Today The Neighbor Wife cooked! I know, I know, pick yourself up off the floor … you’ve probably passed out from shock by now. She made the Beer Cheddar Soup and the Banana Coconut Pound Cake from last week. Maybe she’s getting inspired by the cooking class we have coming up on Monday? Who knows, but whatever the reason, it is VERY exciting news in these parts of the world. ;) Now onto what WE had for dinner…
Couldn’t decide what to make and since I was getting a late start, I was leaning towards Chinese take-out. Then I had a vague recollection of seeing some recent Tyler Florence recipes for Chinese food and went online looking for them. I ended up making his version of General Tso’s Chicken, served over white rice. I also made a side of Green Beans with Parsley and Garlic. Dessert was another new recipe, Chocolate Bread Pudding. Both the Beans and the Bread Pudding recipes are from the current issue of Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food.
The General Tso’s Chicken was absolutely, positively a hands-down winner and I urge you, URGE YOU, to try it. You will not be disappointed. The Green Beans, well, they’re green beans, nothing special; and since I’m the only one in the house who will eat them anyway, they don’t have to be anything special.
Lastly, the dessert. It was good, just not a WOW for me. I might make it again, but if I do, it needs tweaking. You can’t call it CHOCOLATE Breading Pudding if you can’t taste the chocolate — that’s a problem for me. It was good though, and the whole pan is already gone. Before you think we all went and made pigs of ourselves, I DID give away half to The Neighbor!
After dinner, we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and hung out in the front yard, with The Husband working on some of our Halloween props. The Girlfriend came running down after having her dinner and joined in on the fun with Nicholas.
You can check out the complete round-up of all the cute kitties over at Eat Stuff.
Tomorrow, we’re off to the Farmer’s Market and a local Fall Festival. A folk singer that Nicholas and The Girlfriend like is going to be at the Festival, so they’re both looking forward to that. Also, there’s going to be lots of food vendors, artisans, crafters, etc., so it should be a fun afternoon.
Haven’t planned tomorrow night’s dinner yet, but you’ll just have to check back in to see what I cook up.
In the meantime, don’t forget this is Weekend Dog Blogging #2, so if you haven’t gotten your canine snaps to me, you still have time. I’ll post the pup round-up tomorrow night. Until then…
General Tso’s Chicken (serves 4-6)
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, thinly sliced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 slices fresh ginger, smashed (I used ginger paste)
1 handful fresh cilantro leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Peanut oil, for frying
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup cornstarch, plus 2 tablespoons for slurry
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
4 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (again, I used paste)
1 1/2 cups soy sauce
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Cilantro leaves, for garnish
Steamed white rice, for serving
Put the chicken into a bowl with the remaining marinade ingredients. Stir well to combine all the flavors, cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Heat 2 inches of peanut oil in a wok or deep skillet to 375F. Mix the egg, cornstarch, water, and sesame oil in a large bowl until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Add the marinated chicken and coat it well with the batter. When the oil is hot, cook the chicken pieces in batches until they are browned and crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes per batch. Drain on paper towels. When you have fried all the chicken, pour off all but 2 tablespoons of oil. Over high heat, add the scallion, garlic, and ginger. Stir-fry for 1 minute then pour in the soy sauce, chicken stock, vinegar, and honey and bring it to a boil. Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cold water until smooth. Pour the slurry into the boiling sauce, in 2 additions, until the sauce thickens. Add the chicken pieces and cook until they are heated through, about 2 more minutes. Garnish with scallions and cilantro leaves. Serve over white rice.