24 February 2010

Another Storm ... Another Snow Man ... Another Spicy Supper

Noontime: Yesterday's beef and barley soup will be long gone when Silent Bob comes in from shoveling and using the snowblower to clear the latest foot of snow. It's wet and heavy stuff this time; it's the kind of stuff that the meteorologists warn you to be careful of when shoveling. It's heart attack snow ... the kind that you take in small doses ... an inch or two at a time. Unfortunately, this storm hit late in the night and has gifted New England with 8 plus inches. By the time dawn rolled around, the flakes were sticking together - a sure sign that it is getting warmer aloft and the snow-to-rain changeover is on its way. It's going to be a wet, slushy wind-up to this storm.

Two hours later: The town trucks haven't even been down our road yet. I guess that let's you know how fed up with winter the DPW guys are ... besides, it's school vacation week here and I'm thinking they think they can put off the really early morning plow down our road. Gap Mountain folk are retirees or a couple families in which the parents are self-employed or own BIG trucks. Do you see how this logic is goes?

Anyway, it's storms like these that make us all a bit cautious. The trees are really weighted with heavy, packy snow, so there's a real risk of power outages. Hence, we run jugs of water and fill the bath tub so we can 'keep the facilities functional' and have enough water for the teapot and a quick wash, should the power lines drop. We also lay in the wood supply so there's dry wood for burning. We get the cars in under shelter as best we can... or at least out of the way of the snow-clearing equipment and the town plows. And we wait... this is a late winter blow. Spring can't be far behind!

While I wait this one out, I plan to make a simple, but spicy warm supper for SB and I. Nina Simond's cookbook, Asian Noodles has been a source of many a meal over the years... today, it's her Chinese Curried Noodles recipe. I will be altering the recipe a bit, because I really like Pot- Browned Noodles as a cushion for spicy meat sauces. If you choose to make this dish, the recipe includes her noodle treatment. If you like the idea of Pot-Browned Noodles, you can find them in an earlier post or in the labels section under 'pasta'. 'Nuf said... let's get on with getting the kitchen smelling spicy!

Chinese Curry Noodles or Rice - printer friendly

Chinese Curry Noodles
adapted from Asian Noodles – Nina Simonds


1 lb. lean ground pork or ground beef 
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. peanut oil
1½ c. onions, finely diced
2 tbsp. curry powder (Madras)
a generous couple pinches of cayenne pepper
2¼ c. chicken broth
3½ tbsp. soy sauce
1½ tsp. brown sugar
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. black pepper
1½ tbsp. cornstarch
1 c. canned water chestnuts, blanched in boiling water (10 seconds or so), drained, refreshed in cold water, coarsely chopped
1½ c. frozen peas, thawed slightly
¾ lb. flat Chinese egg noodles, cooked until just al dente, rinsed and drained
2 perfect green onions, cut into thin slices for garnish

A note on ingredients: I prefer using ground pork in this dish. I use Kikkoman soy sauce (low-salt). I decrease the salt in this dish from 1 tsp. to ½ tsp. and increase the black pepper from ¼ tsp to ½ tsp. I use light brown sugar instead of white sugar. I also add more than a pinch of cayenne pepper to give the curry more heat. If I have them, I substitute fresh peapods for the frozen peas. I pinch the tips, wash them, slice them at an angle into small  1/2 -inch ‘parallelograms’ and stir-fry them quickly before I start the meat and onions and then set them aside until the recipe calls for the frozen peas. Typically, I also substitute steamed rice for the noodles, but either are very good.

Making the Dish:

1. Toss the meat in bowl with the soy sauce (2 tbsp.), breaking it up with your fingers to incorporate the soy sauce.  Set aside for 10 minutes.

2. Prepare the rest of the fresh ingredients and have them ready beside the wok.

3. Make a sauce in a large measuring cup by combining the chicken broth, soy sauce (3½ tbsp), brown sugar, salt, pepper, and cornstarch. Stir to combine and set aside.

4. Heat a pan of water on the stove and begin to boil the noodles when you have gotten the wok very hot.

5. Heat a wok until it is very hot. Add 1 tsp. of the peanut oil and swirl to coat the wok. Stir in the meat and stir-fry to break up and brown lightly. Remove with a slotted spoon to a side dish.

6. Wipe out the wok with a clean paper towel and return to the heat. Add the remaining oil and swirl to coat the wok. Add the onions and stir-fry until glistening.

7. Add the curry powder and cayenne pepper and stir quickly to combine with the onions (about 10 seconds).

8. Turn the sauce, water chestnuts, and peas into the wok and stir to thicken the sauce.

9. When the sauce is smooth and silky, add the meat and the cooked noodles and fold to coat with the sauce.

10. Transfer to a platter, garnish with the green onions, and serve immediately.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anonymous comments will not be accepted. Please be aware that due to spamming concerns, I must be able to track back. Use your Google account ID to comment.