Archive | November, 2011

Vintage Seventeen recipes

27 Nov

Attention Seveteen magazine recipe searchers: big things are happening. We are getting ready to post some of our 1980s pages, in all their big haired, scrunchy wearing glory.

We’ve already been gifted (many thanks!) with a long-sought after page from February 1987:

One From the Heart: chicken parmesan, sausage-stuffed mushrooms, green beans vinaigrette, Italian bread and sweetheart ice cream dessert.

4 pieces skinned, boned and split chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
3/4 cup plain bread crumbs
3/4 tsp dry basil
1/4 tsp dry oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
olive oil
1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce, divided
1/2 package (8 oz) mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

1. Spread a chicken cutlet out flat between two pieces of waxed paper. Using a mallet or rolling pin, pound cutlet until it’s 1/4 inch thick. Do the same with the remaining cutlets.
2. In a shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Place beaten egg in another shallow bowl.
Dip each cultlet in beaten egg, turning to coat lightly, set aside.
3. In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add cultlets and cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until golden. Add more oil, one tablespoon at a time, as needed.
Remove from skillet, and set aside.
Preheat ove to 350 F. Pour 1 cup spaghetti sauce into the bottom of a baking dish. Arrange cutlets in dish one layer deep. Pour remaining spaghetti sauce over cutlets. Top with mozzarella slices, and sprinkle on parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes. Serves two.

Flaming Red Wontons

25 Nov

Happy to have finally tried Han’s Restaurant sichuan spicy wontons:


Despite the chili oil looking kind of pink, it’s really a hot red colour. Also topping these is a sweet soy. So good! Will try mixing black vinegar and soy sauce with sugar to dissolve, and garlic and sesame oil.

We aren’t anywhere near P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Triple Happiness happy hour. Sob! So we were excited to find a recipe for Flaming Red Wontons.

But after reading instructions to place a “pea-sized mound of meat” on each skin, we questioned how that size would measure up: If 3/4 of a pound of filling makes eight dumplings, surely the mounds will be bigger than a pea.

No matter. Can’t think of a better winter snack with a steaming cup of tea.

Also eager to try this version.

Makes 8 pork dumplings in a spicy garlic and sesame soy sauce finished with scallions and pickled chili peppers.

Won Ton Filling:
1/2 pound shrimp, washed, peeled, deveined and finely minced
1/4 pound pork, trimmed, finely minced
2 tablespoons carrot, finely minced
2 tablespoons green onion, finely minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

wonton skins

Green onions to garnish
Cilantro leaves to garnish
Black sesame seeds to garnish

1 cup soy sauce
1 ounce white vinegar
1/2 ounce chile oil
1/2 teaspoon chile paste
1 ounce granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
Sesame oil to taste
1 cup chicken stock

Combine shrimp and pork mixtures. Make sure the mixture is smooth and not lumpy. If you have a food processor, use it for the mix. With a small spoon, place a pea-sized (?@!) mound of meat mixture into the won ton skin.

Moisten the top and bottom corners. Fold over and seal.

Place on a plate, cover and place in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Combine sauce ingredients and mix very well. Prepare garnishes.

Have a soup pot filled with chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then lower to a slight boil. Heat the entire batch of sauce.

Cook won tons in boiling chicken stock for approximately 2 minutes or until won tons float to the surface. Cook until skins are soft. With a strainer, remove won tons into soup bowl.

Remember to mix sauce well before you ladle it over the won tons, then ladle 1 ounce of sauce over the won tons.

Top each wonton with a small blob of pickled chili sauce or Rooster sauce. Garnish with green onions, cilantro, sesame seeds and serve.

Servings: 4

Ancient Chinese secret

25 Nov

In our manic mining of the net for PF Chang clone recipes, we came across some older posts from their chefs. Of interest was the concept of “house white sauce,” which is basically chicken stock with a touch of oyster sauce.

P. F. Chang’s China Bistro Cantonese Stir Fry Sauce
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon chicken base powder
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons choosing wine or sherry
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Very concentrated. Use sparingly when stir frying vegetables or tossing with noodles.
Recipe doubles.
Refrigerates well, up to a month.
Stir thoroughly before using.
Servings: 4

That’s a (PF Chang’s Lettuce) Wrap

24 Nov

Our obsession with PF Chang’s is almost as devout as our quest for better lettuce wraps.

Here is a good-looking clone for Chang’s signature appetizer of wok-seared minced chicken, mushrooms, green onions, and water chestnuts served over crispy rice sticks and served with cool, crisp lettuce cups. And trio sauces!

At bottom is Chang’s own recipes for ginger chicken stir-fry romaine wraps with citrus soy.

Serves 2-3

3 tablespoons oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup water chestnuts
2/3 cup mushroom
3 tablespoons chopped onion and/or two chopped green onions
2 cloves minced garlic
4-5 leaves iceberg or bibb/butter lettuce

Special Sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon hot mustard
2 teaspoons water
1-2 teaspoon garlic and red chile paste

Stir Fry Sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

Make the special sauce by dissolving the sugar in water in a small bowl.
Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and sesame oil.
Mix well and refrigerate this sauce until you’re ready to serve.
Combine the hot water with the hot mustard and set this aside as well.
Eventually add your desired measurement of mustard and garlic chili sauce to the special sauce mixture to pour over the wraps.
Bring oil to high heat in a wok or large frying pan.
Saute chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes per side or done.
Remove chicken for the pan and cool.
Keep oil in the pan, keep hot.
As chicken cools mince water chestnuts and mushrooms to about the size of small peas.
Prepare the stir fry sauce by mixing the soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar together in small bowl.
When chicken is cool, mince it as the mushrooms and water chestnuts are.
With the pan still on high heat, add another Tbsp of oil.
Add chicken, garlic, onions, water chestnuts and mushrooms to the pan.
Add the stir fry sauce to the pan and saute the mixture for a couple minutes then serve it in the lettuce “cups”.
Top with “special sauce”.


Recipe courtesy of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro
1 pound chicken
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dry chili flakes
3 tablespoons soy bean oil or vegetable oil
2 heads romaine lettuce, cleaned
½ cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 ounce scallions, sliced thin
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Dice the chicken into tiny pieces. Place the chicken in a mixing bowl and add 2 tablespoons soy
bean oil, ginger, garlic, chili flakes and 2 tablespoons soy sauce. Mix together in circular motion until well mixed. Let marinate in refrigerator for 2-4 hours.
Mix together the citrus juices, soy, and hoisin sauce with a whisk. Reserve until needed. Clean the
romaine lettuce, chopping off the stem, peeling each ‘spear’ and running under clean cold water.
Reserve in refrigerator until ready to use. Chop scallions into rings and reserve chilled.
Coat a very hot sauté pan lightly with soy bean oil. Lay the chicken around the sauté pan being careful not to lay too many on top of each other. Sear the chicken until crispy and golden brown, about 2 ½ minutes. Once chicken is brown, toss gently in pan and sear another 2 ½ minutes.

The pan will appear to “burn”, but that is the carmelization and where all the flavor comes from. Add ½ of the citrus soy mixture to the sauté pan and coat well. Let the sauce coat the chicken until it is glazed, and thickens on the chicken. Add more or less depending on how wet you want your mixture. Spoon chicken onto a plate.
Wrap the chicken mixture in romaine lettuce and top with scallion rings. Serve and enjoy!
*Fun fact: this recipe can also be done with baby shrimps, fish or beef.

Goodies for Grey Cup 2011

23 Nov

Party planning has begun for Sunday’s Grey Cup.

Unable to muster enthusiasm for yet another pot of chili, we are busting out saucy Italian meatball subs on crusty buns topped with havarti. So easy.

Deconstructed chicken wing dip is making another scheduled appearance with celery and other crudite. Our gang is a bit wussy about heat, so next time, we may use less than half a cup of Franks hot wing sauce. It still packs a wallop.

Cheesy refried bean dip is a must. An oldie but a goodie.

Chex Mix/Nuts and Bolts in wooden bowls harkens to our childhood. It’s not Grey Cup without ’em.

Fresh fruit skewers with strawberries, red grapes and whatever looks juicy should lighten the, ahem, load.

To wash it all down, we are featuring a special libation, the Smirnakee — a half-an-half concoction of Smirnoff Ice and Kokanee. Seems kind of game day to us.

UPDATE: Wish we’d seen this recipe sooner. Maybe next year!
From Paula Deen
1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (about 4 breasts)
1 (1-pound) package sliced bacon
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes. Cut each bacon slice into thirds. Wrap each chicken cube with bacon and secure with a wooden pick. Stir together brown sugar and chili powder. Dredge wrapped chicken in mixture. Coat a rack and broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place chicken wrap on rack in broiler pan. Bake 350 for 30 to 35 minutes or until bacon is crisp.

You Sexy Thing

4 Nov

Hot Chocolate band reference aside, we are busting (BUSTING!) to give this homemade mix a whirl. With the season’s first snowfall today and turning clocks back this weekend, it’s the perfect time to get our cocoa on.

For the last few years, we’ve been dropping drips of peppermint extract into our homemade hot choc a la Starbucks peppermint mocha addiction. But we’ve always felt a wee bit guilty using chemical-laden commercial hot chocolate mix.

Williams and Sonoma’s gourmet chocolate shavings cocoa mix is pricy. And do we ever love those tin cannisters! Sigh. At $25ish bucks a tin, I think we will try making our own. Dollar store, here we come.

Perhaps adding a Skor bar to the mix will help us achieve a salted caramel flavour? Or coconut milk? Or, as we just learned Shake Shack does, create salted peanut-butter hot chocolate: add a spoonful of peanut butter and a sprinkle of sea salt.

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
Nonfat dry milk gives this sweet dairy flavor, especially when using hot milk instead of hot water. Confectioners’ sugar dissolves quickly, and cornstarch helps thicken the hot cocoa. White chocolate and cocoa powder makes it creamy.
Makes about 20 servings

3 cups nonfat dry milk
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 cups Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine ingredients in large bowl. Working in two batches, pulse ingredients in food processor until chocolate is finely ground.

To make hot cocoa, stir 1/3 cup of this mix into 1 cup of hot milk.