It’s been a while since my last joint post with my beautiful friend Vicky (otherwise known as Hippy Vic). Four long months, to be exact. In a simple recollection I would’ve guessed it as being weeks, not months; however we’ve just celebrated Christmas and in a few days, we’ll be rolling over to 2014. Time flies.
Last Sunday, Aaron and I had the privilege of spending a sunny afternoon with Vicky, her husband Mark and their two children. We drank Peroni near the pool, sharing tales from the week-that-was as the sun slowly dropped below the horizon.
In the cool evening air, Vicky took me on a tour of her flourishing edible garden. Fat heirloom tomatoes hid amongst sprawling vines, dappled with the last of the weekend sun. Tiny strawberries sat nestled against blackened earth, dotted with seeds and awaiting their splash of crimson. We picked tiny peaches and fragrant herbs, eagerly discussing the intricacies of pie as sticky juice flowed down our chins.
Mark decided to make fresh pasta for dinner; after a quick flip through Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals he decided upon fresh egg noodles with coriander, chilli, sesame oil and soy from a ‘meal set’ including satay chicken and fruit in mint sugar (for the uninitiated, 30 Minute Meals is a recipe book that is divided into ‘meal sets’ containing main, side and dessert).
One hour later, we were sitting on Mark and Vicky’s verandah eating piles of fragrant noodles topped with crunchy toasted peanuts and soft coriander. We washed it down with Mango beer from Matso’s Broome Brewery; a perfect summer combination for a balmy night in Western Australia.
We ended the night with a game of street tennis (on bikes, nonetheless) and a collaborative fresh peach pie made from the freshly harvested peaches.
Just think cinnamon-encrusted shortcrust pastry, piles of soft, fragrant fruit, drizzled caramel and crunchy toasted almonds. You’ll get the recipe, eventually. It was definitely good enough to share.
The recipe below has been adapted from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals (refer to page 112 if you have a hard copy, or follow this link if you don’t). We’ve made a couple of minor changes, exchanging peanuts for the specified cashews and fresh egg noodles for dried. Vicky and I also doused our noodles with a squeeze of fresh lime for extra tang.
If you’d like to make this recipe more substantial, feel free to add 200g sliced chicken thighs, pork fillet or prawns (double the chilli paste, marinate the meat in half of it for 20-30 minutes. Drain then fry in hot peanut oil whilst your egg noodles cook. Toss with the noodles and the rest of the chilli paste just before serving; top with fresh coriander, toasted nuts and some fried Asian shallots of you have some handy).
Fresh Egg Noodles with Coriander, Chilli and Toasted Peanuts
Adapted from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals
Serves 4 as a light meal, 6 as a side dish
- 400g fresh egg noodles (or 300g dried medium egg noodles; one nest per person)
- 1/2 a medium-sized red Spanish onion
- 1-2 fresh long red chillies (to taste)
- a small bunch of fresh coriander
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 fresh limes
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp honey
- peanut or olive oil, for frying
- 100g toasted unsalted peanuts or cashews, crushed
- fried Asian shallots, extra sliced chilli and sriracha to serve, if desired
For ingredients and instructions on how to make fresh egg noodles, follow this link (you can make the noodles by hand with a rolling pin, however we used Mark and Vicky’s pasta machine for convenience).
If using dried noodles, place them in a large bowl and submerge in boiling water. Cover the dish with an upturned plate, then leave to soak for 6 minutes or until tender. Drain and refresh briefly under cold water, drain again and toss in some peanut or olive oil. Set aside.
To make the curry paste: peel and roughly chop the red onion. Place it into the food processor with the chilli (roughly chopped, stalk removed) and the roots and stalks from the coriander.
Pulse until finely chopped. Add in the soy sauce, sesame oil, fish sauce, honey and the juice of one lime. Taste and adjust flavourings as necessary.
Heat a small splash of peanut oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Toss in the noodles and chilli paste. Fry gently until fragrant, then add in half of the toasted peanuts and another squeeze of fresh lime.
Divide between four bowls, top with the rest of the toasted peanuts, coriander leaves and extra fresh chilli and lime, if desired. Enjoy with an ice cold beer and summer sunshine.
I hope that you all enjoyed a peaceful and merry festive season, filled with food, generosity, laughter and other good things.
Thanks to every one of you for your friendship, humour, inspiration and support over the past twelve months. Here’s to a wonderful start to 2014!