Apparently Wachter plum forgot we were giving him Ricky’s favourite snack food until we took the pepperoni out of our grocery bag. He was unfazed. “Good enough. That’s some protein.”
Unlike the other chefs, Wachter chose to make a duo of dishes—the first of which was inspired by late nights eating spicy noodles in Montreal.
“I’m always like, blind drunk when I’m there,” he says, recalling the food stalls that churn out two-dollar plates of spicy peanut butter noodles. Wachter incorporated that same “super-basic,” wickedly cheap late-night deliciousness on the ingredients we handed him.
“I wanted to do something simple enough so you could do it if you were drunk.”
Spicy peanut butter noodles and blackberry waffles
Along with the four required ingredients, this recipe calls for udon noodles, a small yellow onion, one clove of garlic, a container of blackberries, sugar, a splash of rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and take-out packets of sauces soy and plum.
Start by finely dicing the onion and garlic. Cook in the bottom of a small pot with hot sesame oil. Add about a quarter of a cup of peanut butter (measurements, like best before dates, only loosely matter here). Squeeze in some of the Sriracha along with the vinegar and sauce packets. Add a little water just to make the mixture more workable.
Once everything’s incorporated, throw in the fresh udon noodles straight from the package. Stir together until hot and empty into a serving bowl. Thinly slice the pepperoni, fanning it out on the noodles.
For the accompanying side, toast the waffles until crispy. Wachter used his giant wood-fired pizza oven, but a toaster works too. Heat the blackberries in a pan with a spoonful of sugar. Don’t overcook.
Once the waffles are crisp enough to hold up, place the berries on top and drizzle over the syrup from the bottom of the pan. Dust with icing sugar, or top with whipped cream if you’re feeling fancy.
How’s it taste?
Like the drunken, sophisticated PB&J combo of your dreams. Wachter really nailed that early-morning, post-bar hunger game where the craving for greasy and spicy says hello to demands for a sugary breakfast. The peanut-butter noodles on their own were a layered, spicy treat. Coupled with the syrupy blackberries and toasted waffles, the meal was offensively good. The kind of gourmet concoction that makes one wonder what other delicious dishes can be assembled from the scraps in their fridge.
What did you eat in university?
Udon, because who’s got time for ramen? “I’m not going to waste my time heating them up, putting boiling water on them,” says Wachter. “These you can eat just right out of the package.”
The Dalhousie graduate also recommends hanging onto those extra packets of soy or plum sauce that come with takeout orders to add some free flavour to home cooking during the lean months of the school year.
“By November you’re running out of student loan money, so you gotta fend for yourself,” he says. “You gotta be like a hustler.”