garlic peanut noodles

My evenings have changed a bit. Ever since welcoming an almost three-month-old puppy into our home, dinner has become less of a special event and more of a chore to fit in between taking Emma outside and keeping her occupied with chew toys. We still enjoy our meals, but they're often interrupted.

As the name of my blog expresses, I advocate for easy home cooking every night of the week, a philosophy even more important now that my time is more limited. Easy, quick cooking recipes are essential for most of us, which is why I was so happy to see this dish on Ashley's blog a few weeks ago.

Lately, I'd been craving noodles. I eat my fair share of pasta, but was looking for an Asian twist. I wanted to crunch on some cabbage and carrots and slurp something spicy into my mouth. These garlic noodles certainly satisfied my craving and the bonus is that dinner was ready in about 15 minutes. I know this period of my life is temporary and in a few months, Emma will be independent, reliable and able to hold it together while I spend some time in the kitchen. But for now, noodles are the answer.


From Not Without Salt via Nigel Slater

If you taste the sauce before prouring it onto the noodles, you'll notice a lot of heat from the raw garlic. But fear not, the flavors mellow a bit once you stir it with the warm ramen. The recipe lends itself to simple modifications. You can eat them plain, or throw in cabbage and carrots (as I did), or any vegetables you have available. Sauteed mushrooms and bean sprouts would also be wonderful.

3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon chopped shallot or brown onion
1 package ramen noodles
1/2 a head of green cabbage, shredded or thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled

Combine the first six ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth; set aside.

Generously salt boiling water and add the ramen. Cook for 4 minutes, or until al dente and drain. Pour noodles back into the pan and add the sauce; toss to combine. Add the raw cabbage and carrots and let the heat soften everything for a few minutes before serving. If you have some, toss in chopped green onions as well.