All this aside, I am still thinking about food.....but more caloric containment is in order. I made the following dish for Daniel's Maine Med. Staff Holiday Party and it was a hit (as it always is). It is not my creation. It is from a 1988 June edition of Bon Appetit. I have been making it since then and always am asked for the recipe. As the date of the dish suggests, one usually thinks of pasta salad-type dishes in the summer, but this is great in the winter eaten at room temp...which brings out all the subtle nutty flavors of the sesame oil in the dressing. (As an added benefit, there is almost always yummy dressing drenched tofu, oranges and cilantro left at the bottom of the dish when all the noodles have been claimed. I served this over sauteed garlic kale for Ryan, Noah's vegetarian girlfriend, when she was visiting and she loved it...wanted the recipe too.)
Linguine Salad with Sesame Dressing easily serves 10
1 1/2 lbs. linguine
1/2 cup sesame oil
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1 tbsp. hot chili oil (very important)
2 tsp. minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup minced cilantro
2 lg. navel oranges, peeled, sectioned and each section cut into 1/2" triangles (I will use whatever oranges I have around. This time I used 5 clementines.)
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1 lb. firm or extra firm tofu cut into 1/2" by 1/2" squares
1 cup of diced jicama- optional
Cook Pasta and transfer to a large bowl.
Combine sesame oil, soy, chili oil and garlic in a small bowl and whisk. Season with s&p. Add to the cooked noodles and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 8 hours. (You might think that with this much soy sauce there is no need of salt, but I always find that a tad of table salt sprinkled on the pasta adds an important element.)
Just before serving, add chopped cilantro, orange pieces, sesame seeds and tofu to the salad. Toss well because the tofu and oranges will try to sit at the bottom of the bowl and not mingle with the noodles.
This makes enough for at least 10 people....or more as part of a potluck like the one I just brought it too. If you want to serve this for dinner in the winter, just bring it to room temp and serve with some sauteed greens or some other lovely green vegetable.