Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spicy Szechuan Noodles

I got this recipe off of the Betty Crocker website and modified it some but not much. I didn't really even serve it to the children b/c it was a bit spicy, and I didn't think they would enjoy it much, but my husband and I loved it. I've been craving Asian food and searching for good recipes, and this is a definite keeper. You could use different vegetables if you prefer and add more or less red pepper flakes depending on your taste in heat. You could also try different meats in this. It called for lean ground pork, but we are big chicken people, so I went with that, and I think you really could totally leave the chicken out, use vegetable broth, and maybe add a little more pasta if you prefer a vegetarian dish. I also couldn't find the rice stick noodles, so I just bought regular linguine. I'm not certain how much it would change the dish, but I loved it just the way I made it. It is a bit on the hot side, just as a warning, so adjust to your tastes.

- 1 1/4 cups chicken broth (I used chicken granules and water)
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp oyster sauce (or soy sauce)
- 1 Tbsp white vinegar

- 8 oz linguine (or 7oz linguine-style rice stick noodles)
- 1 Tbsp peanut or vegetable or canola oil
- 1/2 pound chicken breasts, cubed (or 1/2 pound lean ground pork)
- 3 medium garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups baby carrots, cut lengthwise into julienne strips (this was a little time consuming, so you might invest in the matchstick carrots to save you some time and headache)
- 1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
- 3 medium green onions, cut lengthwise into 1" pieces
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (adjust to your taste, put in more and not at all based on how much heat you prefer)
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- fresh cilantro, chopped (optional, I'm not usually a big cilantro person, but I liked it in this, but cilantro will add some more heat, so be aware of this).Directions
1. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a 2 cup glass measure cup and whisk together, set aside.
2. Boil your linguine according to the package directions, drain.
3. Meanwhile, heat peanut/vegetable/canola oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add chicken and garlic and cook chicken through. If you use pork, break up into small pieces with wooden spoon while cooking. Add carrots, bell pepper, green onions, and pepper flakes and cook about 3-5 minutes or until vegetables start to get tender.
4. Mix sauce ingredients to recombine and pour into skillet. Stir and heat to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, let simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in sesame oil.
5. Turn off heat, add noodles and combine well. I let mine sit for about 3-5 minutes to allow the sauce to absorb into the noodles. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro before serving.

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