Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chinese Take In!

What's for dinner tonight?

I  LOVE making ethnic foods. We eat foods from all over the world. Tonight our taste buds traveled to China. I made egg rolls, vegetable lo mien, pineapple chicken (not exactly Chinese but close enough), and steamed brown rice. It was very fun to make and relatively easy. I aslo am very proud to only have burned myself once!  

Vegetable Lo Mien

3 Carrots sliced on the diagonal
3 ribs of celery sliced on the diagonal
1 small onion sliced into half moon slivers
1  small zucchini sliced on the diagonal
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 cup frozen pre sliced multi colored bell peppers (you can find them in most grocery stores in the frozen veggie isle)
1 package of lo mien noodles or 3 packets of Ramen noodles cooked (you can use the seasoning packet but it really ups the sodium content of the dish)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Heat a large skillet on med/high heat. When skillet is hot add olive oil. Do not use extra virgin olive oil, it has a low smoke point and is best used for salad dressings, plain old olive oil is fine. Saute onions, celery, and carrots until slightly soft. add zucchini garlic and peppers. Continue cooking until veggies are cooked, not soft. You want them to have a bite to them. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil. Coat veggies well. Add noodles and toss well. Serve hot.

 Pineapple Chicken

1 quart of veggie oil for deep frying in whatever pot you use for deep frying. I have a 3 quart soup pot that works great. Don't forget a thermometer to be sure your oil is at 350 when it's time to fry the chicken.
2 Boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size chunks
2 eggs well beaten
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 crushed garlic clove
1 cup cornstarch divided
1/2 onion chopped
1 carrot sliced on the diagonal
1 rib celery sliced on the diagonal
1/2 cup frozen sliced bell peppers
1 can chunk pineapple drain and reserve juice

1 tablespoon vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon soy sauce
reserved pineapple juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch

I know it looks like a ton of ingredients... trust me it's not hard, but the recipe does make a lot of dishes, just to warn you. The first thing you want to do in marinate the chicken. in a large bowl mix the eggs, soy sauce, garlic and chicken. Let it marinate for about 10 minutes. I always get the chicken going and while it's hanging out I prep the veggies and make the sauce. Heat your oil to 350. In a second bowl put in half of your cornstarch. With a fork fish out the chicken and toss them in the cornstarch and place on a plate. After you have coated all the chicken put it back in the egg stuff. Put the other half of the cornstarch in the bowl. Repeat the coating so the chicken had two coats of egg and cornstarch. In small batches deep fry the chicken pieces. Since you are using cornstarch the chicken won't get too brown so it's easy to over cook it. about 4 minutes in the oil is long enough. You can put your cooked chicken on a bunch of paper towels to drain but I like putting a cooling rack in a baking sheet and draining it that way. Once the chicken is all fried it's time to move on to the veggies. First make up the sauce. combine all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. In a large skillet(if you have a wok by all means, use it!) Heat about a teaspoon of veggie oil and saute the veggies until they are about done, you want them to have a bite to them. toss in the pineapple and saute until the pineapple is heated through. add the sauce and stir until it thickens up. Cut the heat and add the chicken and toss to coat the chicken. Serve hot!!

I served the meal with plain brown rice that I made in the rice cooker. I thought it would be fun for the kids to kind of decorate the dining room up a bit an eat from nice plate so I pulled out the "good stuff" We ate a=our rice from the finger bowls. I thought it would be cute.

Here is the place setting, simple but elegant.

Our meal was super yummy and oh so fun to eat with chopsticks. I hope you have fun with your own Chinese night. Here is the table. Looks so good I can't wait to make it again. The best part is when it's all done, the hubby did the dishes! What a lucky girl am I!!

*Disclaimer- I do not profess to be a food photographer but that being said the pictures turned out ok. Also the egg rolls were from the store. I do know how to make them but that is a job for another day and another blog post!)


Dielle said...

Ooh, looks yummy!

OUR CLAN said...

You are really quiet and amazing woman! I am sure you are inspiring your girls to be wonderful homemakers, and I know your hubby loves it too. Matter of fact, you are inspiring me too!!


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