You’re Not Chinese!

There is a Seinfeld episode where Jerry had the notion he was about to date a Chinese woman because her surname was Chang. He was surprised at their first date that indeed she was not Chinese, she had shortened her name from Changstein! She was blonde and blue eyed and tall. So guess we can’t judge a person or a pasta by name alone. Enter the pasta known as vermicelli or thin spaghetti. Although Italian in name, (it means little worms), it is versatile in many cultures and has been around since 400 BC. Geez, I love when I find things way older than me! So you see, although Italian by surname, I decided I wanted to try Vermicelli in my kitchen in an Asian dish.

My mouth was watering when I happened upon this Spicy Thai Noodle recipe, so knew it was one to try one day soon. That day has come. I had some chicken I had grilled thinking Dr. Love would not be home for dinner (he is “not a chicken fan”) so when plans changed and he was coming home after all, I needed a quick, clever disguise for his least favorite protein. He does love peanut butter, so I thought this recipe would be worth the gamble of poultry at the table.

Vermicelli

The Vermicelli only takes 6 minutes to cook, so I went to work on the rest, while it cooled down a bit slathered in the chili olive oil. I enlisted my youngest jr. to pick out all the peanuts out of the can of nut mix I had on hand. Not only did I get my peanuts for my recipe, but he turned the lowly nut mix into a gourmet nut mix and it kept him busy! In the meantime I worked on the peanut butter mixture.

oooh peanut butter…

The mixture was a little thick so I added a little more oil and soy sauce til it looked smooth. It smells so heady and exotic. I used Chili olive oil from Queen Creek Olive Mill, http://queencreekolivemill.com, my favorite. I halved the sesame oil cuz I think its such a strong flavor and I just like a bit of it. I did use all the red pepper flakes and then some, my family likes it hot.

A quick chop of the peanuts, cilantro and green onions and as soon as they were scattered on the top, the pasta came to life. All I needed was a fortune cookie to tell me if Dr. Love would like it or not. All he could say was “mmmm” so I think this recipe, and the chicken had good fortune.

Spicy Thai Yum

Spicy Thai Noodles with grilled Chicken
1/2 c. smooth peanut butter
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 tbsp. sesame oil
1/8 cup of chili oil, or more to taste
1 lb. thin spaghetti or vermicelli
1/4 c. olive oil2 grilled chicken breasts, seasoned with salt and pepper and cut into chunks
8 green onions, washed trimmed, cut diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces
1/3 c. chopped cilantro
4 tbsp. peanuts, chopped or whole (I used a little of both)Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain thoroughly; toss with chili olive oil. Let it come to room temperature, tossing frequently. Whisk peanut butter, lemon juice and soy sauce until smooth. Blend in red pepper flakes, and oils. Pour peanut mixture over the noodles; toss gently to coat. Add green onions, chicken and cilantro leaves; toss. Garnish with sprigs of cilantro and peanuts and a few green onion slices. Makes 6-8 servings.
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