It is a beautiful, windy, mild, sunny summer day here. And I mean really windy–some of our doors upstairs have slammed open and shut (making sure I had a good cross breeze in all rooms is working against me right now), and I had to pin my hair back in my own house because of the wind.
I love days like this. They remind me of my grandma’s house (my mom’s mom, the one who passed away this past winter). My brother Nick and his family were here visiting this week, and he asked me if I ever found it ironic that I turned out so much like Mom after being such an un-domestic city person when I was younger. Although I don’t find it that ironic (except maybe when weeding), I was looking outside today and realizing (no disrespect to my mom, who probably understands anyway) that I think in some way it was actually my grandma’s house that really gave me a hankering for this life. I need some garden chimes–when the wind blows like this all I think of are lazy summer days at Grandma’s house, hearing the wind chimes in her gardens while the breeze blew across her backyard. Shelling peas and snapping beans.
I miss her.
Anyway, before I get totally maudlin, as I say my brother’s family was here, and so I needed to come up with an interesting dinner. They are amenable to SE Asian flavors, and I thought maybe the excitement of their visit (they don’t get down here much–Nick is on the college football coaching track which means his life makes mine look placid) was worthy of pulling out some shrimp and scallops.
After puttering around in my cookbooks, I found Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s recipe for Singapore Noodles. I changed it a bit (added some garlic, zucchini, and green garnishes), but I think my dish still qualifies as Singapore Noodles.
This dish is a good example of a blogging dilemma I sometimes have–I was not overly thrilled with the final dish. But everyone else seemed to be–they had seconds, which they certainly did not need to do just to be polite. So I have decided to share it anyway, but I have to say I have come to the conclusion that maybe I am just not a fan of Singapore noodles since this is not the first time a stir fried noodle dish with curry powder has not wowed me.
Adapted from Asian Flavors of Jean-Georges, Jean-Georges Vongerichten
*I doubled this recipe–but cooked it in 2 stages. Do not try to cook more than this recipe as written at one time in a large nonstick skillet or wok.
1/2 lb dried thin rice noodles (vermicelli or thin rice sticks)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 cloves garlic, minced and divided in half
6 oz small-medium sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
6 oz bay scallops (or 4 oz sea scallops, cut into 1/2-inch chunks)
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 sweet bell pepper, thinly sliced (or portions of several different colored peppers for color contrast)
1 summer squash, cut into small (1/4-inch) cubes
salt to taste
1 T curry powder, divided in half
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped green onions (green parts only)
Cook the rice noodles according to the package’s directions. Rinse with cold running water and set aside to drain.
Make sure ALL prep work has been completed and everything is within easy access of your cooktop. Heat a large (12-14 inch) nonstick skillet or wok over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and add half of the garlic. Let it cook until fragrant and toasted but not burned, about 1 minute. Add the shrimp and chicken. Cook until mostly done and then add the scallops. When they have completely cooked (it will be very quick), use a slotted spoon to remove the seafood and chicken to a plate. Wipe out the pan if it got really juicy.
Heat the pan back up and add the remaining oil. Add the remaining garlic and again cook until golden, about 1 minute. Add the onions with a pinch of salt and cook until brown, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. This will take 5-10 minutes. Add the peppers and summer squash with another pinch of salt and cook until they have softened and browned a tad, about 3-5 minutes. Add 1/2 of the curry powder and toss with the veggies. Add the noodles and stir fry, breaking them apart and getting them evenly coated with curry powder. Add a pinch of salt.
Push the noodle mixture to the outer edges of the pan and pour the egg into the center. Let it cook undisturbed for about 1-2 minutes, until it is firm and can be broken up. Break the egg up, add the remaining curry powder and bean sprouts, and mix it all together. Add the cilantro and green onions and taste for salt. Remove from the heat and serve. We liked ours with some Sirracha or some Thai sweet-hot garlic dipping sauce.