Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Asian Pasta Salad

So you've seen the dismal cupcake failure on Father's Day. You know what makes it even worse? THERE WAS NO DESSERT AT THE FATHER'S DAY PARTY. Nothing. Until David's cousin Connie went home and made cookies! God bless Connie. She's a woman after my own heart. She also made some of that yummy cracker-sugar-chocolate brittle stuff. She saved the day, for sure. You can't have a potluck without dessert!
Anyway, I thought I'd give you a glimpse of the pasta salad I took to the party. I wanted something I could pretty much throw together in about 15 seconds between getting home from church and running to Earl & Shirley's house, and something that didn't have mayo or cheese in it, since I knew it would be sitting out for a lot of the hot and humid Kentucky summer weather. I got out my trusty Taste of Home magazine collection and found this delightful recipe for Asian Chicken Sesame Salad (except I kind of adapted it, as you'll see...namely, there is no chicken involved). It's very simple to put together. There's a simple dressing made from...

canola oil, sugar, pepper, teriyaki sauce, and white wine vinegar. I had also planned to put in some toasted sesame oil, but got addled and forgot it. I really missed it. Then you have the salad ingredients...

bowtie (farfalle) pasta, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, honey roasted peanuts (super-yum), water chestnuts, spinach, green onions, and parsley. All of the ingredients are combined, and you get this:
It was pretty good, but darn it, I wish I had remembered the sesame oil! Here's the recipe...I didn't add the chicken (I didn't figure we'd need it with the rest of the spread at the party), or the sesame seeds (I couldn't bring myself to pay $4.28 for them).
Sesame Chicken Salad
Carolee Ewell, Taste of Home Magazine
16 oz. bowtie pasta
1 cup vegetable/canola oil
2/3 cup white wine vinegar
2/3 cup teriyaki sauce
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cans (11 oz. each) mandarin oranges, drained
2 cans (8 oz. each) sliced water chestnuts, drained
2 cups cooked cubed chicken
1 1/3 cups honey roasted peanuts
9 oz. fresh spinach, torn
6 oz. dried cranberries
6 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh minced parsley
1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and place in a very large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, teriyaki sauce, sugar, and pepper. Pour over the pasta and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Just before serving, add the remaining ingredients; gently toss to coat.

Yield: 22 servings (1 cup each)

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