Two things we find alot of in Pittsburgh are Southeast Asian and Eastern European homestyle cooking. I'm pretty attached to the most commonly available noodle-based comfort foods of both- Haluski, and Pad Thai. Some time ago, rummaging in a depleted pantry, and thinking about dinner, I found some rice noodles, a savoy cabbage, garlic, dry roasted peanuts, fish sauce, limes (I love them, so there's nearly always a lime), a few onions, and a little wilted cilantro. No butter, so no haluski; no scallions, eggs, sprouts, tofu or shrimps, so no pad thai. This was the origin of my Old Mother Hubbard/Yunzer-style fusion mainstay.
Haluski is a simple dish of noodles and cabbage and onions, fried up in lots of butter. It can be made with many different thicknesses of noodles- the rule is, you slice the cabbage to match the thickness of the noodles. Both are preboiled, and then they are fried up together with the onion and lots of butter, and salt and plenty of pepper. A few poppyseeds sprinkled on top are not amiss, or some paprika. Pad Thai is more complicated, but well worth the trouble.
Thailuski is even easier than its Polish counterpart, because you don't need to precook the cabbage. No amounts are given- just adjust quantites of ingredients to suit number of diners, and personal tastes:
Rice Noodles, of desired width, soaked and briefly cooked
per package directions
Savoy or Napa or regular cabbage, sliced in same width as noodles,
approx same volume, too
Peanut or other oil of choice-of late I like grapeseed oil for mild taste
thinly sliced onion
chopped fresh ginger(optional-mine is never there when I want it)
fish sauce or soy sauce
red pepper flakes
chopped fresh cilantro
juice of one lime
dry roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Heat wok or heavy frying pan. Add oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes (and chopped fresh ginger if you have it.) Add onions, stir fry till onion is transparent. Add cabbage and stir fry till limp. Add noodles and a bit more oil, Stir fry until noodles start to get browned a bit, splash in sauce, salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper. Dump into bowl or bowls and top with chopped cilantro. Squeeze on plenty of lime juice. Add peanuts over all. If you are so deprived as to have no lime- rice vinegar would work.
Of course, one of the primary virtues of this dish is that you don't have to go shopping to make it, so substitutions or fairly austere additions in character could be fine.
Did I mention that I love my wok? I will tell you all about why my $15 cheapo wok is one of my favorite cooking pots ever, and how it is special, very soon. The thing is, it is quite difficult for the novice to take a flattering picture of a wok. I want it to look its best, because I am very fond of it. So far, it looks pretty grim. On reflection, perhaps I should avoid a close up.