Friday, 10 April 2009

Tyler's Cold Sesame Noodles

Good Tyler Florence Friday to you, and if you happen to be observing the holidays, a very Peaceful and Loving Easter weekend and Passover to you and yours.

For this Friday, I was in the mood for a little lighter fare. The snow from our quick storm is gone and even though the temperature still drops to freezing at night, I do believe winter in Southern Ontario is over. Small signs of spring are everywhere, and the birds are singing out like true believers. Who am I to argue with the birds?
I made Tyler's Cold Sesame Noodles, paired with salmon filets that I cooked en papillote with a simple glaze of black bean garlic sauce, hoisin and teriyaki. I finished the plate with steamed edamame with gomashio, a sea salt and sesame seed blend, for a light and delicious meal.
These noodles are so very tasty, I couldn't stop eating them. My peanut butter is the natural sort, so I added a touch of vegetable oil to the dish to make up for it's relative stiffness. Another wonderful thing about this dish is that it can be made ahead of time and left to sit in the fridge until the rest of your meal is finished. How great is that!

Cold Sesame Noodles
Eat This Book, Tyler Florence
Ingredients
1/2 pound Chinese egg noodles (I used Udon)
3 tablespoons dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon red chili paste, such as sambal oelek
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons hot water
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Cucumber slices, for garnish
Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Directions
Cook the noodles in large pot of boiling unsalted water over medium heat until barely tender and still firm. Drain immediately and rinse with cold water until cool. Drain the noodles really well and transfer to a wide bowl; toss with the sesame oil so they don't stick together.
In a small saucepan, heat the peanut oil over medium-low flame. Add the green onions, ginger, garlic, and chili paste. Cook and stir for a minute until soft and fragrant. Mix in the brown sugar, peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, and hot water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the peanut butter has smoothed out. Toss the noodles with the peanut sauce until well coated. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Garnish with the sesame seeds, cucumber slices, and cilantro.


Edamame with Sesame Salt
Martha Stewart Living Magazine, March 2009
Steamed edamame are sprinkled with gomashio, a blend of salt and toasted sesame seeds that can be made at home in a spice grinder.
Ingredients
Serves 4
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 pound frozen edamame, in pods


Directions
Coarsely grind sesame seeds and salt in a spice grinder, then place in a small bowl. (Alternatively, chop sesame seeds and salt together finely.) I used a mini-chopper food processor.
Fill a large pot fitted with a steamer insert or basket with 2 to 3 inches water. Bring water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Steam edamame, covered, until hot, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, and sprinkle with sesame-salt mixture. Serve immediately.
*Note* if you have never eaten edamame before, you slide the soy beans out gently with your teeth, leaving the tough shell behind.

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