Strange things are afoot in the THIH household.
Bonnie has mastered the use of a “burrow bed“:
Maddie shows off how evolutionarily advanced she is by relaxing with her belly exposed:
And Jessie is heating up the new kitchen:
The Challenge? I quote: Prepare a noodle dish of your choice. It can be your unique twist on a classic like Mee Goreng, Pad Thai, Char Kuay Teow, Laksa, Fettucine Alfredo, Chicken Noodle Soup, Bucatini all’ Amatriciana, Mac and Cheese, Soba, Udon, …. or a concoction of your very own creation, making its debut here. Use any type of noodle or pasta and ingredients you wish. It can be vegetarian, vegan or piled with meat, fried in a wok, baked in an oven, swimming in soup or broth or sweetened for a dessert. What we’re looking for is a delicious sounding and interesting twist or creation. Think outside the box, turn cooking conventions on their ears, try something you normally wouldn’t. The most appealing and interesting or unexpected entry, wins!
This recipe is a take-off on a green noodle and shrimp dish served at a family friend-owned restaurant in my old hometown. But, before we get to the recipe, we must perform the most important step: naming! You may remember my entry for the first Quickies Challenge: Acorn Squash Cradles Avocado, Feta, Tomato, and Egg (a.k.a. Stuffed Acorn Squash). Can I top myself, recipe name-wise?
My Sweet Tart: Colorful Noodles Wrap Around Crispy Shrimp ‘n’ Chinese Sausage
8 oz. dried noodles of choice, preferably colorful (or else the recipe title doesn’t work, see?)
1/4 tsp each coriander seeds, black mustard seeds, fenugreek, tumeric, and sweet curry
1/2 tsp black peppercorns (I used Tellicherry)
1/2 inch ginger
3 tsp canola oil, divided
1 13.5 oz. can light coconut milk
2 drops coconut extract (key!)
1/4 cup light sour cream
1 cup green beans, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 Chinese sausage, thinly sliced
~24 raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (don’t count them out – guess! Isn’t that a freeing feeling? :) )
1/4 cup all purpose flour
Peel the ginger. Don’t forget to use the spoon trick (rub edge of the spoon against the skin). Mince or grate ginger using your favorite method (mine is using this inexplicably fish-shaped ginger grater, one of many single-use items in our kitchen).
Whenever I use spices in a recipe, I usually try to hold all the spices containers in one hand. Can I do it with SIX containers?
Why yes, yes I can.
Have I ever showed you our spice rack? Peter built it.
Place peppercorns, coriander, mustard seeds, and fenugreek into a grinder. What’s fenugreek, you ask?
Fenugreek is a plant in which both the seeds and leaves are used as flavoring (I used the leaves in this recipe). The leaves are slightly bitter and pungent in smell. A little goes a long way, so a pinch will suffice.
Grind spices. Combine with curry powder and turmeric (optional).
You can toast the spice mix in a hot pan if you like a stronger flavor. I left the mix untoasted for this recipe. Meanwhile, cook pasta. As I mentioned earlier, this recipe was inspired by a dish with green noodles. The closest I could find in our limited grocery store was this pasta:
Normally I avoid refined-grain products masquerading as health food, but, hey, this pasta is green and orange! :D
Back to the recipe: Heat 1 tsp oil in a medium saucepan or saucier and add ginger. Saute one minute. Add coconut milk, sour cream, coconut extract, and spice mix. Mix really well to incorporate the sour cream.
At this point, you can add cornstarch to thicken the sauce if you desire, or you can leave it as is.
Thinly slice your Chinese sausage and acknowledge that Chinese sausage is a sometimes food in which a little goes a long way.
Add Chinese sausage and cook through. Turn off heat and add green beans. Don’t let the green beans get too hot or they will cook!
While the sauce is heating, prepare your shrimp: place flour on a plate and dredge the shrimp in the flour.
Heat remaining 2 tsp oil in frying pan over high heat (or if you have an induction burner, you can turn that baby up to level 7 or 8 to make the shrimp crispy). Add shrimp and cook for 2 minutes, or until cooked through, turning once halfway through.
Assemble, bask, and devour.
Even Maddies wants a taste:
Why did I call this recipe “My Sweet Tart“? Peter and I both agree that this sauce is incredible: sweet from the coconut milk, tart from the sour cream, slightly spicy from the spices, and with an occasional crunch from the green beans and crispy shrimp. I’m glad I made a big batch of the sauce – future meals are calling its name!
So, there you have it! Recipe, I send you out into the world, in hopes that you may bring me the ultimate prize – or at least a happy tummy or two.
Q: What’s YOUR favorite noodle dish?
P.S. After reading Nicole‘s gentle insistence that everyone make these life-changing maple snickerdoodle cookies, I succumbed to pressure and happily baked a batch (with the addition of chocolate in a few cookies).
Yep. They were good.