Thursday, March 31, 2011

Gettin’ Naked!

We have a new chef over at I Heart Cooking Clubs this week. That’s right, its our first date with Jamie Oliver.  I have always enjoyed watching Jamie, and I find his effervescent style very refreshing (pun entirely intended). I’m not sure how well we will get along over the next six months of cooking together though, as so very few of his recipes are “Leach Family” friendly. I adore his simple salads and his lovely pastas, but, as I have found, sometimes his choice of ingredients leaves me floundering in my lack of shopping options.

But, since I things he is absolutely fabulous, I’m going to give it the ol’ college try. Starting now. Our theme this inaugural week is “Let's Get Naked”, which I think is very forward for a first date, but hey, I’m willing to give it a chance!

When the vote was in and it was announced that Jamie was our next chef, naturally I went looking for recipes. I don’t own a single one of his cookbooks (that’s a new concept for me) so I just did some browsing online, and the very first recipe that jumped out and said “Eat Me!” was Jamie’s Fresh Asian Noodle Salad. Conveniently, I had just happened across some little personal-sized packages of bean thread noodles and stashed a few in my pantry. Finding any decent fresh chiles wasn’t easy, though, and the best I could do was some green serranos.

I have to say, This recipe kicks ass! I wasn’t that optimistic about it with its basic ingredients (and no, I didn’t have any prawns, either, so my medium size frozen shrimp had to stand in), but it came together beautifully and I couldn’t keep my chopsticks out of it as I was packing up the leftovers for lunch last night. This one is definitely going to be making regular appearances over the summer when I have my own home-grown fresh chiles on hand!

fresh asian noodle salad
• 300g/10½oz cellophane noodles or beanthread noodles
• 200g/7oz minced beef
• 2 teaspoons five-spice
• 5 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and grated
• 2 heaped teaspoons of grated fresh ginger
• 100g/5½oz cooked peeled prawns
• 3 teaspoons sugar
• 1 bunch of spring onions, finely sliced
• 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
• 1 tablespoon fish sauce
• 2 fresh red chilies, deseeded and finely sliced
• 1 handful of fresh coriander, chopped
• 1 handful of fresh mint, chopped
• 2 handfuls of roasted peanuts
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
starter | serves 4
This is one of those salads which tastes so amazing that you have to keep making it! It’s spicy, zingy and really gets your tastebuds going.

Soak the noodles in a bowl of warm water until soft, then drain and put back in the bowl. In a hot wok fry the beef and five-spice in the olive oil until brown and crisp, then add the garlic, ginger, prawns and sugar and stir-fry for another 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir the wok mixture into the noodles. Add the spring onions, lime juice, fish sauce, chilies, coriander, mint and peanuts to the bowl. Toss well and correct the seasoning — it wants to be quite zingy with the lime juice. Sprinkle with some extra herb leaves if you like and serve cold.

Try this: You can modify the recipe by using a little wok-fried squid, shellfish or different minced meats.

This is my submission to I Heart Cooking Clubs and Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Ruth at Once Upon a Feast this week.


girlichef said...

Yum, YUM, and MORE YUM! This sounds so awesome. I so all of Jamie's stuff and can't wait to spend six months concentrating on him =) I'll have to add this one to the many that are bookmarked!

Ruth Daniels said...

I love Jamie and the thing I love most is how easy it is to "translate" his ingredients into similar things in your kitchen. Thanks for sharing this one with Presto Pasta Nights.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Lovely! I am glad Jamie has won you over so quickly!
I love his wide range of recipes, I am sure you'll find lots more that please you. It's going to be a great 6 months!

Krista Jorstad said...

I'm a vegetarian so I'll be omitting the beef, but it looks like the real highlight of this dish is all the spices! Can't wait to adapt it, it looks delicious.

Mélodie said...

It looks delicious, more appetizing than his!

Deb in Hawaii said...

I love noodle salads with Asian flavors--always so fresh and delicious. This one looks like one to bookmark. ;-)

Tammy Lou said...

Love all the fresh herbs and chilies!

My last shrimp noodle attempt was a disaster (first time trying to cook with curry) but this looks more straightforward. Great find!

Kim said...

I love Jamie's style too and I'm really excited about the next 6 months. This sounds like a winning recipe. Love that it combines beef and shrimp. Definitely lots of flavor in this one. Glad you got naked with us! LOL!

MM said...

Looks great! I know what you mean about shopping options. I can already tell that I'll be making a lot of substitutions!

Claudia said...

I have saved this one to try for sure. It sounds great, and I do have those noodles, which need to be used.