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Brenda Stanley
Belle's Pad Thai offers lots of color, flavor and taste.

When I find a dish I like, I try to figure out how to make it at home. I am a complete homebody. I would much rather stay in and cook than go out. This makes holidays like Valentine’s Day and our anniversary very nice for my husband because the planning is already done. One of the few places I would make a point to go to was a wonderful barbecue restaurant that also served Thai food — a strange combination, but it really worked.

The problem is the couple who owned it retired and shut the restaurant down. This had me in a quandary. You see, I love Pad Thai, a dish of tender rice noodles and bits of egg and onion all smothered in a tangy, sweet, citrus sauce and topped with chopped cilantro and peanuts. But with that wonderful complex combination of flavors comes a lot of work to make it right.

So my quest for the perfect Pad Thai that didn’t make me want to throw things was on. And after many failed attempts, I finally have a recipe I can be proud of. It has all the wonderful flavors of my favorite Pad Thai but is super simple and takes no time to prepare. So plan that special evening and stay home and cook.

Belle’s Pad Thai

8 ounces dried, wide and flat rice noodles

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons lime juice, plus wedges for serving

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1/8 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce (more or less depending on how spicy you want it)

2 teaspoons oil

3 green onions, white and green parts, separated and thinly sliced

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 large eggs, beaten

½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

¼ cup roasted, salted peanuts, chopped

Soak noodles in warm water for about 30 minutes. Drain.

In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, lime juice, soy sauce and Sriracha.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.

Add scallion whites and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Add eggs and cook, scraping skillet with spatula until eggs are almost set (about 30 seconds). Transfer all to a plate.

Add noodles, scallion greens and sauce to skillet. Cook while tossing constantly until noodles are soft (about 1 minute). Add egg mixture and toss to coat, breaking eggs up gently. Serve with lime wedges, topped with cilantro and peanuts.

Brenda Stanley is the mother of five children, including two sets of twins, and a grandmother of three. She is a cookbook author and novelist. Her website is at talesofthedinnerbelle.com.