Weather: 52 degrees, breezy with sunshine
What I’m listening to: the sound of a riding lawnmower outside
We requested the table beside the window when we arrived for our dinner reservation at Little Bird Bistro in Portland. With all the once-in-a-lifetime food I’d eaten throughout the weekend, I had practically no well-lit pictures to show for it that did the marvelous food any proper justice whatsoever. Elegant late night dinners in intimate dimly-lit venues are perfect for enjoying fine food and even finer company, but alas, they are the great enemy of food photography.
Hence, the request for the delightful little table by the window. I was bound and determined to get some natural light shining beautifully on my last supper before I boarded a plane later that night to head home to Alaska.
Conversation flowed, food was savored, and pictures were inevitably taken. At some point during the meal, somewhere between bites of pea tendrils and asparagus, Karista asked,”What is your favorite food, anyway? I don’t even know.”
Because this is what happens, I’ve learned, when bloggers become friends online. You can know one another for years via computers, smart phones, and social media and get to know each other quite well, yet not know the little everyday details you might know about a friend when you know them in person – like their favorite color or what kind of car they drive or where they were born or the fact that you carry almost identical pink and white iPhone cases.
“I have a weakness for anything that’s a noodle,” I respond.
She grins and nods in a knowing way, as if to say don’t we all?
Ah, noodles. Chow mein? Yes. Ramen? You bet. Fettuccine? Absolutely. Pad Thai? Swoon. Spaghetti and meatballs? Please and thank you. If there is a noodle of any variety on offer I have an impossible time selecting anything else on the menu. Eventually, I give in and order the blessed noodles. Darn you, noodles, you win every time. I’m putty in your slippery proverbial hands.
These noodles are particularly addictive thanks to a brilliant sauce adapted from Pinch of Yum’s Hoisin Pork with Rice Noodles that highlights many of my other favorite things like ginger, garlic, and peanut. Once you have the sauce and rice noodles down, this recipe is highly adaptable. I used chicken, but shrimp or pork would be excellent substitutions. For the vegetables, I used red bell peppers and shredded carrots for texture and color, but I can think of many other delicious variations like adding snow peas or zucchini. Feel free to never make it the same way twice and play around with seasonal variations.
Oh, and this makes terrific leftovers. If you have any left over, that is.