As in throw-it-straight-in-the-garbage failure.
Long story short, I ended up calling Ryan in tears and he brought home Cafe Rio for dinner. Ever since then, I've been avoiding peanut sauce recipes altogether.
I love Mel's Kitchen Cafe. I can proudly say that whenever I've tried a recipe from her website, it has been 100% delicious 100% of the time. Her website is a goldmine. Serious kudos. I knew when I found her noodle recipe here, I could brave the peanut sauce once and for all.
It worked out perfectly! We couldn't get enough of this dish, and the manchild dove right in (minus the raw carrots). These noodles were so light, yet very filling. I got a little nervous while adding together the potpourri of ingredients for the sauce, but the blend of flavors was absolutely delightful and smelled incredible. It wasn't heavy at all, and the fresh carrots, scallions, and cilantro on top balanced out the texture very well. This recipe feeds about 6 people, so we were giddy fools having it the next day for lunch.
The original recipe calls for chicken - meat can get pricey at the grocery store for us, so we left it out altogether. In my opinion, it doesn't really need it - these noodles stood perfectly well on their own. We most certainly will be adding this dish into our regular meal rotation.
Sesame Noodles with Peanut Sauce
1/4 C sesame seeds
1/2 C chunky peanut butter
2 medium cloves garlic
1 T minced fresh ginger
5 T soy sauce
2 T rice vinegar
1 t hot pepper sauce (we don't like things too spicy, so I only added a couple drops)
2 T packed light brown sugar
5 T hot water
12 oz dried spaghetti noodles
2 T toasted sesame oil
4 scallions, sliced thin on a diagonal
a handful of baby carrots, sliced
1. Toast sesame seeds in medium skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden - about 10 minutes.
2. Remove from heat and reserve 1 tablespoon sesame seeds in a small bowl.
3. In blender or food processor, puree remaining sesame seeds, peanut butter, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, hot sauce, and sugar until smooth, about 30 seconds.
4. With machine running, add hot water 1 tablespoon at a time until sauce has a thicker consistency. Set blender or food processor aside to sit.
5. Prepare spaghetti noodles - boil in a big pot of water (with a bit of salt) until al dente. Drain noodles.
6. Toss noodles with sesame oil until evenly coated.
7. Slowly add prepared sauce to noodles - if you like your noodles dry, use less. If you want them coated, add it all.
8. Add scallions, carrots, and a sprinkle of cilantro. Serve warm.
*if noodles become dry the next day, add in a T of hot water and they'll freshen right up.
Recipe from: Mel's Kitchen Cafe