I’m a teaching tool!
Get this crazy shit: I notice a bunch of hits coming from a university, because I pay attention to crap like that. I click on the link because I’m curious like a cat, and find out that a writing class at Unnamed University is being forced by their sadistic professor to read this blog and analyze its tone and voice and describe its potential audience. To what is higher education coming?
Here kids, I’ll write your papers for you real quick-like:
- TONE: Coarse.
- VOICE: Sailor-esque, both in written and oral forms. A little gravelly. Low-pitched.
- AUDIENCE: Thieves and whores. Also gluttons.
I have an intense hatred of sentences that end with prepositions, even if the grammar police say it’s now okay and even if I forget and do it on occasion. I also love a good semicolon, and lament their underuse in contemporary writing. I’m heavy on the commas.
I just called Brian over to ask whether or not I was crossing a line calling the students out like that and he says no, so blame him for this. And then he says, “I thought you were going to ask if that picture of a pepper looks like a vagina, which it does, and that IS wrong.”
See? Coarse. But the gluttons among you thought that was HILARIOUS.
My voice is also somewhat rambling, because as you can see, we’re several photos down and I’ve said nothing about what’s IN the photos, what I had for dinner, how I made it or how good it was. I could push the boundaries and just keep going like this, but I do have some standards. So: re-purposed peanut sauce.
Last Tuesday I made some ass-kicking spicy peanut noodles that I was unable to eat due to anxiety and my obsession over the hole in the ceiling. Which does meet our insurance deductible, by the way, but we have to fax them some bylaws and get an affidavit from the plumber and give blood samples or some shit before someone will come over and make it go away.* See? There I go again, not talking about food. Oh, also, we re-arranged the living room furniture over the weekend, and now the room looks HUGE. I know you’re all very excited.
So the spicy peanut sauce makes a lot more than can coat 2 diners’ worth of noodles, and it keeps for a little while. There’s nothing cheaper than leftovers, but I didn’t want to just use it the same way or as a dipping sauce. The peanut sauce must not remain unadulterated, or I feel like I haven’t really done anything.
*NOT an audience for this blog: insurance agents and claims adjusters.
I did wuss out on the choice of ingredients a little, pretty much using the same veg and replacing the noodles with salad-in-a-bag. For protein, we seared off a chicken breast, glazing it at the last minute with some of the same sweet chili sauce that went into the peanut sauce. I would have taken more pictures of the chicken but – this may come as a shock – I do have some limits to how boring a photo I will force myself to take and subsequently inflict upon you, my pilfering, skanky, gluttons of an audience. I have long contended that chicken breasts in a pan fall outside those limits.
For the dressing, I took a couple good glops of peanut sauce, thinned it out with equal parts mirin and rice wine vinegar and smoothed the flavor out with a touch of honey. Above, witness the salad naked, then cloaked.
You may be thinking, “This meal doesn’t sound so cheap to me,” but almost everything that went into it save the fresh veggies were pantry (mirin, rice wine vinegar, honey) or freezer (chicken breasts) staples, and they should be for you, too. I will allow a substitution of seitan for the chicken breasts, but I’m quite firm on anything else, especially if you ever want to cook anything vaguely Asian. Come to think of it, almost everything that went into the original peanut sauce was also a pantry staple for me. So see? In the long run, cheap.
When the chicken was done, I tossed the salad, some bell pepper, cucumber and some peanuts with the dressing, heaped the clothed salad into a bowl and topped it with some sliced chicken.
Here’s the best way I can describe this salad: it’s like the Spicy Asian Chicken Salad you might get at your TGI Fridays or your Applebees, but good. I mean, really; chuck some mandarin orange slices and some crispy fried noodles on this thing, and you might as well be sitting under some faux-mobilia at a Ruby Tuesday with a 32-ounce beer. Also breadsticks. At a chain restaurant, there would be breadsticks.
So this is the fresher, better, less preservative-laden version of that salad. The dressing retains all its spicy peanut-ness, but it’s tempered so it doesn’t overwhelm the veg, either in taste or texture. The glazed chicken (which I assure you was moister than it appears) had a slight sweetness from the glaze that further cut through the spice, and the vinegar reminded you that you were, in fact, eating a salad.
We ate until we were full and then we kept eating, so tasty was this dressing, and we didn’t have to feel guilty because it was a salad. Fucking A!
(NOTE: Kay at the Keyboard is still running her comment-for-donations drive for Haiti, so head on over, leave her a comment and force her to pay up.)
Original Spicy Peanut Sauce Recipe
To make the dressing, just whisk in equal parts mirin and vinegar until the dressing is the consistency of a Caesar dressing, followed by a tablespoon of honey.