This Week In New Recipes

This week we tried two new recipes & really enjoyed both, so I thought I'd share. We made, correction: John made, dan dan noodles on Sunday night. He flagged this recipe in the 2010 Cooking Light Annual. For awhile now, we've had this huge bag of frozen, fresh Chinese egg noodles in our freezer & I was sick of looking at them, so I decided to find some way to use them. Dan dan noodles was the way.

We loved this recipe, &, my god, does it make a lot. I think we ate off of it for 3 days.... Anyway, very good dish. John said it's a lot of prep, so maybe save it for a weekend meal, when you have more time.

Dan Dan Noodles

Adapted from Cooking Light

Serves 4

1 lb frozen, fresh wide Chinese egg noodles, thawed
2 tbsp canola oil
1/3 cup dry-roasted peanuts
3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp Thai chili garlic sauce/paste
1 tsp sugar
2 garlic cloves
1 (1/2") piece fresh ginger, peeled
8 ounces lean, ground pork
1/8 tsp salt
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
3/4 cup thinly, diagonally sliced green onions
1 1/4 cup chopped, seeded, peeled cucumber
1/4 chopped, fresh cilantro

Cook noodles in 6 quarts boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid. Place noodles in a large bowl.

Heat oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add peanuts to pan; saute 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Combine peanut mixture, soy sauce, & next 4 ingredients (through ginger) in a mini chopper, process until finely ground.

Cook pork & salt in skillet over medium-high heat 8 minutes, or until done, stirring to crumble. Add peanut mixture & 3/4 cup cooking liquid to pork; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add pork mixture, juice & onions to noodles; toss well. Place about 1 3/4 cup noodle mixture in each of 4 bowls; top each serving with 5 tbsp cucumber & 1 tbsp cilantro.

This is the second new recipe we tried this week. It's in the new issue of Real Simple & hilariously, it is 'real simple,' haha. Seriously, you just put the meat in the crock-pot, go to work, come home & eat tacos. Done. We didn't love the slaw, but it's possibly because I accidentally bought parsley instead of cilantro. Oops.... It just needed a little more flavor. Also, some pickled carrots would have been a nice addition. That's how the taco trucks do it, at least. Definitely recommend both of these recipes.

Slow-Cooker Chipotle Beef Tacos

Adapted from Real Simple

Serves 6

3 lbs beef chuck, trimmed & cut into 2" pieces
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tbsp chopped canned chipotles in adobo sauce
1 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
kosher salt
4 cups thinly sliced cabbage
4 radishes, halved & thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
12 6" corn tortillas
sour cream, pickled jalapeno peppers & hot sauce, for serving

In a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker, toss together the beef, onion, garlic, chipotles, oregano, bay leaves & 1 tsp salt.

Cover & cook until the beef is very tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours, or on high for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

Twenty minutes before serving, heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, toss together the cabbage, radishes, cilantro, lime juice, & 1/4 tsp salt. Wrap the tortillas in foil & bake until warm, 5 to 10 minutes.

Transfer the beef to a medium bowl (reserve the cooking liquid) & shred, using 2 forks. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into the bowl with the beef & toss to combine.

Fill the tortillas with the beef & slaw. Serve with the sour cream, jalapenos, hot sauce, & lime wedges.

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