Two great recipes: but not for the same meal.

QUICK(er) PAD THAI:
Makes 4-5 large dinner servings.

Note: You will need a wok or a very large pan for this recipe. I made it in twosaute pans.

3 large cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 regular onion or 2-3 shallots, diced
16 oz Thai Rice noodles
8 oz (1 large) chicken breast, in bite-sized pieces
1 large handful snow peas, chopped
1 red bell pepper, in long thin slices
1/2 box extra-firm tofu, diced
2 regular carrots, fake-julienned into long strips with a peeler
1 c. pad thai sauce (or make your own: 1/4 c fish sauce, 1/4 c sugar, 3 clove garlic, 2 tsp tamarind concentrate with 2 tbsp water)
2-3 eggs, beaten
1 c and 1 c cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 c thin-sliced scallions
1 c and 1 c crushed peanuts
1 lime, sliced into 4 (or however many plates you plan on serving)

1. Soak rice noodles in water at room temperature for 45 minutes. (You can use this time to chop your veggies). Drain in a colander when done. (Note: the consistency will not be the final one)
2. Start marinating tofu in soy sauce.
3. Fry chicken pieces with salt and pepper until just barely done (they’ll get cooked more later)
4. Saute garlic and onion until just changing color.
5. Add in the vegetables that might need longer to cook, like the carrots and the bell pepper, and saute for 1 minute.
6. Turn heat to high.
7. Add in all the other vegetables, the tofu, the chicken, and the noodles. Saute for about 5 minutes, until the noodles are close to the consistency you want.
8. Add 1 c pad thai sauce and (one by one) 6 tbsp water to the pan while stir-frying.
9. Slowly drizzle in the eggs. If you don’t have enough room in the pan, cook the eggs in a separate pan.
10. Take off the heat. Add 1 tbsp oil and (if desired) 1 tbsp Sriracha hot sauce to the noodles
11. Add in the first 1/2 c of cilantro, the sliced scallions, and 1/2 the peanuts. Toss together.
12. Serve garnished with the remaining cilantro and peanuts, with a lime slice on each plate.

COOKED EGGNOG: FROM “THE JOY OF COOKING”
Makes 9-18 servings, depending on size

NOTES:
1) This is the eggnog for people who don’t like the taste of commercial eggnog – this is the real thing. It tastes like liquid creme brulée, though not as sweet: SO good. It doesn’t taste anything like the eggnog you buy in the store – makes me wonder who “invented” that taste.
2) Two tablespoons of vanilla can replace the liquor. Do not double this recipe.

Combine and set aside:
— 1 c. milk
— 1 c. heavy cream
Whisk in larger separate bowl until just blended:
— 12 large egg yolks
— 1 1/3 c. sugar
— 1 tsp freshly grated or ground nutmeg
Whisk in:
— 2 c. milk
— 2 c. heavy cream
Transfer the mixture to a large, heavy saucepan and place over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes a little thicker than heavy cream (about 175 degrees F). Do not overheat, or mixture will curdle. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the reserved milk and cream. Pour through a strainer into a storage container. Chill thoroughly, uncovered, then stir in:
— 1 1/2 c. brandy, Cognac, dark rum, or bourbon
Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (otherwise it will taste of nothing butsugar) before drinking. Can be kept up to 3 days. Serve sprinkled with groundnutmeg.

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