Apr 2, 2007

Monday Update 4/2/07

Dinner Date
Last Friday, S came over and we made General Tso's Chicken for dinner. Well, actually *I* made it and he kept me company in the kitchen while I cooked. I take that back, he mixed up the sauce for me. It only took about an hour to make. It was the most scrumptious meal ever!!


1 lb. chicken thighs, boned & cubed*
3 eggs, beaten
½ c. cornstarch + 8 tsp. cornstarch
5 dried chili pods*
6 tbsp. rice wine vinegar*
12 tbsp. sugar
12 tbsp. soy sauce
Peanut or Canola oil
Green onion, chopped (optional garnish)

In a large bowl, thoroughly blend the 1/2 cup of cornstarch and the eggs; add the chicken and toss to coat. If the mixture is too thick, add some vegetable oil to separate the pieces.

The General's Favorite Sauce: In a small bowl, prepare the sauce mixture by combining the 8 tsp cornstarch with the vinegar, sugar and soy sauce.

First-Stage Frying: Heat 1-2 inches of peanut oil in a wok to medium-high heat (350-400). Fry the chicken in small batches, just long enough to cook the chicken through. Remove the chicken to absorbent paper and allow to stand (this step can be performed well in advance, along with the sauce mixture, with both refrigerated).

Second-Stage Frying: Leave a tablespoon or two of the oil in the wok. Add the pepper pods to the oil and stir-fry briefly, awakening the aroma but not burning them. Return the chicken to the wok and stir-fry until the pieces are crispy brown. Add the sauce-mixture to the wok, tossing over the heat until the sauce caramelizes into a glaze (1-2 minutes). Serve immediately over white rice topped with chopped steamed broccoli. Sprinkle with green onion. Serves 4.

*Substitute balsamic vinegar or sherry in place of rice vinegar.
*Substitute chicken breasts for thighs.
*Substitute dried red pepper for chili pods (1/2 tsp. garlic powder, ½ tsp. red pepper flakes)

Variations: Alternative sauce recipe (not as spicy): ½ c. cornstarch, ¼ c. water, 1½ tsp. ea. garlic & ginger, ¾ c. sugar, 1/2 c. soy sauce, ¼ c. vinegar & 1/4 c. sherry wine, one 14 oz can of chicken broth.
Melissa wanted to know if there was a difference between "rice wine vinegar" and "rice vinegar". I actually had to research that question. I didn't think there was a difference, but I am now informed! There IS a difference. However, when I made this recipe I used Rice Vinegar *not* Rice Wine Vinegar and it turned out just fine.

I finished putting together my Spring Kit in a Container Exchange for ILCS. As soon as Roberta receives it, I'll show what it looked like.

I bought some more plants and couple more fish for the aquarium. So far I have 8 fish. I think I need more color, though. Maybe some yellow fish...

Monday Mutterings
I say ... and you think ... ?

Trembling :: Scared
Shut up :: Quiet
Heights :: Fear
Monica :: Lewinski
Delicious :: Yummy
Joint :: Pain
Ferry :: Boat
Bliss :: Happiness
Rejection :: Sadness
Satisfying :: Contentment

More Mutterings

More Cooking
I had some potatoes that had to be used up so I made Crockpot Potato Soup with a few changes: Substituted one can Cream of Mushroom Soup for Cream of Celery, omitted fresh celery, added chopped broccoli stems, added milk at the end. Absolutely yummy!

Will it ever end??! Going on 2 months now and I *still* have this cough. A 5-day stint on antibiotics didn't help. A week of prednisone didn't help. Now I'm on a 2-week trip with Advair. I'm telling ya, it's getting old...

Stitchy Stuff
Woo Hoo! I actually got some stitching in. It'd been over a week since I put my last stitch in, so I was due. I worked on Mime for several hours. I also stitched one side of my biscornu design for a retreat I'm attending in June.

As of today, I am finally caught up to where I should be in my meteorology class. I'm managing to hold a "B" for a grade so far. *crossing fingers it stays there* I have a power point presentation that is due in 3 weeks. I guess I'd better get started on the research, eh?

I got a letter in the mail last week informing me about the important dates pertaining to commencement. :D I am FINALLY graduating!!!


stitcherw said...

Your dinner sounds yummy, and I missed your original post of the potato soup, so I printed that off as that sounds wonderful too. Also, I'm big into easy with cooking, and that seemed to fit that description perfectly.

Your aquarium looks nice, and as to your word association, unfortuantely I can relate to the joint::pain part. We are getting cold and damp weather here again, which sets off my knee, I want summer. Oh well, pretty soon.

Congratulations on being caught up on your class, and on getting the commencement information, that must feel wonderful to be so close.

glenda said...

Way to go on graduating soon!!
Sounds like you had a pretty eventful weekend. The chinese sounds really good.

Melissa said...

Meari-Thank you so much for posting the General Tso's chicken recipe. It's one of my favorites and I've been wanting to attempt to make it at home.

Michele said...

that chicken sounds yummy! and congraulations about graduating! That is wonderful news :)

~Kim~ said...

Thanks for the recipies! They sound yummy!

Congrats about the graduating news! Hope that cough goes away soon!


Barbara said...

Woohoo - graduation! Go, girl, go!

That dinner sounds scrumptious. Yum. :)

Sharon said...

Meari that dinner sounded divine and a graduation-how fabulous. When would be the big day?

Nancy in IL said...

Your recipes look and sound yummy! Your aquarium looks so pretty and colorful. I used to have one when the kids were little, then they kinda just lost interest. Once the fish croaked, I sold it all in a garage sale. Seeing yours makes me yearn again.

Melissa said...

Meari-Quick question about your General Tso's chicken. I was able to get Rice Vinegar but can't seem to locate Rice Wine Vinegar, I did see Rice Wine, but no Rice Wine Vinegar. Will it have the same taste just using the Rice Vinegar?

Please email me--if you have time--at gulfskye at aol dot com