Cooking Challenge: (skill) One Pot Wonder

by Jenny Fri, November 22 2013 11:01

I participate in a bi-weekly cooking challenge on a forum I'm a member of. Every two weeks a participant nominates a recipe or blog for everyone else to cook from.

This week's challenge was issued by me! Make a One Pot Wonder. Throw everything into the pot at once, and come back to it cooked. Maybe add some garnish at the end. I chose to make Thai Peanut Pasta. I'd previously made Tomato Basil Pasta, which turned out well, so I thought this one would hold some promise.

Based on some feedback on the challenge, I knew it would be a bit runny and the noodles would over-cook before it boiled down, so I started by putting a Knorr condensed chicken stock with 3.5 cups of water on the stove while I got everything else ready. A semi-cheat that got my liquid hot before I added the pasta so it wouldn't get too mushy, and a reduction in the amount of liquid. I used hoisin sauce instead of tamarind paste because I had it in the fridge, and both soy sauce and fish sauce. I put in extra red pepper flakes (around a full teaspoon), skipped the green onions, but added snow peas (again, what was in the fridge). I used lime juice instead of fresh limes and no sprouts.

Ryan and I both liked it, but agreed it needed some finessing for future attempts. 2 tablespoons plus a cup of peanuts was too peanutty for us, and I found the ginger a bit too prominent as well. Next time I'll cut those two back and add more cilantro at the end (I put in about 2/3 cup once chopped). We'll also use thai chilis instead of red pepper flakes. I may use sweet chili sauce instead of tamarind or hoisin, too. Another member subbed vinegar for it.

For the first time I made the meal and still figuring out the recipe it took me just shy of 40 minutes from pulling up the recipe to putting food on the table, which I figure will go down to just over 20-25 with practice, so a pretty quick dinner.

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