Monthly Archives: October 2013

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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If you’re a fan of the lettuce wraps at a little know chain that rhymes with B.Chef. Wang’s, then I think you are going to love these copy cat lettuce wraps. Now, I’m not exactly sure what is in their recipe, but I took a guess and came pretty close.  I enjoyed this variation and although they were hard to get a handle on, they’re hard to maneuver in the restaurants too so it was win in my book.

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You begin with a finely diced onion and a pound of ground chicken breast. I have a grinder attachment for the Kitchen Aid Mixer and so I can buy chicken breast and then grind it at home. This is very helpful if you shop at a warehouse or buy in bulk and it is less expensive than buying pre-ground chicken.

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In addition to the chicken and onion, we have diced mushrooms and water chestnuts (which this recipe “requires” and I am in favor of, but usually am not a fan).

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I beefed mine up a little with the addition of toppings. Cashews, avocado, and cucumber joined the party.

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1 pound ground chicken breast

1 small onion, diced

1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, diced

1/2 cup water chestnuts, diced

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided

1 tablespoon sriracha

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 bunch green onions, chopped

simple drizzle

4 tablespoons low sodium soy

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon sriracha

lettuce cups (bib, iceberg etc)


diced cucumber





instructions and directions:

combine 1/4 cup soy, 1/4 cup hoisin sauce, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon sriracha and 2 minced garlic cloves in a small bowl and set aside.

heat 1 teaspoon sesame oil over medium. cook chicken and onion together until juices run clear and water evaporates, approximately 10 minutes. add mushrooms and water chestnuts and cook over medium low for 10 minutes more. pour in soy/hoisin mixture and toss to coat. stir in green oinons.

in another small bowl, combine 4 tablespoons soy, 1 teaspoon brown sugar and 1 tablespoon sriracha for dipping. stir well to dissolve sugar.

scoop chicken into lettuce cups and top with: cashews, avocado, lime, cilantro and cucumber if desired. drizzle with sauce.


Kahlua Shake

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Vivid memories I have from growing up include times  when my dad used to make an event of home made vanilla malts. They were such a treat and we gazed at the Cuisinart as he divided the recipe among four small glasses. His were (and are still) better than any restaurant I’ve come across.

I can also remember his fondness for a white Russian, a fondness that my brother and i both inherited. Hence the reason we are never without Kahlua in the freezer. Yes, the freezer. You wouldn’t want the Kahlua to melt the ice and water down the Russian. We don’t play around.

I don’t know many people, personally, who are malt fans but I just love it and a vanilla milkshake without it, seems really plain to me. Although it is optional, I just don’t think that joining these two forces would quite be the same with out it.

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I bring you, the Kahlua Shake. A fantastic dessert and quite possibly the name of the next big dance move. Forget everything you know about twerking and the moon walk.

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get out vanilla ice cream, powdered malt, vanilla extract, Kahlua and milk

fill the blender with ice cream,  loosely to the top and add additional ingredients

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blend and add a few splashes of milk, if necessary

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pour into glasses and serve with a straw

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Kahlua Malt

1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream (use about 2/3 of the carton)

6 tablespoons malt powder

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

milk (a few splashes)

1/4 cup Kahlua (or more)

instructions and directions: 

fill 6 cup blender loosely, to the top. (about 2/3 of a half gallon of ice cream). add the rest of the ingredients and blend on high until incorporated and until a whirlpool forms in the center, adding a few extra splashes of milk if needed to reach desired consistency.

Pad See Ew

This is one of the few steak dishes I enjoy at Thai restaurants. Usually I am inclined to order chicken or tofu. After a recent trip to a sweet local Asian market, I picked up some of the ingredients for this Pad See Ew recipe that I created.

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I think this is the perfect dish to aquatint someone, who may be nervous to try new things,  with Thai food.

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I’m not sure this is authentic but I loved it and it’s Monday, so give me a break.

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start out by marinating the sirloin filet

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next make the sauce and set aside

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then get out your wide rice noodle to soften. you could use thinner noodles but the wide ones are best. (if you are in a rural area and you can’t get to rice noodles, use fettuccine?)

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when the noodles are softened, drain and drizzle with oil so they don’t stick together.

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Now get everything ready so you can work fast. the skillet is going to be hot.

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and just like that, you’re done.

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this dish has a hint of spice from the sriracha with a little sweetness from the brown sugar and fish sauce

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4 tbsp soy sauce, divided

2 tsp brown sugar, divided

1 tbsp  sriracha

1 TBSP rice wine vinegar

3 TBSP fish sauce

1/2 pound sirloin filet, very thinly sliced, almost shaved

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp  sesame oil, divided

4 tbsp  beef broth

10 ounces of wide rice noodles/sticks

2 eggs, beaten

1 bunch green onions, white and green parts, chopped

2 (big) cups fresh broccoli florets

instructions and directions: 

In a small bowl add one tablespoon  of soy sauce and one tsp brown sugar. Stir and add sirloin, toss to combine. Set aside or refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

In a separate small bowl, combine the other 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, the remaining tsp of brown sugar, sriracha, red wine vinegar, fish sauce and garlic.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add rice noodles. Turn off heat and let noodles soften. Drain and drizzle with a little olive oil so they don’t stick together. This should take around 8-10 minutes but don’t let the noodles get mushy.

This is the point where you want all your items to be ready because they cook fast!

Heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil on medium high heat and let the oil get hot. Add steak and a tablespoon of soy/vinegar mixture and  cook 3-4 minutes until beef is medium rare. Remove from pan to a plate to rest.

In the same pan, heat the other tablespoon of sesame oil on medium high and add broccoli and a tablespoon of soy/vinegar mixture. Cook 3-4 minutes until tender adding a tablespoon of beef broth, every minute. Add green onion and saute a minute more. Add eggs and stir often until done.

Add softened rice noodles,sirloin and remaining soy/vinegar mixture to the pan. Toss to coat and remove from heat.

Chicken Ala King

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The 80’s called? They want their fancy dinner back? Well they can’t have it!

Does anybody make this stuff any more?

Have you ever even heard of it?

Well, it was a family staple when I was growing up. There isn’t much too it and it doesn’t have a bunch of crazy ingredients but I still like it, well into adulthood. The flavor isn’t exactly explosive, it’s more like creamy. The flavor is creamy and comforting. We always served it over rice, biscuits or puff pastry, if we were feeling fancy.  Nothing says fancy like puff pastry, right?

In the 80’s, people seemed to boil chicken a lot but what flavor comes from that? Besides the flavor of water which I appreciate, but not with my chicken. To make things easier on myself and more flavorful, I used a rotisserie chicken and just shredded the breast meat.


I sauteed mushrooms until all the water was evaporated and then i removed them from the skillet to a small plate.

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A diced up bell pepper was next.

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Then I made a very causal roux with a little butter and some flour and mixed those right in  with the sauteed bell pepper. Just be sure to whisk quickly so you don’t get any lumps.  After about 2 minutes of whisking, the mixture should begin to thicken and become saucy.

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When you reach the desired consistency, add the shredded chicken and the jar of pimento and stir through to warm. Voila!

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A meal fit for a person who wants a quick weeknight meal with around 10 ingredients.

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a hungry apple original recipe


3 tablespoons of butter, divided

1 8 ounce container of fresh mushrooms (you could use canned if you had to)

1 4 ounce jar of diced pimento, drained

1 bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 small yellow onion, diced

1/4 cup all purpose flour

2 cups milk, i used 1 %

2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

1 teaspoon salt

20 fine grinds fresh pepper

pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

pinch of dried thyme (optional)

instructions and directions: 

over medium heat, melt one tablespoon of butter and saute mushrooms and onion until water has evaporated, about 7 minute. remove the mushrooms to a plate and melt another teaspoon of butter and saute green bell pepper until tender, about 5 minutes.

add the last tablespoon of butter and let it melt. sprinkle flour over butter and green bell pepper and stir with a silicone whisk. when flour is cooked (about 2 minutes) and well incorporated, slowly add milk, whisking constantly to avoid clumps. When all the milk has been added, continue whisking on medium heat until the mixture has thickened to a gravy like consistency.

add salt, pepper, mushrooms/onion , pimentos and chicken and stir to combine and warm. (add cayenne and thyme if using)

season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over: rice, biscuits, toast, egg noodles or puff pastry! Or eat it by itself!