Happy Bastille Day, mes amis! Here in Paris we’re celebrating with giant rain showers and the military parade on TV. I was hoping to picnic this evening on the Champ du Mars, to drink rosé on the grass, eat peanut noodles and watch the fireworks, but the weather has decidedly, er, dampened my plans.
Wet grass means no picnic. Cloudy skies mean dubious views for fireworks. Temps below 70ºF mean it’s too chillly for rosé. But I’m still determined to make the peanut noodles. Hey, one out of four ain’t bad.
Just in case your Fête Nationale is sunnier than mine, here’s the recipe for my spicy summer peanut sauce, straight from the back of Kitchen Chinese. An easy and versatile recipe — I’ve made it in giant quantities (for, like, 150 people) for my book party and tiny amounts, just for me — it’s savory and addictive, and wonderful tossed with noodles, shredded chicken, and julienned cucumbers and carrots for a refreshing salad. Add dashes of cold black tea when tossing the sauce with the noodles.
As for me, I’ll be eating my noodle salad with chopsticks while watching my favorite rendition of La Marseillaise. Vive la France!
Spicy Summer Peanut Sauce
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup cilantro, washed and dried (including stems)
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons Siracha chili sauce
Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or blender and process until the mixture is smooth, adding a 1/4 cup of water if needed. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more soy sauce or chili sauce if necessary.