Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Col Cooks: Desperation Potluck Sesame Noodles

Perhaps some of you have a teenager. And perhaps that fabulous, beautiful, perfect child who you have loved and adored for almost nine months longer than he or she has been alive, has rattled you with a sentence something like this: "Mom, what did you make for the potluck?"

Potluck? "What potluck?" you ask slowly, your eyes narrowing, and your perfect child not seeming quite so perfect as just a few seconds ago.

"Oh, the band pot luck. I was supposed to bring a main dish. I thought I told you. But if you can't do it, no biggie. I'll just tell them you didn't have the time."

Fabulous, so now you are either the evil working mom who couldn't be bothered to send something in for the pot luck, or you come up with a main course within a half hour.

Friends, next time your perfect child presents this perfect pickle, here is your dish. Because if you cook much Asian food, you probably have most everything in the pantry already. It is not authentic, but it is delicious -- and it will get you off the hook in under 12 minutes*.

Col's Desperation Potluck Sesame Noodles**

1/3 cup light sesame oil
1/3 cup tamari soy sauce
4 T Chinese black vinegar (or any mild vinegar if you don't have it)
2 T brown sugar
2 T kosher salt
1 T chili oil
2 t ground ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
juice of 1/2 lime
1 lb. spaghetti
12 basil leaves, shredded (optional)
2 T toasted sesame seeds (optional)

As in all emergencies, start by boiling water!

Whisk all ingredients to lime juice together in a large bowl. Meanwhile, boil spaghetti until al dente. Drain pasta and cool with cold water. Let drain. Toss pasta with sauce. Garnish with basil and sesame seeds, if desired. Packs perfectly in a 2.25 L plastic container.

*Once the water is boiling.
**The original inspiration for this dish was "Sesame Noodles with Asparagus Tips" from Debbie Madison's essential cookbook, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. I have tweaked it to our tastes and streamlined it so much that it's no longer the same thing, but I heartily recommend the original -- and the book -- as well!

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I absolutely love comments. Thanks for taking the time to share! Col