When we lived in San Diego, Neel had a miserable commute. He had to leave our house at 6:30 in the morning in order to have a half an hour drive into work. Any later, and he'd be in the car for forty five minutes or longer. I was at home with Callum, so I had no commute. In California, driving is no big deal. We often would drive thirty minutes or longer just for a half an hour swim lesson or play date. But it takes its toll, driving that much. So when we made our trek across the country, it was really important that we live close to work for Neel. And now he has a lovely 2 mile, four minute commute. What we didn't bank on was choosing a school for Callum that was half an hour away. Or that I would eventually start to work at Callum's school. So now I have the commute. Lucky me.
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays Callum stays late for various after-school type things, so we're home late and man, by the time I've finished an extra-long day and tacked on a long drive, I'm beat. Now that ding-dong the grant is done, Neel's going to start cooking on those nights. Aren't you Neel? So last night Neel cooked, and what you see above is what we had. And let me tell you, it could have been sticks and rocks, just having someone else cook would have made that dinner delicious, but this was really delicious. Here's the recipe.
Curry Noodles with Chicken
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced into 1/4 inch strips
18 oz. fresh pasta, like egg noodles
1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
2 Tablespoons Thai peanut sauce
1 to 2 Tablespoons curry powder
2 to 3 Tablespoons Asian Fish Sauce
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
3 Tablespoons fresh basil leaves
1. Boil noodles according to directions. Drain, rinse in hot water and drain again. Set aside.
2. Rinse pan and set over medium high to high heat. Combine coconut milk, peanut sauce and curry powder. Add chicken and stir until no longer pink in the center. This takes a few minutes...under five maybe. Then add 1/2 cup water, 2 T. fish sauce, sugar, and vinegar and mix.
3. Return pasta to pan and mix until noodles are hot throughout, about four minutes. Pour into a bowl, add basil leaves, mix gently and serve.
Oh, yes, it was so delicious. Nice sweet-spicy kick that wasn't too spicy for the for the eight-year-old set. The recipe comes from one of my favorite old magazines, from back in our California days. It's called Safeway Select and was published by Sunset for our local grocery store (For those of you Californians, have you ever noticed how a lot of CA grocery stores have men's names? Von's? Albertsons? Ralphs? Around here we have Farm Fresh and Food Lion.). How lucky is that? A little mini-Sunset, in addition to the real deal each month. I lived for this monthly publication, the way I lived for the weekly TV Guide issue to tell me which Little House on the Prairie episode was coming on in the next week. A super-extra-wonderful bonus to my grocery trip. (In fact I'm sure that this is why I don't subscribe to Everyday Food. I'm trying to re-create my Safeway Select thrill.) Safeway Select has taught me how to make a meringue, Indian Butter Chicken, Five Spice fish and Beef Wellington. It has a Week Night Survival Guide in every issue that has five recipes that you can make in thirty minutes or less. I have kept every magazine I purchased (and moved them across the country) going back to 1999. Sometimes I miss California so much the back of my throat hurts. And dinner last night was really, really good.