Sunday, July 12, 2009

Just one more day? - Cold Sesame Noodles with Cucumber

The most difficult part of vacation is ending it. Tearing yourself away from the shores of Lake Tahoe in exchange for mountains of laundry is enough to make you want to go on strike. In Tahoe.

Long live the three day weekend and give thanks for vacation days.

I plan to try and extend this summer as long as possible. Oh, to be in school again. Whatever happened to a real summer? Sprinklers, pools and 90 days of uninterrupted bliss...

But this weekend was pretty blissful itself. We celebrated Ilsa's 30 Birthday in a rustic cabin on the Nevada side of Tahoe, complete with a nearly private beach, beautiful deck to take in the sun and an extremely well-stocked refrigerator. We cooked up a storm (the famous nutella cake even made an appearance) of wood-fire grilled shrimp with coconut curry sauce, haloumi with melon and avocado in a mint-lime dressing, Mediterranean chopped salad, heirloom tomato and basil pasta, and, what is sure to become a staple in our group, the kaffir lime gin & tonics. There were no growling stomachs this weekend. We did our best to return home with an empty cooler. Success!

So those recipes and more, coming. For now it's back to laundry and a bowl of quick cold sesame noodles (courtesy of Mark Bittman himself) enjoy!

Cold Sesame Noodles
adapted from Mark Bittman

12 ounces linguine (I used whole wheat, but soba and plain would work well also)
1 cucumber (peeled and sliced into thin ribbons)
1/2 cup tahini (or peanut butter)
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp minced ginger
tabasco sauce to taste
salt & pepper to taste
sesame seeds for garnish (about 1 tbsp)

Cook the pasta. When cooked, drain and run under cold water until cool. Meanwhile, slice the cucumber in half and remove the seeds. Slice thinly in long strips.

Whisk together the tahini, sesame oil, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and tabasco. Add 1/4 cup hot water to the mixture and continue to stir until well blended. The mixture should look creamy. Toss with the cucumber and noodles. Add sesame seeds and serve.

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