Saturday, July 12, 2008

Soba with Spicy Peanut Sauce

I was lucky enough to help a friend cook dinner last night, and eat it too.

Lorna Hershinow is the founder of Celebrate Reading, a reading festival for everyone (including my students) that features local, national, and international authors all on one day in April. I've been helping her in my mostly uncommitted style, which means I've done almost nothing but been given a lot of credit. Don't you love those kind of partners?

Well, Lorna has plenty of ardor, and is very literary, committed, and involved. I stress this because she is always on the up and up in the goings on about town while I, well, am not. Lorna is always good enough to let me know what's happening and encourages me to come. Most of the time I have to beg out due to my inability to juggle much. Yesterday she invited me to a reading by Kathy Phillips, who wrote about taking care of her aging father and would have been fabulous to hear, but I didn't attend, knowing that it would be Amaya's nap time (besides the fact that she would have been unruly through such a reading). I did accept the invitation for a dinner at her house afterwards, to which I brought some sushi and mountain apple pie (more to come on that front later).

Lorna has mislabeled me as some sort of expert on food because I admitted that Gourmet was about the only thing I read these days, put me in charge, and deferred to me in cooking decisions. I felt like a complete fraud.

The recipe came from her son, David. Apparently he and his wife are foodies themselves and I'm not sure if they made up the recipe or got it from somewhere else, still I had to credit them because it is such a good one. I love soba noodles, especially with peanut butter. How could you go wrong?

Did I mention how EASY this recipe is?

I helped make it, but I didn't write down the exact recipe. I made it again today and tried to go from memory, so it may be a little off. And sorry about the picture being so ugly. Blurg.

Soba with Spicy Peanut Sauce

12 oz dried soba noodles

sesame oil

1/4 C green onions, chopped thinly (white and light green parts only)

1 T grated ginger

1/4 C soy sauce

1/4 C peanut butter (natural style, like Adam's)

1/4 C honey

1 T chili garlic sauce (or you can substitute other spicy sauces, or leave it out if you're a wimp)

2 C bean sprouts

1 C snow peas, trimmed and split

1/4 C finely shredded carrots

Cook soba noodles as directed (boiling water, pay attention to it because it cooks quickly and it's not as good overcooked). Drain and toss with some sesame oil in a large bowl.

In the meantime, saute sprouts and snowpeas in a little oil and garlic. You can use any vegetables, really. I also put in broccoli and zuchinni (matchsticks). Put into large bowl with soba.

Saute green onions and garlic in some oil, adding ginger when the onions are nearly cooked. Then add soy sauce, peanut butter, and honey. At this point I added more of the honey (maybe 2 T) and made it to taste. Then add chili garlic sauce and keep whisking or stirring until it thickens.

Add shredded carrots and sauce to bowl, toss together and serve.

You can also add shrimp or chicken, but it's good vegetarian food too.

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