Sesame Chicken and Noodle Salad with Crisp Garden Vegetables

Summer is drawing to a close with its unofficial end slated for the upcoming Labor Day weekend.  The good news, however, is that barbeques by the thousands will be fired up in backyards all across the country from East to West and North to South.  Everywhere the air will be filled with the enticing aromas of slowly smoked slabs of ribs, grilled tri-tips marinated in family secret recipes and juicy burgers and dogs that always taste better with a bit of char from the grill!  Picnic tables covered with red and white checked tablecloths will be laden to overflowing with an eye appealing array of  colorful, crunchy garden greens in innumerable combinations as well as bowls of creamy potato salad and pots of fragrant baked beans, each dish lovingly prepared to be shared with family and friends on this special holiday occasion.  Breads will range from burger buns to artisanal loaves… and, of course, let us not forget the desserts!  Mom’s apple pie, fresh from the oven.  Peach cobbler with hints of almond and cinnamon.  Rich triple chocolate cake topped with generous scoops of vanilla bean ice cream.  It’s a day to celebrate family, friends and great food!

Our celebration of the holiday began this past weekend when we gathered together for the annual Luiz family picnic in Vacaville.  Everyone brought a meat of choice for the grill and a dish to pass.  During the hours of conversation and laughter in which we all had opportunity to catch up on the happenings of the past year we leisurely dined on crisp, freshly tossed  garden greens, sweet mixed fruit salad, velvety smooth potato salad, a roaster filled with the mandatory Portuguese-style beans, sizzling meats from the grill and our contribution,  Sesame Chicken and Noodle Salad with Crisp Garden Vegetables.  A light and fluffy cheesecake, as well as a glorious red velvet cake topped off the wonderful time around the table.  We all look forward to next year’s gathering…!

Sesame Chicken and Noodle Salad with Crisp Garden Vegetables 

 

Prepare the dressing.  In a blender combine:

  • 2 – 3-inch piece fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 10 cloves whole peeled garlic, smashed
  • 4 T sugar
  • 1 C + 2 T soy sauce
  • 4 T black soy sauce
  • 6 T black vinegar
  • 2 T Chinese bead molasses
  • 2 T chili garlic paste
  • 4 T sesame oil

Chef’s Note:  Black soy sauce, black vinegar, chili garlic paste and Chinese bead molasses can be found at Asian markets.  If bead molasses is unavailable thick soy can be substituted.

Blend the ingredients until completely smooth.  Add:

  • 1 C peanut oil

Blend until thoroughly incorporated:

Chef’s Note: The dressing can be prepared in advance and refrigerated, if desired.

Remove the meat from:

  • 1 rotisserie chicken (store-bought is perfect!)

Discard the skin and bones.  Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces, toss to coat with some of the prepared dressing, then place in the refrigerator to chill:

Fill a pasta pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat.  Salt the water.  When it has returned to a boil add:

  • 1 lb capellini

Cook the capellini according to manufacturer’s instructions ( 2 minutes).  Drain immediately and swirl in cold running water until cool.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add:

  • 1 -2 turns extra virgin olive oil

Toss to coat and set aside.

Chef’s Note: The oil will prevent the pasta from sticking together.

Seed, julienne, then set aside:

  • 4-oz pickled Greek peppers

Julienne, using the 1/8-inch spaced slicing blades of a mandolin:

  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 3-inch lengths

Julienne, using the 1/4-inch spaced slicing blades:

  • 1 medium green zucchini, cut into 3-inch lengths
  • 1 medium yellow zucchini, cut into 3-inch lengths

Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut into 3-inch lengths, then matchsticks:

  • 1 bunch green onions

To the pasta bowl add all of the vegetables:

Gently toss to distribute the vegetables, then add:

  • the reserved chicken
  • the prepared dressing, as desired

Toss to thoroughly combine all ingredients.  Transfer to a large bowl or platter.  Sprinkle generously with:

  • sesame seeds

Cover with film and refrigerate until time for service.  This delicious dish is rich in the regional flavors of China and is a colorful and nutritious addition to any picnic or buffet table, providing both visual and palate-pleasing pleasures… Bon Appetit!

Copyright 2010 Via Aurea Designs, Inc., All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

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Categories: Chicken, Pasta, Salads, Vegetables

Author:Steve Meyer & Dayton Azevedo

Food and fine cooking have been our passion for many years, fueled by the year-around abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, poultry and meats, as well as aromatic spices and herbs readily available to us here in the San Francisco Bay Area, making adventuresome, creative and delicious 5-star cooking a reality in our kitchen. Our aim is to make it yours as well by utilizing our step by step instructions and serial photographs. Bon Appetit from our kitchen to yours...!

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One Comment on “Sesame Chicken and Noodle Salad with Crisp Garden Vegetables”

  1. January 28, 2011 at 8:42 AM #

    My dear friend (and former teacher), Albert V. recommended I visit your site and I’m so glad I have! Well done, informative and an overall good read!

    I’m looking forward to your next post!

    Mikeal Segotta
    kBoy

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