Posted by: briellethefirst | February 24, 2011

Hot Herby Buttered Noodles


Cat and I had noodles and gravy for dinner tonight. I’ll write that recipe up in a different post so you’ll want to have leftover meatloaf or other meat leftovers ready for it. If I haven’t added a recipe for meatloaf I soon will…and noodles, too. The kids like it OK, but they wanted hot dogs, so more for us. I usually buy noodles in bulk but this time only had a single regular package, and as the last bits went into the boiling water…I realized that a whole 16 oz package is more than I usually use. Too late, it’s cooking now! So, creative me decides to set the extra aside and make something special, hot herby buttered noodles, hoping the kids would like them! So simple you can even do it with one hand:

Cook noodles in salted boiling water as per package instructions. Lots of water means less sticking. A dash of oil is optional to help prevent boil-over if you forget to turn down the heat after adding the noodles to the boiling water.

After about 10 minutes check to see if the noodles are done: spear one with a fork, hold under cold water briefly and bite in half. Is there a white layer in the middle? Cook it a little longer. Is it soft all the way through? It’s done. If it’s limp and mushy it’s overdone, better luck next time and pay better attention but they’ll be good enough this time. When they’re done dump into a colander. Make sure the colander is in the sink so you don’t have to do the “OMG there’s HOT WATER running off the counter onto my floor and feet” dance. Yes, it happens and no, it wasn’t me…but it was funny! And if you forgot to scour your sink first just put a bowl or pan in the sink and put the colander in the bowl before straining the noodles. Yes, some people have to be told. No, I know you aren’t one of them, but we won’t out the ones who are. Promise. *Evil grin*

Don’t have a colander? Put the lid on the pot a little off-kilter and very carefully try to pour off the boiling water while losing as few noodles as possible. This is not the preferred or recommended method and make sure there are no kids, cats or critters of any kind underfoot or between the stove and the sink. Try not to scald yourself too badly and be prepared to talk to your kids about not using all those colourful words you just used while you apply the aloe to the burns. DON’T USE BUTTER ON BURNS!!! IT MAKES THEM WORSE!!! I don’t care what your grandmother said, your other grandmother was right, use aloe!

Now, your new shopping quest will be to find a colander so this won’t happen again. And buy an aloe plant to put in the garden or on the windowsill. The big box stores carry perfectly functional simple plastic (not my fav), metal and maybe even enamel ones at reasonable prices (even cheaper at thrift stores) but if you get a chance to pop into a kitchen boutique you can find fancier up-scale ones in various fun designs. If you’re real lucky and wander into a nice craft show you can pick up a really nice ceramic one hand-made and signed by the artist. If you’re really really lucky and know a potter you just may be able to get one custom-made for you…if you can afford their price (not always monetary-*playful grin*). If you don’t find an aloe plant while you’re at that big-box store you can drop by a lovely little nursery on your way home. You may even find some herbs for the garden or a nice pot to put them in on the windowsill.

So, back to the noodles. Now that you’re doctored-up (with a glass of wine on the side?) and they’re strained, put them into a nice bowl. While you were wandering that Kitchen boutique or (even better) a craft fair or your favourite potter you’ll probably have picked up a couple of cool favourites. While the noodles are still hot drop on a few knobs of butter. Yes, knobs is a proper (albeit old-fashioned) term, but I use old-fashioned words, spellings and phrases occasionally so get used to it. If you don’t have butter margarine or olive oil is OK. This is a to-taste recipe so use as much or as little as you like. It’s easier to add more than remove some, so start with less and add more if you need to. Mix thoroughly by kind of folding the noodles from the sides through the middle to help the butter melt. Sprinkle with herbs of your choice. This, also, is subject to the add-a-little-at-a-time-since-you-can’t-take-it-out-once-it’s-in rule. Tonight I used pepper, garlic, paprika, parsley and basil. Kenzie loved it, ate it before her hot dog and asked for seconds. Andrew finished his after his hot dog. It was a hit.

If you don’t like an herb, don’t add it. If you like other herbs, add them. If you want to be real fancy and plan ahead you can sautĂ© onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, tiny peas, bacon, tiny shrimp or fancy ham and stuff like that to add too. Except for the boiling/straining/potential use of bad words part this is a recipe the kids can help with, at least the mixing part. This can be a simple, fast, economical peasant recipe when you’re short on supplies or a fancy side dish to serve with a special dinner for in-laws, boss, potential client or any one else you want to impress. It all depends on the presentation. If you keep a few herbs growing on the window sill or in the garden you’ll always have fresh ingredients and a nice garnish too. And those serving dishes by your favourite potter won’t hurt the atmosphere either.

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