Friday, April 27, 2012

Dessert Night and Pinterest

Wednesday is Dessert Night!  After hearing our kids beg for sweets and dessert all the time, we decided to designate a dessert night.  It works out so well!  Usually I try to make something homemade or we go out for ice cream.  This past week, Mike made cream puffs for the first time.  Oh deliciousness!

Cream Puffs

Oh Pinterest...

I have a love-hate relationship with Pinterest.  I have discovered quite a few great ideas (many of them food related) on the site but it's a time suck!  I recently pinned a recipe for Stir-Fried Black Pepper Udon and we tried it out this past week.  We're on a pretty tight grocery budget so I usually stay away from seafood because of the price.  But, I realized I can buy exactly what I need (8 shrimp, one blob of squid) from the co-op seafood counter - yes!  This is definitely one of my favorite udon recipes - we'll be making it again!  Although, next time we might leave out the baby corn (unless Mike wants to eat all of it). 

Black Pepper Udon

Stir-Fried Seafood Black Pepper Udon
By Season with Spice
Serves 2 (I increased the ingredients to serve 4)

2 servings of fresh udon noodles (or dried udon)
8 medium prawns - deveined and shelled
300g of squid - cut into rings
1 tsp sugar
1 clove garlic - minced
1 tsp of grated fresh ginger
1 small red onion - thinly sliced
1 dozen sugar snap peas
Half a carrot - cut into desired shape
Half a red bell pepper - cut into strips
8 baby corn - cut into thinner strips
Salt to taste

Sauce ingredients:
1/2 tbsp ground black peppercorns (or more!)
1 tbsp of light soya sauce or tamari
1 tbsp mirin (Japanese cooking sake) or Chinese rice wine (optional)
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce (you can substitute it with teriyaki or hoisin sauce)
1 tbsp water
1/2 tsp corn flour

In separate bowls, mix the prawn and squid with 1 tsp sugar and a dash of salt and black pepper. Marinate for 15 minutes.

In a bowl, mix all the sauce ingredients. Set aside.

Blanch udon noodles in boiling water for about 1-2 minutes. Drain well and immediately rinse with cold water. Set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan or wok on medium fire. Add in the prawns, and cook on one side until they turn pink. Flip the prawns over, and then add in the squid. Over medium-high heat, stir-fry the seafood until cooked (prawns will be opaque, and squid will turn white), being careful not to overcook. Remove and set aside.

With the same pan, heat another 1 tbsp of oil on medium fire and sauté garlic and ginger until fragrant. Toss in onion and sugar snap peas, and cook for about a minute. Then add in baby corn and carrots and stir-fry for another minute. Add in 1 or 2 tbsp of water if it gets too dry. Finally, add in the red bell pepper and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Cook quickly to ensure the vegetables keep their fresh color and are tender crisp.

Mix in the udon noodles and the sauce ingredients. Toss briefly to combine. Then add in the cooked prawn and squid. Turn up the heat and stir-fry the mixture quickly until everything is well mixed.

Dash in a bit of salt to season. Sprinkle a bit more crushed black pepper if desired. Dish out and serve immediately.

- It is important to boil your noodles a few minutes less than indicated on the package since you will be cooking the noodles again when you stir-fry them. And as mentioned in Step 3, be sure to rinse the noodles with cold water immediately after boiling, to prevent them from further cooking.

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