The other night our family went out to eat. We went to a place that used to be quite good, but lately has been uneven at best. They specialize in Italian cuisine which I normally like. But this place didn't quite seem to understand good food. The bread was burnt. The salads weren't much more than iceberg lettuce with a couple of slices of pepperoni on top. My wife and mother-in-law both had chicken artichoke fettuccine which sounds good, doesn't it? But they both said that putting artichoke in the name was a bit of an exaggeration (perhaps the artichoke was waved over the dish before it left the kitchen), that noodles were stale, and that the sauce may have come out of a jar.

I was a bit more pleased with my entrée. I had something called Thai shrimp linguine which wasn't bad. It was in a peanut sauce and had some vegetables including zucchini and yellow squash. While it wasn't the best dish I've had lately, it did give me some ideas. The next day I worked out my own recipe which leaves out the shrimp, uses egg noodles instead of linguine, used vegetables I happened to have on-hand, and wasn't very Thai. Since by that point the name Thai shrimp linguine didn't fit, I called it noodles with peanut sauce.


In a large skillet (I always use cast iron), heat the vegetable oil and sauté the onions, pepper, mushroom, and carrot. In a small sauce pan, heat the soy sauce and lime juice. As soon as it begins to simmer, add the shallots and garlic. Let that cook for a couple of minutes, then add the brown sugar, red pepper flakes, coconut milk, and peanut butter. Stir until the consistency is smooth all through. Add this peanut sauce to the vegetables and mix well. Serve over rice noodles (or linguine). Serves 4.

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