Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back to Blog

Ok, I admit, it’s been far too long since I posted a new recipe. Yesterday, as I was mincing garlic for dinner, I realized just how long my garlic bin has gone untouched this summer. And for those of you know of my love for all things garlickly, you know that’s really saying something. The truth is that summers are just not meant for cooking. Yes, of course, there’s the hellish couple of weeks of June jam-making when you bring home all the berries that you fervently picked at the pick-your-own berry farm. And there may even be a day or two spent cooking up a batch of ice-cream mix to freeze in your ice-cream maker. But apart from that, summers, at least here in the Pacific NW, are so fleeting in their gorgeousness, that there’s really not much time to waste in the kitchen. There’s saplings to be planted, seeds to be sown, flowers to be cut, bee stings to be attended to, beaches to comb, and general merriment to be had. However, today, as I reluctantly headed to work after a beautiful long weekend, I caught sight of all the kids going back to school with their squeaky white sneakers, brand new backpacks, and mixed expressions of anticipation and trepidation on their faces. This, weirdly enough, got me thinking that perhaps today ought to mark my own “Back to Blog” day after a summer’s hiatus.

Since I’ve been grilling a whole lot this summer, I thought I’d start things off with a noodle recipe that you can cook up almost entirely, save for boiling the noodles, on the grill. If you don’t have a grill, you could certainly sautée or oven-roast, instead of grilling. I hope this recipe inspires your end-of-summer meals.

Grilled vegetable noodles

(Serves 4)

You will need:

4 baby bok choys trimmed and cut in half lengthwise, washed, dried, and rubbed with 2 T sesame oil

2 C mushrooms, quartered

1 C carrots cut into bite size pieces

1 C snow peas

1 C mixed summer squash cut into bite size pieces

1 box of extra-firm tofu, drained, cut into bite size pieces

One BIG bunch thai basil (Italian basil will not do)

2 C Thai wide rice noodles, cooked as per package directions and drained

To make the marinade/sauce, you will need:

6 cloves of garlic

1 inch ginger root, peeled

Juice of one lemon

One BIG bunch thai basil (yes, more)

Sambal Oelek or other chili paste to taste (I used 4 T)

4-6 T Black bean garlic sauce (available at most supermarkets and Asian stores; if you don’t have this, simply use soy sauce)

2 tsp brown sugar

2 T sesame oil

Optional: Roasted peanuts or chopped cilantro as a topping

Make the sauce: Grind together the garlic, ginger, and basil. Add lemon juice, chili paste, sugar, and sesame oil.

Prep the grill by preheating it and spreading a layer of aluminum foil on the grill, so that smaller veggies don’t fall through the grates.

Lower heat to somewhere between 200-250, which is a medium-low setting on my grill

Spray aluminum sheet with cooking spray, and place bok choys on grill, flat side down.

Cook 4 minutes before turning and cooking another 4 minutes; set aside.

While the bok choy is cooking, add the sauce to your veggies, remaining basil, and tofu, and spread on grill.

Cook 4-6 minutes before turning and cooking until veggies are soft, but not charred. You may have to adjust the times considerably, based on your own grill.

Once veggies are tender, add the noodles and bok choy to the grill and toss with veggies/tofu. You can certainly add more chili paste, lemon juice, or black bean sauce at this point, if you feel the need.

Allow noodles to remain on hot grill for a few minutes, until they absorb some of the sauce, and acquire a slightly crusty texture.

Serve hot in a big bowl with chopped cilantro or peanuts sprinkled on top.

The heat of this recipe demands a mango spritzer on the side, followed by a strawberry sorbet for dessert.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds so yummm!! so you put the noodles on the grill too? Will surely try it and let u know! thanks!