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Pumpkin-Peanut Curry Noodles with Five-Spice seared Scallops and Shrimp.

The season's of our Friday nights have dramatically changed over the last couple years.

When we moved back to Chicago we made it our goal every Friday night to find the best BYOB in the city. We found some gems (and some duds) but it was the most fun tradition.
When we found out we were pregnant the idea of getting back on the train to go anywhere sounded awful, so we opted for take-out nights in. Our neighborhood was full of diverse foods and we had fun trying new things. Our favorite by far was splitting a burrito from Lindo Michocan. We thought it was so great that we could both eat for under $4 (if we didn't get the chips and salsa).
Now with little Lucy girl, and perhaps because Menomonie isn't necessarily diverse OR full of fun new restaurants to try we decided to start a new tradition: picking a fun recipe and cooking it together once Lucy goes to sleep. Our first go was a success, and we both decided this was such a fun way to spend time together and try something new!
So, here it is: Pumpkin-Peanut Curry Noodles with Five-Spice seared Scallops and Shrimp. Long name, but delicious dinner! The recipe is from a Rachel Ray cookbook we got for our wedding. We rarely cook seafood, and have NEVER cooked scallops, so this was a real adventure, but it turned out great- I hope you'll give this recipe a try as well.

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • Salt
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil or peanut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 inches ginger root, minced or grated
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4-1/3 cup Tamari (dark soy sauce)
  • 1 can cooked pumpkin (15 ounces)
  • 2 rounded tablespoons mild or hot curry paste, such as Patak's brand, found on the international foods aisle at the grocery store
  • 3 tablespoons five-spice powder
  • 12 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 12 diver scallops, trimmed and patted dry
  • 4 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces, then thinly sliced lengthwise into matchsticks

Serves 4
Heat a large pot of water for noodles. When water boils, salt it and add pasta and cook to al dente, with a bite to it.
While pasta cooks, heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat with two tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil. Add garlic, ginger, red bell pepper and pepper flakes to the pan and cook together a couple of minutes, then add peanut butter and melt it. Whisk Tamari (eyeball it) into peanut butter, then stir in pumpkin and curry paste. The sauce will be very thick. Turn down the heat to low. Add a ladle or two of pasta cooking water to thin sauce a bit and simmer over low heat. Adjust salt, to taste.

Heat a small to medium skillet over high heat. Pour the five-spice powder onto a plate with some salt. Press both sides of the shrimp and scallops into the powder. Add three tablespoons of remaining oil to hot skillet. Place the shrimp in the pan and cook one minute, flip and sear the other side until just opaque. Remove shrimp to a plate and set aside. Add another three tablespoons of oil to the skillet and heat back up to smoking. Add the scallops and sear on both sides until opaque. Remove scallops and add to the plate of shrimp.

Drain pasta and return pasta to the pot. Add the curry-pumpkin sauce and toss thoroughly. Serve noodles on four plates and top with scallions and seafood.
We took pictures along the way....
 The ingredients.

 peeling the shrimp

 adding ginger, garlic, red peppers and red pepper flakes

adding peanut butter, soy sauce, pumpkin and curry sauce.

pressing on the spice and searing them in the pan

We had so much fun chopping, sauteing, searing and catching up over the preparation of this meal. The pumpkin-peanut-curry sauce has the perfect kick to it and such a GREAT flavor. The seafood turned out great as well- that five spice is delicious.
We're already looking forward to our next free Friday night!

We spent today keeping warm indoors and loving every second with our 15 WEEK OLD-- what?!?!?! She rolled from her tummy to her back yesterday and was dancing with Sten to Vertical Church Band today. She is more fun everyday and we just love her to pieces.



  1. Looks AMAZING! I love that you've adapted your Friday night tradition to parenthood ... we might have to copy this now that Mark will finally be in the lab this spring! Also, Lucy is looking SO much like you as she gets "older"! Love it!


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