Sunday, November 16, 2014

Back with a bang!

After a nice little hiatus I'm back in least a couple days a week! Life has included: buying a house (!), a puppy (!!), and a bun in the oven (!!!). Understandable blogging was not high up on my priority list as I moved into this new adult chapter of life. A few trusty standby recipes and owning a real grill for the first time have gotten us through the adjustment period of moving to the suburbs. Now that we are settled in a bit and I'm getting sick a little less (ah, the lovely first trimester) I'm starting to feel the urge to try new recipes.
The other night a recipe for copycat Asian BBQ chicken lettuce wraps from PF Changs. I've only been there once and I did not have the lettuce wraps so I can't really compare it to the real deal but they were very good! This recipe is both similar and different from our favorite Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps.
-uses ground chicken, not need to cut up slimy chicken breast and hope you get all the fat trimmed
-the flavor is awesome!
-easy to customize: use lettuce wraps or serve on rice, toss in whatever veggies you have on hand
-The sauce requires hoisin sauce (asian bbq sauce) which I general don't have on hand and taste can vary greatly depending on brand. I used Soy Yay Garlic Hoisin and was very impressed. I don't think I'll go back to trying other brands.
Asian BBQ Lettuce Wraps
(Pinterest find!)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 pound ground chicken
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
¼ cup hoisin sauce (I loved Soy Yay's Garlic Hoisin)
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced (I would grate it next time)
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
3 teaspoons sriracha sauce
1 can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
1 small bunch green onions, sliced (Omitted, I didn't have any on hand)
2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/3 cup cashews or peanuts, chopped
Iceberg, Bibb or butter lettuce leaves, rinsed and drained
1. Heat up the peanut oil and sesame oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the ground chicken and cook until it is cooked through, break it up into smaller chunks as it cooks. 
2. When the chicken mostly cooked add the onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook for a few minutes until the onions are heated through and reach the desired consistency (I didn't want my raw like the original recipe called for).
3. Lower the heat. At this point if there is a lot of liquid from the chicken and onions drain it, you don't want it to dilute the sauce! In a separate bowl mix the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice wine vinegar, sriracha, and 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Stir it well and pour it into your meat mixture, stir until complete coated.
4. Add in the water chestnuts, green onion, and cashews/peanuts. Let sit until heated through and sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally.
5. Serve with lettuce, rice, or whatever toppings you want!

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