Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Kung Pao Chicken

This recipe is awesome!  It satisfies my cravings for Chinese food!  Some homemade Chinese food recipes seem complicated and time consuming, but this one is not.  I've adapted this recipe from Blog Chef.  You can find the original recipe here.

I'm more of a mild girl than a spicy one.  I was hesitant with the red pepper flakes wondering if it would be too spicy for all of my kids, but it was just about right.  It was spicy, but not crazy spicy.  My kids all loved it.  If you're a super mild person you could add a little less.

This recipe will serve about 6.  Note to self:  When I make this again I'm going to need more chicken to feed my family.  I'll add another 6 tenders, or use chicken breasts.  I'll probably keep everything else the same, but use 1/2 cup peanuts instead.

12 - 13 chicken tenders (cut into 1" pieces)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons sesame oil
3 green onions, chopped (use all of it!)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup GF soy sauce
4 teaspoons sugar
1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts

Prepare chicken by cutting it into 1 inch pieces, and place in a bowl.   Make sure it is fresh, or completely defrosted.  Add cornstarch to chicken and toss to coat.

Heat sesame oil in a large saute pan or wok over medium heat.  Add chicken and stir-fry 5 - 7 minutes or until no longer pink inside.  Remove chicken from pan.

While chicken is cooking, in another small bowl make the sauce by combining rice vinegar, soy sauce and sugar.  Mix well.  (I like to use La Choy Lite soy sauce.)

Add green onions, garlic, red pepper flakes and powdered ginger to the pan and stir fry for 15 seconds.  Add the sauce and stir together.  Return the chicken to the pan and coat with the sauce.  Stir in roasted peanuts.  Heat thoroughly.  Top with additional green onions if desired and serve over rice.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Copycat P. F. Changs Lettuce Wraps

One of my favorite things at P. F. Changs is their lettuce wraps!  This recipe is quick and easy to make and it tastes just like it!  To save time I sometimes use already prepared fresh garlic and ginger.  The brand of Chili Garlic Sauce I use is Lee Kum Kee.  Walmart doesn't carry it, but I found it at Smiths Marketplace.  The original recipe calls for 1/2 can of water chestnuts, but if you like a little more crunch you can add the whole can.  Also, if you like it hotter, add more chili garlic sauce.  I've doubled this recipe and it works great!  

1 lb ground chicken breast
1/2 medium onion, minced
salt & pepper
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 inch nob fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 1/2 tablespoons GF soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
dash of fresh pepper
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 - 1, 8-ounce can water chestnuts
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
iceberg lettuce

Cook chicken & onion in a skillet, stirring often to break up the meat.  Season with salt and pepper.  When chicken is nearly done add in minced garlic and ginger and cook until chicken is no longer pink.

Meanwhile, combine sesame oil, soy sauce, water, peanut butter, honey, rice vinegar, chili garlic sauce and pepper in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 20 seconds and stir until smooth.  Pour into skillet and stir to combine.

Add green onion and water chestnuts into the skillet then cook for 1- 2 minutes until the onions are soft and the water chestnuts are heated through.  Serve with iceberg lettuce leaves.