Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Thai Peanut Pasta Salad

I fear this would get an awful lot of "Oh my goodness! That's just too spicy!" if I brought this to the next family gathering. Also, my father has acquired a horrible allergy to capsaicin. He had a tiny dip on a fork of some serrano chile sauce (wimpy) back in November, and smoke came out of his ears. Hard to believe, as this is a man who used to drink Tabasco.

This is a good one to make when you're down to the last couple blops of peanut butter. Just shake up all the dressing ingredients in the jar!

Thai Peanut Pasta Salad
Makes a TON

12-16 ounces whole wheat pasta (rotini, bowties, shells, or whatever small cut pasta you like)
1 cup frozen peas
1 lb tofu, cut into tiny triangles
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 peeled and seeded cucumber, julienned
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
roasted peanuts and cilantro for garnish

Preheat broiler. Arrange tofu pieces on a pan with a drizzle of peanut oil. Place under broiler and flip often, about 10 minutes or until tofu is golden brown and crispy on the outside.

Cook pasta according to the box, or how you like it (I like it a little more cooked than al dente, so there you go). About 3 or so minutes before you plan to take it off the stove, throw in the frozen peas and bring it back to a boil. Drain and rinse pasta and peas in cold water. Dump into a large bowl, and toss with prepared vegetables and cooled, broiled tofu. Pour dressing over, and mix well.

1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
Juice of one large, or two small limes.
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 inch chunk of peeled ginger, grated on a microplane
1 tsp sriracha sauce, or to taste
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup warm water

Put all ingredients in a jar and shake, or mix well with a whisk. Add more warm water if it's too thick.