This all started this morning at breakfast, when on a run to the basement fridge for more yogurt, I found my painfully expensive bunch of organic broccoli was partially frozen. I wasn’t planning on using it until much later in the week, but I had to move that baby up in the queue. Also discovered that there was still some Chinese-style red-cooked pork in the fridge, one of the last things I made last week before I caught “The Mung” and that, too, needed to get used up right away.
Carried both items up the stairs, plus the yogurt. At least I remembered the yogurt I went to get in the first place. That doesn’t always happen. Get past 40 and you'll understand. Open the kitchen fridge and put in the yogurt, moving aside a bottle of Trader Joe’s Thai Sauce that we opened last week to use as a dipping sauce.
! Broccoli and Pork in Thai sauce. Hmmm. This needs something else, and I’m not fully recovered, so this can’t get complicated. Back to the basement, this time to the pantry. Thai rice sticks. Almost no cooking involved. Gives me time to lie on the sofa some more before work. Eureka
Witness: another good thing created out of leftovers and what’s on hand. A heads up -- any cooked meat, and any vaguely Asian-style sauce you like will work here, plus any firm vegetable you enjoy. Not authentic Asian food by any stretch, but a tasty way to put together a nice, quick meal.
Since this dish is decidedly a bit “brown” a handsome serving dish makes it look much more appetizing. But don’t let the color dissuade you. It’s great. My absolute favorite baking / serving bowl is actually a big salad bowl by Sophie Conran for Portmeirion. I bought mine at work, you can get it here, and I highly recommend it as you can bake in it, freeze in it, serve in it or just use it for show. I leave it on the counter with fruit most of the time. Makes my ersatz Thai food look as wonderful as it tastes.
Rice Sticks with Pork and Broccoli in Thai Sauce
4 oz. rice sticks (pad Thai noodles)
12 oz. cooked broccoli florets and pieces
2 cups cooked pork, sliced or diced
¼ cup sliced scallions
2T slivered red bell pepper
¾ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
½ cup Trader Joe’s Thai Sauce
¼ to 1/3 cup water
2T peanut oil or safflower oil
Place the dry rice noodles in a heatproof bowl and bring enough water to cover them to a boil. Pour the boiling water over the noodles and set aside for 12 minutes, then drain. While waiting for the noodles to soften slice up the meat and vegetables and measure out the sauce.
Drain the noodles after 12 minutes in a colander and set aside. Heat the oil in a wok or big sauté pan. Add the scallions and red pepper, cook until the pepper softens a bit, then add the meat, turn down the heat and stir until heated through.
Add the broccoli and the sauce, and cook another minute until the broccoli is hot, and then add the noodles, Toss in the sauce for a minute, add the water, stir in the cilantro and serve. Note: this bottled sauce is not especially spicy, so if you like more punch in the dish, add garlic, ginger and chile pepper to taste with the scallions. Serves 4.