Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Office Party Chow

Every year we have a holiday party at work, and every year more people opt to bring restaurant food, like fried chicken or wings. While that's all well and good, I try to bring at least one home-made dish; this year I made two.

We have a former vegan-now-pescatarian in our group, and I wanted to make sure there would be food that he could eat, so I made an Asian-style pasta salad with lots of fresh veggies. Another co-worker liked it so much, she demanded the recipe before I left for my long break lest she resort to contacting me at home.

I was happy to oblige.

Pasta in repose on my "heater" which is usually stone cold in the Winter.
Asian Pasta Salad

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 cup Thai chilli paste with basil
1/2 cup snow peas, sliced lengthwise
1/2 cup baby carrots, cut into matchsticks
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 lb linguini

In a small bowl, mix lime juice, oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and chili paste.

Cook linguini in boiling salted water until tender (according to package directions). Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water to chill the noodles and wash off some of the starch.

Place noodles in a large bowl and pour over the sauce. There will be lots of sauce but it will eventually be absorbed into the noodles. Taste for seasoning and add more soy, chili paste, lime, or brown sugar if necessary. Chill for a few hours to absorb the sauce.

When ready to serve, toss with the vegetables. Serve cold.

I've made my curried chicken salad several times in the past, always to rave reviews. The secret is in the chutney, which adds a wonderful sweet and tangy quality that balances out the dry spices in the curry seasoning.

Theminx's Famous Curried Chicken Salad

1 roast chicken, meat removed and shredded
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup Major Grey's chutney
1 T sweet curry powder (I prefer Penzey's)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped scallions
salt and pepper to taste

Place chicken meat in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine next five ingredients. Toss dressing with chicken and season to taste. Chill several hours or overnight to bring out the flavors. Makes about a quart.


Nakiya @ Taste of Baltimore said...

Wow both of these sound great! I wish I could have sneaked into your office party to sample these!!!

Kristine said...

I was just looking for a sesame noodle recipe, but this looks even better. Thanks for sharing.