Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Chinese Tonight

I love Chinese and we are lucky enough to have a Chinese restaurant in little Maquoketa.  They have a terrific buffet for lunch on Friday and Saturday evenings.  When ever Sam visits for the week end it never fails he always wants to go there.  I lack imagination and have the same old, same old each time because I love them so.  Here are some of my favorites that I always get when we go or do take out.  They are awfully close to The Great Wall's here in Maquoketa.  

Egg Drop Soup 

4 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 beaten eggs
1 drop yellow food coloring (optional)
½  teaspoon salt
½  teaspoon ground white pepper

In a small saucepan, combine the chicken broth, soy sauce and sesame oil. Bring to a boil. Stir together the cornstarch and water to dissolve cornstarch; pour into the boiling broth. Stir gently while you pour in the whipped eggs and yellow food coloring if using. Season with salt and pepper before serving.

Crab Rangoon

8 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces canned crab meat
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
White pepper to taste
1 tsp garlic powder
1 package won ton wrappers
1 small bowl water

Combine the cream cheese, crab, onion, Worcestershire, soy sauce, pepper, and garlic.
Wet the edges of the won ton wrapper.  Add a teaspoon of filling to the middle.

Fold over the edges of the wrapper to make a triangle. Wet the edges with water and press together to seal.

Keep the completed Crab Rangoon covered with a damp towel or paper towel to keep them from drying out while preparing the remainder.

Heat oil for deep-frying. When oil is 360 drop in the Crab Rangoon taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Deep-fry until they are golden brown, about 3 minutes, turning once. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.

Sesame Chicken

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 dash sesame oil
1 pound cubed, skinless, boneless chicken breast

1 cup chicken broth
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons  white vinegar
2 tablespoons  soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon chili paste
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup water

1 quart oil for frying
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and baking powder into a bowl. Pour in soy sauce, water, vegetable oil, and a dash of sesame oil; stir until smooth. Add the chicken to the batter and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Bring chicken broth, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili paste, and garlic to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Dissolve 1/4 cup cornstarch into 1/2 cup of water, and stir into boiling sauce. Simmer until the sauce thickens and turns clear, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and keep sauce warm.

Heat the oil in a deep fryer or large saucepan to a temperature of 375 degrees F.  Drop in the battered chicken pieces, a few at a time, and fry until they turn golden brown and float to the top of the oil, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on a paper towel lined plate.   Drop the fried chicken into the hot sauce pan and stir.   Put on serving plate and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds to garnish.

Chicken Lo Mein

Sam always has the Chicken Lo Mein

1 lb. boneless chicken breast cut in strips
1 tbsp. oil
1 16 oz. pkg. frozen oriental vegetables
1 c. water
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 Swanson chicken flavor packet
4 oz. of cooked spaghetti

Heat oil in 10 inch skillet over high to medium high heat. Add chicken and stir fry until lightly browned about 3 minutes. Stir in vegetables, water, soy sauce and flavor packet.

Reduce heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in spaghetti until well mixed and heated.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

1/3 cup rice vinegar
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 4 teaspoons water

Mix the vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, and soy sauce together and bring to a boil in a small pot. Mix together the cornstarch and water, add to the other ingredients and stir to thicken.

You may want to double this recipe.  It keeps nice in the refrigerator.  Serve as a dipping sauce on the side.

Sweet and Sour Pork

3/4 pound cubed pork tenderloin
2 - 3 teaspoons soy sauce
Pinch of cornstarch

1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup warm water, as needed
3 cups oil for deep-frying, or as needed

Cut the pork into 1-inch cubes. Marinate in the soy sauce and cornstarch for 20 minutes.

Heat the oil for deep--frying to 375 degrees F.

Combine the flour and cornstarch. Stir in the egg white and vegetable oil. Add as much of the warm water as is needed to form a thick batter that is neither too dry or too moist. (The batter should not be runny, but should drop off the back of a spoon like pancake batter).

Dip the marinated pork cubes in the batter. Deep-fry in batches, taking care not to overcrowd the oil. Deep-fry the pork until it is golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.

(If desired you can deep-fry the pork at second time to make it extra crispy. Make sure the oil is back up to 375 before you begin deep-frying again).

Serve with the above sweet and sour sauce and rice.  You can follow the same recipe and do it with chicken for fried chicken to dip in your sweet and sour sauce.

For gluten free just replace the flour with corn starch and double the corn starch.  Make sure any soy sauce you might use is gluten free.

You can use the same recipe but substitute it with chicken.

Chinese Fried Rice

1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
½ small onion
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 large carrots, diced
3/4 cup frozen pea
6 cups cooked white rice*
2 scrabbled eggs
1/3 cup soy sauce

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft.  Add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, the carrots, peas and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add the cooked rice and stir thoroughly until heated through.  Stir in scrambled eggs and 1/3 cup soy sauce, heat through and serve hot.

You may add a little meat to the rice if you like.  Add chopped ham, small shrimp or chicken after sautéing the onion.

* For the cooked rice, follow the recipe on your rice package. 

To save money and a trip to pick up your take out, try making your own.  These are really quite simple.

Tomorrow to save money, I'm talking left overs.  

Be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

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