Monday, March 24, 2014

Recipe: Peanut Sauce with Pork & Rice Noodles

Sometimes you have a lot of leftovers but you don't want to eat just leftovers.

Lately we have been making a fabulous pork shoulder roast.  But that's what Sundays are for right? A big brunch and a dinner that takes hours to cook while you lounge around, enjoying the rest of your Sunday.

What to do with all the leftovers before they can get boring and over-done? Make your own sweet and spicy peanut sauce and mix it all together with rice noodles, that's what!

8 oz of rice noodles* prepared to the package instructions
1- 2 lbs diced pork (or chicken, or beef, ground meat, or tofu)
1 yellow onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
Peanut Oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2-3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon curry powder
Optional - a squirt of srirracha sauce or a pinch of red pepper flakes
kosher salt

In a large pan or wok, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Sprinkle with kosher salt.

Let cook until the onions are translucent, and have softened. You don't have to caramelize the onions, but I like mine to be caramelized because I look for that when I am layering flavors.

While the onions and garlic cook, dice your meat. If you are using fresh/raw meat, your cook times may increase but it's no big deal. If you haven't diced your left over meat, dice while the onions cook.

Once the onions have cooked down, add the meat and stir. Add the soy sauce**, the rice wine vinegar, the brown sugar, peanut butter, turmeric, and curry powder. Stir together - the heat helps the seasonings combine and form a thick, creamy, peanut-y sauce.  The turmeric and curry give this dish a gorgeous yellow color (think of all the little micro nutrients those spices will give ya!)

Once the meat is cooked through or heated through, add your noodles, and toss until everything is coated.

I usually plate this dish over a bed of romaine lettuce; it adds a soft crisp layer, and the warmth from the noodles and pork wilts the lettuce a bit, making it buttery in texture. You can also add other vegetables, baby corn, mushrooms, peas, you name it.

This dish is also good without the noodles. Just make the onion, meat, and seasoning mixture, and serve inside butter lettuce for a delicious appetizer, or entire meal.

Now you are thinking, what do I drink with this? A Riesling or Gewurztraminer would be ideal to me, but I don't see how a Sauvignon Blanc, or Pinot Gris could steer you wrong. 

Happy Eating!

*When preparing rice noodles, I typically boil a pot of water, and once it has reached a rolling boil, I dump it into a big bowl that has the dried rice noodles in it. Let the rice noodles soak up the water for 10-15 minutes, or until mostly soft. How is this different from regular pasta? Well, you are removing the cooking from the heat source. If you let the noodles sit too long, and then cook with the noodles, they virtually disintegrate into tiny little 1 inch pieces which are still edible. But really. Half the fun of eating whole noodles, is eating whole noodles, right? After 10-15 minutes, drain the rice noodles in a colander, and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside until you are ready to add to your main dish.

**I always use low sodium soy sauce, but use whichever you prefer.  The saltiness of this dish may vary based on that.

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