I SUPPOSE IT IS NOT VERY OBVIOUS that this is, in fact, a weekly column. Based on the past couple of months one might think it is more of a monthly type thing. But, with midterms over, and getting quasi-used to being on grades, things should be a bit more regular. Not to mention, now that I've just announced that this is weekly, thinking of those thousands of readers who would be let down every time they expect to see a column -- and don't -- will also help encourage me to write.
This week's recipe was born because spaghetti comes in one-pound boxes. I had always thought this was a little odd, because a decent-sized serving is about @# of a pound, so unless you have some multiple of three people eating, you either have to have some extra left over, or leave opened boxes of spaghetti lying around your room.
Well, I like to cook integral numbers of things, so I usually end up with about of a box of cooked spaghetti as leftovers. Of course, the next day, I'm not really in the mood for spaghetti and sauce again, so I have to figure out something to do with the stuff.
The results of the attempts have ranged from quite good, to edible, to how-could-I-have-possibly-thought-this-would-work-out -- and, by the way, using spaghetti instead of elbow macaroni in macaroni and cheese is actually not too bad. One of my favorite dishes to have came out of all this experimentation, however, came when I decided to go Chinese with it.
Chinese Style Spaghetti
leftover cooked spaghetti
ginger, minced or finely chopped
pine nuts (available at Bread and Circus)
Stir the soy sauce, sesame oil, and minced ginger together. Now, ideally, you should let this sit overnight in a fridge. This allows for the ginger to dissolve into the soy sauce and sesame oil, and makes the whole mixture more flavorful and not so strong. If you are pressed for time, heating the sauce for 10 minutes over a low flame is acceptable.
Toss the spaghetti into your wok (a large frying pan will do fine), and immediately stir in 3/4 of the sauce. After five or so minutes, add the pine nuts and sesame seeds. Continue stir frying, adding more sauce if things start getting too dry. After some time, toss in the scallions. Once you add the scallions, you have three more minutes of cooking time -- any less and the scallions won't be properly cooked, any more and they will burn.
I usually like the spaghetti to be a little crispy, so I fry it for about 12 minutes after adding the pine nuts and sesame seeds before adding the scallions.
Once it is done cooking, remove from heat, and dump in the remaining sauce mixture, or straight soy sauce if you prefer -- otherwise it will be a little on the dry side. Serve immediately. Makes two portions.
Good luck and good eating.
(Please write to kevinf@athena if you would like to see more recipes of a certain type in this column, or if you have any comments or suggestions. -- KF)