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WC Platinum Chef Challenge Round 3

July 10, 2007

Ina Garten’s Crunchy Noodle Salad
Round 3 WC Platinum Chef Challenge

I feel like a little blogging maniac tonight! This is my 4th post tonight but its only because I haven’t posted anything in 2 weeks – withdrawal!!

So the past couple of weeks have been crazy (not a whole lot of cooking – *gasp!*) and I skipped the WC Platinum Chef Challenge Round 2 but I was bound and determined to get back into the challenge for this round. Cara has been hosting this challenge and posted the 5 new ingredients for this round last week: wine, peanut butter, honey, onions, and seafood.

I got right to thinking about a recipe or two that would emcompass all of these ingredients when I remembered a recipe I had filed away both in the back of my mind and in my recipe book that I was dying to make which used peanut butter and honey. Ina Garten’s (the Barefoot Contessa on Food Network) Crunchy Noodle Salad called for peanut butter, honey, and to my surprise, scallions (green onions) – I would only need to add wine and seafood to the dish to complete the challenge! Ina pairs it salmon but I added shrimp because, well, that’s what I had in my freezer. ๐Ÿ™‚ And what a better time to make a salad than on a rare 95 degree evening here in New England!

Its a long list of ingredients but Kyle joined me in the kitchen tonight and took on making the sauce while I prepped the veggies, which really helped to cut down on the prep time. All told, I loved it, giving it a 4 out of 5 – to me, it had a little bit of a Thai taste, without the heat or the coconut – just the way I like it! ๐Ÿ™‚ Kyle, on the other hand wasn’t all that fond of it (although he polished off his serving while I was taking photos of my serving) and gave it a 2 out of 5. I will make it again, but only when I’m bringing it for a pot luck or serving it amongst other things at my house for a gathering (i.e., not for a main course for Kyle and myself). Of course, I made some modifications, which are noted below the recipe.

Crunchy Noodle Salad

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound cooked (and cooled) shrimp, peeled and deveined*
  • 1/2 pound thin spaghetti
  • 1 pound sugar snap peas*
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon chardonney wine*
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons dark sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger*
  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds, toasted*
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 4 scallions (with and green parts), sliced diagonally
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds, toasted*
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves*

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring another large pot of salted water to a boil, add the sugar snap peas, return to a boil, and cook for 3 minutes, until crisp tender. Lift the sugar snap peas from the water with a slotted spoon and immerse them in a bowl of ice water. Drain.*

For the dressing, whisk together the vegetable oil, rice wine vinegar, wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, garlic, ginger, 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, peanut butter, salt, to taste, and the pepper, in a medium bowl.

Combine the spaghetti, sugar snap peas*, peppers and scallions in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the spaghetti mixture. Add the scallions, the parsley*, and the shrimp and mix again.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 9-11 minutes
Serves: 4-6

* Modifications
  1. The recipe doesn’t call for it, but I added cooked shrimp to make it a well-rounded meal and to satify the requirements of the WC Platinum Chef Challenge.
  2. I’m not a fan of sugar snap peas, so I omitted them and the whole step that includes them.
  3. Again to satisfy the Challenge requirements, I added a little wine to the dressing.
  4. I totally forgot the recipe called for fresh ginger when I shopped this week, so we used ground ginger.
  5. Toasting the sesame seeds required too much heat to be generated on such a hot night so we didn’t toast them.
  6. I don’t favor parsley so I omitted this as well.


I wouldn’t normally post something like this but since Kyle felt like being a “chef” on his own after not being fulfilled by the Crunchy Noodle Salad and not wanting to go back for seconds (fine by me – lunch tomorrow!), he decided to whip up a little something of his own…the result…

Loaded Mashed Potato Hot Dog Boats

Gotta let the man be happy, right?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. marye permalink
    July 14, 2007 4:39 pm

    I am not real sure about the hotdogs ๐Ÿ™‚ but the crunchy noodle salad look wonderful!

  2. Margarita Valli permalink
    July 19, 2007 3:09 pm

    The crunchy noodle salad looks “droolworthy”. I love the combination of flavours. Excellent choice!!!


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