Tag Archives: dinner

Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken

Always a family favorite, this stir-fry comes together quickly for a last minute dinner.

Because the dried peppers are left whole in this recipe, it is not spicy. If you like a little more heat, simply cut up the peppers on your plate and eat them along with the stir-fry.

Szechuan peppercorns and Chinese black vinegar can be found in Asian markets or online. The peppercorns usually come whole. You can use any pepper mill/grinder to crush them. You can also use a small coffee grinder to grind the peppercorns.

RECIPE:

Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken

3 chicken breasts, diced
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs sherry
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp ground Szechuan peppercorns

2 Tbs oil
8-10 dried small red chilis (Arbols)
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
2-3 stalks celery, diced
1 small onion, diced
½ cup roasted peanuts
1 bunch green onions, sliced diagonally into 1 ½” pieces

Sauce:
1/3 cup chicken broth
3 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs sherry
1 Tbs Chinese black vinegar or rice vinegar
1 ½ Tbs cornstarch
1 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs sesame oil

Combine chicken with 2 Tbs soy sauce, 1 Tbs sherry, ginger, garlic, and ground peppercorns. Marinate 1 hour.

Combine sauce ingredients and set aside.

Heat 1 Tbs oil in large skillet or wok over high heat. Add whole dried chilis to hot oil and cook until they just begin to blacken. Remove chilis from oil and place in serving dish. Add vegetables to the hot oil in pan and cook over high heat until crisp-tender. Remove from pan and place in serving dish. Add additional 1 Tbs oil to pan. Add chicken to pan and cook over high heat until chicken is cooked through. Reduce heat to medium, add sauce to pan, and cook until thickened (2-3 mins). Stir in peanuts, green onions, vegetables and chilis. Heat for 1 minute.

Serve over rice.

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Thanksgiving: White or Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

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These white rolls are incredibly light and fluffy. Perfect for sopping up gravy, or spreading with cranberry sauce and filling with leftover turkey. The recipe is from one of my favorite food blogs: Our Best Bites. You could also shape them into crescents before baking.

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For a heartier roll: try this recipe for
Whole Wheat Honey Pull-Apart Rolls
:

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The whole wheat recipe is a simpler recipe than the white rolls, as it uses instant yeast (which only requires one rise) and there is no need to heat and then cool milk. But as they are made with 100% whole wheat, they are not as light and fluffy. I happen to prefer a hearty roll, but my kids prefer the white ones.

When making rolls for big gatherings I like to prepare and prebake them a few days ahead. To make and freeze: Bake rolls on a large parchment paper lined baking sheet, leaving a little more space between rolls than if they were in a 9×13”pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until rolls just barely begin to brown. Remove from oven. Cool. Place in Ziploc freezer bags. Freeze.

On serving day: Place frozen rolls on a baking sheet, bake for about 7-10 minutes, or until hot and golden brown. Brush tops with butter.

RECIPES:

dec 058-1

White Dinner Rolls
————(from Our Best Bites)

2 cups whole milk
½ cup + 1 Tbs sugar, divided
1/3 cup (5 1/3 Tbs) butter
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 pkg active dry yeast (or 4 1/2 tsp)
2/3 cup warm water
8-9 cups all-purpose flour
3 beaten eggs

Combine milk, 1/2 cup sugar, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until butter melts. Remove from heat. Allow to cool to lukewarm.

While the milk mixture is cooling, dissolve the yeast and 1 Tbs sugar in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups flour and milk mixture. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Add yeast mixture and beat on high for 3 minutes. Add beaten eggs.

Stir in as much remaining flour as needed to make a soft dough. This dough should be very soft–it will be coming away from the sides of the bowl, but it will still stick to your finger when you touch it. Place the bowl in a warm place and cover with a clean towel; allow to rise 1 hour.

Punch down dough. Lightly flour your work surface and turn dough out onto surface. Divide in half.

Spray 2 9×13 glass pans with cooking spray. (You can also use large baking sheets) Shape each half of dough into 12 balls and place in prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough in the second pan. (Dough can also be formed into crescent rolls by rolling each dough half into a circle and cutting into 12 wedges, then rolling up in crescent shape)

Cover with a clean cloth and allow to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. When dough has about 15-20 minutes to go, preheat oven to 375°F.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden-brown. When done, remove from oven. Rub a stick of cold butter over the tops of the rolls.

Yield: 24 rolls

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Whole Wheat Honey Rolls

2 ½ cups warm water
2 eggs
6 Tbs honey
¼ cup olive oil
5 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat gluten
¼ cup dry milk
1 Tbs salt
1 Tbs instant yeast ***
1 – 2 cups additional whole wheat flour

In a large mixing bowl (preferable a stand mixer), add wet ingredients. Add 5 cups flour, gluten, powdered milk, salt and yeast. Mix until well combined. Knead in enough additional flour so that dough just begins to form a ball. Knead for 5-6 minutes. Let dough rest for 10 minutes before shaping rolls.

Shape into balls (or other shape: knots are my favorite). Place in greased pans; brush with oil, cover and let rise until doubled in size. For a shiny roll: brush with slightly beaten egg  just before baking (or brush with butter immediately after removing from oven). Bake at 375°F for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown.

***Note: If using instant yeast, the dough only needs to rise once (after being shaped). If you are using regular yeast, allow dough to rise before shaping dough, then rise again in pans before baking.

Yield: about 3 dozen rolls

**To prebake for serving another day: Bake rolls on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving a little more space between rolls than if they were in a 9×13”pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until rolls just barely begin to brown. Remove from oven. Cool. Place in Ziploc freezer bags. Freeze.

On serving day: Place frozen rolls on a baking sheet, bake for about 7-10 minutes, or until hot and golden brown. Brush tops with butter.

 

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