Black Pepper Chicken

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Chinese takeout is one of my favorite kitchen cheats, but with recipes like this, I can prepare the salty deliciousness myself. Yes, friends, this is another fakeout-takeout recipe. I will admit that Panda Express got me through my long Tuesdays on campus at Cal State Long Beach. I would arrive at 9am and my last class would end at 10pm. Truly, I owe my degree to Panda for fueling me through my last semester. Upon graduation, I needed to find a way to satisfy my Tuesday cravings. That is where the adventure for this recipe began. Before I knew it I was whipping it up myself! This recipe is fairly easy and features that super savory pepper sauce. If you don’t feel like fussing with fresh ginger, you can substitute it with ground ginger powder. However, I will advise that it’s very much worth fussing over the fresh stuff.  Recipe For.png

*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Recipe adapted from https://sweetcsdesigns.com/panda-express-black-pepper-chicken-copycat-recipe/

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Eggroll Soup

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Friends, we have made it through the blistering summer. As we approach cooler nights I am inspired to cook a big pot of soup. If you’ve been following this recipe blog for a while you’ll know that I’ve not done a great job of posting consistently. This means I have about a year’s worth of goodies stashed away to get up on this site. The recipe you find here is one that has become a family favorite during my absence.  It satisfies the craving for Chinese take-out while also packing in veggies. The added bonus for my family is that Perry, my husband, gets to take a few servings for lunch to warm and fuel him up after a long morning of diving in the chilly Pacific. This soup features the flavor you’d find in traditional eggrolls with a nice crunch from wonton toppers. Cut the sodium by using vegetable broth or low sodium chicken broth and you’ve got yourself a hearty and healthy dinner option. Also, add any additional vegetables that appeal to you. Some ideas include mushrooms, bean sprouts, and even diced water chestnuts. Truly, you can tailor this soup to your taste.

Serves:  8-10    Time:  45 minutes   

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil, I prefer olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 6 cloves of garlic (you know me, I use an excess of garlic. If you are not a garlic fan cut this back to 3 cloves)
  • 1 small green savoy cabbage, sliced into bite-sized strips
  • 8-10 cups of vegetable or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp ginger, ground
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • Optional: wonton salad toppers (you’ll find these by the croutons at the grocery store), sriracha for heat

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, cook the pork over medium heat for about 6 minutes or until lightly browned. Once cooked, remove the pork from the pot and set aside.
  2. To the same pot, add the cooking oil and onion, sauteing for about 6 minutes.
  3. Add carrots and garlic, sauteing for an additional 2 minutes
  4. Add the cabbage, broth, ginger and cooked pork. Stir to combine.
  5. Continue to cook the soup until it starts to simmer. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Stir in the sesame oil before serving.
  7. Top with optional wonton strips and/or sriracha and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me.

**Recipe adapted from https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/egg-roll-soup/

 

 

Baked Orange Chicken

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Every few months I get a hankering for breaded, fried, and saucy chicken nuggets. That’s really just a round about way of saying I am addicted to orange chicken. I finally tried recreating this recipe at home. While it can be a treat to order take-out, we live on a pretty tight budget. I also love experimenting with recipes I love, so it was a lot of fun to play with these ingredients. These morsels are perfectly tangy and sweet with a perfect crunch. The best part, these babies are oven baked! No hot oil is required for this recipe saving your skin from oil burns and arteries from clogging. You are all very welcome 🙂 I must give credit to Just a Taste whose original recipe was adapted to form this one.

Serves: 6     Time: 30 minutes     Calories: 623/serving

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • a pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 3 cups of Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp cooking oil, I used canola
  • 2-3 tbsp minced garlic (Refine this to your tastes. I love garlic so I went for 3)
  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce.
  • 1 (18oz) jar of orange marmalade
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce, I used “lite” soy sauce
  • 1-2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (Refine this to your tastes, we like spicy so I used 2. If you don’t like spice leave this ingredient out).
  • sesame seeds for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 and line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Cut up chicken into bite size pieces
  3. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, and pepper. Put the chicken into the bowl and toss it to coat the chicken.
  4. Pour milk into a small bowl and the Panko crumbs to a large bowl or plate.
  5. Working one piece of chicken at a time, dredge chicken in  milk then roll it in the Panko breadcrumbs. Once coated in breadcrumbs place each piece onto the foil lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake the chicken for 10 minutes, flip them, then bake for an additional 10 minutes. (You’ll bake for 20 minutes or until fully cooked and nicely browned).
  7. While the chicken is baking, heat sesame and cooking oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic and ginger stirring for a minute or two until fragrant and golden.
  8. Add the hoisin, marmalade, soy sauce and crushed pepper flakes to the garlic/ginger mixture. Stir frequently while cooking over low heat for about 5 minutes.
  9. If you are planning to have left overs, take only the chicken you plan to eat and dunk them in the sauce. Let the other chicken pieces cool and put them in an airtight container and then in the fridge. Store extra sauce in a separate container. When you plan to eat the left overs, bake the chicken at 450 degrees F in the oven and heat up the sauce. Baking the chicken will ensure that the breadcrumbs become crispy once more.
  10. If you are planning to eat all of the chicken pieces, put the chicken in a large bowl and pour the sauce over it. Turn over the chicken to make sure all pieces are coated.
  11. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from Just a Taste

 

Pork Potstickers

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I don’t always need a big dinner to satisfy my cravings. Actually I am quite happy with substituting a bit of “finger foods” for a whole meal. That is what we did with these. I made a large batch and froze what we did not immediately use. This worked out great because not only did we get more dinners out of it but it also hit the spot when we wanted a late night snack. Just fry up a few of these and you’re good to go! This recipe offers a blast of flavor. It is sweet, salty and spicy. The pork is tender with crispy bits of cabbage an onions all wrapped in a crunchy pan fried shell. I’ve always find these as a treat when we go out to eat but I am happy that now I am able to have a stock in my freezer to enjoy whenever I want.

Serves: approximately 36 potstickers     Calories: 65/potsticker     Time: 30-45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1.5 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha, or more if you like it hot
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 36 circular wonton wrappers,
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine pork, cabbage, garlic, green onions, hoisin sauce, ginger, sesame oil, Sriracha and white pepper.
  2. Place a wrapper on a clean and dry work surface. Place 1 tablespoon of the pork mixture into the center of each wrapper. Gently rub the edges of the wrapper with a little bit of water. Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape, pinching the edges to seal. Continue this process with wrappers until you run out of mixture.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add potstickers in a single layer and cook until golden and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Serve immediately with soy sauce, additional sriracha sauce or any sauce you like and Enjoy!
  5. If you want to freeze your overstock of potstickers line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and lay the potstickers in a single layer. Freeze for an hour or two before transferring to a Ziploc bag. We do this to keep the potstickers from sticking together and breaking apart when you reheat them.
  6. When reheating the frozen potstickers defrost them and cook according to step 3.

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from http://damndelicious.net

Baked Chicken Chimichangas

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I’ve had a hankering for Mexican food and decided to try for some chimichangas. The problem was that chimichangas are not good for the diet so I had to search far and wide for a good healthier recipe. Thanks to http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com I found a better way to make this old favorite. The one thing Perry suggested which I will definitely do next time is to splurge and make some guacamole to go with it.

Serves: 6    Calories: 367

Ingredients:

– 2 cups of cooked chicken, shredded

– 1 cup of salsa, this is where your own personal taste comes in

– 1 tsp ground cumin

– 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves

– 1 cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese

– 2 green onions chopped

– 6-8in flour tortillas

– Low fat cooking spray

– Whatever you want to put on top like sour cream, salsa, guac etc..

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 400

2.) Mix chicken, salsa, cumin, oregano, cheese and onions.

3.) Put about 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture into the center of each tortilla

4.) Fold opposite sides over filling. Roll from the bottom and place seam-side down on your baking sheet.

5.) Spray very lightly with cooking spray

6.) Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

7.) Get as crazy as you want with your toppings and enjoy!

*Original recipe found at http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com

**Photo is an original taken by me

Pad Thai – Fakeout Takeout

ImageJust about every time we go out for Thai food I get Pad Thai. Something about those pea-nutty noodles get me every time. I was extremely excited to try this recipe at home. I did not think it re-heated in the microwave very well the next day so if you do leftovers with this one try to reheat it stove top if you can. You’ll notice I do not use tofu in this recipe which is usually in a Pad Thai so please feel free to check out the original recipe at myrecipes.com and add any of your favorites that aren’t listed. You can’t go wrong if you throw in things you like!

Serves: 6   Calories: 372 per serving

Ingredients:

– 1/2 pound of dry rice noodles, 1/4 inch wide

– 3 tbsp canola oil

– 3 large garlic cloves, minced

– 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

– 1/4 cup fish sauce

– 1/4 cup of rice vinegar

– 2 tbsp. brown sugar

– 2 tsp. paprika

– 6 scallions, cut into 2 inch pieces

– 2 cups of bean sprouts (you can get these canned in the Asian foods aisle)

– 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and sliced

– 1/4 cup of peanuts, chopped

– 1 lime, cut into wedges for serving

Directions: 

1.) Cover the noodles with warm water and soak for 30 to 45 minutes or until softened but not mushy. Drain and discard the water.

2.) In a wok or large pot heat the oil over medium-high.

3.) Add the garlic and stir-fry 15 seconds.

4.) Add the eggs and scramble.

5.) Fold in the softened noodles, fish sauce, vinegar, 1/4 cup water, brown sugar, and paprika and toss for about 2 minutes or until well combined.

6.) Add the scallions and bean sprouts and heat through. Pile onto a large platter and garnish with the red pepper, peanuts, and wedges of lime.

7.) Enjoy!

*Photo is an original taken by me
** Original recipe found at http://www.myrecipes.com