Curry-Spiced Noodles from Cooking Light Magazines, January/February 2011 Recipe
Curry-Spiced Noodles from Cooking Light Magazines, January/February 2011
This could also very easily be title "The Dish That Almost Wasn't." I had it tagged to make in the magazine but just ran out of the umph I needed to make it. It gets that way sometimes when there's a new magazine waiting in the wings. The crazy part was that I had all the ingredients that I needed to make this dish, but I figured that Dudette would like the flavors and so I let it slide.
Until yesterday. A friend of ours is moving to the Chicago area (poor guy) and Hubby went over to help. Dudette and I tagged along to see if there was anything that I could do and someone she could play with. She found a playmate and when I asked if there was something I could do (that didn't include lifting heavy boxes), our friend looked at me and said, "You never got to cook for me. Can you bring food?" My heart sang and I jumped in the car and came home.
What do you make a half dozen men when you're short on time and the only meat you have defrosted is a slab of ribs that need a long cooking? As I was looking through the fridge, I saw the red and green peppers in the crisper drawer and remembered this recipe so I pulled the magazine off the shelf and went to work, doubling the recipe since I had a bunch of hungy guys to feed.
I'm curious as to who it was at Cooking Light that thought it would only take 20 minutes to prep the items for this dish. Prepping that includes julienning 2 cups of carrots, 2 cups of red bell peppers, and 1 cup of green bell peppers, thinly slicing 4 cups of shitake mushrooms, chopping 3 tablespoons of lemongrass, grating fresh ginger and mincing 8 garlic cloves. Twenty minutes? Seriously? Not in my world.
As with everything else, I recommend doing all that prep work right at the beginning. Once you get to cooking, it goes fast, sautéing vegetables for 2 minutes at a time before adding other items. It also makes sense to begin cooking the noodles right away so you just dump them in when it's time. I used regular spaghetti noodles since none of us care for the taste/texture of udon.
Once everything's prepped, it's time to cook. Peanut oil gets heated in a large skillet. Add the carrots and saute two minutes. Add peppers; sauté 2 minutes. Remove those things to a bowl and add more oil. Add the mushrooms and do the 2 minute deal. Then, add the lemongrass, ginger, red curry paste, ground cumin, ground turmeric and garlic. Stir constantly. It makes a very thick paste that could easily burn on the bottom (especially if the heat's too high), so seriously stand there and stir the whole time. Then add the vegetable broth, water, soy sauce and salt. Give it a good stir, let it come to a boil, reduce the heat, cover it and breathe. For two minutes.
After a few good breaths, remove the cover, add the noodles carrot mixture and sliced green onions. Use tongs to mix tings up really well. Now, if you look at my picture, you'll see a lot of sauce still in the bottom. That picture was taken before I put the cover back on and took the skillet to the moving party. By the time I got there and got all the paper goods out, everyone ready and removed the cover again to toss the pasta one more time, it had thickened up a lot and clung to the pasta much better than when I first put them together. All that to say, if you can wait a few minutes before serving and let the starch in the noodles have a chance to thicken the sauce, it is so, so much better.
Because I was taking this to a bunch of guys that were just going to wolf it down and get back to work, I didn't bother with the cilantro and cashew garnish, but I don't think it affected anything. I can tell you that everyone loved this dish. Seriously loved it. The guys actually kept track of who had seconds and who was getting thirds. It was very funny and very gratifying. When the skillet was empty they even talked about how they wished they had bread so they could sop up the rest of the juice. Unfortunately, my prediction that Dudette wouldn't like it proved true, though the eight year-old that was with her thought it was "awesome."
This was a fantastic pasta dish and will join the ranks of regularly-made comfort food for our family. It's probably one of the top recipes in this issue and I am so, so glad that I made it.
from Cooking Light Magazine
- 8 ounces dry udon noodles (thick, round Japanese wheat noodles) or spaghetti
- 4 teaspoons peanut oil, divided
- 2 cups julienne-cut carrot
- 2 cups julienne-cut red bell pepper
- 1 cup julienne-cut green bell pepper
- 4 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps (about 8 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh lemongrass
- 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon red curry paste
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup organic vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 teaspoons lower-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped dry-roasted, unsalted cashews
Cook noodles according to package directions, not using salt or oil. Set noodles aside.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons peanut oil to pan and swirl to coat the pan. Put the carrot in and sauté 2 minutes. Add the red and green bell peppers and sauté an additional 2 minutes. Remove carrot mixture to a bowl.
Heat 2 more teaspoons peanut oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl to coat. Add the shitake mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes. Add lemongrass, grated ginger, red curry paste, cumin, turmeric, and minced garlic; cook for 1 minute, being sure to stir constantly. Pour in the broth, 1/2 cup water, soy sauce, and salt. Bring it to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 minutes or until it thickens slightly. Return the noodles to the mixture along with the carrot mixture and onions. Cook for 2 minutes, tossing to combine. Divide noodle mixture evenly among 4 bowls; top with cilantro and cashews.