101 One-Dish Dinners by Andrea Chesman solves the dinner dilemma deliciously and nutritiously using just one dish! Chesman also provides advice for busy home cooks on topics such as how to set up a home kitchen, stock a pantry and what tools to keep on hand. This excerpt comes from chapter two, "Skillet and Other Stove Top Suppers."
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Pad Thai — noodles with shrimp and peanuts — is one of Thailand’s national dishes, sure to be found on the menu of any Thai restaurant you visit in this country. But there’s no reason not to enjoy it at home. A combination of lime juice and molasses stands in for the hard-to-find tamarind to give this dish its characteristic sweet flavor.
• 3/4 pound rice sticks (1/4-inch flat rice noodles)
• 1-3/4 cups water
• 1/2 cup Asian fish sauce
• 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
• 1/4 cup molasses
• 5 tablespoons sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
• 1 tablespoon peanut or canola oil
• 3/4 pound shrimp, peeled
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 piece fresh ginger (1 inch long), peeled and minced
• 2 eggs, lightly beaten
• 1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts
• 2 cups bean sprouts
• 2 scallions, white and tender green parts, chopped
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
• 1 lime, cut into wedges
1. Soften the rice sticks by soaking in cold water to cover for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining the water, fish sauce, lime juice, molasses, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.
3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the shrimp, garlic, and ginger in the oil until the shrimp are pink and firm, about 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the skillet with a slotted spoon and keep warm.
4. Pour the eggs into the skillet. When the bottom of the eggs has set, about 15 to 30 seconds, add the drained noodles and sauce and stir-fry or toss with two spoons until the eggs are cooked through and the noodles have absorbed most of the liquid, about 5 minutes. Carefully mix in the shrimp, peanuts, 1 cup of the bean sprouts, and the scallions.
5. Garnish with the remaining bean sprouts and the cilantro and lime wedges. Serve hot.
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Excerpted from 101 One-Dish Dinners, © by Andrea Chesman, photography by © Johnny Autry, used with permission by Storey Publishing.