Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Szechuan Style Noodles with Chicken

If my blog seems to be morphing into a food blog, the preponderance of posts of late being recipes, it is because much of this summer has been about preparing food; kids are home from college, kids college friends are visiting kids home from college, and we're enjoying having friends in for meals and coffees during these summer months when our schedules are accommodating.

Szechuan Style Noodles is a favorite family dish which I made last week for eight. Lauren's friend, Holly, requested this recipe, making it a good candidate for my blog. My recipe is adapted from a recipe shared by friend, Alyse, who credits Helen Chen's Chinese Home Cooking.

This recipe makes a lot but if you're not feeding company, you'll enjoy the leftovers--perfect for lunch. And if you've been reading this blog for awhile you've likely discerned one of my cooking philosophies: Why make a little when you can make a lot?

Szechuan Style Noodles with Chicken
serves 8 hearty appetites

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds thin spaghetti
3 Tablespoons sesame oil
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in small pieces (see picture)

1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/4 cup sesame oil
4 teaspoons grated or finely chopped ginger
2 large cloves garlic (or to taste)
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1/3 cup light soy sauce (not to be confused with light salt soy sauce)
4 teaspoons sugar
red pepper flakes to taste

1 cup thinly sliced green onion
few handfuls of cilantro (unless you are Holly : )
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds


Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling water just until tender. Drain the noodles, rinsing them with cold water. Drain thoroughly and mix with 3 T. sesame oil; place the noodles on a large platter or in a large bowl--my Italian pasta platter/bowl is perfect for this dish.

Saute the chicken pieces in a little oil with some spices. I gave the chicken a few shakes of a prepared Monterey Chicken spice mixture that I had on hand, but you could also use salt and pepper, a little lemon pepper, etc. Set cooked chicken aside.

Combine the next set of ingredients (tahini through red pepper flakes) in the blender and process until smooth. Pour over the noodles and toss to coat. Arrange chicken on top of the noodles and sprinkle with green onions, cilantro and sesame seeds. Since this is served at room temperature, you still have time to make a side dish:

Carrot Salad with Chinese Dressing:

1 or 1 1/2 pounds of carrots, peeled and grated (I like the coarser grate for this salad)

Dressing: (And most of these ingredients are already on your counter, unless you are a very tidy cook)
5 T rice vinegar
2 T water
1 T olive oil
1 T lemon juice
1 T sesame oil
1/4-1/2 tsp pepper
1 T sugar
optional: 1-2 T toasted sesame seeds.

Mix dressing ingredients and toss with carrots.

1 comment:

A Circle of Quiet said...

These recipes could not be better timed, Melissa. We are cleaning out the frig for our trip to Cannon Beach, and these two will help get the vegie bins all clear. YUMMY.

Thanks,
Diane