Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It's about time...

... that I feature some real food! Something that isn't bread, or a brownie, or even a soup. An actual meal, for the love of Pete! I know, I know. I realize that most of my posts have been carb-loaded-sugar-filled-fatty-frenzies lately, due in part to the Easter holiday and also to the fact that I'm baking my way through a bread book. I've been exercising a lot of it off, but I very well may have to put on a bikini in two weeks, so we are in full fledged health mode in this house until then. Thank God for Mark Bittman.

After all of the votes were counted and Mark Bittman beat out Bobby Flay as the new I Heart Cooking Clubs Chef, I did a little jump for joy, rhetorically speaking. I'm not that weird. I kind of hate Bobby Flay. And I kind of heart Mark Bittman thanks to his many Today Show appearances. I marched off to the library to grab a few of his books and got to work on this week's challenge: Raiding the Pantry.

Now there's a challenge that is right up my alley. See, I have a problem. I am a food hoarder. This is my pantry. The shelves are 24" by 32" and there's another one up top that I couldn't fit in the photo. There are only two people living in this house, but when the zombie apocalypse strikes, even if it is only in my husband's head, we are ready. We could stay hidden in this place with enough food for at least 7 months, more if I carefully ration the oatmeal.

Flipping through the book How to Cook Everything: The Basics, there were honestly only a few recipes that really jumped out at me. It's a very basic book (hence the title, I'm a genius) and would make a great gift for a college kid who can't cook, but it's a tad elementary for me. That said, there is still some good eatin' in here, like the Cold Noodles with Sesame Sauce. With a few additions it made a perfect dinner! Make the noodles in advance and it's also super fast.

Orange Sesame Grilled Chicken with Cold Soba Noodles
For chicken:
2 chicken breasts cut into strips
1 Tbls. sesame oil
1 Tbls. soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbls. rice wine vinegar
Juice and zest of one large navel orange
1 tsp. ground ginger

Place chicken in a ziploc bag or shallow dish.
Whisk remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Marinate at least 3 hours or overnight. Cook on a preheated grill or grill pan for 3 or 4 minutes per side to cook through.

For noodles (everything but the scallions was from the pantry, woo!):
12 oz. buckwheat soba noodles
1/2 cup tahini (or you can use peanut butter)
2 Tbls. sesame oil
1 Tbls. sugar
1/4 c. soy sauce (I use reduced sodium)
1 Tbls. rice wine vinegar (I use the Lite version)
1 tsp. Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (we are so addicted to this stuff!)
salt and pepper
3 scallions, sliced thinly
1 Tbls. sesame seeds
Cook soba noodles in salted boiling water for 12 minutes, or until just tender. Drain, rinse with cold water and place in a large bowl. Toss with 1 Tbls. sesame oil and refrigerate.

Whisk tahini, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, sriracha, and salt and pepper to taste until combined. Add a few Tbls. of hot water if it is too thick. You'll want it to be the consistency of heavy cream. You can refrigerate this also until ready to serve, but you'll need to thin it out again with more water! When you are ready to eat, toss noodles in tahini sauce and transfer to a plate. Sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds and top with grilled chicken. Drizzle with remaining sesame oil.

This stuff was awesome, and guess what? E made most of it. Told you he can cook.

Print the Noodle Recipe

Print the Chicken Recipe


Kim said...

You really rocked it out with this week's theme! I am definitely a fan of the sesame noodles and love that nearly every item came from the pantry.

Your pantry looks great. Mine is nowhere near as organized;D

Debinhawaii said...

Amazingly clean pantry! There was a reason I didn't show mine--it is probably close to as full but nowhere near as neat. ;-)

Sesame noodles are a favorite of mine. Great choice!

Carolyn™ said...

Thanks for the welcome to HBin5. I have posted Kays Lemon Squares/Slice recipe if you want it.

Maybe you can help me with my BLOG I seem to have a narrow page not wide like yours and others. I am new to HTML and wonder if there is a wider template or I just need to add somewhere more inches.

Michelle said...

I really like Mark Bittman's cookbooks! Such unique recipes and many times I don't even need to run to the store.

Hey I need my laundryroom organized. Any time is fine! ;)

Joanna said...

Haha, Michelle! I am a freak for organizing things, and I have a bad habit of doing it to other people. My sisters and their closets have both benefited :)

Couscous & Consciousness said...

Awesome pantry raid. I love the sound of those noodles. I am a big fan of soba noodles and the sauce sounds amazing. Love your pantry - I totally relate - I am fanatical. I have everything organised by shelf. I can never bear things in little packets - they have to go into special containers and I even had my partner print me some special labels for all my containers :-)

Tiff said...

Nice pantry, mine definitely needs work! The noodles look delish, I love sesame noodles!

Joanne said...

To me, sesame and tahini/peanut butter noodles are a total comfort food. Your pantry looks awesome! You should see my room...