kitchenklutz: (pad thai stirfry)
Yesterday for the Superbowl, I wanted something out of the ordinary... so I went back to my old favorite, homemade Chinese. I considered homemade dumplings for a while, but in the end passed on that to make something old, and something new.

Something old: Kung Pao Chicken )

... and something new: Szechuan Braised Meatballs )

Both were extremely tasty, and went perfectly with the white rice I had steamed up earlier.

Kung pao chicken is an old favorite of mine, something I grew to love back when I lived in California and couldn't find a satisfactory take-out version of on the East Coast -- which was, among other things, what prompted me to start experimenting with cooking my own Chinese food. Too often in the East, what seems to pass for "kung pao chicken" is just diced chicken with peanuts drenched in hot oil -- yuck! My recipe has a great deal more going for it, though it's still spicy enough to raise sweat on your brow.

Szechuan braised meatballs was a new recipe for me, and I didn't quite have an image in mind when I began making it. Regardless, it turned out delicious -- the five-spice powder and Szechuan sauce combined with the beef broth to make a tasty, well-spiced side dish. The only complaint I have about it was that it seems like there aren't enough meatballs! Next time I might up the amount of ground beef to 1.5 lbs., because the broth (and my skillet) are definitely enough to contain another 6 - 8 meatballs.
kitchenklutz: spices in bottles (spice bottles)
With the chilly weather coming on, I find myself more and more in favor of comfoting, savory soups. This weekend is no exception -- and with a Penzey's Spices quarterly/recipe book in hand, I decided to try a variant on chicken and dumplings.

Spicy Baked Chicken & Dumplings Soup )

Thick, savory stew with plenty of chicken and tasty dumplings to top it off -- an absolute winner in my book! For me, adding the lemon pepper spicing to season the chicken breasts made it particularly delicious, but for others that may be a touch too spicy.

The original recipe calls for double the amount of dumpling mix, which was way too much for me. I made the full amount and dropped the dumplings into the broth, but rapidly found myself out of space in the pot for more dumplings. Thus, I've halved the amounts for that part of the recipe. Honestly, I feel as though the recipe could even use a bit more broth -- with that much chicken and veggies as a base, the soup pot was crowded even before the dumplings went in.

Overall, though, I will absolutely be making this recipe again. Simple, straightforward, not too long to cook, and incredibly tasty -- four things that make it a winner in my book.
kitchenklutz: spoons and bowls (Default)
Late last week, I came across an Emeril recipe for roast chicken. Up until then, I'd never actually gotten a whole chicken at the market and prepared it for a meal. This, clearly, needed to change! I adapted the recipe slightly for what ingredients I had, once I'd purchased the chicken -- mostly in quantities of added ingredients, since the smallest roaster I could find at the local market was somewhat larger than the recommended size on the original recipe. (That, and I neglected to buy a lemon.)

Perfect Roast Chicken (My Version) )

Now, I had my savory main dish -- and it smelled and tasted terrific. However, at the same time I wanted to serve it over something. The easiest thing to do was rice -- but I was rather bored with regular plain white or brown rice. Something inside me asked hey, what about sweet rice? Now, as far as I know, I've never even had sweet rice, so I didn't know what I was getting into, but I flexed my Google-fu and found an intriguing recipe for Lebanese sweet rice. I adapted it into the following:

Sweet Rice (My Version) )

Tonight I had the roast chicken as the main dish, with the sweet rice as a side -- and overall, the tastes were surprisingly complimentary. The chicken and vegetables are rich and savory, and mixed with the sweet rice (which was sweet, but not too sweet), it made a memorable and quite enjoyable dish. I definitely plan to make both again in the future.

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kitchenklutz: spoons and bowls (Default)
kitchenklutz

March 2015

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