Finding fresh grocery food in Connecticut is harder than one might think. When I first moved here, I came without a car. Big Mistake. Although New Haven is a small town, it is a college town that is designed to cater towards one population only: its undergraduates, a category of often well-to-do persons that I am not a member of. Culinary options are varied, true, with a wide selection of wonderful restaurants and more than a few really good take-out joints. There is, however, a severe lack of grocery markets within the city, and even when one owns a car, there remains to be a found a grocery that gives a happy medium between healthy, yummy, and affordable. We have the following:
- Gourmet Heaven - The only in-town market. I once bought a half pound of Land-O-Lakes Butter for $7.50, because I was desperate for a homemade cookie
- Nica's Market - great fresh produce and Italian prepared food, but pretty much nothing else
- Shaw's - AKA Ghetto Shaw's, where the police have several permanent parking places and generally stand guard over the cashiers at night. The checkout people also enter in your "OKs" on the credit machine, thus approving a purchase before you've even seen the total
- Edge of the Woods - all vegetarian and vegan. Uber, uber healthy
The idea for today's recipe came from Heidi's 101 Cookbooks. I used an entirely different sauce since I didn't have curry paste, but it was the same concept: mix leftover noodles with a spicy Asian inspired egg mixture and fry until golden brown. Ah, is that actually healthy, you say? Fried? I say, it's better than a lot of things I've been eating recently. Plus, there's no oil in the pan. It might be a carbohydrate filled dish, but it's flavor packed without much fat, except some olive oil and a little peanut oil.
Besides, I'm easing back slowly into healthy track. Fritos to Tofu would just be too much of a shock to my salt saturated system...I'll be making healthy food this week, I swear... (starting tomorrow)
Asian Noodle Patties
Serves 2 as main
Serves 4 as snack or small side
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp corn starch
2 tsp hot chili pepper oil
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
3 green onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, grated
1" lemongrass, grated
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
(several) pinches Cayenne, if you like spice
2 cups cooked noodles
- Whisk together soy sauce, peanut butter, brown sugar, corn starch, pepper oil and eggs.
- Stir in red bell pepper, green onions, garlic, lemongrass, cilantro and spices.
- Fold noodles into sauce.
- Fry individual servings in a non-stick pan: 5-7 minutes over medium heat covered with a small plate to help set the egg on top, flip and cook for an additional 5 minutes on the other side, and finally cook for 2 more minutes on high to brown up.
*I like lemongrass, so I peeled the stalk apart and boiled the pasta with it. I could taste it quite nicely in the pasta, however, the flavor was masked by the peanut butter in the final product
**Heidi formed her's in egg rings, which I do not own. First I tried a freeform patty, which led to a scrambled noodle mess. Then I poured all of the mixture into one small omelet pan like a frittata, which worked like a charm. Be careful to loosen the edges of the patty with a nonstick spatula and have it freely moving before flipping. Slide it onto a plate, then place pan over plate and flip. Heidi also used very thin noodles, which I think would work better than what I chose. Basically, I'd try her recipe first unless you don't like curry... this one was only "so so"