In 2011, I’ve been experimenting with trying to plan a week’s worth of meals for the family and then taking one grocery shopping trip for the week (to limit cost, time, etc.). Meal planning so far: successful. Limiting to one trip per week: failure. For this week (8.22-28) I ended up with a dinner menu where each meal happens to come from another culture in a different part of the world. So for fun, I will post pictures, the occasional recipe, and point you to others as I can. enjoy!
Monday: general tso’s chicken + garlic noodles + broccoli
I have a craving for PF Chang’s garlic noodles, so I bummed their recipe (or an approximation). Here’s a good broccoli recipe for starters. The kung pao chicken – well, I tinker around with it but I have had this recipe for a couple years now. It is not original with me, and I’m sorry to say that I do not know where I found it. (If you know, please tell me so I can attribute it!)
[A couple modifications: I think this serves 4, not 2-3. I prefer (on this one) to use breast meat, not thighs – and I cut them in 1/2-1 inch cubes, not strips. I don’t fry things, so I saute it on high heat in two batches using 2t-1T oil. I don’t use a wok – I use a large non-stick skillet to max cooking area. I also use regular flour, throw in 1/2 cup of honey roasted peanuts with the garlic/chiles, and watch the chiles for your own preferred level of heat. Really good chile-garlic paste makes anything happy.]
general tsoâ€™s chicken (seves 2-3)
for the sauce:
1 T double concentrate tomato paste, mixed with 1 T water
Â½ t potato flour
Â½ t dark soy sauce
1Â½ t light soy sauce
1 T rice vinegar
3 T chicken stock or water
for the chicken:
12 oz (4-5) skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Â½ t dark soy sauce
2 t light soy sauce
1 egg yolk
2 T potato flour
1 quart peanut oil, more as needed
6-10 dried red chiles
2 t finely chopped ginger
2 t minced garlic
2 t sesame oil
scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
- Make the sauce by combining all ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
- To prepare the chicken, unfold the chicken thighs and lay them on a cutting board. Remove as much of the sinew as possible. (If some parts are very thick, cut them in half horizontally.) Slice a few shallow crosshatches into the meat. Cut each thigh into roughly Â¼ inch slices and place in a large bowl. Add the soy sauces and egg yolk and mix well. Stir in the potato flour and 2 t peanut oil nd set aside. Using scissors, snip the chiles into Â¾ inche pieces, discarding the seeds. Set aside.
- Pour 3Â½ c peanut oil into a large wok, or enough oil to rise 1Â½ inches from the bottom. Set over high heat until the oil reaches 350 to 400 degrees. Add half the chicken and fry until crisp and deep gold, 3-4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate. Repeat with the second batch. Pour the oil into a heatproof container and wipe the wok clean.
- Place the wok over high heat. Add 2 T peanut oil. When hot, add the chiles and stir-fry for a few seconds, until they just start to change color. Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds longer, until fragrant. Add the sauce, stirring as it thickens. Return the chicken to the wok and stir vigorously to coat. Remove from the heat, stir in the sesame oil, and top with scallions. Serve with rice.