Monday, January 30, 2012

Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles w/ Ginger Lime Chicken

Hi friends. (if you don't know me, but like butter, we should be friends.)

Newlywed life is full of adventures, big and small. Suddenly, I'm the homemaker. The chef. The wife. It's blissful. And challenging. But it feels great to create a space for the twos of us. And weekly menus!

That's the latest challenge: plan menus for the week that appeal to both of us (we can't eat cream-cheese-based foods all the time, unfortunately) and concoct menus that use the groceries we buy to best advantage and somehow trick MJ into eating his vegetables. I've even been doing price checking and coupon cutting. Yeah. Really. Clearly, I it's time to get back to blogging about these culinary newlywed adventures. Plus, Barbi said she was bored with cooking and requested a chicken recipe and I like her, so here it goes.

I wish I would have tripled this recipe. I could have eaten these leftovers—
hot or cold—for a week. Blissfully.

Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles w/ Citrus & Ginger Chicken
After lots of rich soups and hearty winter meals, my body was begging for something a bit...fresher. This was a perfect solution, full of crisp veggies and bold flavors—and still filling! I pulled much inspiration from these noodles a small snippet and a marinade by Bobby Flay, but both have been altered quite a bit. I tried to gear it to feed two hungry people and leave plenty of leftovers leftovers. It would serve 4 to 6, depending on how hungry you are. You could easily add another chicken breast with this amount of marinade and up the portions a bit. In fact, I would recommend that you do.

The marinade would make a fantastic salad dressing as well. I may have snitched a spoonful. Or two. 

4 green onions, chopped
one-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled & chopped
~ 1/2 cup lime juice (about 1 1/2 limes)
4 cloves garlic, peeled & smashed
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 heaping tblsp. sugar
2 generous tblsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper

2 chicken breasts, sliced into one-inch pieces

In a blender, combine lime juice, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sugar, pepper. Blend on high until smooth, then add onions and sesame oil. Blend again until smooth. (I used  my brand new Cuisinart mini-prep. pure. joy.) It should be a tan color and smell like amazing. Reserve 1/4 cup marinade for noodles.
Feel the power! Love this new Cuisinart!

Pour over chicken and let marinate for at least 20 minutes, but no more than 40. The lime will start to break down the chicken too much and it will get mushy instead of tender and juicy.

For Noodles
3 tblsp. sesame oil
3 tblsp. canola oil
1/2 to 1 tblsp. cracked red pepper (depending on your fire tolerance)
3 tblsp. honey
3 tblsp. brown sugar
3 tblsp. soy sauce
4 tblsp. reserved marinade
2 1/2 tblsp. chunky peanut butter
10 oz. whole wheat pasta (spaghetti or linguine)

1/2 of a green bell pepper, diced
1/2 of a red bell pepper, diced
1 cup shredded carrots
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

In a medium frying pan, combine sesame and canola oil. Add cracked red pepper and cook on medium for 3 to 4 minutes. Strain out red pepper flakes and set oil aside to cool slightly. In a bowl, whisk together honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, and reserved marinade. Add peanut butter and oil.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt to taste, and begin cooking pasta. In the same medium frying pan, heat two tsp. canola oil. CAREFULLY add chicken (the marinade will sizzle and splatter when it touches the hot oil). Cook on medium high, adding a bit of the remaining marinade after about 5 minutes.
When the marinade begins to carmelize on the chicken and turn a dark golden brown, be sure the it is cooked thoroughly, then remove from heat.

When they are cooked to your liking, drain noodles. In a large bowl, combine noodles, chicken, veggies, and most of the chopped cilantro. Pour sauce over noodle mixture and stir to coat evenly. Serve with a pinch of cilantro on top. Enjoy!

Our meal was even better with the addition of a great smoothie MJ whipped up of various things we had on hand. soooo good. I really love him.

MJ's Piña Colada Smoothie
3/4 cup fresh or canned pineapple
3 fresh (or frozen) strawberries
1/2 a can of coconut milk
~ 1 cup orange-pineapple juice
1 very ripe banana
about 15 ice cubes
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice

Blend on high until creamy, dreamy, and delicious. YUM.


Christine said...

As soon as I get some limes, I am soooo trying this!

Barbi Mecham said...

Oh how I love you!!! Keep 'em coming. My grocery shopping day is tomorrow and the ingredients are on the list. I will let you know how it goes!! Does MJ have any Bulgarian recipes you have tried?? I think that would be a fun surprise for my honey!!