Sunday, September 30, 2012

Happy Birthday Shelby - Garlic Noodles with a Kick!

I've been following Shelby of The Life & Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch since I learned of food blogs.  She  makes comfort food and happens to prepare many Asian inspired dishes which are my favorite!  Today is Shelby's birthday - HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHELBY!!!

Katrina of Baking and Boys! reached out to some of us to do a round up of recipes from Shelby's blog to celebrate her birthday and I thought it was a marvelous idea!

Since my house is in disarray with construction work being done - it would have been hard to bake during the week - so I choose to do Garlic Noodles with a Kick! for last Sunday's dinner.  I deviated slightly from the original recipe to add some cilantro because I am one of those folks that love it and I doubled the recipe for the most part.  These were out of this world good - one pound of pasta and there is only a small container left for Jim's lunch tomorrow.  Andrew even gobbled them down - but kept saying "oh these are spicy but good".  I served them with some Trader Joe's pot stickers and everyone was happy!

Garlic Noodles with a Kick

One pound of dried pasta, cooked until al dente. 
3 scallions, chopped, setting aside the green part of the scallion for garnish
1 teaspoon dried chili pepper flakes (adjust to your preference)
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons (dark) brown sugar (I used dark)
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
4 tablespoons butter

Roughly one tablespoon of chopped cilantro

Melt butter over medium heat until bubbly.  Add dried chili peppers and cook for about 1 minute (be careful not to burn the butter).  Add the minced garlic and scallions and saute about 1 minute, until softened.  Mix together brown sugar, fish sauce, and oyster sauce.  Add to butter mixture and cook for 1 minute or until sugar is dissolved (this doesn't take long).  Add pasta to the sauce and toss to mix.  For some color, toss in the green part of the chopped scallions and cilantro  Serve and enjoy!

As we sat down to dinner - I told Andrew and Jim that these were made for a special friend's birthday celebration and we toasted you, Shelby.  I hope you have a wonderful birthday full of love, happiness and good food!


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Macadamia Nut Pesto

An open message to Ree Drummond - don't be alarmed Pioneer Woman - I am not going to give you a run for your money.  (Even though I wrote many a romance before you even had your tractor heels saga!)

Now that that is out of the way, I will state I never intended to start a food blog even though I enjoy many a food blog myself.  I don't believe I have the time nor patience for food blogging.  My family wants to eat the food I make and they want to eat it hot.  I post pictures here and there on Facebook - because I have no one in my immediate "real life" that enjoys cooking as much as I do.

My promise to you is that I will never use the words "mouth water" or any variation mouth has never watered...except in my sleep and then that was during a period of drooling that has since rectified itself.  Also I promise never to type "the arugula is peppery" oh dear heavens even starving children in third world countries know that arugula is peppery. I will also never type the phrase "layers of flavor" -- shun me if I do. (I had to throw the word shun in here - my husband is in the living room watching Breaking Amish.  I don't even know who this man is any more!)

That being said Friday I made pesto.  My basil was on its last leg and it was use it or lose it.  I decided to mix up the pesto a little and used macadamia nuts and it was really incredibly good - buttery (I will let that description pass this time) and flavorful.  My son and husband said it was fantastic and they enjoyed it more than the regular pesto with pine nuts.

Macadamia Nut Pesto

Approximately two cups of basil leaves, rinsed and blotted dry
Four cloves of garlic, minced
Approximately 3/4 cup of diced macadamia nuts
Cracked black pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste
Approximately 3/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Olive Oil, approximately 1/2 cup maybe more

Into the bowl of the food processor add all the ingredients - and give them a few pulses.  Look at the consistency - and add more oil or cheese to your liking.  Store in a container with a thin layer of olive oil on top to prevent discoloration.

I used half the pesto I had made to coat some pasta to which I added one-fourth cup of heavy cream and additional Parmesan to finish it off.  I served it with a crusty garlic bread.  I think Andrew ate five pieces of that bread - and a giant bowl of pasta.  High praise indeed as Andrew is a red sauce man all the way...he's eight but he has discriminating taste.

I hope you give the pesto a try.