Friday, January 21, 2011

Smoky-Hot Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry (based on

I continue my Asian kick, although I changed things up and went back to Food and Wine magazine. I added a bunch of bell peppers, as the original recipe had no vegetables, and they were what I had on hand. Quick and easy...enjoy!

Smoky-Hot Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry (based on

In a medium bowl, toss:

1 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine

Let stand for 1 hour. In a wok, heat:

2 tablespoons peanut oil


10 dried red chiles

Stir-fry them over moderate heat until they begin to darken, about 1/2 minute on each side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a plate. Add:

1 red bell pepper, cut lengthwise, and in half
1 yellow bell pepper, cut lengthwise, and in half
1 orange bell pepper, cut lengthwise, and in half

Stir-fry to slightly soften vegetables, but you still want them to be crisp, only about 2 minutes. Remove from the pan, transfer to a bowl.

Add half of the chicken; stir-fry over high heat until the chicken pieces are lightly browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to the plate with the chiles. Repeat with the second batch.

Return the chicken and chiles to the wok. Add:

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh ginger

Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add:

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

Stir-fry until the chicken is lightly caramelized, about 1 minute. Add the vegetables, as well as:

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons snipped chives

Stir-fry until the sauce is just thickened, about 30 seconds. Serve immediately.

Note: If you do not like a strong taste of ginger, cut the ginger in half, or even down to 1 Tablespoon. It was the one thing Matthew mentioned about the dish, otherwise, another success!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry with Asparagus

I will have many more recipes coming your way, but after making several asian dishes, I found that there are a few typical ingredients in all of them that I use in almost all of them...therefore, today, I made my own recipe, from scratch, all on my own, and I just had to post!

It was awesome, and I have no idea what Matthew thinks of it, yet, but it was so good, I had to post it immediately! It is made for 1 person with leftovers, or 2 people with no leftovers....

Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry with Asparagus

Pound out:

1 chicken breast

Mix together:

1 chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 T. potato starch ( which is what I had on hand, although you can use corn starch)
1 T. rice wine (if you don't have any rice wine, a light white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc can be used as substitute)

Put into the refrigerator, while you cut:

1 bunch asparagus, cut in 1 inch pieces (any vegetable will work... broccoli, bell peppers, whatever, this is what I had on hand)

Heat a pan with:

1 T. peanut oil

Once hot, add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Not totally done, but close to it. Transfer to a plate.

Add to the pan:

3 dry chilies

Cook 30 seconds on each side. Cook no more than 1 minute on each side, or the chilis will burn. Transfer the chili to the plate with the chicken. To the pan add:

1 T. chopped garlic
1 T. chopped fresh ginger

Cook 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add:

1 bunch asparagus, chopped (or whatever vegetable you decide to use)
1/4 c. chicken stock

Cook for about 2 minutes, shaking the pan regularly. Add:

1 T. chili oil

Cook for about 30 seconds, until incorporated. Add chicken. Add:

1 T. soy sauce
1 T. light brown sugar
1 T. rice vinegar

Cook on low heat for approximately 3-5 minutes.

Serve with rice, or alone, if you are trying to decrease carbs.  If this is the case, add more of a variety of vegetables; you won't feel like you are missing the rice, at all! So yummy, as far as I am concerned!

UPDATE: Matthew liked it, but found it too spicy. I would remove the chili oil the next time I made this. Otherwise, the flavors were fantastic!

UPDATE: I have made this recipe so many times since I first published it; it is our go-to Asian dinner recipe.  I wanted to note a few things I have found:

  • If you don't want it to be spicy at all, simply eliminate the chilies and chili oil.  It won't change the flavor, just the heat.  
  • Something to notice on this recipe is that everything has a 1:1 ratio.  If you use 3 chicken breasts, just increase the potato starch and rice wine coating by 3 and the soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar sauce by 3.  The garlic and ginger should be increased based on preference, which brings me to the next note...
  • My husband is not as big of a fan of ginger in dishes as I am, so although I may increase the amount of garlic I use, I always keep the amount of ginger the same, and sometimes less.  Although ginger is a key ingredient in Asian cuisine, if you reduce the amount you add, it won't ruin the dish.
  • Although I have it in the main body of the recipe, I want to emphasis to please experiment with the vegetables you use.  I have used matchstick carrot pieces, bok choy, red peppers, snap peas, green beans, bean sprouts, etc. 

Pork Pot Stickers (based on The Take-Out Menu Cookbook) with Dipping Sauce

Matthew and I met at Stoney River in Deerfield, and this year it closed. It was a sad New Year's, but I enjoyed spending it with people that were part of the journey of our relationship. New Year's Eve was the last day it was open, so my friends and I decided to spend our evening there. However, they were coming over to my house before we went there, so I made a few appetizers. I was continuing to experiment with my new cookbook, The Take-Out Menu Cookbook, so I founda few recipes that looked good: Pot Stickers and Egg Rolls. The Pot Stickers turned out well, the Egg Rolls were okay, not a success in Matthew's book.

Below is the Pot Sticker recipe...they were all gone by the next morning, although Matthew finished them off late, after he came home...they are better fresh, in his opinion. I wouldn't know...I gobbled them up while they were still hot!

Pork Pot Stickers

In a large bowl, combine:

2 C. red cabbage, finely chopped
1 lb. gound pork
2 T. green onion, minced (mine were just finely chopped, and they worked out fine)
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. minced cilantro
1 (1-inch) knob fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 T. fresh chives, minced
1 T. rice wine or dry sherry (I used rice wine)
1 T. toasted sesame oil
1 T. light brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 garvic clove, minced

Work the ingredients with your hands until completely mixed.

Cover with a damp cloth:

1 (12-ounce) package dumpling wrappers

Place one wrapper on a work surface. With a finger dipped in water, dampen the edges of the wrapper to help it adhere. Place about 1 T. of the filling into the center of each wrapper and fold it in half. With your finger, dampen the two corners with water and fold to the center of the dumpling. Arrange the dumplings on a parchment-lined sheet pan, so as not to stick to the pan. Assemple the remaining dumplings in the same manner.

Heat a large frying pan with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat and add:

1/4 c. peanut oil

When the oil is hot, add the dumplings to the pan and fry them on one side until browned, approximately 3 minutes. YOu want some space between the dumplings, so don't add too many at a time. Shake the pan slightly to move the dumplings around during cooling and keep them from sticking. Add:

1 c. chicken stock

to the pan and cover the pan tightly so the pot stickers steam and cool through. Cook for about 5 minutes. Transfer the dumplings to a heated platter.

Dipping Sauce

In a small bowl, combine:

1/4 c. soy sauce
2 T. rice vinegar
1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1/4 tsp. chile oil
1 garlic clove, minced

Let the sauce sit for at least 5 minutes to let the flavors blend.
Before serving, garnish with chives. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Round Tip Roast Leftovers

After making the wonderful rond tip roast, I knew we wouldn't want to continue to eat it the same way, night after night, until it was gone. So, instead, I made a fantastic sandwich...I used the roast I made earlier in the week, and put this together:

French roll
Sliced Tomato
Romaine or Head Lettuce
So yummy! A great use for leftover beef! Yummy all around!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Back-to-Basics Round Tip Roast

It's been a while, and I have been cooking up a storm, but I have not been posting, so there are going to be a lot of recipes put up in the next few start, I went to the store and found round tip roast for a fantastic price!!! Although I wasn't planning on making that for dinner, I wasn't sure what I was making, so I thought, why not? I will figure out something once I get home. Soooooo...I searched the internet, but there really isn't much for recipes on round tip roast...what to do? Call my mother-in-law!!! Simple and very tasty, she helped me, again, get Back-to-Basics:
Note: All of this is "To Taste". There was little to no measuring.

Back-to-Basics Round Tip Roast
1-3.5 to 4 lb. round tip roast
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Chopped Garlic (I used the canned version)
  1. Put the round tip roast in a roasting pan.
  2. Pour a bit of oil on it and rub it into the roast.
  3. Add salt, pepper and garlic and rub until it in.
  4. Cover the roast and put it in the refrigerator. Heat the oven to 325. Leave the roast in the fridge until the oven is ready.
  5. Uncover the roast. Put in the oven. Cook for 15-20 minutes per lb. for rare to medium-rare.
  6. Take out the roast and put on a piece of marble or wooden cutting board to rest for about 15 minutes or so.

Note: The roast will continue to cook for about 15-20 minutes after it is taken out of the oven. If it looks too rare, wait. It will cook a bit more after it sits on the counter.

This was FANTASTIC!!! Simple, easy and yummy…and great for leftovers! Leftover hoagie to come!!!