Sunday, February 28, 2016

Asian Inspired Apps

Today's post is all about Asian inspired small plates, which when made together can make for a great meal or are great for entertaining when mixed with other apps.  These recipes come from several sources (food network chefs, restaurant favorites, cookbooks, etc.).  The apps span several countries' flavor profiles including Chinese, Thai, and Japanese; however, they all share common elements which make them great for pairing.  We have made some of these dishes several times because they are so easy and quick to make (sometimes even faster than their carry-out equivalents).  I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Thai Curry Lime Wings

Thai Curry Lime Wings (Courtesy Tyler Florence)

1 lbs chicken wings
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp Thai red curry paste
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 lime, halved
Chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Pat chicken wings dry.  Spread the wings out on a baking sheet drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast about 25 minutes until the skin gets crisp and brown, and the meat is tender.

While you wait, mix the butter, red curry paste, honey and soy sauce together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.  When the wings come out of the oven, add to the bowl with the curry butter and toss. Squeeze the juice of the lime over the wings. Give it a toss and you're done.

Garnish with cilantro.

Chicken Fried Rice

 Cook the chicken pieces over medium high heat until cooked through.  I have used both diced chicken breast pieces and ground chicken and both have turned out great.  The ground chicken is a bit easier to cook since you don't have to turn individual pieces of chicken
 Remove the chicken from the pan and saute up the veggies.  At this stage, you can add eggs if you like.  I am not a fan of scrambled eggs so I omit them from the traditional recipe.

Add the chicken and rice to the pan and add the soy sauce and hoisin and toss.

Chicken Fried Rice
1 cup jasmine rice, cooked
3 tsp. Sesame oil
3 tsp. Canola oil
1 lb. ground chicken or chicken breasts diced into 3/4 in. pieces (seasoned with salt and pepper)
1 1/3 cups frozen carrot and pea mixture
2 green onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. hoisin sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook jasmine rice according to package directions

Once rice is cooked, heat 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil and 1 1/2 tsp canola oil in a large saute pan or wok over medium high heat.  Once hot, add the chicken and saute until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining t 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil and 1 1/2 tsp canola oil to the pan and once hot add the peas carrots and green onion and saute for about a minute, then add the garlic and cook for about another minute.

Add the cooked rice and chicken back to the pan.  Add the soy sauce and hoisin and salt and pepper, to taste.

 Chicken Lettuce Wraps (copycat PF Chang's recipe)

Chicken Lettuce Wraps
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 pound ground chicken
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 (8-ounce) can diced water chestnuts, drained
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 head lettuce

Heat sesame oil in a sauté pan or wok over medium high heat. Add ground chicken, salt and pepper.  Cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes.  Drain excess fat.

Stir in garlic, hoisin sauce, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar.  Cook for about 1-2 minutes. Stir in chestnuts and green onions and cook until tender, about 1 minute.

To serve, spoon several tablespoons of the chicken mixture into a lettuce leaf

Sesame Noodles (variation of a recipe from Ree Drummond AKA the Pioneer Woman)
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
4 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
4 Tablespoons Pure Sesame Oil
4 Tablespoons Canola Oil
1 package of Udon Noodles
4 whole Green Onions, Sliced Thin

Whisk all ingredients (except noodles green onions and 1 tsbp sesame oil) together in a bowl. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.

Heat 1 tbsp sesame oil in a small wok or saute pan.  Add the udon to cook through.  Slowly add the sauce to the noodles and toss to coat.

Sprinkle with green onions and toss.

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