Sunday, June 21, 2020

Sunday Dinner for Father's day: Sesame Noodles with Sate

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Happy Father's Day! It's Sunday, and I'm at the helm, which means it's time for honorary Red Celia Wakefield to give us another fabulous recipe/cooking lesson. She made these Sesame Noodles with Sate on Friday, when my whole household was over to swim at the lake (and do a couple outdoor chores.) It was easy, inexpensive, and so hearty it filled up three hungry twenty-somethings as well as the three oldsters with plenty left for the next day!



I won’t start by stating the obvious, but I do want to give a shout out to Julia.  She has been one of the very few life lines for Victor and I during our current living situation. If you know Julia you will agree with me that she has a way of engaging, entertaining and managing to stay positive, finding a good laugh in almost any situation. 

And, I am once again delighted to join in the JRW blog, with another recipe which is well suited for our current living. It’s also a great meal for Fathers Day. Happy, happy Fathers Day to all the guys who visit Jungle Reds, to our husbands and our fathers. I have a recipe from my father, Douglas Constable, to share with you. 

Food, cooking in particular, was a place where father and I met on equal terms. In fact I may have had the edge on him there. After the Second World War, my father didn’t follow the drum, but did follow colonial ancestors by working all over the world. Our family time in Ceylon (Sri Lanka nowadays) offered curry in all its forms and he loved it. Curries were his favourite foods to cook. People in for a drink? Father would hurry to the kitchen to make up some curry puffs. Most of his cooking involved deep frying and after he painted the hall ceiling greasy black from leaving a pot of oil on the stove without turning it off, my mother banished his culinary exploits to the garage.



Late in his career, he and my mum were in Indonesia, where of course, he fell in love with the food. My mum recounted their arrival where my father was to be head of an FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization, one of the special agencies of the UN) mission in Surabaya. The house had been set up with servants etc. But their language was Dutch. My mum, understanding she was being asked what she wanted prepared for lunch, said the only food word she knew, “rijsttafel”. Which a couple of hours later appeared on the dining table. This is a very complex and complicated dish where one is offered choices which include nasi kuning or regular steamed rice, accompanied by dishes such as satay, rendang, gado-gado, grilled chicken rica, red snapper in yellow acar sauce, fried shrimp in sambal, potato perkedel kerupuk and tempeh. (Julia's note: the poor staff must have thought Memsahib Constable was going to be very high maintenance!)  Kerupuk, the tasty shrimp crackers, was my father favourite drinks snack, served with Sate sauce, deep fried of course and hence the banishment from my mothers kitchen.



I wish I could make a rijsttafel for everyone, but let’s make sesame noodles with sate sauce.



This is my fathers’ recipe and serves 6-8 hearty eaters:



In addition for dinner we added these ingredients:

1 1/2# Spaghetti

1 Cooked chicken

Bunch of scallions, chopped small



Tamarind* is available in Asian markets, as are the other spices. The one ingredient not on fathers list is Chinese noodles, or as we say in Maine - Spaghetti. I doubled the Sate recipe. As we had a mix of veggies and carnivores, I got hold of a cooked supermarket chicken whose meat I shredded, which would normally be served on top of the noodles. Julia and I assembled the ingredients and followed his directions.



1)          Put on the water for the pasta


2)          Measure all the sauce ingredients into a pan except for the peanut butter and heat.


3)          Start adding peanut butter once the water boils. Turn the heat down and stir.


4)          Watch out because the sauce will thicken and needs to be thinned with more water.


5)          Peanut butter is oil, so if it splatters, it burns, Ouh!


6)          Cook the noodles or pasta as directed


7)          Drain noodles, dress immediately with sesame oil and pepper oil 


8)          Pour the sauce over the noodles and mix in well.



Add the shredded chicken and chopped scallions when ready to serve. Sesame noodles can be served at room temperature or chilled. They make great leftovers too for a lunch box.

*After tasting the tamarind, I thought freshly squeezed orange juice would be a good substitute - J.

JULIA: Here is the happy result, dear readers, with a quick slaw on the side and lashings of extra sauce, which, by the end, the kids were scooping onto crackers and stuffing into their mouths. Accompanied by a gin/vodka and tonic (the grown-ups) and ginger ale (the kids) it was a perfect meal to enjoy outdoors on a hot summer night. 

Below, we've got videos walking you though the whole process in inimitable Celia style. Take a look, and after you're done, join us in the comments with your own exotic food adventures!




 

76 comments:

  1. Peanut sauce and noodles . . . yum. It looks amazing.
    I’ve been searching for a really good recipe for this dish; thanks for sharing your special one . . . we’ll be cooking this for sure.

    Happy Father's Day!

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    1. Thank you so much Joan, and a Happy Fathers Day to all of yours. The end result is a little less generous with the red pepper oil, Youngest wasn't happy!

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    2. Yes, go light on the red pepper oil for the tender-mouthed!

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  2. Thanks for sharing your recipe, Celia.
    I have a similar sesame noodle dish in my regular repertoire for the summer.
    I normally eat mine chilled.

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    1. I have a recipe for a chilled sesame noodle dish too. I haven't made it for a while. Might be time to whip it up again.

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    2. You're most welcome Grace. I think this is probably a very generic Asian dish. I love the ease and speed in which it comes together. Yes, this can be served chilled but I just let it go at room temperature as the hungry hoards were gathering.

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  3. This sounds amazing! I love any kind of noodle with peanut sauce recipe!

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    1. Thank you so much Annette. Make and enjoy!

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    2. One of the things I likes was that, if you serves the noodles chilled, it's possible to do the "hot" cooking - boiling the pasta, making the sauce - early in the day, then put the whole thing in the fridge and forget about it until dinner.

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  4. I love peanut sauce in any form. Thanks for sharing it, Celia and Julia, and glad you all got to have a lakeside gathering!

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    1. You are most welcome Edith. As you know it's been hot in NE the past few days so the gang has moved in to chill in the lake and sit in my finished basement which, as it backs onto the hillside, is delightfully cool.

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    2. It's been a real blessing for us, Edith. We live less than a half mile away from a small park and beach on the Saco River, and normally we'd be there to cool off, but as you might imagine, with so many people stuck at home and pools not open, the park has been mobbed lately. I drove by and all I could think was, "superspreader event."

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    1. Most Welcome Roberta, a good dish for hot days.

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  6. Julia, tamarind on its own may be too sour for your taste but it is also a key ingredient in Thai (pad thai) and Indian dishes so you may have had it, and not noticed.

    Celia, I would love to try making a rijsttafel. I have eaten some of the dishes you described, and have some recipes from a friend whose wife was the Indonesian ambassador to Canada.

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    1. Oh Grace, if you tackle rijsttafel, let me know and I will fly in. Indonesian restaurants seem to be the last cuisine to reach the US. I have vague childhood memories of eating this, but would love to do so again. My mum was slightly horrified that first lunch when she realized what she had asked for with no notice.

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    2. I live alone, so this attempt will have to be made after the physical distancing and lockdown and mandatory 14-day quarantine of international visitors to Canada, Celia. I am cooking all kinds of dishes at home but rijstafel is a feast to be shared with other adventurous eaters.

      I was spoiled having authentic meals with my Indonesian friends. Sadly. they left Canada last year but we do have some good Indonesian restaurants in town.

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    3. Grace, I liked the taste very much - would you believe it was the first time I had taken a bit out of a jar? I had no idea tamarind was a kind of citrus! I added my note because I'm always looking for substitutions in recipes these days, considering so many of us are limiting our visits to grocery stores. Or, as I've heard from my friends who can get deliveries, struggling with the vagaries of InstaCart!

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  7. Oh, that looks so good. I know I would like it. Don't believe I have ever had a peanut sauce before. Will look for something similar on menus now. Made me hungry.

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  8. Thanks for the great story about your dad, Celia; we share a love of curry. On no cooking days, I have been known to stir a T of peanut butter + one glug of lime juice into my Ramen and call it Thai noodles. Your recipe was much much better. Loved the videos, you have another career (vidio blogger) waiting in the wings.

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    1. Coralee, it is amazing where ones life will go, I think Julia and I made a good team video cooking, she adds all the bits I forget to say as we don't script these recipes. I think you're idea of using ramen noodles is brilliant. Wish I had thought of it as I do have a huge box of Ramen in my pantry as that is the size Amazon stocks and the local market way out. Its our go to meal for my husband. But I fear my guests would have devoured the 24 packet and left us with none. I do love to cook curries though it is a full day project when I do it properly. But Indian food has finally reached the US and some of it is quite good.

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  9. Lynn, I encourage you to cook it yourself. It's one of those recipe which is easy to reduce and blow up size wise. An immersion blender is the key here. Looking at the video, I realise I had not meant to add all the peanut butter in one fell swoop. It should really go in by spoonfuls and be well stirred in before adding the next. I took the short cut for brevity. But that is the only trick needed. And beware of bubbling peanut sauce, it splatters and burns; painful.

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    1. Perhaps using a bigger than normal pot would help with containing the spattering, Celia?

      I was surprised to see that you use a ceramic cooktop, also. When I was deciding what to put in my new kitchen I weighed the relative benefits of the various kinds of cooktops, and ended up with another ceramic top, myself, and I really like it. So many cooks insist on gas, but my goal was to make the house as safe as possible going forward (aging), and I thought the ceramic was better, all things considered. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

      Personally, I don't see a lot of difference.

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    2. Karen, personally I love my ceramic cooktop. I have also heard most serious cooks prefer gas but the ceramic cooktop has been great for me.

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    3. Karen, I got a ceramic top perforce because it was the only kind available on the top-rated double oven stove I wanted. I was worried I was going to have to adjust, but I've found it works perfectly for me so long as I keep an eye on it. I scorched a few dishes starting out because I hadn't absorbed how hot the burners got and how fast they revved up.

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    4. You're right about the pot size Karen but it's easier to make in a non stick pot. Our house in Maine didn't have gas and Victor really didn't want the expense of installing it. Sometimes one has to compromise in marriage. So I chose this stove for its double oven, which I love, love, love. I also love the ease of clean up. You can see the drops on sauce on the top one wipe, they're gone. I used to cook on gas, cook at my daughters on gas, but hate the clean up. I've got used to not expecting 0-60 heat. In fact as I'm sure you know, other than deep frying (so bad for us), most food is better cooked on a lower heat. Karen I wrote to you earlier on my iPad, but it wouldn't post.Thats the comment Start starts this reply. To your comment about my mum. My mother grew up in a Victorian type household with servants. She was always very considerate and careful of local customs wherever they lived. She was VERY strict with us as to how we behaved around our help. My father was enthusiastic in all he attacked!

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  10. I like your videos Julia and Celia and I like your recipes. I also love anything with peanut butter.
    I'll try to make a two portions that I could eat hot ( room temperature) the first time and than cold the second and see which
    I prefer.
    Happy Father Day to Victor and to the fathers who will read this blog !

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    1. Danielle, this is an ideal meal to make extra and save for leftovers.

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    2. Thanks so much danielle-momo. The good news on this sauce, and I did double the recipe from what you have above. Just adjust the seasoning to your liking, use a cup of water, then add the peanut butter very cautiously till you get the heavy cream consistency and don't put in the whole recipe. I make it for Victor and I for dinner often. Thank you for you good wishes to Victor too.

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  11. That looks and sounds so good. Wish we had smell-o-vision! It's only 8:30 AM and now my stomach is demanding something savory.

    Your poor mother. Long-suffering, to be sure with a ninja-cooking husband, and how mortifying to realize the task she set her new staff. It would be hard to live that down.

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    1. Karen, I was trying to imagine getting the hang of local dishes moving all around the Commonwealth as the Constables did. I didn't know most of the terms Celia used when describing rijsttafel, so of course, I looked them up on the internet. Imagine the work of learning all those definitions and ingredients with nothing but a Berlitz phrase book.

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  12. The cardamon and tamarind make this different from the recipes I've used for peanut sauce and I'm anxious to try it. Hot or cold, sesame noodles are wonderful. And I love your how-to videos!

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    1. Chris, Celia said while we were making this that she sometimes adds in tahini as well. I'd like to try that variation, although this one was super yummy.

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    2. Thanks so much Chris, I do enjoy doing the videos with Julia as my producer. As you can see my fathers recipe has tamarind, and I usually have it in my pantry. I love, love cardomon, I add it to so many dishes.

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  13. Celia and Julia--this looks amazing--and simple--I'm going to share with my nephew. He's always on the look-out for tasty, easy recipes to try. Happy Father's Day to all those dads and dad-figures out there!

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    1. Yes, Happy Father's Day! Flora, I'm with your nephew: I'm fine with things cooking in a pot or crockpot for hours, but if meal prep takes more time than Marketplace on NPR, it's not the recipe for me.

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    2. Thank you Flora, I hope your nephew loves this one too. Excellent to impress friends.

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  14. Yum yum YUM. Going back to read this recipe again and watch the videos , it looks amazing! Thank you! Peanut butter is so magical —and so are you!

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    1. Hank even Youngest, who doesn't like peanut butter, liked this sauce!

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    2. Bless you Hank, I so enjoy being a part of your circle. If we ever get out of this new normal, my daughter and I plan to have the party for Julia that we were planning and you are near I know.

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  15. What a wonderful new to me recipe! Looks so good! i am the queen of peanut butter around here so I must ask: would chunky peanut butter work as well as smooth? I would think so but I'd rather hear from the expert!

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    1. Judy, I'll let Celia weigh in when she gets back (I suspect she and Victor are having lunch and FaceTiming with the family for Father's Day right now) but I've made a simplified version of this with a couple different types of peanut butter, and I've found, hands down, creamy, all-natural is the best.

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    2. Oh, good. I was going to ask if natural peanut butter was okay, because that's all I ever buy.

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    3. Debs, I tried the Skippy-style stuff once because it was all I had in the back of the pantry. The consistency was off and it tasted rubbery. :-P

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    4. We only stock natural crunchy - but any time I've used it in peanut sauce, it has come out great.

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    5. I have natural, chunky....it will have to do for now.

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    6. Haha Julia, No, no lunch, we have been making dinner for guests!!haha.
      Judi, I don't see why you should not make this with chunky peanut butter if thats how you like it. It will stay chunky unless you hit it with a blender, including an immersion blender. So do the teaspoon at a time, stirring vigorously, till you get a consistency you like.
      Debs - I use organic peanut butter, no sugar etc. In fact don't tell I can't remember if I added sugar to the dish last night. No one noticed, haha.

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  16. thank you, Celia. What a wonderful recipe. Enjoy your day.

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  17. Pasta is a favourite in our house, though we usually eat peanut butter on our toast not on the noodles. In a restaurant, different story. I've been cycling through the same old recipes for ages now; maybe it's time for a change!

    Happy Father's Day. May the man or the memories be loving...

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    1. What a nice thought, Amanda. Yes, I've been doing variations on the same dishes since the house filled up here; this is a great switch up from spaghetti with marinara/spaghetti al fredo/spaghetti al blanco, etc, etc.

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  18. Celia, that looks so delicious! It looks like something I had at a ? Thai ? restaurant. I have been to so many ethnic restaurants! Thank you for sharing. Hope you and your family are staying safe.

    Julia, my library is reading your mystery novel this week and I am getting emails with your pages from the mystery club.

    Diana

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    1. I'm delighted to hear that, Diane! I hope the mystery club enjoys it!

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    2. Thank you so much Diana, Yes, Victor and I are fine. I haven't been in a supermarket since 3/8. I wish you and your family the same. Julia's kids come over to swim and our family is coming for the 4th and they are doing the 14 day quarantine right now.

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    3. Celia, wow! We have been sheltered in place since March. Wearing masks every time we venture outside. I think the state of Maine is ok as far as I know ?

      Diana

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  19. Delicious! Fast question or two. The garlic is left whole or minced or something else? As Judi asked chunky or smooth peanut butter? Do you use natural peanut butter (need to stir because it separates) or the other? This will be great for this week, when my sister arrives. I think I have everything except the oils. Thank you for being camera/director/support commentator, Julia. I love hearing the voices that go with the names I'm so familiar with. Enjoy your Sunday everyone.

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    1. Deana, I can answer the question about the garlic because I asked it as well. Celia just chunked it into the sauce (she said her father did the same thing) and then everything got pulverized with her immersion blender, which, I'm pretty sure, is the one thing she'd save from the house in case of a fire. :-)

      IIRC, she told me I could mince the garlic if I didn't have an immersion blender (which I don't, but obviously need to get if I'm going to cook the Wakefield Way.)

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    2. Hooray! I now have my excuse to purchase an immersion blender. Thanks, Celia and Julia.

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    3. Oh, I am laughing now - cooking the Wakefield Way, yes there is a better ring than Cooking with Constable- well now I'm not sure. OK everyone vote and I will get working on my YouTube channel, haha.
      So to the chunky garlic, natural peanut butter queries. Sometimes I put in roasted garlic, but didn't have it today. The heat of the sauce helps cook the garlic, or at least takes the edge off of it. There really isn't that much. But as I may have mentioned get an immersion blender. You will wonder why it took you so long once you use it. So many uses; almost everything that you might put in a blender including smoothies and excluding ice crushing! Mine is a mid range priced Cuisinart from the place that shall not be named.

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    4. Julia, you remembered that Deana's name ends with A ;). My name ends with an A too ;)

      Diana

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  20. I so enjoy the Celia and Julia Cooking Show! Great fun. I've printed out the recipe so maybe I'll give it a shot when there are more people around to eat it.

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    1. Pat, it keeps very well in the fridge, so if you halve the recipe, you may find it serves well for dinner and lunch the next day. I'll have to ask Celia if you can possibly freeze the sauce...

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    2. Go for it Pat, I haven't tried freezing it but a small glass preserving jar would do. I think it might lose some of the flavor over time. But I freeze so many leftovers that I read should only be frozen for xxx. I say try it see how well it goes. A little sate sauce, some cucumber and a packet of ramen noodles cooked in water not adding that rather suspicious package would make a great meal I think.

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  21. The Celia and Julia Cooking Show! I love it! Thank you, Julia, and thank you, Celia. I'm going to try this, definitely. We usually use whole wheat spaghetti--love Trader Joe's. I have everything for this except for the chili oil. Maybe add some red pepper flakes to the sauce?

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    1. Debs, you could really skip the chili oil entirely, as long as you don't need your dish to be hot. Of course, you're from Texas, so... The chili powder and spices in the sauce make it very seasoned as is - Youngest, who has, as she says, "white people tastebuds," found the chili-and-sesame-oil noodles too hot, but liked the sauce very much.

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    2. You're very welcome Debs, I just happen, (wish I could underline), to have red pepper oil thanks to Ken my S-in-L, I actually have another great recipe I just discovered for flavoring oil to enhance dishes. I'm trying it on the unwary who will be here for dinner later.

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  22. Just for clarification, when you say it can be served chilled do you mean just the noodles or the whole shebang? Cold sauce?

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    1. Pat, we tossed the whole thing together while it was hot and then chilled it. My mother always said it was better to add sauces and seasoning to summer salads while the pasta/rice/potatoes were still hot because the flavor integrates better that way. (Or maybe she didn't have the patience to wait until it had all cooled?) Anyway, that's what I always do.

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  23. By the way Celia, I recently made your spaghetti with anchovies recipe and it was delicious.
    As I didn't have anchovies on hand I used mackerel . Very satisfying.

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    1. Wow Danielle - YOU WIN! I am so delighted to know that you make the sauce and mackerel would be a really good and healthy fish to use. We love it and I am awaiting a package of anchovies to arrive any day.

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  24. This looks so delicious! Thank you Celia. We had rijsttafel for the first time years ago... unforgettable! Dinner as an event!

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    1. Yes Hallie, it is. And you're most welcome, I love my link to you all here.

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  25. Celia, I loved watching the videos of you preparing this dish. I have to admit this dish is outside of my wheelhouse of cooking, except for the spaghetti/pasta. The curry and the sesame oil are not ingredients I use. However, you made it all sound and look so delicious, I would love to try it. Now, it would most definitely be in my daughter's and my son's eating zone. I think I'd prefer it hot to cold, but it might surprise me. Thank you for sharing this dish and your expertise with us today. I've been cooking bacon, eggs, and cinnamon rolls today.

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  26. Kathy, what a delightful compliment, thank you so much. Well lets tweak it for you. I do remember that someone replying to one of my recipes didn't, or their partner dandy like garlic. leave it out, add a little cooked onion unless thats taboo too. Use your regular oil. About a quarter to a half cup, and I read you are a baker, so I bet you have baking spices. Heat the oil gently, add your spices of choice or a mix that you use, and just heat, not letting it boil, for a couple of minutes. Then let it stand until your spaghetti is cooked. Follow the same pattern with the sate sauce. Boil some water, add a little sugar, the vinegar some salt and again whatever of the baking spices you like in your cooking. Add your peanut butter a spoon at a time, beating well to combine with the water. Taste, tweak, try tossing your spaghetti with some of the flavored oil and add the sauce. Let me know. I am thinking about what could work but haven't tried this one out. Hope its good. Bacon and eggs our fav breakfast. We eat eggs nearly every morning.

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