Community cooks: Thai pasta salad & spinach bites

The fly terrorized our house — namely, my husband — for three days before I was able to take it out with my prized Junior League of Charlotte cookbook. If that isn’t a sign of love, I don’t know what is.

Disclaimer: I’m a proud (and passionate) Junior Leaguer myself, so anything League-related gets my vote. You won’t find another group of women as effective, as knowledgeable, as involved or as committed to their community as League members. And we know how to feed that crowd.

This week alone, I’ve made two recipes from our local JL cookbook, Causing a Stir; one for dinner, another for appetizers down the road (they freeze beautifully). They are fast, easy and taste like something you’d pay a catering service to deliver. There are hundreds of Junior League cookbooks around the country, and they all hold more than just recipes — they include stories, histories and photos, and support the community programming of this 113-year-old nonprofit organization. (One of the reasons I collect them — see how I display and store them HERE.)

Happy eating to empowered women everywhere.

Spinach Bites w/Hot Mustard Sauce via Causing a Stir, A Junior League of Dayton Cookbook

Spinach Bites with Hot Mustard Sauce

A Junior League of Dayton recipe

Hot Mustard Sauce:

1/2 c. dry mustard

1/2 c. white vinegar

1/4 c. sugar

1 egg yolk

Spinach Bites:

2 (10 oz. each) pkgs. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained

2 c. seasoned bread crumbs or stuffing mix (I use Parmesan-herb Panko-style bread crumbs)

1 c. firmly packed shredded Parmesan cheese

1 stick butter, melted

4 small green onions, finely chopped

3 eggs

Dash of nutmeg

To make sauce, combine mustard and vinegar. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 4 hours. In a small saucepan, mix sugar and egg yolk. Add mustard mixture. Cook and stir over low heat until thick. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.

To make spinach bites, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all spinach bite ingredients. Form into 1-inch balls. Bake 10-15 minutes on an ungreased baking sheet. Serve with sauce.

Thai Pasta Salad via Causing a Stir, A Junior League of Dayton Cookbook

Thai Pasta Salad

A Junior League of Dayton recipe

1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes (less if you don’t like a lot of spice — this is hot!)

3 Tbsp. canola oil

3 Tbsp. sesame oil

3 Tbsp. honey

2 Tbsp. soy sauce (more to taste, if desired)

8 oz. dry linguine or similar Asian noodles, cooked and drained

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 c. chopped green onion

1/4 c. honey-roasted peanuts

1 Tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted (shake onto cookie sheet and bake at 350 for a few minutes until fragrant and golden)

Heat pepper flakes in oils over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in honey and soy sauce. Pour over noodles and chill overnight. When ready to serve, add cilantro, onion, peanuts and sesame seeds. Serve at room temperature. Tip: To make this salad into a full meal, add 1 lb. diced boneless, skinless chicken breast. Brush chicken with soy sauce and sesame oil, if desired; Place in shallow baking pan, cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes. Toss diced chicken with pasta and serve.

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One thought on “Community cooks: Thai pasta salad & spinach bites

  1. Pingback: Home for the holidays | The Sensible Home

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