Spicy Honey Walnut Shrimp and Egg Rolls

Spicy Honey Walnut Shrimp w/ Snow Peas

I haven’t been feeling inspired in the kitchen lately. I’ve been kind of lost, just wandering around peeking in cupboards and behind boxes and jars. Kind of like Winnie-the-Pooh when he woke up and couldn’t find his hunny pot.
I could blame it on the weather. I naturally gravitate toward heavier comfort food that isn’t always appealing during the summer. My garden was a great source of inspiration last summer. I’m sure it will be the same again, but it will be a while before I harvest any rewards from it. Meanwhile I’m waiting for the lightning bolt of inspiration to hit and drive away this foggy, uncertain thinking. I’m hoping I find my kitchen magic again, and soon, like Winnie-the-pooh who eventually, after some searching, found his missing hunny pot.

I have wanted to make honey walnut shrimp for a long time. Well, kind of. What stopped me before was it seemed to be a one-note dish; sweet shrimp with crunchy walnuts and little else to flavor it. Very delicious but I wanted more. Given my current state of mind this was perfect. Unfussy. Unpretentious.

I added red chilies for a little heat and snow peas for nutrition’s sake. The mayonnaise and condensed milk make it seem like a heavy dish, but it isn’t at all. It’s light and the thick, creamy, smooth sauce is sweet and nicely spiced. I served the shrimp over salad greens but craved rice when I was eating. Rice would have been more satisfying and been a nice texture to include with the succulent shrimp and crispy walnuts. And did I mention the egg rolls? Another first for me. The filling was made from shrimp, cabbage and for a nice bit of crunch – water chestnuts. They were little packages of lightly-fried, golden-brown goodness.

Spicy Honey Walnut Shrimp w/ Snow Peas

Spicy Honey Walnut Shrimp
(by Reeni)
For the walnuts:
1 cup walnut halves
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon honey
Pinch of Sea or Kosher salt
 For the shrimp:
1/2 cup mayonnaise (like Hellmann’s or Best Foods)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk or heavy cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 pound shrimp, cleaned
cornstarch
1 tablespoon vegetable/Canola oil
1 cup snow peas
2 small red Chile peppers, diced or cayenne pepper
Salad greens or rice, for serving
1. Toast the walnuts in a dry saute pan on low-medium heat for about five minutes. In separate bowl whisk the oil and honey together. Pour over the walnuts, toss, and saute another five minutes. Remove and spread on parchment. Sprinkle with salt.
2. In a large bowl whisk the mayo, honey, condensed milk, and lemon juice. Set aside.
3. In a large saute pan or wok heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the peppers for a 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle about a teaspoon of cornstarch over the shrimp and toss to coat. Add the shrimp and snow peas to the pan . Saute until shrimp start to curl. Remove from heat and add the shrimp to the bowl with the mayonnaise mixture. Toss until shrimp is coated well. Serve over salad greens or rice. Top with walnuts.

Shrimp Egg Rolls

Shrimp Egg Rolls
(by Reeni)
2 tablespoons Canola or Vegetable oil, plus more for frying
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece of ginger, minced
2 cups cabbage, shredded
3/4 cup carrot, shredded
1/4 cup bamboo shoots, thinly sliced
1 cup Water chestnuts, chopped
1/2 pound shrimp, chopped
1/3 cup green onion, chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
8 egg roll wrappers
1 egg, beaten
1. In a large saute pan add the oil, garlic, ginger, cabbage, carrot and bamboo shoots. Saute for about ten minutes until cabbage softens. Add the water chestnuts, shrimp, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Saute until shrimp are cooked. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
2. Keep a moist cloth over the wrappers and the egg rolls to prevent them from drying out. To fill place a wrapper with a corner facing you – like a diamond shape. Place about a 1/3 cup or so of the filling in the middle of the wrapper. Roll the corner closest to you over the filling. Brush the top corner with egg wash. Fold in the sides of the wonton and continue rolling the egg roll up until it is closed. Press to seal, using a little egg wash.
3. Fry 3-4 at a time in 2 inches of oil until golden brown, turning them with tongs. Drain on paper towels.
Dipping Sauce (great with dumplings, too)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 to 2 teaspoons sesame oil
Pinch of red pepper
1. Toast the sesame seeds over low-medium heat in a dry skillet until lightly golden brown. Set aside to cool.
2. Whisk the rest of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Add the cooled sesame seeds.

Spicy Honey Walnut Shrimp w/ Snow Peas

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Tyler’s Cold Sesame Noodles

Cold Sesame Noodles

The first time I ate cold sesame noodles was when I lived in Tucson. The gourmet sandwich shop where I worked made them extra spicy and kept them extra cold. They were perfect when it was 108 outside and just the thought of hot food made my stomach rumba. Never having made them myself I looked to Tyler for some help. I found what I was looking for in his Cold Sesame Noodle recipe that is heavy on the peanut butter and flavored with just the right amounts of soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, chili sauce and rice wine vinegar. Next time a heat wave hits you know where to find me. Standing in front of the open fridge with a fork in my sesame noodles.

Tyler Florence Fridays

This is my entry for Tyler Florence Fridays. A talented group of foodie bloggers who love Tyler…and his recipes.

Cold Sesame Noodles

Cold Sesame Noodles

Kosher salt
1 pound Chinese egg noodles or spaghetti
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon red chili sauce (recommended: Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
6 tablespoons water
2 scallions, sliced thin
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

1. Cook the noodles in large pot of boiling salted water over medium heat until barely tender and still firm.

2. Drain immediately and rinse with cold water until cool. Drain the noodles well and transfer to a wide bowl.

3. In a blender or food processor add the ginger, garlic, sugar, peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, chili sauce, sesame oil, and water. Process until the mixture is smooth.

4. Put the blender jar into the refrigerator and let it chill for about 1/2 hour. Pour
the peanut sauce over the noodles and toss until well coated.

5. Serve garnished with the scallions, sesame seeds, and cilantro.


Cold Sesame Noodles


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Chinese Cold Sesame Noodles

Tyler’s Asian Chicken Salad with Teriyaki Sauce

Asian Chicken Salad

For Tyler Florence Fridays this week I made his Asian Chicken Salad. Seared chicken breast with a gorgeous Teriyaki glaze of ginger, honey, toasty sesame seeds, and soy sauce served on a bed of grilled romaine. The grilled romaine was my twist on the recipe. Tyler serves his on raw zucchini, I added cucumber slices instead. When I was glazing the chicken as it cooked little drizzles were running down the side and caramelizing in the pan. I didn’t want that tasty caramel to go to waste. So, in another twist I added the rest of the glaze to the pan and lifted those tasty tidbits off the bottom. The result was a gelatinous glaze, with deep, rich flavors; slightly sweet with a hint of ginger and the very distinct soy flavor. What I really like about it was that the soy sauce wasn’t overwhelming; the sauce had a nice balance to it. The chicken was tender and juicy, the grilled romaine had a nice smoky flavor and the cucumbers added a nice, cool crunch. It made a really tasty, satisfying lunch for me today.

This is quick and fail-proof to cook and the recipe can be easily doubled or tripled.

Asian Chicken Salad

Crispy Asian Chicken Salad
(adapted from Tyler Florence Stirring the Pot, page 233)
(Serves 2)
Glaze:
1 1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
For the Chicken:
extra-virgin olive oil
1 large boneless chicken breast (skin on), halved (mine was skinless)
and pounded thin
For the salad:
Cucumber slices
Hearts of Romaine, lightly grilled
1/4 bunch fresh cilantro, for garnish
For the glaze combine the ginger, sesame seeds, sesame oil, honey, and soy sauce in a small bowl and whisk to mix. Set aside.
In a large saute pan heat a 2-count of olive oil (about 2 tablespoons) over medium heat. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the breasts (skin
sides down) in the pan and sear for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden. Turn the breasts over and using a pastry brush liberally brush the glaze on top of the skin. At this point Tyler puts his in the oven to finish* but I let mine cook through right in the pan. Let cook for a few minutes, flip again and baste. When cooked through remove from the chicken from the pan. Add the rest of the glaze and bring just to a simmer while whisking, remove from heat.
*To finish in the oven: place the whole pan in the preheated oven and roast for 7 to 10 minutes, until chicken juices run clear (180f). Baste with glaze throughout cooking so the breast remains moist and tender. Let chicken stand until ready to serve the salad, then slice chicken.
Arrange romaine on a plate and top with sliced chicken breast. Add cucumber to plate and give it all a liberal dose of the glaze.

Grilled Romaine

If you would like to join TFF you can read about all the details on the Tyler Florence Fridays site.

Asian Chicken Salad

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Kung Pao Chicken: Spicy Chicken with Peanuts

Kung Pao Chicken

I love Chinese food! What I don’t love is the inconsistent food I get from my favorite Chinese restaurant.  The food has always spot on in the past but lately has been hit-or-miss. So when my Mom made this Kung Pao Chicken recipe out of the book she was reading Why the Chinese Don’t Count Calories I was thrilled!

I have only eaten Kung Pao once or twice before and wasn’t impressed with it. This version is so much better! This I am crazy over.

Kung Pao chicken is a Sichuan classic. If you order this here in America you are most likely getting a dish that has strayed far from the traditional dish. My Mom did an excellent job of staying true to the original recipe. This was positively delicious, sweet and sour with a spicy heat that creeps up on you. That’s the best kind of heat, one that doesn’t overpower your taste buds and allows you to taste the flavors in the food. This is a recipe to rival any Chinese take-out. And will be revisited again and again in our house.

Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken/Gong bao ju ding/Spicy Chicken with Peanuts
(adapted from Why the Chinese Don’t Count Calories by Lorraine Clissold page 109)
For the chicken
2 cups chicken breast
3/4 cup roasted peanuts
2 teaspoon beaten egg or egg white
3 teaspoon corn flour or cornstarch
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon white wine
Supporting vegetables
1 tablespoon spring/green onion(we added extra), cut in 1/2 pieces
3-4 cloves garlic, sliced
4-6 fine slices ginger, each cut into quarters
3-6 dried red chilies, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns(we used black)
For the sauce mix
2 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoon sugar
3 teaspoon red rice vinegar
1 teaspoon cooking wine
1-2 tablespoon of a 1-2 cornflour and water mix(we used cornstarch)
1-2 tablespoon additional water
salt to taste
1 and 1/2 tablespoon oil
Brown rice, for serving
Cube the chicken breast in small pieces a little bigger than the peanuts. Sprinkle them with salt and wine and mix well with egg/egg white and cornflour. Make sure they are coated but not sloppy.
Mix together the sauce ingredients.
To cook, heat the wok to a high heat, add the oil, swirl around, and fry the chilies and peppercorns for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the chicken, garlic, ginger, and onion.Stir-fry these to allow the flavor to come out, then add the peanuts.
Add the liquid ingredients (stirring first to dissolve the cornflour) and allow it to come to the boil stirring gently. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes, to thicken, and then add additional liquid until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. Add extra salt to taste, mix well, remove from heat, and serve over rice
if desired.

Kung Pao Chicken

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