[CnD] A Good Cookbook and a Recipe From It

Marvin Vasquez mvasquez239 at gmail.com
Sat Feb 11 02:51:47 GMT 2012

  I'm not sure if this cookbook's already been mentioned, but it's a good one for beginning and I'd imagine skilled cooks alike, so I'm posting a recipe from it in this message.
  It's called Help! My Apartment Has A Kitchen Cookbook.  100 Plus Great Recipes With Foolproof Instructions.  I got it off of Web Braille.  I just wish they had a wider selection of books in general, but this book, by Kevin Mills, is a goldmine of 
tips, tricks, and the like.
  Anyway, this recipe is an Asian sort of dish, and I made it about a year ago.  I love the way this one tastes, and since I was thinking about it, I thought I'd post it here.
  So, without further adieu, here it is.
  Preparation Time: 15 minutes
  Cooking Time: 20 minutes
  Rating: Very Easy
  I used to ask my mom to make this Chinese-style spaghetti when I came home for vacations.  I was tired of pizza and Chinese take-out.  Now that I'm on my own, I cook it and leave it in a big bowl in the refrigerator (covered, of course) and reheat 
it for three or four meals.  Vermicelli or angel hair pasta--two fancy names for thin noodles--are especially good with this sauce.  I love soy sauce, which makes this dish taste like hot-and-sour spaghetti.  You can adjust the amount of soy to your 
taste.  The cucumber and scallions provide a surprising contrast and crunch.
  1 medium onion
  2 garlic cloves
  1 pound lean ground pork
  1/2 cup chili sauce (or 7 tablespoons ketchup plus 1 tablespoon bottled horseradish)
  1/4 cup water
  3 tablespoons soy sauce
  1 tablespoon vinegar (any kind)
  1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  12 ounces vermicelli
  1/2 large cucumber
  2 scallions
  Cover a large pot of water and begin heating it over high heat (see Mom Tip).  While you're waiting for it to boil (about 10 minutes), make the sauce.
  Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic and set aside.  Without using oil, brown the pork in a frying pan over medium heat, stirring frequently to break the meat into small clumps.  This process takes about 10 minutes.  After the meat has 
browned, drain any fat by covering the pan with a lid and carefully pouring the liquid into an empty can.  Throw away the can.
  Add the onion, garlic, chili sauce (or ketchup and horseradish), water, soy sauce, vinegar and black pepper to the pan and stir.  Cook, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes, or until most of the liquid has 
evaporated.  Turn off the heat and cover to keep hot.
  Once the sauce is cooking, add the vermicelli to the boiling water and stir to make sure all the noodles are submerged.  Set the timer for 7 minutes for dried pasta, 2 minutes for fresh.  Continue to stir every minute or two to keep the noodles 
from sticking together.  When the timer rings, taste a noodle to see if it's done.  If it's a little too chewy, cook for another minute.  Drain the noodles in a colander in the sink.
  While the noodles are cooking, peel the cucumber and cut it into 1/4-inch cubes.  Wash the scallions.  Cut off the root tips and top 2 inches of the green ends and discard them.  Cut the remaining white and green parts into 1/4-inch pieces and set 
  When the noodles are done, drain them and transfer to a large bowl or platter.  Pour the pork sauce on top.  Sprinkle with the cucumber and scallion pieces and serve.
  Mom Tip
  If you use hot water instead of cold water when you start heating the water for the noodles, it will come to a boil more quickly.
  Marvin Vasquez
  Google Talk/Keychat ID: mvasquez239 at gmail.com
  Skype: marvintva2010
  "Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can not eat money."
  19th Century Native American
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