Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Thai Noodle Salad

We pulled the old Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special cookbook out of the closet last night to try the Thai Noodle Salad. It's a super simple recipe that's great for a crazy week like we're having.

Main Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound fusilli tricolore (tricolored pasta spirals -- or if you're like us, boring non-colored pasta spirals)
  • 1 cup drained canned straw mushrooms (15 ounce can)
  • 1 cup drained canned baby corn (10 ounce can)
  • 1 cup julienned red bell peppers, cut into 1.5-inch long matchsticks
  • 1.5 cups julienned zucchini, cut into 2-inch long matchsticks

Dressing Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, Thai basil or basil
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 small fresh green chile, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon canola or other vegetable oil
  •  2 to 3 teaspoons freshly grated lime peel
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, more to taste
  • 1.5 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk 

Boil noodles as directed till al dente.

While noodles boil, bring another smaller pot of water to a boil. Blanch peppers for 30 seconds, then add zucchini and blanch another 30 seconds. Immediately remove and submerge in cold water to stop cooking. Drain well and put in large serving bowl.

Reserving 1 tablespoon of the chopped cilantro or basil, combine the rest of the dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

When past is ready, drain it and rinse well with cold water. Transfer to the serving bowl and gently toss with veggies and the dressing.  Sprinkle on the reserved tablespoon of cilantro or basil.  Let sit at room temperature at least 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Chef Tanya -- I'm not impressed. I want to love the recipes I try from Moosewood, but let's just say there's a reason this cookbook gathers dust in my cabinet.  You'd think this recipe would be packed with flavor, what with the peppers and spices and such. But nope.

Jason -- I really liked it. It was easy to make, colorful and tasted good.  I could have done without the mushrooms (they didn't add much in the way of texture or flavor) and maybe added more zucchini/peppers.

Hannah -- I liked it! Well, except the red peppers.  The noodles tasted good and the corns were kind of cool. (mama's note: Hannah's our picky eater, but she did eat her entire bowl of this pasta... so I guess that's something in Moosewood's favor)

Olivia -- (didn't offer a review, but did eat a bowlful before sequestering herself in her room to finish her homework)

Miranda -- (chose to sit in a car in the driveway with a boy instead of coming in to eat dinner. 'nuff said)


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