Something not soup.

I love to make big pots of soup this time of year.  The house just feels cozier with something good smelling simmering on the stove all afternoon, you know?  However, given that the habit of making a big pot of soup for dinner starts sometime in October, it begins to wear thin with some members of this household about this time of year – sort of like the grey sky or the weather forecast with the words snow or ‘polar vortex’.  They’re just done with all of it.  It certainly doesn’t help that I expect said pot of soup to serve as dinner a few days in a row as well as maybe even some lunches during that stretch.   Change is needed and the easiest place to make it happen is the dinner table.

Picture 073

What my two square feet of counterspace look like as I’m prepping dinner.

Which brings me to what we like to call ‘peanut butter noodles’.  The sauce could not be easier and it’s made of things that I always have on hand.  Peanut butter?  check.  Soy sauce?  check.  Garlic, ginger & vinegar?  check.

I round it out with some steamed or quick sauteed veggies like carrots, a staple in this house & broccoli, which pairs wonderfully with the sauce.  Sometimes I’ll add a handful of nuts and maybe some tofu for protein as well.  It can be eaten hot or cold, leftovers pack nicely for lunch – I’ve even been known to just dip veggies or boiled tofu (especially boiled tofu) in the sauce & eat it up that way. It’s nice with rice noodles, but plain, old regular pasta works too. Have I sold you on it yet? Good.

Picture 079Peanut Sauce

(Adapted from Gourmet’s “Spicy Peanut Sauce”, April, 1996)

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1/4 cup onions, shallot or scallions, chopped fine

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 healthy-sized hunk of ginger, grated

1 cup water or broth

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup vinegar (white, apple cider or even rice vinegar are all lovely)

1/2 cup peanut butter

1-3 tablespoons brown sugar

Hot pepper flakes or siracha to taste

Heat oil in saucepan & add onions.  Stir for a minute, add garlic & ginger, stirring for about another 30 seconds.  Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.  Stirring, simmer until the sauce is smooth and starting to thicken.  Yield about 2 cups.

7 thoughts on “Something not soup.

  1. WRD says:

    That looks lovely! The last time I tried to make a noodle dish with peanut sauce I burned up a food processor working the peanuts. This looks a little easier.

    • Becky says:

      I have a few recipes, but this one is hands down, the easiest. Because I have all the ingredients on hand at all times, this is often a last minute, “I don’t know what to make for dinner, but it’s 6:30 already” dinner. Bonus, everyone likes it.

  2. Cassi says:

    I’ve been making gado-gado sauce since I first learned in grad school. I think it is my favorite flavor, although I make it now with Sunbutter because of Emma’s allergies. And I leave out the onions because of Rob’s allergies. One of my favorite foods, and I really love it paired with broccoli. I first learned the recipe from my roommate in grad school who was an awesome cook. She make her own pasta, and the two paired together were heaven!

    • Becky says:

      While gado gado sounds exotic, I’d butcher it in the pronunciation. Easier to stick with peanut butter noodles, which does not sound nearly as glamorous!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s