Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rice Noodle Salad with Barbecued Chicken & Shrimp

Who wouldn't love to come home to this? After being away this week, Alan certainly appreciated dinner. He was almost as happy as the Barefoot Contessa's husband, Jeffrey, on a Friday night.

This recipe has a number of different steps, none of them difficult. The marinade is great for anything you might be grilling. You don't have to add the chicken and the shrimp to the salad, if you don't want. Just skip the marinade and barbecuing instructions and carry on with the rest of the recipe.

Rice Noodle Salad with Barbecued Chicken & Shrimp

Marinade for the chicken and/or shrimp:
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. coarsely grated ginger
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped fine
Juice of 2 limes
2 T. tamari (or soy sauce)
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. hot red pepper flakes
1/2 c. olive oil or sunflower oil

1. Mix all of the ingredients together. Marinate a half pound of shrimp (shelled) and 4 boneless chicken thighs or 2 boneless chicken breasts. Leave to marinate for at least half an hour. While you are waiting, start the barbecue and work on the rest of the salad.

For the salad:
1/2 lb. thin rice noodles, cooked according to directions on the package
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. fish sauce (aka: Nam Pla)
1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 green onions, sliced into 1/2-inch lengths
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 t. hot red pepper flakes
1/4 c. fresh lime juice
1 c. snow peas, sliced thin
1/2 c. salted peanuts

1. In a large bowl, pour boiling water over the noodles. Let sit from 5 to 10 minutes, or until the noodles are soft enough to eat. Drain well and drizzle with sesame oil to keep them from sticking together. Scramble the eggs in a small skillet, just until cooked. Chop and set aside.
2. Mix the sugar, fish sauce and rice wine vinegar together. Set aside. At this time, you may want to start barbecuing the chicken and shrimp. For the shrimp, cook them on each side for a minute or two and then take them off the grill right away. Cook the chicken, skin side down, and let it get nice and crispy. Continue cooking the chicken until it is cooked through, then remove it to a cutting board and slice thin, skin and all.
3. In a large pot, heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil over medium heat and saute the garlic and half of the green onions for a few minutes. Add the rice noodles and the fish sauce mixture. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the liquid is absorbed. Add the scrambled eggs, shrimp, chicken, the rest of the green onions, 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes, snow peas and lime juice. Mix well.
4. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and cilantro. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 3 or 4, depending on how hungry you are.