Oh wait?! Is it not the weekend yet? Well we couldn’t wait. Check out this one from The Garden of Eatin’…the most perfect weeknight meal!
Not sure if you are aware of this, but I’m a Chinese food fanatic. I grew up eating a load of egg rolls, sweet n’ sour chicken and oodles of noodles in my wonton soup. It was a family tradition to go to our favorite restaurant for Chinese food every Sunday. Every waiter knew us and would give us extra goodies for free during the meal (mostly because my dad was a heavy tipper – so essentially he paid for the free food by bribing the wait staff).
During the drive downtown, (which seems like an eternity ago) I would sit quietly in the back seat of my parents car playing with the window handle – yes – I am THAT OLD – there were no power windows in the car. I would pull the handle up, and pull that handle down, pretending I was an elevator operator – YES – once again I AM THAT OLD – There were elevator operators in stores back then. I wanted to be ONE! I loved the fact you could wear a cool outfit complete with white gloves and take people UP and DOWN all freakin’ day long. Ultimately, I ended up choosing a different career path – which is a good thing because those elevator operators are all out of jobs now.
Which brings me to today. I am still obsessed with Chinese food but not always impressed with take-out. What’s better than ordering in? THIS CHICKEN! It is easy to make, tastes great and is one of my favorite recipes of all time.
YOU GOTCHA SRIRACHA SWEET CHILI CHICKEN
Baked Sweet & Sour Sesame Sriracha Chicken
4 large chicken boneless breasts, washed dried and cubed
1 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp garlic salt & fresh ground pepper
2 – 3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
5 tbls ketchup
1 – 2 tbls Sriracha
2 – 3 tbls honey
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 tbls soy sauce
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tbls hoisin sauce
Mix all ingredients for sauce and set aside
Preheat oven to 325F. Take a large plastic zip bag and place cornstarch, garlic salt and a few good turns of pepper. Add cubed chicken, zip bag and shake well. In a separate bowl beat eggs. Drop your cubed and coated chicken ( shake off excess cornstarch first) into eggs and mix well to coat the chicken. In a large nonstick skillet heat 2 tbls of oil and heat to medium high. Fry chicken in batches just until golden on both sides but not cooked through. Place browned chicken into a 9 X 13 casserole dish. Once all the chicken is in pour sauce over. Bake in 15 minute increments for a total of 45 minutes. Baste with sauce on the 15 minute interval. Serve warm sprinkled with sesame seeds.
Trust me ……..this is 100 times better than take-out. Although I do have to say, sometimes it’s nice to dial for your dinner.
See ya next week!
Anyone have some leftover chocolate bunnies laying around the house after Easter? I received this one from a work colleague who knew that I would put it to good use…..and that I did.
Ever heard of pulling a Rabbit out of a hat? How about pulling a mousse out of a Rabbit? Leave that magic trick to me and read on.
Although this post started out quite innocently, after photographing the steps, it seems that a sinister side of me has come forth…..or more like Dexter paid a visit to thegardenofeatin set. I apologize in advance to those who may find these pictures too graphic. Hide your children. Poor Mr. Wabbit.
White Chocolate Lemon Mousse
12 ounces White Chocolate, chopped – You can use any good quality white chocolate OR a bunny!
1½ cups heavy cream, divided
1 tsp lemon zest – optional
Garnish – Berries and shaved chocolate
In a small saucepan, heat ¾ cup of the cream on medium heat. Heat just until bubbly but do not bring to a boil.
Turn off the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the cream and chocolate are glossy and combined. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
With an electric mixer using the whisk attachment or a hand mixer, beat the other ¾ cup cream on high until soft peaks form. Once the chocolate mixture is cool, fold it into the whipped cream using the paddle attachment or a wooden spoon. Place in ceramic ramekins and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or if you just can’t wait (like me) place in freezer for 15 minutes. Garnish with fresh berries and additional grated chocolate. Serve up your old bunny who is now a mousse and enjoy!
See you next week!
How many times have you said to yourself “what am I going to do with all this leftover bread”? Never? Really? I say it all the time! There are tons of things to do with bread…..and I love when I have some to use in recipes. This week I had a few baguette ends hanging around in my freezer and hauled them out to thaw. I also paid a visit to my local market and found the most stunning rainbow radishes I have ever seen. With that in mind, I whipped up some crostini with smashed avocado and whipped goat cheese for lunch and then of course had to photograph every single angle of these beauties because….um….they were stunning! Sometimes the best things in life are the simplest to make. This was one of those times. Ready and set for a great snack or lunch recipe? Let’s go…..
What you will need:
Bread – doesn’t matter how old it is, just make sure it’s not growing fur
Goat cheese – I like to whip it…whip it good
Avocados – nice ripe ones that you can smash and shmush
Yellow Tomatoes – if you don’t have yellow it’s not a big deal to use another color
Radishes – I used these unbelievable rainbow ones but don’t stress if you can only find plain ol’ red ones
Beet Salad – this was totally optional and not really necessary but OH SO GOOD. The thing about this salad was that it was made as a side dish the night before for dinner and was hanging around in my fridge, so clearly it needed to be used before someone else ate it.
Here’s the thing. You can make these crostini’s with just about any topping. I have a tried and true method of deciding what is going to be in a recipe by simply opening my fridge, staring inside, moving things around and grabbing whatever looks edible. In my opinion, that is what you call being culinarily creative. Right?
So now you take your bread, slice it about 1 inch thick, lightly toast it and start slapping on the goods. I made half with smashed avocado and half with the goat cheese. Top them off with your garnishes and you’re done.
Easy and pretty gorgeous don’t you think??
See ya next week!
Every time I write this blog, you as readers come step closer to really finding out exactly who I am. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I have a slight addiction to blueberries. Wait. I’m not kidding here. I actually do. I can literally sit down to a large bowl of these berries and eat them like they are candy. Blueberries are high in antioxidants and at my age I need all the help I can get. Bring it on.
For the past 16 years I’ve consumed blueberries by the bushel. I toss them in my cereal for breaky, throw them into salads for lunch or dinner and put them into cakes, muffins, crisps or squares every chance I get. I fear that one morning I will wake up looking like Violet Beauregarde from Charlie and the Chocolate factory.
My latest adventure with the almighty blueberry was a bunch of mini galettes. These were so cute I almost can’t look at them AND they were so delish you will not be sorry that you tried this recipe. In fact, if you happen to be in a pinch for a quick dessert for unexpected company …..this is it!
I always keep a roll of packaged pie crust in my fridge for occasions such as these. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG with using this crust, BUT I love making my own, so I will give you the easy version first and a recipe for my foolproof crust just in case you want some adventure in your life.
BLUEBERRY LEMON MINI GALETTES:
1 package pie crust (2 rounds of dough) or 1 recipe homemade pie crust
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 whole lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 whole egg
1 tablespoon water
Homemade pie crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of salt
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup ice water
Preheat oven to 425F. If using homemade pie crust, in a large bowl, mix the flour with the sugar and salt. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut in half of the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Cut in the remaining butter until the largest pieces are the size of peas. Drizzle the water over the dough and stir until moistened. Gather up the dough and knead it 2 or 3 times. Flatten the dough into 2 discs, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
In a bowl, stir together blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, juice of half the lemon, vanilla, and salt.
Unroll the two discs of dough. Use a 5-inch round pastry cutter or I used a small bowl and traced around it with a sharp knife. Cut three to four rounds of pastry from each dough round. Re-roll the scraps and cut more. Place them on 2 baking sheets lined with a baking mat or parchment (4 -5 rounds each pan). Evenly distribute 1/4 cup of the blueberry mixture in the centre of the dough rounds.
Gently fold over the edges of each crust, folding the dough in on itself to create a small rim of crust. Make an egg wash by beating together the egg and water. Brush edges of each pie with the egg wash and sprinkle the crust with sugar (I like using turbinado sugar as it gives the crust a wonderful crunch)
Bake for 15 minutes until golden and bubbly. Remove from the oven and allow galettes to sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Remove to a serving dish and let cool or serve warm with ice cream. I taste tested one or two or three while I was waiting for them to cool and let me tell you……….THEY WERE GOOD!
See ya next week!