The Man and I have a major cook book habit; whilst this means we are never short of inspiration, it does mean we tend to forget books we have had for a while. Whilst this means that yes there are a number of infrequently used books taking up a lot of shelf space, it also means that you get the joy of rediscovering a cracking book you had sort of forgotten about, in this case Jamie’s America.
I loved this book when I we first got it, but haven’t cooked from it a great deal as I’m easily distracted by new cook books. However, after out trip to New York I decided to have another look and see what Jamie made of it. The book provides a number of Mr Oliver’s (i.e not necessarily totally authentic) takes on key New York dishes and I settled on his Fiery Dan Dan Noodles* as a feisty, New Year pick me up of a dish at the end of the dreaded first week back at work!
I was really pleased with the end result, a quick, tasty, spicy dish that I thinks will become part of the Hungry Sparrow repertoire. The only issue I had, and this may be due to me using a not very spicy chilli oil and Szechuan pepper that is loosing it’s spice but I didn’t find is as searingly hot as Jamie warns it might be, which was puzzling as I’m sure I halved the recipe quite carefully. The Man and I do like spicy food but I’m sure we haven’t burned our taste buds off too much.
- 1 stock cube, chicken, veg or beef
- 250 g wheat noodles (quite thick ones)
- 200 g of minced beef
- 1 tbsp of honey
- Could of handfuls of green veg (I used broccoli and pack choi)
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp of Szechuan ground pepper
- 3 tbsp of chilli oil
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- 1/2 lime quartered ( put the rest in a gin and tonic as you are preparing and cooking)
- Put the stock cube in a big pan of water and bring to the boil ( this will be for the noodles later)
- Dry fry the beef in a large pan until dark and crispy ( about 10-15 minutes), add the honey, stir for 30 seconds, then set aside.
- Place the noodles in the now boiling stock and cook as the packet direct, with a couple of minutes to go remove a cup full of the water and throw in the veg and cook until done to your liking.
- Drain the noodles and vegetables then return to the hot pan with cup of stock, garlic, soy sauce, Szechuan pepper, and chilli oil.
- Divide this between two bowls and top with the crispy beef ( re heated if you like) and the chopped spring onions.
- Serve with a quarter of lime to squeeze over the top.
- Don’t bother trying to eat tidily, this isn’t a first date dish (or maybe it is depending on your outlook).
* A quick Google suggests this version is very far removed from actual Szechuan Dan Dan Noodles, it is however a great recipe, if not one for pureists.