Yesterday was Mark’s 22nd Birthday. We celebrated by having some friends over on Saturday night. We don’t really entertain much because we live 1 1/2 miles away from our campus, but everyone braved the blizzard and hiked over to enjoy some Naked Dove IPA.
On Sunday, Mark’s actual birthday, we had a peanut butter filled day. Mark had two requests: Szechuan noodles with spicy peanut sauce and peanut butter pie.
The noodles are adapted from Ina Garten and are really easy and tasty. Plus, if you don’t want to spend the extra money on soba noodles, you can just substitute whole wheat thin linguini. Also, pretty much any veggie can be thrown in and there will be plenty of leftovers.
Szechuan Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce
1/2 box of soba noodles or thin whole wheat linguini
2 tablespoon oil
1 small onion diced (or1/2 a medium onion)
10-15 baby carrots cut into rounds 1/4 in thick
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
5-10 mushrooms, sliced
1 cup of shredded cabbage
2 cup of broccoli florets, cooked, blanched or microwaved
3/4 cup of peas
dash red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 reaspoon dried garlic
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 cup of peanutbutter
1/4 cup of siracha
1 teaspoon of hoisin
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar
1/4-1/2 cup of reserved pasta water
2 tablespoon of thinly sliced scallions (optional)
2 tablespoon peanuts, chopped (optional)
Bring water to a boil for the pasta. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat, add onions and sautee for 2 minutes. Cook the broccoli with your preferred method. Add the carrots to the oil and onion, sautee for 2 minutes. Then add the bell pepper and sautee for 2 minutes. Once the water is boiling add the pasta and cook according to the box directions. Add the cabbage to the veggies and let wilt for 2 minutes. Then add in the cooked broccoli and frozen peas. In a medium size bowl, add the peanut butter, spices, siracha, soy sauce, rice vinegar, hoisin, and a ladle full (or 1/4 cup of pasta water. Mix to combine, if it seems a little thick add in another ladle of pasta water. Drain the pasta once it is done. Add the sauce to the veggies and top with pasta. Toss to coat and top with scallions and chopped peanuts (optional).
Peanut Butter Pie
1 prepared “oreo” cookie pie crust
3/4 cup of peanutbutter
3/4 cup of powdered sugar
8 oz of cream cheese, at room temp
1/2 pint of whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
3 oz of chocolate, plus one more for shaving as a garnish
1-2 tablespoon of milk
2 tablespoon of peanuts chopped
Combine the peanut butter, powdered sugar and cream cheese in a large bowl.
In another (largish) bowl whip the cream and vanilla until stiff peaks form. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon gently fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture, try not to let the air out of the whipped cream. I did it a few scoops at a time. Then spoon it into the prepared crust and even it out. Then shave some chocolate and sprinkle it over the top, you can use a vegetable peeler. Place the remaining chocolate in a heat proof bowl and place it on a small pot filled with an inch or 2 of water, over medium heat (a double boiler). Melt the chocolate, stirring it occasionally, once it is all melted add a little bit of milk, stir and see if the the chocolate drizzles off of the spoon in a thin ribbon. If it does not add more milk and try again. Once the right consistency is achieved drizzle it over the pie. Top with the chopped peanuts and cover and let it set up in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Then cut with a sharp knife and enjoy.