It is the first day of spring and by the mercy of whatever or whoever runs this joint, the sun came out today. After close to six months of brain-numbingly cold temperatures and snow that falls like we’re living in a broken snow globe, this hint of sunshine was means for grand celebration.
Grand celebration — which today entailed wearing pants that weren’t the color of dirt, tar, or charcoal and of course an after work jaunt to the beach.
A late in the day walk on a (still ice-cold) beach is certainly the best way to work up an appetite.
Between the salty sea air, the utter yearning to actually be able to take a swim in said sea and just about being able to smell the tease of a charcoal grill being lit, le hubs and I were starving when we got home.
After turning on some Taking Back Sunday (we’re still little emo kids at heart) and downing half a tub of hummus with a variety of pretzel products, I set out to make a supper that felt appropriate for this purgatorial stretch between the depths of winter and the utopia that is the alpha of spring.
It is my belief that when one is wearing a new pair of red pants (and I was), a stew is off the table. Is it also of course, not yet time for anything with grill marks (not that I could grill anything anyway… due to a lack of foresight, we neglected to remove the propane tank from the grill and we now have an empty tank frozen to a useless grill, yet another reason to pray for the thaw).
So I did my part for mankind, I created a meal to fill this very void between ice and sweat, between chapped lips and sun-kissed skin. I created what we can henceforth call The Red Pant Noodles.
So ladies and germs, turn it up (louder, now) and let’s get to cooking.
But before we do, let me just caveat it by saying that I don’t really believe in science so much as I believe in art. So, please, if you desire to embark on this journey of noodles with me, feel free at any turn to take your own path, perhaps the one less travelled by, and reap the consequences or rewards from doing just that.
The Red Pant Noodles
- 3 decent sized boneless pork chops (I am a liberal in Maine, so I prefer antibiotic free, free range pork with adoption papers)
- 2 bundles of soba noodles
- 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
- 1 head broccoli, chopped, chopped,chopped
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
- A sprinkle of sesame seeds
- Sesame oil, Soy Sauce, Sriracha (the 3 S’s)
For the marinade
- 1/4 c. soy sauce (or liquid aminos or tamari or brown water, really)
- 1 tsp Chinese five spice
- 1 knob of ginger, grated
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 3.8334 squirts Sriracha
- The juice of one juicy lime
- Combine all ingredients in marinade in a Tupperware big enough to hold all of your pig parts.
- Add said pig parts and cap it off with the lid. Shake, shake, shake (señora) and refrigerate for at least an hour, but an entire work day works even nicer.
(Enjoy said work day, perhaps a leisurely lunch with your colleagues, a cheeky glass of Rosé?)
- Get home from work. Take those pantyhose off. Turn the music up loud enough to annoy your neighbor (but only until 7pm, we’re not in the business of having bad manners) and pour yourself a beverage, you deserve it (even if you had one at lunch, ESPECIALLY if you had one at lunch).
- Pre-heat your stove to 350 degrees.
- Remove your precious pork from the refrigerator, place them on a greasy baking sheet and let sit for about 10 minutes or until your oven is ready for them.
- While your oven is heating up, you should get some water boiling on the stove for those noodles of yours.
- It’s probably time to throw those pork products into the oven, so let’s make sure that happens about now. In 2011, the USDA changed the safe cooking temperature of pork to 145 degrees (with a threeish minute resting period), so if you follow one direction in this series of events, I would ask that it is this one. In a 350 degree oven, this will take just about three listens to Bohemian Rhapsody to cook.
- While your pork is cooking and your water is coming to a boil, bust out a big mixing bowl and throw all of the chopped vegetables (except the broccoli) in there.
- Throw your noodles into the water that should now be boiling. Boil for two minutes and then add the broccoli. Boil for three more minutes and drain.
- Add your broccoli and noodles to your bowl of vegetables.
- When that last “anyway the wind blows,” has passed Sir Mercury’s lips, remove your deliciously singed pork (using hand protection, of course), ensure that it is a steamy 145 degrees and let sit for enough time to go engage in the last half of Double Jeopardy.
- Pick your tush up off the couch and get ready to slice that pork. I prefer my pork cut into little square chunks (like a 1/2 inch) but you can slice or dice however you please.
- Throw your pig pieces into your noodle/veggie mixture, and mix it all up. Add your sesame seeds and three S’s to taste.
- Enjoy with an ice-cold beer and the newest piece of binge-worthy content.
These noodles are meant to be eaten at room temp, but are also quite delicious cold at 2am. If you know what I mean.