Sesame Noodles & Ginger Sauce

July 14th, 2011 / Comments 3

adirondack chair l Sesame Noodles & Ginger Sauce

Watercolor painting by Carol Egbert

Saturday, white puffy clouds danced across the cobalt blue sky, the grass was freshly mowed and my Kindle was giving me that ‘come hither’ look. It was a day to make one of my favorite (nearly) no-cook, (almost) zero effort dinners. This dinner has four steps:

  • Determine menu
  • See what’s in the pantry and fridge
  • Go to market for what isn’t
  • Pull dinner together

Charles and I decided to split the tasks. I decided we would have roasted chicken with pink ginger sauce, sesame noodles and a nectarine salad. I found soy sauce, cayenne pepper, vinegar, canola oil, garlic, honey, sesame seeds and sesame oil in the pantry and mayonnaise, sour cream, catsup and pickled ginger in the fridge. Charles went to the market to get a rotisserie cooked chicken, a box of pasta, scallions, fresh ginger and some nectarines. I got lost in my book and snoozed a bit.

When I woke up, I put a large pot of water on the stove over medium heat. In less than half an hour after Charles returned from the market, we sat down to an Asian inspired summer dinner. Here’s how we did it:

Sesame Noodles

I salted the pasta water, turned up the heat and, when the water was boiling, stirred in half a pound of linguini. I made the sauce for the noodles and Charles carved the chicken while the noodles cooked. For the sesame sauce, I used a wire whisk to combine a quarter of a cup of soy sauce, one tablespoon of sugar, one teaspoon of minced garlic, one teaspoon of minced fresh ginger, one tablespoon of red wine vinegar, two tablespoons of toasted sesame oil, a wee pinch of cayenne and three tablespoons of canola oil. After cooking for seven minutes the pasta was tender, a bit softer than the usual al dente, but just right for a salad eaten at room temperature. I put the drained pasta into a large serving bowl, poured the sesame sauce in and tossed the noodles until they were coated with the sauce. I cut three scallions into thin slices and sprinkled them on top.

Download and print sesame noodle recipe with an ingredients list here.

When he had finished carving the chicken, Charles made the Pink Ginger Sauce.

Pink Ginger Sauce

He combined one tablespoon of finely minced, pickled ginger with two tablespoons of mayonnaise, two tablespoons of sour cream, one teaspoon of catsup, a pinch of cayenne and one teaspoon of fresh lime juice. He put a generous puddle of sauce on two dinner plates.

In twenty minutes, we had everything ready but the nectarine salad. Charles cut two nectarines into thin slices and I mixed up a simple sauce of a tablespoon of olive oil, a teaspoon of honey, a teaspoon of lime juice and a pinch of salt. He poured the sauce on the nectarines, gave them a quick toss and put a serving on each plate. I added a serving of sesame noodles to each plate, Charles added a drumstick and a thigh to his plate and I choose a wing and a breast for mine.

We made dinner in less than thirty minutes and there were enough leftovers for lunch in less than five minutes on Sunday. It was fun, quick and collaborative. There is lots of room for substitution in these recipes – pasta can be any shape you like, I used linguini fini; lemons can be substituted for limes; leftover roast beef or pork can stand in for the chicken; apricots, peaches or melon alone or in combination would make a lovely salad; and, maple syrup is a wonderful substitute for honey. Pickled ginger is found in the sushi cooler, if you can’t find it, use a teaspoons of minced fresh ginger root. The absolutely essential ingredient, not to be omitted, is a snooze – either before, during or after dinner.

Download and print pink ginger sauce recipe with an ingredients list here. 

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