Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Prickly Pear Cactus Flavor Cut Noodles en Rosebud Sesame Sweet Sour Sauce

     Cactus Fruit Cut Noodles With A Sauce That Accents The Favor!
     Today's noodle entrée has unique flavors that appeal to the ladies in the crowd!  The presentation is simple and it is not complicated with extra items.  
     The traditional Asian method of shocking and rinsing boiled cut noodles does create a chewy texture.  The pleasant mild strawberry flavor of prickly pear cactus fruit can easily be noticed in the specialty noodles after shocking in ice water.  
     The sauce is delicately flavored and it compliments the flavor of the noodles.  Persian Arabic Rosebud Preserves were used to add sweet balance to the sauce.  Jars of Rosebud Preserves are sold at Mediterranean food markets.  Persian jellies, jams and preserves are high quality items.  The craftsmanship is a step above common national brand jellies that are sold in common grocery stores.  
     Middle East countries have a long history of preserving fruits and delicacies with honey.  After the introduction of sugar during the ages of spice trade, the same techniques were applied and the result was top notch.  
     If you are tired of the same old preserves and jelly flavors at a grocery store, then try the selection at a Mediterranean Market market.  Rosebud Preserves are a good example of a relatively unheard of preserves flavor in the western world.    

     *This entire recipe yields 1 serving!

     Toasted Sesame Seeds:
     The sesame seeds do not have to be toasted till they are brown!  They only need to be toasted till they become aromatic with a few light tan colored highlights.
     Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds.
     Constantly shake the pan, till the sesame seeds become aromatic and lightly toasted.
     Place the toasted sesame seeds in a small bowl.

     Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit Flavored Cut Noodles:
     These specialty noodles are usually sold fresh in packages of 10 portions at Korean food markets. Cut noodles are made by stacking sheets of noodle dough then slicing thin strips.
     Step 1:  Boil a pot of water over high heat.
     Add 1 portion of prickly pear cactus fruit flavored fresh cut noodles.
     Stir the noodles occasionally, till they are fully cooked.
     Step 2:  Use a pasta net to remove the noodles.
     Place the noodles in a container of ice water.
     Stir the noodles by hand, till they feel stiff, chewy and rubbery.
     Drain the ice water off of the noodles.  
     Set the noodles aside.
     Keep the pot of water hot, so the noodles can be reheated later in the recipe.

     Rosebud Sweet Sour Sauce:
     Step 1:  Place a small sauce pot over medium heat.
     Add 1/2 cup of dry sherry.
     Add 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar.
     Add 1 teaspoon of ginger paste.
     Add 3 1/2 tablespoons of Persian Rosebud Preserves.
     Add 1 teaspoon of crumbled edible dried rose petals.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
     Add 1/4 cup of water.
     Step 2:  When the sauce comes to a gentle boil, immediately reduce the temperature to low heat.
     *Taste the sauce, to check the balance of sweet and sour flavors.  Adjust the balance with either sugar to add sweetness or vinegar to add sour.  The sauce should have an equal balance of sweet and sour flavor.
     Simmer and reduce the sauce, till about 3/4 cup remains and the pectin from the preserves starts to thicken the sauce.
     Step 3:  Add 3 drops of rose water.  (Bottled Rose Water is available in Mediterranean Markets.  Rose water is very strong so only a few drops are needed.)
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of pure sesame oil.
     Add 1 pinch of lime zest.
     Keep the sauce warm over very low heat.

     Prickly Pear Cactus Flavor Cut Noodles en Rosebud Sesame Sweet Sour Sauce:
     Use a pasta net to reheat the noodles in the reserved pot of hot water.
     Drain the water off of the noodles.  
     Add the prepared cactus fruit flavored cut noodles to the sauce in the pan.
     Toss the sauce and noodles together with the sauce.
     Place the noodles on an oval plate.
     Use a long tine carving fork to twist and coil the noodles on a plate, so they look nice.
     Sprinkle a few pinches of the toasted sesame seeds over the noodles.  (Any extra toasted sesame can be saved for another recipe.)
     Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of chiffonade cut lime zest over the noodles.

     The noodle dish is perfect for a multi course meal!  

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