thegingerchef

Recipes from My Kitchen

Chicken Dumplings in Green Curry (also known as “YUM!!”)

So, nothing like making dinner at 8:30 at night – but I would like to think this one is worth it.  But it was not without effort – I went to the grocery store, got everything I needed for the week (minus one thing…I forgot), and the one thing I forgot turned into the main ingredient for dinner.  Oops.  Couple that with some other things I needed and back out I go!!

A few years ago I bought some cookbooks at the store – they were in the “el cheapo” section of the store and I got them for $2-3 each.  One issue – they’re European, so sometimes I have to do some conversions – nothing major 🙂  Tonight I tried (from the Asian book) Chicken Dumplings in Green Curry.  Wow.  It could use a little more…oomph (salt?) …but so easy to make and so very tasty.

Ingredients
1 lb. minced/ground chicken
3 spring onions, finely chopped
2 Tbsp cilantro leaves
1 lemongrass stem, white part only, finely sliced
3 Tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp chicken bouillon powder
1.5 C jasmine rice (cooked)
1 egg, plus 1 egg white
2 tsp oil
2 Tbsp Thai green curry sauce
2 cans coconut milk
4 fresh lime leaves
2 handfuls basil leaves
1 Tbsp lemon juice

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I didn’t have any ground chicken, so I thawed out some chicken breasts I already had and ran them through a few rounds on the food processor – works perfectly.  Mix the chicken, onions, cilantro, lemongrass (oops, didn’t have any), 2 Tbsp of the fish sauce (nope, didn’t have that either – that probably would have enhanced the flavor I was missing), bouillon powder, and some pepper in a bowl until well combined (use your hands!).

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In another bowl, use a hand mixer to combine the egg and egg white (I used egg whites in a container, since I had them; I think they worked out fine).  Beat until thick and creamy then fold into the chicken mixture.  When I did this, it looked almost too runny, but eventually combined well.  Take Tablespoon-sized portions of the chicken mixture and roll into a ball and place on a cookie sheet (might want to flour your hands).  Chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours (or in the freezer for about 25 minutes) until the rolls are firm.

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Heat the oil in a pan and add the curry paste.  You *will* want to lick the spoon after getting the paste out of the jar – wow, that is incredible flavor.  Stir over medium heat, but be careful – like anchovies, this will pop out when it gets hot, and will splatter everywhere.  Gradually add in the coconut milk (I only used one of the 2 cans) then reduce heat.

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Add the lime leaves (nope, didn’t have those either, but no big deal, since the flavor was in the curry paste), and the chicken dumplings, and simmer for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through.  Stir in the basil leaves and the lemon juice – serve (with rice if you have extra!!).

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Mongolian Beef – nom nom nom!!

Tonight was one of those “I’m so hungry, what’s quick?!?!?” kind of nights.   Answer?  Mongolian Beef.  This is a tried-and-true recipe and very easy to make.  I have no idea where I got it, but thank you, whoever you are 🙂

Ingredients:

1 lb Flank steak, thinly sliced
1/4 C cornstarch
3 tsp EVOO
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 C water
1/2 C soy sauce
1/4 C brown sugar
3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Green onions, thinly sliced

Slice the steak very thin, make sure it’s dry (pat it with a paper towel if you need to) and toss it with the cornstarch.  You need to coat it pretty thoroughly, it will cook up much better this way.  Heat up some of the oil in a pan, and add in the garlic and ginger – cook a minute or two until it smells delicious.    Add in the water, soy sauce, brown sugar, and pepper – cook for a minute or two, then remove to a bowl.  I don’t do well with real ginger root – I love it, and will use it in some dishes, but I never use it all fast enough (and the knobby root is difficult to peel and cut).  So when I can find it, I buy the tube-o-ginger (squeezes out like toothpaste :-p).  Gives the taste you want, without the hassle of the knobby root.

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Add more oil to the pan and stir fry the beef – only needs a min or so on each side.  You don’t have to cook it thoroughly, just brown it, you can finish cooking it in the next step.

When the meat is browned sufficiently, add the liquid mix back in and cook until you reach the desired consistency.  Add in some of the sliced green onions, saving some of them for a garnish.

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I served mine over brown rice.  I hate to say it tastes like take-out, but it does – just really, really good take-out.    So there you go, a quick meal when you’re running behind that’s a real crowd pleaser 🙂

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Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

I think I got this recipe from Southern Living, but I don’t remember.  I get 5 or 6 food magazines in the mail (plus whatever strikes my fancy at the grocery store check-out) and rip out the ones I like.  Then all of my recipes are organized into 3-ring binders by category (chicken, other meats (subdivided into beef, pork, and lamb), desserts, appetizers, vegetables) and tucked into plastic protective sheets.  That way when I want to make a meal all of my recipes are nice and organized, and if I spill food on them (which is all but a guarantee) it’s easy clean-up and nothing gets ruined.

Winter time for me is a great time for all the comfort foods, hot soups, casseroles, and crock-pot meals.  The big heavy foods with the thick sauces – just says ‘cozy up by the fire and enjoy me!’  With the recent weather we’ve been having it looks like my winter-time foods are going to be put away until the next season.  But that’s ok, because summer brings such fresh vegetables and more creative ideas!!

Anyway, back to the post…
This was a recipe I thought I’d try, but didn’t have high hopes for.  And I was pleasantly surprised, because it was actually pretty tasty.  And it’s got wild rice in it, so very filling as well.

I only used half the recipe, but I’m posting the whole one –

Ingredients
2 packages of long grain wild rice and flavor mix  (1)
10 cups of chicken broth, divided
3 Tbsp butter
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup half and half (or whole milk, or heavy cream – whatever is handy)
2 Tbsp dry white wine
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken breast

Directions
*Bring rice, 4 cups of broth, and 1 packet of seasoning mix to a boil in a pan.  Cover, reduce by simmering until rice is tender.

*Melt 3 Tbsp of butter in a skillet.  Add mushrooms, onion, and celery and cook 10-12 minutes until tender.

*Melt 1/3 cup butter in a big pot, whisk in flour continually until mixed and bubbling.   Gradually whisk in remaining 6 cups of chicken broth, stirring slightly until thickened.  Whisk in half-and-half and the white wine.  Stir in veggie mixture, chicken, and rice.   Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 minutes until heated through (do not boil).

A very easy meal for a cold night!!

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