Thai Chicken Pasta with Spicy Peanut Sauce


I hear so many of my friends talk about how they get bored with making the same things over and over.  I, too, can get in a kitchen rut from time to time, but the best way we can keep that from happening is to try new and exotic dishes from far away lands.  I know, I know, you are thinking "Yeah, but I don't want to have to spend a fortune on fancy seasonings and special tools."  Well, if you have discovered anything at all about me, you will know I am not about expensive seasonings OR fancy tools.  You can try many exotic meals with what you have in your pantry already!  One of my favorite dishes to do that with is this Thai Chicken Pasta w/a Spicy Peanut Sauce!  Let me show you how I do it!

Thai Chicken Pasta w/Spicy Peanut Sauce
*Prep Time: 15 minutes  *Cook Time:  15 minutes  *Difficulty:  Easy  *Servings:  4-6

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 lb. rice noodles
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1/2 red pepper julienned
  • 3 scallions, diced
  • 1/2 c. edamame, shelled
  • 1/4 c. low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp. Sriracha sauce
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger. minced
  • 2-3 tbsp. canola oil
  • Salt and pepper
Tools:
  • Chef's Knife
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Measuring cups
  • Skillet or wok
  • Pot for noodles
  • tongs
As with all great pasta dishes, the first thing you will want to do is get a pot of salted water on to boil.  :)
It is important that it is SALTED water.  Why?  Because this is the only time you have to season that actual pasta. 

The key to successful Asian cooking is preparation. 
Before you start cooking you are going to want to prep all of your vegetables,
cube your chicken, and make your sauce.

Let me show you how to make the sauce.


In a bowl (yes, I started in a mixing cup, but had to put everything in something bigger), combine the soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, peanut butter, sriracha, garlic, ginger, and salt and pepper.


(See, I told ya I had to put it in something bigger)

Then whisk until smooth. 
Depending on your flavor preference, you will want to taste and make any adjustments you desire.

By this time our water should be boiling and you can add your noodles. 
Now, I used rice noodles, but if you don't have rice noodles, NO WORRIES!
Just use spaghetti, linguine, fettuccini, heck, bow ties (farfalle) would even work here. 
WHATEVER you have will be great!


Once you have everything prepped and ready to go, you can heat your skillet.
You are going to want this skillet to be HOT, SMOKING HOT!
Asian cooking is all about high temps and fast cooking.
Add your oil, or in my case butter.


Now put your chicken in the skillet and salt and pepper.
You will let the chicken cook through and brown. 
This will take 3-4 minutes.


When your chicken is finished cooking, remove from the pan and set aside.


Now you will add the carrot.
Give it time to soften and begin caramelize.
This will be about 2 minutes.


Now add the pepper.
Cook until it softens.


Now add the edamame and...


HALF of the Scallions.  These will only go for about a minute.


Return the chicken to the pan and toss everything together.


Now it is time to add the sauce. 
Pour it over your stir-fry and...


toss everything together.


Now you will turn off the heat and add your noodles. 
 Toss everything together and top with some fresh cilantro,
the other half of the scallions, some sesame seeds, or crush peanuts.


There you have it, a DELICIOUS and fun meal from the Far East that you can make with things you have in your pantry at home.  When you bring this to the table you are expanding the pallets of your picky eaters (hey, it has peanut butter in it), learning how different cultures eat (pick up some chopstick from your local Chinese take-out place), and creating memories around your table be it with the kids, with that special someone, or just you at home alone. 

Give this easy, Asian dish a try tonight. 
You WON'T regret it! 
 And as always...

Happy Reading, Happy Eating, and Happy Living,

~The Kitchen Wife~





Thai Chicken Pasta w/Spicy Peanut Sauce:
*Prep Time: 15 minutes  *Cook Time:  15 minutes  *Difficulty:  Easy  *Servings:  4-6
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 lb. rice noodles
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1/2 red pepper julienned
  • 3 scallions, diced
  • 1/2 c. edamame, shelled
  • 1/4 c. low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp. Sriracha sauce
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger. minced
  • 2-3 tbsp. canola oil
  • Salt and pepper
Tools:
  • Chef's Knife
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Measuring cups
  • Skillet or wok
  • Pot for noodles
  • tongs
Directions:
  1. Put pot of salted water on high heat, and bring to boil.
  2. Cube Chicken
  3. Julienne carrots (or purchase already done)
  4. Julienne pepper
  5. Dice Scallions
  6. Shell edamame (or purchase already shelled)
  7. In a mixing bowl combine soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, peanut butter, sriracha sauce, garlic, and ginger.
  8. Whisk together until smooth. 
  9. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper accordingly. (You may also want to adjust other ingredients according your flavor preference)
  10. Place skillet or wok on stovetop over high heat.
  11. When skillet is HOT, add 2-3 tbsp. canola oil.
  12. By this time the water should be at a boil.  Add the rice noodles.
  13. To the hot skillet you will add the chicken.
  14. Salt and pepper chicken and let cook through and brown.
  15. When chicken has cooked through and is brown, remove from pan.
  16. To the hot skillet, add the carrots and let caramelize, about 2 minutes.
  17. Next, add the red pepper and let soften.
  18. Then add the edamame and HALF of your scallions.  Cook until tender, about 2 minutes.
  19. Now return the chicken to the skillet and toss. 
  20. Pour the peanut sauce over the chicken and vegetables and stir together.
  21. Add the cooked rice noodles, drained, to the skillet and toss together.
  22. You can top with fresh cilantro, the other half of you scallions, sesame seeds or crushed peanuts.
  23. Serve and Enjoy!
2

Smoked Gouda and Bacon Mac & Cheese


When planning my meals, I try to keep things balanced with a protein, vegetable, and a starch.  However, there are days (and you know what I am talking about) when you just want some good ol' fashioned comfort food!  Last night was such a night in The Kitchen Wife's home!  We are having some work done in our home, getting ready to go out of town this weekend, and just dealing with everyday life! I had reached my limit, so for dinner I decided to go for comfort all the way!

Now when I think of comfort food, many things come to mind...but the one dish that is pretty much at the top of everyone's list is Mac & Cheese!  Since this was going to be our one and only entrĂ©e tonight, I decided that I wanted to amp things up a bit. I chose to use smoked gouda for my cheese sauce and to add a little something-something with bacon!  The result was pure, heartwarming, deliciousness and I can't wait to share with you how I did it! 

Let's get started!

Ingredients:




  • 1/2 a pound of your favorite pasta
  • 1 c. shredded smoked gouda cheese
  • 2 c. milk
  • 4 strips of bacon, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • salt and pepper
Tools:
  • Skillet
  • Baking dish
  • stock pot
  • Whisk
  • Chef's Knife
  • slotted spoon
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Box Grater
  • paper towel
Directions:



As always you will want to get that pot of salted water on to boil before you slice and dice anything!



To begin, you will need to dice up your bacon. 
I find putting it in the freezer for 30 minutes prior to dicing helps with this.


After you have diced your bacon, place it in a COLD skillet!
This is important.  If you all the bacon to a hot skillet, you will caramelize your bacon, but not really render the fat. 
We are wanting to use the bacon fat in our roux, so rendering is a top priority.
Turn the heat on medium high and allow the bacon to cook.
This process will take about 10 minutes.


While your bacon is rendering, this will be the perfect time to
shred the cheese, dice your onion, and mince your garlic.


Once your bacon has rendered and is crispy...


Remove it from your pan with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel. 


By this time your water should be at a boil.
Add your pasta of choice and cook according to the directions on the box. 


Next, add the diced onions to the pan and cook until soft and translucent.


Once your onions are soft and translucent, add the garlic and cook until you smell
it come from the pan.


Now you will add the flour.


Whisk the flour into the grease until smooth.
Let it cook for 2 minutes to get rid of any unwanted raw flour taste in your cheese sauce.


After you have allowed the flour to cook, add the milk. 
Drop the temp, and bring to a simmer.  Let the sauce thicken.


When your sauce has thickened, add half of the cooked bacon.


Remove from the heat and add the shredded cheese.


Whisk until the cheese has melted and is smooth.
If you sauce is to thick for your liking, just add a little more milk and whisk. 


Now add the cooked pasta and stir into your sauce.
At this point, if you are not going to bake your mac & cheese in your pan you would transfer it into a greased baking dish.


Top with the other half of the bacon, some buttered bread crumbs, or some parmesan cheese.
Put in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes and YUM! 

So the next time you have a really rough week, or you just need a little Hump Day pick-me-up,
give this delectable mac & cheese recipe a try.  I guarantee you will not be disappointed!  Have a great day everyone and as always...

Happy Reading, Happy Eating, and Happy Living,

~The Kitchen Wife~







Smoked Gouda and Bacon Mac & Cheese:
*Pre-time: 20 minutes  *Cook TIme:  20 minutes  *Difficulty:  Easy  *Servings:  4-6
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 a pound of your favorite pasta
  • 1 c. shredded smoked gouda cheese
  • 2 c. milk
  • 4 strips of bacon, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • salt and pepper
Tools:
  • Skillet
  • Baking dish
  • stock pot
  • Whisk
  • Chef's Knife
  • slotted spoon
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Box Grater
  • paper towel
Directions:
  1. Preheat Oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Fill your stock pot with water, add salt, and bring to boil.
  3. Once at a boil, add the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package.
  4. Drain pasta.
  5. Dice the bacon and add to a cold skillet.
  6. Brown bacon until crispy.
  7. While bacon is browning, finely dice the onion.
  8. Mince the garlic.
  9. Shred the cheese.
  10. Once bacon is crispy remove from pan with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel.
  11. To the bacon drippings add the onion and let cook until soft and translucent.
  12. When onions are soft and translucent, add the garlic.
  13. Let the garlic cook until you smell it in the pan.
  14. Next, add the flour and whisk until incorporated into the bacon drippings.
  15. Let cook 2 minutes while whisking.
  16. Add the milk while whisking, and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  17. Allow the milk to thicken.
  18. Once thick, remove from heat, and add the cheese.
  19. Whisk the cheese until smooth.
  20. Taste for seasoning.
  21. Add any seasoning needed.
  22. Add half of the bacon.
  23. Add pasta to pan and stir.
  24. If you are not baking in the pan, here is where you would add the mixture to a greased baking dish.
  25. Top with bread crumbs, the other half of bacon, and some parmesan cheese.
  26. Put in a preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.
  27. Serve and enjoy!
0

Poor Man's Beef Stroganoff


We have this rule in our house.  I make it, he eats it.  No questions asked.  However, there are times that I am super busy, with a lot on my mind, and I will say "Do you, by any chance, have a hankering for something?"  I can almost guarantee that it will be Beef Stroganoff every time!  This is my Studhub's favorite meal and I can't wait to share it with you!  Normally, when you see this on other websites, you will see it made with canned cream of mushroom soup.  I like to make as much as I can from scratch, so after a little tinkering, I was able to come up with this alternative.  The best part, you can serve a family of 4-6 people this meal for around $7!  That is a little under $2 a person! 

Let's get started!

Ingredients:






  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp. butter or oil
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bag of egg noodles


  • 

    Tools:
    • Chef's knife
    • Skillet
    • Whisk
    • Stock pot

    Before you begin working on your stroganoff, you will want to get a pot of water on to boil.
    Make sure you add the salt to your water.  It is the only chance you have to add flavor to the pasta.


    Pre-heat your skillet over medium high heat and add butter.


    Next, add the diced onions and cook until soft and translucent.


    Once the onions are translucent, add the garlic.
    Cook the garlic until you can smell it coming from the pan.


    When the garlic is wafting, add your ground beef and brown. 


    After the meat has browned, you will add the flour. 


    You will want to stir the flour into the meat and let it cook for about 2 minutes.
    This will remove any raw flour taste that may want to permeate into your meat.


    Once you have allowed the flour taste to cook out, add the milk.


    Whisk until smooth, drop the heat till mixture is at a simmer and let cook until it thickens.


    While your stroganoff is simmering, the water should be boiling.
    You will add the noodles to the pot and cook according to the directions on the package.


    After the stroganoff has thickened, you will add the sour cream.


    Whisk it into the stroganoff until smooth.


    Now you will add the Worcestershire sauce.
    Whisk that in as well, and taste for seasoning.
    Add any salt and pepper it may need.


    There you have it!  A beautiful, easy, and made from scratch beef stroganoff.


    Serve over the egg noodles and plate it up with your favorite vegetable and there you go!  DELICIOUS!  I will say that I did not add mushrooms to this because we are not a fan of them, but if you are, by all means add it!  This is a quick, easy, flavorful, and inexpensive meal you can be proud to serve your family on any weeknight!

    Vegetarian?  I have a friend who uses Morning Star crumbles, almond milk, and a vegan sour "cream" to make this and says it is wonderful! 

    I hope you enjoy this recipe and it becomes a family favorite of yours as well!

    And as always...

    Happy Reading, Happy Eating, and Happy Living,

    ~The Kitchen Wife~


    Poor Man's Beef Stroganoff:
    *Prep Time:  5 minutes  *Cook Time:  20 minutes  *Difficulty:  Easy  *Servings:  4-6
    Ingredients:
    • 1 lb. ground beef
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 1 1/2 c. milk
    • 1 c. sour cream
    • 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
    • 4 tbsp. butter or oil
    • 2 tbsp. flour
    • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 bag of egg noodles

    Tools:
    • Chef's knife
    • Skillet
    • Whisk
    • Stock pot
    Directions:
    1. Fill your stock pot 3/4 full with water and add salt.
    2. Put on high heat and bring to a boil.
    3. Add egg noodles and cook according to the package directions. 
    4. Strain and return to pot. 
    5. Add a little oil to keep moist until serving. 
    6. Cover.
    7. Heat skillet over medium high heat.
    8. Add butter.
    9. Add diced onion and cook till soft and translucent.
    10. Add garlic and cook till you smell it.
    11. Add ground beef.
    12. Cook until brown.
    13. Add flour.
    14. Stir into meat and cook for 2 minutes.
    15. Add milk and whisk until smooth. 
    16. Lower heat and bring to a simmer.
    17. Allow sauce to thicken.
    18. When thick, add sour cream.
    19. Stir in until smooth.
    20. Add Worcestershire sauce.
    21. Stir and taste for seasoning.
    22. Add any salt and pepper needed.
    23. Serve over egg noodles.
    24. Enjoy!
    **Because I am not a fan of mushrooms there are none in this recipe.  Of course, if you like them, they can always be added.**
    


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