OK, last one... but if you (or anyone else) want more, please send me a message! I cook to relax, so recipes are fun for me...
I wasn't sure if you were vegetarian, vegan, or if you just don't eat red meat. This version of Pad Thai is much less complicated than it looks, and it's very flexible -- you can use firm tofu, scrambled egg, sliced chicken, or cooked shrimp or scallops in it if you want to change it up a bit.
Flexible Pad Thai
3/4 pound tofu, chicken, shrimp or scallops, if desired.
1/2 cup dry, fruity white wine (like a pinot grigio)
5 Tablespoons plum sauce, divided
2 Tablespoons Mango Chutney (Patak brand makes a great Major Grey's)
1/2 tsp. white pepper (black is fine, too)
salt to taste
1-1/2 tsp. Arrowroot or corn starch
1 package Pad Thai rice noodles (about 6 servings worth)
1/2 large green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 large yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 large red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 medium sweet onion, cut into thick half-moons
1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
2 scallions, chopped (including green parts)
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
8 or 10 fresh basil leaves
1 Tablespoon canola oil
Set a large pot of cold water to boil.
In a large bowl, combine the wine, 2 Tablespoons of plum sauce, the chutney, and the lime juice. Stir well.
If you're using chicken, shrimp, or scallops, rinse them under cold water and drain. Add them to the wine/plum sauce mixture and stir well. Pour into a shallow pan and poach over medium-low heat for about 7 minutes, or until meat is barely cooked through (You can also pour it all into a microwave-safe bowl, cover it, and nuke it in the microwave for about 4 minutes, or until the meat is barely cooked through). Set aside
If you're using tofu, drain it and slice it into bite-size pieces. Add it to the wine/plum sauce, and stir well. Set aside.
If you're using eggs, break them into a bowl and mix them with a fork to break the yolks. Heat a medium-size non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add about a teaspoon of vegetable oil, tilt pan to coat it with the oil, then add the egs and either scramble them or make a plain (no-filling) omlette out of them. (Cut the omlette into bite-size strips.) Set aside.
In a large, non-stick skillet, heat the oil until it shimmers.
Add the onion, and cook until translucent (about 4 minutes).
Add the carrots, and continue to cook for 3 or 4 minutes, until the carrots are tender but still bright orange.
Add the chicken/shrimp/scallops and their poaching liquid to the pan (or the tofu and it's marinading liquid, or the cooked eggs and the wine/plum sauce mixture).
Stir in the remaining 3 Tablespoons of plum sauce. Heat to a gentle simmer.
Place the rice noodles into the pot of boiling water and stir once. Wait for the noodles to soften, then turn off heat.
Push the vegetables and scallops to one side of the skillet and stir the Arrowroot or corn starch into the liquid in the pan until dissolved. Mix the vegetables and meat/tofu/egg into the sauce.
Stir in the bell peppers and scallions.
Using tongs, transfer the wet, softened noodles from the hot water into the skillet. Toss to coat with sauce and distribute vegetables and scallops. If there doesn't seem to be enough sauce to coat everything, add a tablespoon or two of the hot cooking water from the noodles.
Stack the basil leaves on top of one another and roll into a cigar shape, then cut into thin shreds. Sprinkle them over the pad thai, and serve.