Sweet ‘n Sour Chicken

I thought I’d try a sweet and sour recipe for the chicken breasts I thawed this morning.  A quick search led me to this one. I pretty much followed the sauce recipe, swapping Splenda for the brown sugar.  Most of the recipes you see have pineapple as an ingredient but this one caught my eye because it didn’t.  I made a few additions, the shiitake mushrooms and the snow peas.

It was a decent dish, satisfying, but the sauce wasn’t quite what I had in mind.  I guess the store brand sweet and sour sauces with their day-glo colors had me conditioned to expect something different.

Used basmati rice for this dish-the new rice cooker did an excellent job on it, the grains were separate and it seems to me that basmati would make a really good base for fried rice.


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Sweet and Sour Chicken

I need to put something food related up so I’ll go with this evening’s dinner.  I was thinking sweet and sour for the chicken I had thawing.  Found this recipe and the sauce looked interesting. I used the recipe for the sauce and made my own marinade and batter.  I didn’t follow the sauce recipe in other than broad strokes.  I took the liberty of adding some more heat with some red pepper flakes and some Szechuan peppercorns.  I used too much tomato paste I think, the sauce was too “red” and opaque.   At any rate I will use less in the future.  Pretty sure I used more than the 3 tablespoons the recipe mentioned.  I may use chicken stock rather than water next time, and I think less brown sugar may work better for me.  I used some of the frozen diced bell peppers I put back earlier in the summer-about 1/4 cup or so and instead of dicing the carrots I grated a few tiny baby carrots with a pretty aggressive grater.  Maybe will go ahead and mince them next time.  It needed more veggies in the sauce.   Thought hard abut adding some pineapple  but was talked out of it by Mrs J.

I marinated the chicken in Chinese cooking wine and corn starch and when it came time to fry the pieces I just added flour and more corn starch, and a half teaspoon of baking soda.  Mixed that all about with my hands.  The batter was on the thin side.

I waited until late in the afternoon to eat because I was waiting for the UPS guy to deliver a new rice machine.  I really wanted to give it a try first thing.  More on that later, another gadget post perhaps.  Just a few pics, I was really starving by the time the rice machine finally beeped “done”.

Fried Wontons

I’ve done these before, doing them again.  They are tasty.  The crab Rangoon is just cream cheese and a can of crab meat mixed up and fried inside a wonton wrapper.  You can add more stuff to the filling, chop some green onion, add some garlic.  Knock yourself out.  Spent a bit more time on the sausage stuffing.  Went to the fridge to get the package of pork sausage and found…Italian sausage.  Not a problem.  Used it anyway and it was fine.  Added some shredded cabbage, some match sticked carrots, a bit of green onion, a bit of red onion, a few tablespoons of minced garlic, some ginger root paste, a splash of fish sauce, a dab of hoisin sauce, a bit of soy sauce…well, you get the picture.  Never the same twice around here.  Abandon all recipes, Ye who enter here.  LOL

As usual, Mrs J did the wrapping and I stood over the hot oil.  I use a mid sized sauce pot for the oil, and keep a thermometer in it just to keep everything going nicely.  I find a temp between 350 and 400 works, much above that and the wonton skins want to burn, less than 350 takes a little too long.  I plop them in as soon as they are made and am able to keep up pretty well.  The finished wontons are placed into a warm oven on paper towels until we have enough to make a meal.


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Sweet and Sour Pork

Mrs J ran to the Asian grocer for me today.  Yay Mrs J!  I’ve been reading through the recipes of the guy who provided the recipe for today’s dinner, and started scribbling down stuff I needed to make some of them.  I’ll be trying those out in days to come.  Stay tuned!  I followed his directions this time, mostly, but there will be some changes next time I do this one.  Biggest change involves the sweet and sour sauce.  I will make lots more of it for one thing, and will use less corn starch because it just got too thick too quickly.  The other change will be to the batter.  You may remember yesterday when I did the orange chicken I thought I had the batter too thick.  Well today I got it too thin.  You might say I have it surrounded.  Anyway…Start by cooking down the minced garlic in a little oil, I also used some minced ginger-hey, I like ginger.  When the garlic begins to brown dump in the pineapple and the peppers.  The mushrooms were my idea-yup, I like them too.  Stir these around until they begin to soften.Now dump in the sauce and the pork and stir, baby, stir!  Just my luck, the batter was too thin and the sauce was too thick.  Tasted pretty good.Oh yeah, the spring rolls.  Mmm…spring rolls.  Maybe another day we’ll do a spring roll post.