I have decided that I am going to expand my knowledge of cooking Asian food beyond stir-fry and fried rice. The problem is that most Asian food requires special ingredients or equipment that is 1) not in my budget and 2) not in my pantry. Especially when I'm hungry. Especially when I'm hungry RIGHT. NOW.
Which is why, when I stumbled across this recipe in a cooking magazine, I thought YAY! Food that I can prepare quickly and without having to make a pilgrimage to the Grand Asian Market and without having to need extra ingredients.
Now, a warning, dearest readers, DO NOT FOLLOW THESE STEPS EXACTLY! because, as I shall point out here and again and again, I made this extremely too spicy.
You will need: noodles, meat (or not), a little olive oil, water, soy sauce, peanut butter, honey, hot sauce, and onions.
1) Begin by boiling some noodles. These can be spaghetti, linguine, angel hair, or Ramen (poor college and ex-college students rejoice!). You want the noodles to be DONE by the time your sauce is finished. (Guess who's noodles got boiled too late and had to let the sauce sit there slowly getting cold until the noodles were ready?)
2) In a separate sauce pan, cook your meat. I used Kroger's Hot Italian Sausage, sliced into medallions. [HERE is where I went wrong with making this too spicy. Hot Italian Sausage is extremely Hot (and that has nothing to do with 104 degree August days). If you intend to use a hot or spicy sausage, YOU NEED TO TONE DOWN THE AMOUNT OF HOT SAUCE YOU PUT INTO THE PEANUT SAUCE!!! A milder sausage (like a bratwurst, mild or sweet italian, breakfast sausage, kilbasa, etc) would need more hot sauce for kick] You also can use beef, chicken, pork loin, pork chops, or no meat at all. Add a little oil to the bottom of your pan to keep the meat from sticking. But if you develop a layer of BCB's (Burned Crunchy Bits, for you poor non Pratchett fans), that's okay too because...
4) Deglaze your pan. Remove the meat and pour 1/4 cup of tap water into the bottom of the pan. This will loosen all the tasty gooey juices from the bottom and form a nice base for your sauce. You do NOT want to use ice water, that will warp your pan. You should get a rapid boil-y brownish goo bubbling up from the bottom. Add another 1/4 cup of water to thin this out.
5) Add 1 TBSP soy sauce, 2-3TBSP creamy peanut butter, 2-3 TBSP honey, 1 TBSP (or clove) minced garlic, and hot sauce to taste (GUESS WHO ADDED TOO MUCH HOT SAUCE?!?). Mix until the peanut butter is no longer a nasty globby mess but nicely smooth in the sauce. Taste the sauce. You should get a slight tang of sweet and salty on the tip of your tongue, followed by a rich earthy flavor as you swallow, followed by a bite of heat when you inhale. If you have added too much hot sauce (LIKE ME!!!!) add some more honey to mellow it. And serve with LOTS of water.
6) Drain your noodles and add the sauce. Mix thoroughly. Serve hot (temperature wise) with a garnish of raw sweet or green onion and crushed peanuts if you have them.
Unless you burned your tastebuds off like certain cooks on this blog did. Good thing J likes spicy food. *love to my long suffering husband*