Saturday, February 20, 2010

crazy good hot shrimp peanut salad

this qualifies as a quick meal that is out of this world good. i love thai food and this seems to compensate for the fact that i have found only one thai restaurant in my area. :(

butter lettuce
1 lb shrimp (i used cooked tail on)
rice sticks

peanut sauce

1 TB fresh chopped ginger
1 c. water
1/2 c. hoisin sauce (your asian isle should have this, even my podunk town had it)
3 TB. creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 TB sugar

Over medium heat combine all ingredients until thick. it took about 6-7 minutes for me.

cook your rice sticks. i used peanut oil for mine. get it to 400 degrees and it will only take 5 seconds for them to puff up. turn them over so the other side can get puffy as well. remove immediately and place on a paper towel to drain.

lay a bed of lettuce, combine the shrimp with the peanut sauce and make sure it is warm. drizzle that generously over the lettuce, using the sauce as dressing and top with rice sticks and sesame seeds.

this was as my husband said, ridiculous good. it does possibly require a thai food love.

Friday, February 19, 2010

gyoza dipping sauce

gyoza dipping sauce

1/3 c soy sauce
3 t. sesame oil
2 t sugar
2 t rice wine vinegar
1 t fresh chopped ginger

mix together and store in fridge until ready to dip.


if you can't tell, i have been craving asian food of all types as of late. i mean, really, really needing asian food. my grocery list this week was all entirely made of asian food ingredients. i have perused recipes and combined and changed and well, here you go.


gyoza wrappers
sesame oil
2 c. chopped cabbage
1-2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1/2 c. chopped carrots
1 TB. fresh finely chopped ginger root
1/2 lb. ground pork ( i used jimmy dean sausage)
1/2 lb. ground beef
1 egg
salt and pepper

combine the above ingredients in a bowl. i used my hands to incorporate this. over a medium heat skillet cook above mixture until meat is no longer pink.

let cool before you place them in gyoza wrappers.

i used the round wrappers. wet the edges of the wrapper with water and place a teaspoon of the mixture in the wrapper. seal the edges pinching the seam until you have a pretty half moon shape. we used an entire package of wrappers and still had some left over meat mixture.

in a pan over medium-high heat coat the bottom of your pan with the sesame oil. now, you can use a vegetable oil, but the sesame infuses it with a rich flavor. once it is hot, place the gyoza in to to brown on the bottoms. once the bottoms have browned turn them over so the browned side is looking at you. add enough water to give these a shallow bath to steam in. cover the pan and allow the gyoza to steam and cook the wrapper, maybe 2 minutes. the water will be evaporated when they are done. if you put too much water in that is okay too. take them out after about 2-3 minutes of steaming.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

orange chicken

i was slobbering over at tastespotting today. i typed in asian and some really beautiful things came up. for dinner tonight i settled on the orange chicken. it was absolutely divine. so much better than a restaurant, even panda express. the best part was that it was super fast. the original recipe called for battering your own chicken. i opted out of this to stick with a quick and easy night. i used the chicken fingers you can get at costco. they started carrying these at my costco about a year ago. they are made by simmons. the best part is that they are the kind they use in restaurants, not the greasy gal bladder attack balls. at only 7 grams of fat a serving, they are great to have on hand for wraps, pasta and now, orange chicken. i am also a label checker, a very serious label checker. so that will tell you that the ingredient list for these tenders is not a mile long, it is really simple with no horrible preservatives you can't pronounce. in fact, i knew everything on the list.

orange chicken (with my own revisions)

1 1/2 c. water
1 TB orange juice concentrate
1 TB fresh squeezed orange juice (you can omit both of these for 2 TB reg. orange juice)
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/3 c. rice vinegar
2 1/2 TB. soy sauce
1 TB orange zest
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 t. fresh ginger
1/2 t. fresh garlic
2 TB green onion
3 TB corn starch
2 TB water

Combine the water, orange and lemon juice, rice vinegar and soy sauce over medium heat. Once combined add zest, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and green onion. ( you can add some hot pepper flakes at this point if you want some heat. 1 tsp.)

Bring all of these ingredients to a boil.

In a separate bowl combine the cornstarch and water and pour in to the sauce over the stove.
Boil constantly whisking until it turns thick or coats the back of a spoon.

Add the cooked chicken strips cut into 1 inch chunks to the sauce. Serve this hot, the sauce gets super sticky the second it cools just a little. Serve over rice.

I know these aren't everyday ingredients, but it is worth putting on your menu and getting the ingredients, so YUMMY! and yes, better than PANDA!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


It's that time again for making citrus desserts! Winter is a great time to buy citrus fruits, not only because they are in season and affordable, but also because they brighten up the dreary winter days. I just made some lovely lemon bars and their bright flavor made me happy (I need all the brightness I can get during these winter days)!
I found this recipe on The bars are really simple to make and I was very pleased with the taste - not overly sweet or tart, but just right. I hope you enjoy!

1/2 cup of unsalted butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about two large lemons)
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
powdered sugar

For the crust: cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour and salt and beat until the dough just comes together. Press into the bottom of your greased pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool while you make the filling.

For the filling: beat the sugar and eggs until nice and smooth. Add the lemon juice and zest and stir to combine. Stir in the flour. Pour the filling over the shortbread crust and bake for about 20 minutes, or until filling is set. Place on wire rack to cool. Cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar. Makes about 16 small squares.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

non-bakers bread

OK, so I am not a great baker. I love all the yummy confections bakers make but I have never had a mixer and I often skip dessert. I do love home made bread and as soon as my budget will afford I would love to have a great standing mixer on my counter. My friend Lili, who gives me a lot of great recipes, just passed on one of my new faves. This bread is so easy!!! Even my mixer less kitchen can do it. I love it too because it takes less time from start to finish than my staple, Sunday Rhodes rolls. It is also very delicious. It is so good I promise you will think it is straight from the Macaroni Grill.

Mix together with a spoon
2 Cups warm water
1 Tbs. yeast
1 Tbs sugar

4 cup flour
2 tsp salt

Let rise in bowl with a rag over it for 40 min. to 1 hour until doubles in size. Pinch dough in half roll into two little balls (about the size of a soft ball). Grease cookie sheet and spread corn meal over grease. Set your two dough balls on the cookie sheet. Let rise another 45 min. covered. Melt about 1 Tbs. of butter and brush on tops of dough.

bake at 425 degrees F. for 10 min. Reduce heat to 375 degrees F. Bake for another 15-20 minutes.

We like to slice it in wedges and eat it with salads or dinner. I think it would also be good with balsamic and EVOO for dipping.