One of the best ways that new dishes come into our house is when one of the Gs asked me to make something that they had at a friend's house, or that looked particularly tasty in someone else's lunch box. This not only gives me a chance to make them happy with food, but it's much easier to introduce something new if it has the imprimatur of approval from a trusted friend.
About a month ago, the BG asked me to make udon noodles. I was familar with them only from Anthony Bourdain's account of his adventures in Tokyo in Kitchen Confidential, but I said that I'd look for them.
I found them in the International section at the Harris Teeter; wheat noodles lighter than pasta, but more substantial than the lo mein-type noodles I'm used to in Asian cuisine. I followed the recipe on the package, omitting chicken and substituting carrots for the cabbage, and the results were enjoyed by nearly all.
They are remarkably easy to make, and now part of the regular line-up. We'll also be supplementing our Asian menu with Alton Brown's Dan Dan noodles tonight, which the BG requested after trying them at the Gourmet Kingdom, last month, which is the first truly excellent Chinese restaurant I've ever been to. The Teeter did not have the Black Vinegar called for in the recipe, but luckily there is an Asian market just around the corner.
Drop a package of noodles into boiling water and cook for 4 minutes. Rinse with cold water after removing from pot. Meanwhile, saute 2 carrots and an onion, minced in a food processor, in olive oil for a couple of minutes. Add the noodles and a bunch of spring onions, chopped, dress with a little soy sauce, salt and pepper and heat through. Serve.
The Alton Brown version of Dan Dan noodles was too peanutty and not spicy enough. I have another couple of recipes to try, and if any are decent, I'll share. I also am now the proud owner of a litre of black vinegar. Any other ideas of what I might use it for?