Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Stir Fry Noodles

When it comes to figuring out my Shabbat menu, preparations look something like this:

Narrow down the top 5 desserts I've found either on Pinterest or bookmarked from my favorite blogs

A day later find 6 more I need to try asap...

Narrow that down to 2

...And then it's Thursday and dessert is set but the rest of the meal... well dessert is set!

Instead of getting stressed out, I get to do one of my favorite things! Sit at the kitchen table and pour over endless cookbooks, then search through my pantry to see what I have to work with and finally, make my grocery list and head off to the grocery store.

Oh the grocery store. I used to detest going anywhere near one. It was my least favorite place to go and I would practically beg my parents to let me stay home. When I realized there was no way out and I was going, I either stayed put in the book/magazine section or sulked the entire time, wishing we were home already. Where exactly I thought we got the cereal or cookies I always ran to the pantry for, I'm not sure, I just knew the grocery store wasn't for me. Now? It's my Toys R Us. And why stop at one grocery store? I frequently visit 2 or 3 to do my Shabbat and weekly groceries. Endless aisles of ingredients and inspiration! The baking aisle always gets a visit, regardless of whether or not I actually need anything and I'm pretty sure the next time I have to select paint colors, I'll take my cues from the produce section. Nature's color palette, with a fresh dusting of mist and countless bundles of variation, it has to make you smile! Add to that the bakery section with warm pastries and freshly decorated cakes, store coupons and point cards, and it's my happy place.

Although I am often enticed to buy half of the store, I do my best to stick to my grocery list. While this definitely has its upsides, a couple of weeks ago I discovered a downside. After making the appetizer, main and dessert, I started preparing the side dish for Shabbat. With a little over 3 hours to go I was feeling Super Balebusta-ish and excited at the thought of being able to actually vacuum and get ready without too much rushing. That's precisely when my side dish decided it had other plans. I've made noodle kugels before, but this time the caramel, noodles and pie dish itself were all intent on my defeat. After spending way too much time trying to salvage what I had attempted to create, I decided to move on. I was now left with half the amount of time and because I hadn't anticipated needing an extra side, I didn't shop outside of my grocery list (probably for the first time ever, but as things usually go it had to be this specific week I jumped that obstacle!). I started looking through the cabinets and freezer and somehow created my new favorite side dish. I enjoyed it so much that I made it again 2 days later for dinner and it barely spent any time in the fridge between being taken out to snack on and supplement other meals!

It's super easy and basically utilized ingredients I already had on hand. I didn't follow a recipe or directions of any sort, it came about in more of a "throw everything in the pot, close it and hope it works" sort of mad rush. Luckily for me the ingredients were left in a neat pile on the counter, so motzei Shabbat I knew what I had used and could attempt to recreate it again! I was pretty excited it came out so well considering the fact there almost wasn't a side. It would also serve as a fantastic base for sauteed vegetables, chicken and countless other options!

Do you have a favorite dish that came about by accident or because of a kitchen disaster? I wouldn't suggest it, but it's a great way to get a quick confidence boost after taking a hit!

Here's hoping all of our kitchen fiascos turn out for the best!

Enjoy!

Stir Fry Noodles (4 servings)

3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ketchup
1/4 tsp honey
1/8 tsp lemon juice
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of garlic powder
pinch of ground ginger
pinch of paprika
pinch of sea salt
pinch of white sugar
220 g stir fry noodles (I found these in the freezer section of the local grocery store. Luckily they were sitting right at the front of the freezer when I went searching for options, and they were perfect in this dish!) 
1 tbsp oil

Follow the directions on the package, to prepare the stir fry noodles. Following you will find my variation of the directions on my package.

I placed 220g of frozen stir fry noodles into a pot of boiling water. Return the pot to a rolling boil and allow to boil for 4 minutes. Keep an eye on it, the starch in the noodles causes the water to become super frothy and risk over flowing. Drain the water and fill with cold water. Drain the cold water. Repeat this process two more times. 

Add 1 tbsp of oil to the pot and over medium heat stirring the noodles occasionally to prevent them from becoming crispy.

In a medium sized bowl, add all of the remaining ingredients and stir. 

Add the noodles to the bowl and using two forks, combine until all of the liquid has been absorbed (I drained the remaining few drops of liquid)

You can refrigerate and serve cold or serve immediately! In the two weeks since I made this for the first time, I've made it an additional 3 times, and either hot or cold they're great! 

Enjoy!




17 comments:

  1. This sounds delicious. I love the addition of cinnamon in the recipe, so unexpected! So many of my recipes are the result of needing to use up things in my fridge/pantry. I love cooking that way, it makes me feel like I'm competing on Chopped!

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    1. Thank you so much! I can totally relate to that "Chopped" moment! I love being creative in the kitchen, it's so fun and therapeutic - & when the dish works out it's even better! :)

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  2. Oh boy, there have been plenty of times when there were kitchen disasters but the food came out -- not what I had originally intended, but absolutely wonderful. One was a fish croquette that became "hash." Of course there have been just plain disasters too. Thrown out food. It happens.

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing your experience!! What a smart way to save that dish!

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  3. This sounds like how I plan manny Shabbat meals. It makes me feel better to know that I'm not the only one to spend all my time thinking about dessert only to realize that is Thursday and I have to scramble to plan the rest of the meal.

    These noodles sound great. I am going to try them with some tofu and veggies for a quick weeknight meal

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    1. So happy to know there are other's who make dessert a priority! Tofu and veggies sound awesome, let me know how it works out!

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  4. I am notorious for not reading through recipes and finding that I don't have an ingredient or enough time to do the recipe so I have to make quick changes and luckily 90% of the time it turns out great. I love stir fry and these sound like a perfect go to.

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    1. Thanks so much!! I used to be notorious for that too! Since I don't drive and the store is quite a bit of a walk, I had to change my ways - there are only so many "emergency trips for an ingredient" that were acceptable haha! Wish I was as lucky with my substitutions - you must be a pretty great chef to be able to think so quickly on your feet for substitutions!

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  5. I should try this. I love any kind of pasta!

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  6. I think recipes are suggestions only so all my dishes are toss together and hope :)

    I love your noodles!

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    1. Thanks so much! I'm learning to see more and more recipes as "suggestions" as well! It makes all the substituting feel more okay!

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  7. Such a great noodle recipe. Super kid friendly also. I love when recipes are born out of using what you have and rush.
    Shabbat shalom!

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    1. Thank you so much! It's a great feeling when it all comes together in the end! Hope you had a wonderful Shabbat! Shavuah tov :)

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  8. lol I always plan dessert last! it's the last part of the meal after all and usually I run out of time before I make it :-) and I hate grocery shopping - big fan of order and delivery services and...btw - the stir looks yum! Shabbat Shalom

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    1. Thanks so much! & Order and delivery?! If I had known about that I would have never learned to love the grocery store!! I have some researching to do... lol Shavuah tov!

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  9. Noodles?! And sweet noodles?! I am all over that one.I rarely have the time or oven space to make a sweet kugel, so something I can toss together on the stovetop is really wonderful!

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