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Desperately searching for a theme for my promised WFD diary, I thought I'd recycle some of the best recipes I found here. Considering how many recipes are shared every week in WFD and all the other food and cooking diaries here I haven't really saved very many, but there are a few I really love and eat repeatedly.

At the top of the list is Singapore Noodles, courtesy of Asinus Asinum Fricat. I love pretty much any kind of noodle dish, but these are awesome.

Singapore Chicken Noodle Stir-fry:

this is for 4 to 6 persons (you can omit the chicken and it becomes a vegetarian dish or you can add shrimp instead, either way, it's all good!) 6 chicken breasts, sliced thinly, 1 packet of rice noodles (allow 2 ounces per person), 2 tbsp of toasted sesame oil, 1 tbsp Madras curry, 1 tbsp turmeric, 6 to 8 peeled garlic cloves, the juice of 1 lemon, 6 spring onions, diced, a full ounce of freshly slivered ginger and a tbsp of ground ginger as well, 4 small bok choy, chopped, 1 cup of (dried) sliced Chinese black mushrooms, 1 cup of broccoli florets, and have your bottle of Tamari or a good soy sauce at the ready.

First place the noodles in a large bowl, cover them with warm water and leave them to soak for 10 minutes. Do the same with the Chinese mushrooms. When done, drain well and set aside.

In a large wok, over a medium to high flame, pour the sesame oil, add the spring onions, the garlic and the ginger. Cook for 30 seconds then add the chicken bits, stir well for 2 minutes, add the curry powder, turmeric and the ground ginger. Then add the bok choy, the broccoli and the mushrooms, followed by the lemon juice, keep stirring for another 2 minutes then add the noodles, stir, add 2 tbsp of Tamari or soy, stir one more time and you're done. You can add fresh chilies to this or cilantro or both. Note that in South Korea they have the same kind of dish but with potato noodles instead.

This is what, IMO, Singapore noodles are supposed to be like. Rice noodles (maifun), without much liquid. Imagine my surprise when a local restaurant served me wide egg noodles swimming in gravy. It wasn't bad but they really should have given it a new name. I haven't been back to that place.

For an appetizer, can I offer you some Pickled Snap Peas? These are inspired by the house-made pickled vegetables at The Trappist pub in Oakland; soon after I ate there tonyahky posted a diary about pickling and voila, I could do that too! Every time I serve these I get asked for the recipe.

First the original:

Refrigerator dill pickles
To make these pickles, you will need a quart sized jar with a lid. It doesn’t need to be a canning jar--it can be any food-grade jar, including a recycled pickle jar from the store. You can also use a large covered bowl or casserole dish if you don’t have a jar handy. You will also need:

1-½ lbs. pickling cucumbers
¾ cup white vinegar, 5% acidity
¾ cup water
2 tsp. pickling salt
2 tsp. dill seed, or a few fronds of dill leaves (a whole head will be too much for just 1 quart jar)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
Few red pepper flakes (optional)

Cut off the ends of the pickling cucumbers, and cut them into the desired shape--you can leave them whole if they are very small, cut them into spears, or slice them. I think my pickles turn out a little better if they are blanched for a minute or so--heat some water to boiling in a saucepan, and dip the cucumbers in the water for a minute or so. Combine the dill, garlic, and red pepper (if desired), and put this in the bottom of the jar. Pack the cucumbers into the jar and set aside. In another saucepan, bring the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar (if desired) to a boil. Pour this mixture over the cucumbers and put the lid on the jar. Let the pickles cool to room temperature, then put them in the fridge. You can try them the next morning, but they taste best after about a week. These pickles will keep for as long as 2 or 3 months, as long as they remain refrigerated--or you can freeze these for up to six months.

I'm sure that's delicious, I've actually never made it with cucumbers. The key thing I needed to know was the proportions of vinegar, water and salt. Here's my variation:
1-quart glass jar
12 oz vegetables (Trader Joes sells snow peas or sugar snap peas in 12-oz bags, just the right amount)
Minced garlic to taste (2-3 cloves)
1-1/4 cups apple cider vinegar
1-1/4 cups water
4 tsp kosher or pickling salt (non-iodized salt keeps better color of green vegs)
2 tsp sugar

Mix the marinade and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Put vegetables and garlic in jar and pour marinade over. Put lid on jar and refrigerate at least 24 hours. After 2 or more days you might prefer to remove the vegs from the marinade to keep them from getting stronger tasting.

This basic recipe works for a wide variety of vegetables. I've done it with cauliflower (the optional red pepper flakes are great with this), and at Trappist they pickle baby carrots -- not the machined hunks of carrot sold as "baby", but real tiny carrots with tops, very very cute.

And finally, what I'm actually cooking for dinner tonight, one of my own recipes: Smoked Chicken. Go look at the original diary for details of the preparation and cooking.

whole smoked chicken
I hope you're all eating well, and maybe someone will post a recipe that will become a new favorite!
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