Cooking is rather, ah, difficult in my house, only because we have so many picky eaters that when Mom and I cook something, it’s generally for Mom and I (how this happened with my father being Italian, I have no idea).
Needless to say, it’s a nice afternoon when I get the house to myself and go on a whim to cook. My picky sisters are nigh around, so there is no “Ew, what’s that smell?” or “Ew, what’s that? I don’t wanna try that!” For the last two days, I’ve had peace and quiet, making what I please. Yesterday it was a tall stack of pancakes and Italian sausage risotto. Today, however, it was something of my own invention. Last night while with Josh, I was musing over how to use the rice noodles that I had left over from when I made Pad Se Ew and came across, what at the time felt like a brilliant idea. I would make a peanut butter and soy sauce reduction and toss it with the noodles. Mind you, I had no idea that I wasn’t the first to think this way, I thought I was thinking outside of the box (which, of course I was, for me). So when I got home last night, I went to Google and searched it on a whim. A few recipes for a peanut butter and soy sauce based marinade came up, but then I found one that was simple enough. It called for milk, water and peanut butter with chopped garlic and onion-chili sauce. The last two, I didn’t have, nor did I plan on following the recipe to the core. Instead, I did my own thing.
When I went to cook it earlier, I didn’t pay attention to measurements or even what exactly I was putting in, merely letting the pure, raw, want to cook guide me. I pulled the peanut butter from the cupboard along with the rice noodles, and brown sugar. From the fridge, I gathered the milk and soy sauce, and pulled out a pan. From there, I just started adding things, first the milk and peanut butter, noticing it wasn’t getting smooth as it should have. So, I added some water, stirring it in until it was fully absorbed and “thinned” out. I added 2 table spoons of soy sauce, stirring that in. I added some garlic powder (in lieu of chopped garlic), and tasted it. It was still way to peanut butter-y. So, I pulled cayenne pepper from the spice cabinet, adding it liberally throughout and stirring. When it had enough kick to satisfy me, I let it simmer down, (making sure to keep stirring because even though the heat was on “low” it was still bubbling immensely), adding a splash of water every so often to thin it out when it got too thick.
As far as the rice noodles go, I think next time, I will stick with using those for things like Pad Thai or Pad Se Ew, because they were too thin to really support the sauce, however. It would make a great sauce to toss with spaghetti or linguine. Also, there is the chance that this sauce would be great with wontons or dumplings (as I have enjoyed several varieties of spicy peanut sauces with my dumplings in the past). When I work everything out, I will post a recipe, as for now, it’s far from “perfect”.