was her new favorite.  After a few bites, it quickly became mine, too! 

I misplaced the recipe in one of my many attempts to get my large collection of recipes in order, but I recently came across it again and decided it was time to make up a batch of this tasty, cool summer side dish.  This dish comes together in less than 20 minutes of prep time, but it does taste better if it is refrigerated at least 4 hours or even overnight.  The flavors just sort of go through it better.  I like this dish for summer because it goes great with just about anything on the grill and is very picnic friendly.  I took this dish to our VBS potluck tonight, and the bowl was scraped clean in about 10 minutes.  I got several rave reviews for those "spicy noodles".  This is one that the kids don't like too much because it is a little spicy, but grown ups seem to really like it.  I used a box of pasta I had in the pantry that I picked up for less than 50 cents using an instore special and a coupon making this dish economical, too.

I have played around with the original recipe just a bit to fit our tastes and also make enough to take to fill the larger bowl that I often take to potlucks.  The only ingredient(s) that you may not have on hand is Sesame Oil and/or sesame seeds.  You can find both in the Asian aisle of the grocery store.  The sesame oil runs about $3.50 a bottle or so.  The toasted sesame seeds are a nice touch on top, but I have also made the dish without them, and it didn't affect the overall taste/texture too much. The fresh cilantro is key to this recipe, however.  I have made it without the fresh cilantro and it just doesn't taste the same.  I usually use spaghetti noodles, but you could also use fettucine or thin spaghetti.  I have not ever used a tube pasta with this recipe, but I imagine if that's all you have, that would work too. 

I did not manage to get a photo of this dish before the potluck.  Here in central Ohio, we were under a severe thunderstorm watch, and a BIG storm passed through here just as I was finishing up the dish.  Winds of up to 80 mph were recorded just a couple miles from our house and we had some pretty bad roof/shingle damage.  Needless to say, I was more concerned about finding the insurance info than setting up the photo shoot.  I'll try to snap a photo when I make them the next time and upload it then.

Here's the recipe:

Spicy Peanut Noodles
12 oz spaghetti (I used a full box of Ronzoni Smart Taste Pasta)
6 Tbsp canola oil
4 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
4 1/2 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion (3-4 green onions)
1/3 cup chopped peanuts (I used my Pampered Chef chopper)
1-2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1.  Cook spaghetti in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente (about 10 min)
2.  While spaghetti is cooking, heat the canola oil, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes over medium heat in a small saucepan for about 2 minutes.
3.  Add honey, soy sauce, and salt and stir to combine; remove from heat.
4.  Drain the cooked spaghetti.
5.  Combine the spaghetti with the soy sauce/oil mixture. 
6.  Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
7.  When ready to serve, add chopped cilantro, peanuts, and green onions.  Stir to combine.
Top with toasted sesame seeds.

What's your favorite summer side dish to share?

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