Friday, May 11, 2012

Sesame Chicken



In Seattle I grew up eating Almond fried chicken and when I moved to New York City I learned quickly that it is not on the menu at an Chinese restaurant. I soon then fell in love with General Tso Chicken. However, my kids don't like it anything spicy so we often order Sesame Chicken. If you have been following my blog you know how and why I barely order out. I have learned to make my own Chinese food favorites through many trial and errors. I found this recipe after googling Sesame Chicken. I liked what I watched on the video and decided to give it a try. My husband LOVED it and so did my kids. He made me promise to put it on my blog. He likes just about everything I make but when he couldn't stop talking about it I knew this was a winner.

Tips to for this recipe is to cut chicken in bite size pieces and egg and let sit in fridge. Also make sauce earlier and keep in fridge. These two tips make it much easier when cooking so you are not bogged down with so much at one time. 

Ingredients

1/4 Cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon hoison sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoon chili sauce
1/4 cup chopped scallion
1 lb chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
3 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon ginger minced
1 egg
1 cup of flour
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup peanut oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Directions

In a medium bowl mix together first 7 ingredients and set aside.

In a medium pot heat oil until 375 degrees. In a medium bowl blend egg with fork and add cut up chicken to it. make sure chicken is covered in egg and then add each piece to another bowl with flour. dredge in flour and then add to oil that is ready for frying. Make sure it gets browned on all sides and then remove from oil and drain on paper towel. You will work in batches. 

Once all the chicken is fried add a little oil from the pot to a large skillet and heat on high. add onion and cook 1 minute. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add the sauce you set aside and let it thicken a bit and bubble to a quick boil. Then add fried chicken and makes sure completely coated and warmed through about 1 minute add a sprinkle of sesame seeds.  Serve over rice and enjoy. Let me know what you think. 





Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ultimate Brownies


I was watching the Martha Stewart Show and just happened to catch the episode where Matt Lewis from Baked  was showing how to make his Deep, Dark Brownies. I couldn't believe how easy it seemed or how good they looked. I had only ever made the box stuff but decided to give these a try. They turned out much better than the box stuff and almost just as easy so I have made this my go to recipe every time I have a brownie craving. I am not against buying the box stuff and if you must buy one Ghiradelli is the best. However, trust me when I say this is very easy and quite delish.

Ingredients

3/4 Cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder (I use Droste)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter plus more for pan
3/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
5 ounces semisweet chocolate finely chopped (I just use my favorite chips)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 semi sweet chocolate chips (optional but I always add them)

Directions

1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. butter an 8 x 8 inch square baking pan. Line with parchment paper and butter parchment.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside.

3. In a large, heavy bottomed sauce pan combine butter and espresso. Place over low hear and stir until butter has melted. Add chocolate, and stir constantly until mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. remove from heat, stir in both sugars until well combined.

4 Add eggs and vanilla and continue stirring until well incorporated and mixture no longer appears grainy. Sift flour mixture over batter and stir until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips, if using.

5. Pour batter into prepared baking pan; smooth top with the back of wooden spoon or a spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, 28 to 30 minutes. Be sure not to over bake. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into 9 brownies.

I know it seems like a lot of work but once you do it you realize it really is easy. Of course it will never be as easy as pouring a mix in a bowl with a few ingredients but believe me it is not much more work. The best tip I have for these brownies and even the box stuff is to not over mix once you add the flour. Try these and let me know what your think.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan is one of my families favorite meals. I used to make this dish every week for a the family I worked for and because I made it so often I couldn't even stand the smell of it for quite some time. I am weird that way. I have to take breaks from time to time from certain dishes or I start to hate the site and smell of it. I took a very LONG break from making it (about 2 years). All of the sudden I got a craving for it and decided to give it a try. My husband was so happy to see it back on the menu. I like to serve mine with a side of spaghetti and salad but you can add mashed potatoes for whatever you like best. 

Ingredients

5 thin chicken cutlets
5 thick slices of Buffalo Mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (divided)
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
1 cup flour
3 eggs beaten
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

Directions

Start making Basic Tomato Sauce Once you have that simmering start with the chicken. 

In One large bowl add eggs and blend well. In another bowl add bread crumbs, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and a little salt and pepper. In the 3rd bowl add flour. 

In a large skillet add 4 tbs vegetable oil and 4 tbs of olive oil. Let it heat until piping hot. In the mean time add one piece of chicken into flour and get it all coated. Pat off the excess flour and then add it to egg. Get it completely coated and then add to bread crumbs. Make sure it also gets completely coated. Add it to the pan with oil and cook on each side until brown. I can usually cook 3 at a time in my pan. Take each piece of chicken out and let cool on a paper towel to soak up oil. 

Once all the chicken is cooked add a little bit of the sauce to the bottom of the pan so the chicken doesn't stick. Lay each piece of chicken down and add at least one piece of Buffalo Mozzarella on top. If you don't have buffalo mozzarella just use any kind you like. 

Now spoon sauce around and the chicken and a little on top. I don't like to smother the chicken in sauce because I like some of the chicken to stay crispy. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese on top. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling. 
Don't let it get to brown. 

One of the reasons I love NYC...this cheese is everywhere.

Try this recipe and I promise your family will ask for it again and again. But don't forget to let me know what you think.