Posts Tagged 'vegetable'

Crunchy Noodle Salad

This is a bit of a misnomer…the noodles in this recipe are not crunchy, rather the other veggie-related ingredients are the crunchy part!

Start by boiling half a pound of thin spaghetti in salted water. Try using a bigger pot and more water than I did! hehe

In a large bowl, layer the ingredients. I had dry parsley on hand, so I put that at the bottom…so it could recontitute with the moisture from the other ingredients. If you’re using fresh, put it at the top!

Next, the al dente thin spaghetti and the blanched sugar snap peas. If you’ve snapped off the ends and removed any strings, there will be water trapped inside the sugar snap peas, so be sure to drain them well!

While the spaghetti was cooking, I chopped the veggies: orange, red, and yellow bell peppers and scallions on the diagonal.

Throw those in too.

Grate the ginger on a small grater or microplane. You can just get the thin skin off with a spoon or the back of a knife (even a butter knife!)…no need to cut it away and waste the ginger.

I usually like to shake dressing and marinades in a jar or plastic container. It combines it much easier and faster than whisking…and washing whisks are a pain anyway…

Just before serving, toss the dressing with the noodle salad. Toss in the remaining sesame seeds and fresh parsley if you’re using it. I wouldn’t dump ALL the dressing in. Two-thirds was enough for me.

See? Just saucy enough!

Notes:

I followed Ina Garten’s (Barefoot Contessa) menu and served this with Eli’s Asian Salmon (next blog). BIG mistake because there was wyyy too much flavor going on. This noodle salad is best served with a simple grilled meat (maybe chicken, flank steak, or shrimp).

You can make the dressing and arrange the salad ahead of time, but don’t mix them together until you’re ready to eat! The dressing would surely make the noodles mushy!

Feel free to add any veggies you like or have on hand that you think would be tasty…green bell peppers, blanched snow peas, red onion, bean sprouts, blanched green beans (cut into 1-inch pieces), julienned carrots, etc.

Crunchy Noodle Salad
Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa
Episode IG0803H

Kosher salt
1/2 pound thin spaghetti
1 pound sugar snap peas
1 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds, divided
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded, and thinly sliced
4 scallions (with and green parts), sliced diagonally
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring another large pot of salted water to a boil, add the sugar snap peas, return to a boil, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until crisp tender. Lift the sugar snap peas from the water with a slotted spoon and immerse them in a bowl of ice water. Drain.

For the dressing, whisk together the vegetable oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, garlic, ginger, 2 tablespoons sesame seeds and peanut butter in a medium bowl.

Combine the spaghetti, sugar snap peas, peppers and scallions in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the spaghetti mixture. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds and the parsley and toss together.

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Zucchini Cakes

Yet another Pioneer Woman blog find. I needed a second side dish for the Memorial Day grilling Fest and these Zucchini Cakes looked too yummy to pass up!

I doubled the recipe and made much smaller, silver-dollar-pancake-sized ones fit for a party!

Get two big zucchinis and shred them on a box grater. Are those two humongous zucchinis? Or is that a tiny box grater? Both! I don’t own a box grater, so I borrowed my sister’s. Apparently she shops at a kitchen store for ants because that thing was itty-bitty.

Here’s a tip. Only trim off the rounded end and shred starting at that end. Once you get to the other end, you’ll have a handle to hold onto!

Now you’ve got a sopping wet mess of shredded zucchini. I worked in two batches, placing the shredded zucchini in a kitchen towel and squeezed the heck out of it.

Throw that in a bowl with the garlic, 1-1/4 cup of breadcrumbs, 1 cup of cheese, 4 eggs (I used Egg Beaters), salt and pepper.

Get out a big skillet and heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in it. I know the recipe calls for shallow-frying, but I was trying to be healthy AND I hate dealing with all the oil splattering everywhere.

Scoop the zucchini batter into the skillet, whatever size you want, but mine were about 1/8 cup each. Fry on medium-low on each side until golden. Keeping frying in batches until all batter is used, adding more oil as needed.

Serve with ranch dressing or maybe even marinara sauce. Enjoy!

The end result was a little too egg-y. This was probably because the Egg Beaters carton told me that 1 egg = 1/4 cup, which looked more like an extra large egg. Most recipes are referring to just large eggs by default, so I’d cut back on the egg if I were you.

If you’re in the market for a different zucchini-related appetizer, here’s one from Betty Crocker that I LOVE!! It’s basically like a crustless quiche. It is even simpler to make than the zucchini cakes.

Zucchini Appetizer
From Betty Crocker

3 cups thinly sliced unpeeled zucchini (4 small)
1 cup Original Bisquick® mix (I like the Heart Healthy kind)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (or dried)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt (Lawry’s)
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram or oregano leaves
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, slightly beaten (or 1 cup of Egg Beaters)

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease bottom and sides of rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches.

2. Stir together all ingredients. Spread in pan.

3. Bake about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into 2-inch squares; cut squares diagonally in half into triangles.

I’ll probably make this recipe soon, so I’ll have a tutorial with pictures coming up!