On Feb. 6 the Chinese New Year will begin. We will bid farewell to the Year of the Dragon and toast to a happy and prosperous Year of the Serpent. The Chinese New Year offers a wonderful opportunity for all of us to celebrate with our families and friends and, of course, to serve Chinese food.
My own favorite Chinese dish for parties is Sichuan Noodles With Peanut Sauce. Unlike so many Chinese dishes that have to be prepared just before serving, this one can be prepared ahead of time.
Sichuan food is traditionally hot and spicy. To help control the calories from fat in this unusual dish, I have used a dark sesame oil to achieve maximum flavor for the calories consumed. If you would prefer a hotter sauce, add a bit more crushed red pepper; but remember, a little bit goes a long way.
SICHUAN NOODLES WITH PEANUT SAUCE
10 ounces dry Oriental-style noodles
1 1/2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1 cup Sichuan Peanut Sauce
1/2 cup julienned green onion tops
4 chive flowers, optional
Cook noodles al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again thoroughly.