It’s Kitchen Sink Special time again. When you open up the fridge, the freezer and the cupboards and go “oh, my….”
For the past several years, for the most part, my life in the kitchen is really all about those “oh, my…” moments. Those times when the food budget is stretched as far as it will go, the next paycheck is a week away, the hungry teen is eyeing you like you’re a roasted chicken leg and you need to whip something up Stat!
I’m happy to say that most of those Kitchen Sink Specials are pretty darn good 🙂 They’re generally recipes that I whip up on the spot, based on whatever is left in the kitchen and that I think works together. I am a pretty much an Asian foods junkie. So I’m usually lucky enough to have a well stocked spice pantry that makes Kitchen Sink Specials possible.
Kitchen Sink Specials aren’t carved in stone, not by a long shot. They evolve, they change as needed and adapt based on what I have on hand. Sometimes I’m missing ingredients that I would normally toss in if I had any. It’s working with what you have and making it work for you.
I wonder long and hard about how well this works with a food blog, since a good part of my cooking involves cooking-on-the-fly like this. It’s not like these aren’t recipes I haven’t made time and time again, they’re old stand-by’s for me. On a perfect day, I would have everything I would ever want to stick into my Kitchen Sink Specials, but then if I did, it wouldn’t be a Kitchen Sink special. What makes it a Special for me, is taking what you DO have on hand and making it work anyway. That to me is kitchen success.
My Kitchen Sink Specials may not be perfect, but when I see plates coming back into the kitchen that are empty, I know I did my job well. And that is all that really matters.
The latest Kitchen Sink Special is Curried Rice Noodles. I’ve been on a curried rice noodles quest for years, ages, eons…for reals. There is a little Asian restaurant in my old home town, that makes the best curried rice noodles. I drool just thinking about them. When I go home, if all I ate was curried rice noodles I would be beyond happy. I would live in Bliss Land. I could eat those curried rice noodles every day for the rest of my life and nothing else… and LOVE it. Oh Yah. That. Darn. Good.
I know I will never come close to theirs. Never. Even if I had the exact recipe for it, I lack the pressurized gas wok burners. I’m pretty sure they make them what they are. The ingredients are simple enough, it’s the super heat that flash cooks it all in a blaze of smoke that makes them what they are. Incredible. They’re perfect.
I really want some now. I need to plan a trip home! “Hi Mom! No time to talk. NOODLES!” OK, OK, I’ll take you too.
They actually closed their business for a while before reopening a new restaurant some time later. My soul wept, like someone in the family had died. No more awesome noodles. No more spicy dumplings. Yah, that makes me sad, in a foodies kinda way.
At one point I actually bought a big outdoor gas burner and a giant wok. I may not have a pressurized jet engine for a burner, but heck if I’m not going to try my best to get the heat I need to flash cook it all. My curried noodles, no matter what I do up to this point, are always on the wet side. I can’t generate the heat needed to vaporize everything in a cloud of smoke. I never did get around to experimenting with that outdoor gas burner, shame, I’m not allowed to have one where I live now, so there goes that dream 😛
But whom am I kidding. I can try, but those perfect noodles in my memory will likely always stay just a little elusive, no matter how close I come to duplicating them. It’s just like trying to cook up you’re favourite childhood foods your Mom used to cook. You have the exact recipe, you’ve probably even been shown how to do it hands on. But, it never quite tastes exactly the same, it’s good, but not nearly as good as when your Mom made them for you.
Remember, it’s all about just going with what you have, making it work for you and not worrying about not having everything you want to put in it. Roll with it, that’s what I do 🙂
Chicken breast. Check.
Stir-fry veggies. Check.
Rice Noodles. Check.
Curry Powder. Check.
OK, I think we have a plan. Now let’s get cracking, it’s Kitchen Sink Special time…curried rice noodles style!
- 1 Chicken Breast
- ¼ package Rice Noodles, 114 grams
- 1 Cup Broccoli
- ½ Orange Bell Pepper
- ½ Green Bell Pepper
- 1 Onion
- ½ cup Snow Peas
- 3 Garlic Cloves, crushed
- ⅓ cup Fresh Cilantro
- 3-4 tablespoons Curry Powder
- 3-4 tablespoons Soy Sauce
- ½ tablespoon Sriracha Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
- 1-2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
- Place rice noodles in large bowl and cover with boiling water, leave to soften, about 10 minutes, drain.
- Slice chicken breast into thin bite-sized pieces, place in bowl, add ½ tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1½ tablespoons curry powder and Sriracha sauce. Mix well and leave to marinate while you prep your other ingredients.
- Thinly slice your bell peppers and onion.
- Cut your broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces.
- Trim the ends off your snow peas.
- Roughly chop cilantro.
- Heat coconut oil in cast iron skillet.
- Fry onion and garlic. When onion begins to soften, add marinated chicken. When chicken is cooked through add vegetables.
- Season mixture with remaining curry powder and allow to cook for a few minutes.
- Add softened rice noodles, gently stir to combine all ingredients.
- Add soy sauce and additional curry powder if needed.
- Heat through and taste for seasonings. Adjust as needed.
- Plate and enjoy!