Tag Archives: basil

Drunken Noodles à la Heidi

Can I just point out that I’ve spent almost my entire pregnancy to date not posting recipes? Partly because I’ve had a lot of other stuff to talk about–all the fun details of housing a baby in your body for the first time. Partly because I’ve been low on energy and haven’t wanted to cook new recipes that require more thought and effort. Partly because this lack of energy causes the camera to get neglected even when I do make something new and exciting. And finally . . . because of the sickness.

But at last, I have something to share! I cooked this up near the beginning of my sickness, and it’s delicious. However, in a semi-tragic turn of events, the strong smells set me against Thai noodles from the night I made this until last week, and thus the drafted post for this recipe just sat in my blogging line-up, causing me to wrinkle my nose every time I looked at it.

However, based on my positive experience with Pad Thai last week, I’m now ready to look at this thing again without feeling the bile rise! So here goes.

My sister Heidi is a huge lover of Thai food. She experiments fearlessly and works at the recipe until it’s perfection. I had her curry during our Alaska visit last summer, and . . . oh wow. She’s got that figured out (though I have yet to get the recipe from her!).

According to her, this recipe for Drunken Noodles may not be at its peak of perfection . . . but knowing her, she will probably always strive to tweak it even further. But ignore her–I think it’s amazing! She relayed me the instructions over the phone, which I repeated back to her and then actually wrote down a few days later. Then, the next weekend, I made it. Oh baby oh. It’s definitely spicy, but not burn-a-hole-in-your-palate spicy, and the noodles are cooked to perfection using her instructions. My husband loved it, and I loved it . . . except for the whole being pregnant thing. I ate it the first night, and then couldn’t look at it again after that. But my husband appreciated having the leftovers all to himself, so it all worked out for the best.


(Serves 4)

2-3 TBS vegetable oil
1/3 cup water, optional
1/2 head of cauliflower
1 crown broccoli
2-3 carrots
3 jalapeño chilies
1 chicken breast
2 TBS chili garlic sauce
1/2 lb rice noodles
1 handful fresh Thai basil leaves

For the sauce:

1/3 cup light (low-sodium) soy sauce
1 TBS dark soy sauce
1/3 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1/3 cup sugar
1-2 TBS sriracha

Soak the rice noodles in warm water for 1 hour.

By the end, they should be pliable (they don’t snap when you bend them) but still firm and crunchy if you bite into them.

And yes, all of today’s pictures have a blue cast to them . . . oh well. Maybe there’s a way that I can blame pregnancy for that, too.

Slice the carrots thinly on the diagonal, and chop up the cauliflower and broccoli. Set these 3 veggies aside.

Slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces on the diagonal, and de-seed and mince the chilies. Place the chicken, chilies, and chili garlic sauce together in a bowl to marinate.

Rip the basil leaves off the stems, and glory in their smell. Heavenly.

Mix all the ingredients for the sauce. I will call this sauce . . . Blue Lagoon.

Make sure to use low-sodium soy sauce, or you’re in for a salty surprise! And not of the pleasant variety either.

Heat 1 TBS of vegetable oil in a wok over high heat. When shimmering, add the bowl of veggies.

Stir fry for 6 minutes, until crisp and browned. If they aren’t tender enough at this point (especially if you cut them in larger chunks like I did), add the 1/3 cup of water and simmer/boil over high heat for a few minutes, until the water has evaporated and the veggies are more softened.

There’s probably a word for this technique, but I don’t know what it is. I’ll call it “fryboil.”

Remove the fryboiled veggies.

Heat another tablespoon of oil in the wok and, when shimmering, add the chicken.

Let it sit and brown for about a minute before stirring. Stir fry the chicken for 6 minutes, or until cooked through. Keep that heat high, Mildred!

Add the noodles and stir fry them with the chicken for a few minutes.

Add the sauce.

Bring to a boil, stirring to mix it into the noodles.

Add the veggies back in . . .

. . . and stir fry everything together for a few minutes. You can use tongs to mix the noodles more easily.

Stir in the basil and serve!

Okay, these pictures aren’t at the top of my photographic “game”–but it’s so delicious that I hope you can see through the blue and through the dark into its inner core of tastiness.


My husband was good enough to capture my reactions as I tasted this dish for the first time.

I love it! Thanks Heidi for verbally forcing me to make this.

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Chicken Parmesan

Bonjour, my friends!

As I was saying yesterday, this recipe hung out on the Tasty Kitchen sidebar for weeks and weeks, and by virtue of seeing it there every time I logged onto the site, it finally became a necessity to make. Like an itch I finally just had to scratch.

Does food photography every do that to you–tickle your imagination mercilessly? Force your hand, so to speak?

Anyway, it’s so good–and I highly recommend that you make your own tomato sauce to go with it. The sauce is such a central flavor to the dish that you really should have the best of the best. With just a light breading (no eggs and flour–just straight up crumbs and herbs), this is pretty darn healthy! Well, maybe except for the piles of melted cheese . . . but I wouldn’t give those up for anything!

If I ever became lactose intolerant, that would be a huge problem. Huge.

Knock on wood.

Anyway, the recipe serves 2, but it could so, so easily be doubled. Or tripled. Or zillionupled, if your baking dish is big enough.


(Serves 2)

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (halved)
1 TBS dried oregano
1 TBS dried basil
1 TBS dried thyme
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
2 TBS olive oil
2 cups good-quality (or homemade!) tomato sauce
2 TBS grated Parmesan
4 oz fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
Fresh basil, to garnish

See that lovely container of homemade tomato sauce lurking in the background? Oh man. How I love that stuff.

Preheat the oven to 500 F.

Also, I didn’t have dried basil . . . or at least I couldn’t find it. So I minced up some fresh stuff:

And I didn’t regret it for a single second. Or nanosecond. Or tetramegananonanonanosecond.

Mix the herbs, salt, pepper, and bread crumbs together in a shallow dish.

Oui, like dees.

Cut the chicken breast in half (with the knife running parallel to the cutting board) . . .

. . . and sprinkle all sides with a little salt and pepper.

Thinly slice the mozzarella.

And grate the Parmesan.

Now! Drag the chicken breast halves through the breadcrumb mixture, and gently shake off any excess.

Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized oven-proof skillet (I used my lil’ 8’’). When hot, add the chicken and cook about 3 minutes per side, until browned.

Turn off the stove and take the skillet off the heat. Spoon the tomato sauce on and around the chicken.

Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over each chicken breast, and top each one with the thinly sliced mozzarella.

It’s looking good enough to eat now . . . but patience, my dear prudent one.

Cover the skillet with aluminum foil . . .

. . . and bake it for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5, until the cheese is melted and the chicken cooked through.

You can use this time to set the table.

Have I mentioned that I finally bought a table cloth? And that it took me 6 years of marriage and owning a battered hand-me-down table to realize that covering it with cloth would greatly improve its looks?

I need a decorator to come and tell me about all the mistakes I’m making now, before 6 more years go by and I realize that I’ve been living in folly, error, and general oblivion.

And here it comes . . .

Oh look! There are my feet!

Garnish with basil, and serve with pasta!

These little shells tossed with Parmesan, black pepper, some heavy cream, and some frozen peas were the perfect accompaniment.

And let me tell you another secret–the next day I tossed the leftover pasta with the leftover tomato sauce and it was almost a spiritual experience for me.

Will it disturb you if we move in close to check out that tender, tender chicken?

Mmmm, mmm, mmmmm.

And all that was left . . .

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