July 23, 2008

DeCio's Thai Peanut Pasta

DeCio pasta is a fresh, dried, linguine pasta that is sold locally at specialty shops. I discovered it at our downtown Phoenix Farmer's Market, but they sell it online too. There are many different flavors to choose from; tonight I am going to try a new variety called Szechuan Orange Spice. This recipe came off of the DeCio website and it sounds really good. I wanted to try something out-of-the-ordinary for our dinner, but I did not want to run to the store to buy anything. I have everything on hand for this recipe...with some minor changes. I think this dish would work well with white or brown rice, as a substitution for the pasta. I will serve this meal with some vegetable spring rolls and dipping sauces that I purchased from Trader Joe's. I am looking forward to this recipe, since I love Thai flavors. I will let you know how it turns out.

DeCio Thai Peanut Pasta
1 pkg DeCio Orange Szechuan pasta (or serve with rice/noodle of your choice)
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts chopped into pieces
1 red or yellow bell pepper chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup chicken stock
2/3 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 tsp minced fresh gingerroot
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
juice of 2 limes
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
3 Tbsp fresh cilantro chopped

Cook pasta to al dente, drain and set aside. Coat skillet or wok with non-stick cooking spray. cook chicken until lightly browned. Add the bell pepper, cook 2 minutes. Set aside. in small bowl dissolve cornstarch in cold coconut milk. Pour into skillet. Cook stirring for 2 minutes, until thickened. Reduce heat. In small bowl combine peanut butter, garlic, honey, lime juice, orange juice, ground red pepper, soy sauce and honey. Add to skillet stirring until smooth. Add chives, cilantro, and reserved chicken and peppers. Toss with pasta to coat. Garnish with toasted peanuts. Can also toss 1/2 cup of toasted peanut gems in with pasta.

Jen's Notes:
Another substitution would be to use the cheap, Ramen noodles instead of the flavored DeCio pasta. I would just ditch the MSG-laden 'seasoning' packet that they come with, and cook the plain noodles. Angel Hair pasta would work...man, I am just full of ideas today. At any rate, plain noodles or rice would be a workable change.
I am going to steam some frozen, Asian-style, veggies to toss into this dish. I may make extra sauce so everything gets coated. I will omit the red peppers, since the Asian-style veggies that I bought already have red pepper in them.

I don't have fresh ginger, so I will use the dried ginger that I have in the pantry instead. It is important to note that dried spices are always a little more pungent than fresh. I just adjust my recipe accordingly, and use a little less than the recommended amount. Also, I don't have fresh oranges to squeeze for fresh orange juice; I will have to make due with good, old OJ from concentrate.

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