Sunday, March 6, 2011

Szechuan Sesame Noodles

There's a commercial (I think it's for paper towels) that has one scene of a "husband" running a blender without the lid on and making a huge strawberry milkshake mess in the kitchen. Brett and I always jokingly shake our fists and say, "Husbands!" This of course is a huge stereotype of the incompetent husband trying to cook. Brett is anything but incompetent in the kitchen.

I am the main cook in our household, but Brett does help regularly. He's the one who puts all my prep for fried rice together. He also does most of the assembly for pizza twist. I also prefer that he does all the big pouring jobs. It is rare that he does everything all by himself. But I was a lucky lady recently. I sat on the couch while he made dinner.

He picked the recipe for Szechuan Sesame Noodles out of the Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh cookbook and got to work. He's not used to chopping, I am most definitely the knife wielder in the kitchen, but he took his time, and got the garlic (3 cloves), fresh ginger (1/2 tsp), and red onion (less than half) all chopped up. When Brett is the chef, he gets to make executive decisions. He chose to saute the red onions rather than leave them raw: an excellent choice. He also chose to skimp on the ginger (the recipe called for 2 T): also a good call.

Other than chopping, this recipe pretty much makes itself. Brett cooked half a box of linguine, drained it, and then drizzled it with sesame oil. He sauteed the chopped red onion. When those parts were all done, he heated some more sesame oil in the wok and cooked the garlic and ginger. Then he added 6 T of teriyaki sauce (we love the thicker kind that can be used as a glaze/dip), 1 tsp of chili-garlic sauce, and 2 T of lime juice. Once that was all bubbly, he added in the noodles, sauteed red onion, and a generous amount of peanuts and stirred it all up.

I couldn't help but notice the absence of vegetables in our dinner, so I steamed up a few pieces of broccoli. That was not the highlight of the meal. In fact I had to force myself to choke it down.

The noodles were fantastic. They had just the right amount of spiciness from the chili sauce and definitely some sweetness from the teriyaki sauce. The peanuts were our favorite part. Brett did a great job in the kitchen and did not make a giant "husband" mess. In fact he was was far neater than I ever am.