Sunday, March 1, 2009
Mexican Pad Thai w/ Cilantro Lime Slaw
Arriba! Three weeks off the blog sauce due to flupocalypse but I am BACK. I'm only slightly embarassed to say I did a little happy dance in the kitchen when this recipe came together on the plate. The tangy, crunchy slaw stands in for the mung bean sprouts, shredded carrots and lime wedge served with traditional pad thai. The spicy, sweet mole sauce is so effortlessly delicious with noodles, you'll think twice before eating mole in a taco ever again.
An added bonus is that I've perfected a quick, scratch Mole Sauce that you can use for this or other recipes. You'll never need Dona Maria again.
Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw
1/2 head Organic Red Cabbage, finely shredded - $1.12 (@ $1.29/lb)
Juice of 1 Lime - $.39
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon chopped Cilantro - $.10 (@$.59/bunch)
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
Mix Ingredients and set aside while you cook the noodles. The lime and salt will soften the cabbage while you cook the rest of dinner.
Spicy Mole Pad Thai w/ Tofu
3 dried Pasilla Chiles $1 -(@$2/package of 5 or 6)
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons Canola Oil
1 cup Organic Raisins $.50 - (@$3.49/lb)
10 Coriander Seeds
1/2 cup almond slivers $.50 - ($6.99/lb)
1 round Mexican Chocolate $.66 - (@ $3.99/package of 6)
1 tablespoon Natural Chunky Peanut Butter ($1.79/jar @ Trader Joe's)
1 cup broth (vegetable, chicken, whatev.) $.50 - (@ $2/quart)
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (for garnish)
1 package Softened Thai Rice Sticks (follow directions on the package) $3.99
1 package Organic Firm Tofu $1.69
Total: $8.84 (Not including staples)
Serious mole sauce takes hours to prepare. This is my short-cut version that is just as delicious. Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in both a large saucepan or wok (big enough to hold your noodles) and another tablespoon in a small saucepan.
In the wok, fry your dried chiles, turning frequently, until they puff up and you can smell them. When done, plop them into a bowl and smother them with boiling water. Keep the Chiles submerged by weighing them down with a plate. Don't wash the wok. You'll use the oil from the chiles to fry your tofu. (or chicken or turkey if you want to)
In your small saucepan, mix and fry the raisins, garlic, and coriander seeds. Don't let them burn! You'll know they're done when the raisins puff up into little balls. When the raisins are done, add the almonds, gently toasting them. Finally, add the broth, some salt, chocolate and peanut butter and let simmer until your Pasilla chiles are done softening in water.
Split the chiles open, pull out the seeds and stems and add the flesh of the chile to the simmering chocolate mixture. Simmer for five minutes. Transfer the sauce to a blender, or use a hand held blender to puree the whole mess. It doesn't have to be super smooth. Put the sauce back on the stove while you cook the tofu and noodles.
Throw your drained, cubed tofu into the wok, searing off all the sides. Add another tablespoon of oil if you need to. Add the softened rice noodles to the wok and pour the mole sauce over the noodles. Toss the noodles and tofu until the mole is distributed evenly and the noodles are the desired texture.
Serve with a side of slaw and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.