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Friday, April 4, 2008

Tasty Tools: Warm Asian Noodle Salad

I wasn't sure whether to participate in the Tasty Tools inaugural event. This event was drummed up by Joelen and fellow food lovers on the What's Cooking board. The idea is to select a particular kitchen tool, and ask fellow bloggers (and non-bloggers alike) to submit/share recipes in which they use that tool. For the first time out, Joelen chose the Microplane/Box grater.

Basically *anything* I make would qualify because I "mince" garlic with a microplane (and we use garlic like it's goin' out of style), but I don't do a whole lot of creating my own recipes (yet), so I felt a little silly. However, "KevinsLady"(who is stupendously fabulous, btw, in giving me her blessing to use this here!) on What's Cooking began boasting about a fabulous asian noodle salad recipe earlier this week. It looked good, so I figured, why not? It met the requirements, as I'd be grating not only garlic, but fresh ginger as well!
I hold the garlic on the stem end, to give myself something to hold onto as it gets low. Works great! What you get is almost a garlic paste - a very fine mush of garlic. We LOVE it!
And the ginger...

If this recipe looks even remotely good to you... MAKE IT! You will NOT be sorry! Don't worry about having to buy a whole bottle of sesame seed oil or chili oil... because you will be making this again. And again. I just finished my bowl and I want more!

Warm Asian Noodle Salad
Discovered by: KevinsLady
From: My Recipes.com

~1/4 cup natural-style peanut butter (Natural-style? I use Skippy)
~1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
~1 tablespoon rice vinegar
~1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
~1 1/2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
~1 teaspoon hot chili sauce with garlic (I used chili oil)
~1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (I grated about 1.5 inches of fresh ginger, since I was doubling the recipe)
~1/4 teaspoon salt
~2 garlic cloves, minced

~1/2 pound uncooked linguine
~1 1/2 cups shredded carrot
~1/4 pound snow peas, trimmed and halved crosswise
~1 to 2 cups broccoli (I added)
~1 cup (2-inch) strips red bell pepper (I omitted)
~3/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
~3 boneless/skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips (I added)

To prepare sauce, combine first 9 ingredients (peanut butter through garlic) in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk. (I doubled the sauce, used 1/2 to marinate the chicken strips while I prepared the vegetables)

To prepare salad, cook linguine according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. While cooking pasta, cook the chicken strips in saute pan until cooked through. [To the pasta:] Add carrots, broccoli and snow peas; let stand 2 minutes. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Place pasta mixture, bell pepper, and onions in a large bowl.

Combine peanut sauce and cooking liquid. Pour over pasta mixture; toss well. Serve warm.

Note: Hot chili sauce with garlic can be found in the Asian section of most large supermarkets.
And, I had to include this. I flipped the cap on my new bottle of chili oil, only to see the white protection seal inside. I unscrewed the cap to peel off the seal, but to my surprise found a bottle cap! I literally laughed out loud when I saw this (it's too cute!), so I thought I'd share:

***I can't believe I am just thinking about this now, but sesame seeds would probably be a great addition in here!***

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