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"Oodles of variations on the noodle theme"

From Staff Reports

Noodles, we tend to believe, come in two varieties - those that come with marinara and alfredo. But the fact of the matter is, many cultures include noodles in their diets. The different spices and sauces give a whole new twist to this traditional food. Yet, despite the variations, every noodle recipe retains that comfort-food feeling that only complex carbohydrates can provide. Here are a few feel-good recipes for your kitchen from around the world:

Pad Thai


1 package dried rice noodles
1/2 cup dried shrimp
1/2 cup baked tofu, cut in strips
1/2 cup ground peanut
1 cup bean sprouts, fresh
1/2 cup chives, cut in 1" pieces
1 pound chicken, cut in 1/2" cubes
6 medium eggs
2 teaspoons pepper powder
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons onion, crushed


Soak the rice stick noodles in tepid water for roughly 15 minutes. Then cut the noodles into 4-inch pieces. Strain the noodles, then set them aside.

Using a large skillet (preferably a wok) heat the vegetable oil and add in the garlic, onion and tofu.

After stirring for 2 minutes, add in the dry shrimp, and stir. Then, one at a time add in the peanuts, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, pepper and chicken, stirring the mixture the entire time. Add the eggs and continue to stir the mixture. Then add in 1/2 cup of water. Add the noodles, and be sure to stir! The noodles tend to burn if not continuously stirred.

Check to see if the taste of the dish is suitable to you, if not, then add in fish sauce (salty), sugar (sweet), or soy sauce (salty). Here is where a matter of preference comes into play. The final step is to add in the bean sprouts and chives, just before turning off the burner.

Pad Thai is normally garnished with a heaping portion of uncooked bean sprouts on the side as well as a sprig of cilantro on top.

Poppy seed noodles


8 ounces egg noodles
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Prepare egg noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside.

Add butter to pasta pot. Return noodles to pasta pot, cover with poppy seeds, and stir until butter is melted and noodles are covered with poppy seeds and butter.

Stir-fried sirloin and spinach with noodles

From the Ketchum Kitchen at

1-pound boneless beef top sirloin steak, cut 1 inch thick
4 ounces uncooked vermicelli or thin spaghetti
1 package (10 ounces) fresh spinach leaves, rinsed and stems removed, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sliced green onions


1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons naturally brewed, reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
2 cloves garlic
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Trim fat from beef steak. Cut steak lengthwise in half and then crosswise into 1/8-inch thick strips. Combine marinade ingredients; pout half over beef. Cover and marinate in refrigerator 10 minutes. Reserve remaining marinade.

Meanwhile, cook vermicelli according to package directions. Remove beef from marinade; discard marinade. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add beef (half at a time) and stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until outside surface is not longer pink. (Do not overcook.) Remove from skillet with slotted spoon; keep warm. In same skillet, combine vermicelli, spinach, bean sprouts, green onions and reserved marinade; cook until spinach is wilted and mixture is heated through, stirring occasionally. Return beef to skillet; mix lightly.

Fettuccine with mushrooms, tarragon and goat cheese sauce

From "Quick From Scratch- Vegetable Main Dishes" at


1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound mushrooms, cut into think slices
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon, or 2 teaspoons dries tarragon
1/2 pound mild goat cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/3 cup milk
3/4 pound fettuccine
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or scallion tops


In a large frying pan, melt the butter with 1 tablespoon of the oil over high heat. Add the mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, the pepper and the dried tarragon, if using, and cook, stirring for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderately high and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms are golden brown and no liquid remains in the pan, about 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine goat cheese, Parmesan, milk, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Stir until smooth.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the fettuccine until just done, about 12 minutes. Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the pasta-cooking water and drain. Whisk 1 cup of the pasta-cooking water into the goat-cheese mixture. Toss the pasta with the mushrooms, the goat-cheese sauce, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil, the fresh tarragon, if using, and the chives. If the pasta seems dry, add more of the reserved pasta-cooking water.

Serve with additional Parmesan.

Greek ziti

From "Quick from Scratch- Pasta" at

1 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound in all), cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
1/2 pound ziti
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

In a large frying pan, simmer the chicken broth and the oregano until 1/2 cup of liquid remains in the pan, about 4 minutes. Stir in the chicken cubes, cover the pan, and remove it from the heat. Let the chicken steam in the hot broth until just done, about 6 minutes.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the ziti until just done, about 13 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss it with the chicken mixture, the feta, lemon juice, salt pepper and parsley. Stir until the cheese is completely melted. Toss in the cherry tomatoes.


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