We have a local Oriental food market that I had heard has great supplies to make homemade egg rolls, wontons and such. Well, several months ago I talked a friend into going with me on this little adventure. The market was located in a hole in the wall of a shopping center, ducks were hanging above her our heads as we walked in and the place reeked of some very unpleasant smells. It was so bad that as we walked in we both gasped for air and covered our mouths. Realizing how rude that was but it was a first reaction. And a must. We quickly picked up supplies for egg rolls and a few other items that we knew would be safe without guessing. After making my rolls I knew I needed to go back but how would I bare that again? A co-worker then let me know that the market had moved and was supposed to be much nicer...no ducks and no God awful smells. So, a couple weeks ago my co-worker Amy and I headed to Nam Hai after work. It was MUCH better and certainly bearable.
We shopped through the aisles trying to figure out what were some items were as I repeatedly suggested to Amy to not pick up jars of fish with eyeballs peaking through the glass or unknown produce items! I still didn't make it to the "fresh" fish butcher area, eek but I picked up some supplies and we headed out. A much better experience this time, thanks Amy for talking me into that trip!
So, first up - what ended up being a like a ten course Chinese meal for just Kyle and I but it was so worth it!
I purchased wonton wrappers and egg roll wraps from Nam Hai. I used this recipe for the pork egg rolls and this recipe for the cream cheese wontons. Kyle and I both loved the wontons and will definitely be a repeat in our kitchen. The fried rice was edible but I have given up on making homemade fried rice I think. I used a spice mix I bought at the market and mixed it with the peas, green onions, eggs and steamed rice. We ate it but I will not be making that mix again. Next, baked sweet and sour chicken, big success! I got the recipe from Megan's post at Tales of the Trees. We loved the chicken and it was so simple to make! So much healthier than takeout and tasty! Kyle is already asking me to make this one again! Sorry, for the terrible picture. After hours in the kitchen I was wiped out and this was the only pic I could manage to take.
Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour, 20 minutes
Yield 4 servings
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Sweet and Sour Sauce:
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9x13 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
To make the sauce, whisk together sugar, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce and garlic powder in a large bowl; set aside.
In a large bowl, season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in cornstarch and gently toss to combine. Working one at a time, dip the chicken into the eggs.
Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Add chicken and cook until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; discard excess oil.
Add chicken to prepared baking dish. Top with sweet and sour sauce. Place into oven and bake until the sauce has thickened, about 55 minutes, turning over every 15 minutes to evenly coat the chicken.
Recipe found at Damn Delicious. Which I've found several great ideas here lately and have added them to my "To Make" list!
Last week I whipped up some roasted potatoes and spinach to go with the steaks Kyle grilled and sauteed green beans. These were again so simple and tasty! This recipe came for the Chopped cookbook that my fellow foodie co-worker, Amy let me borrow.
Roasted Potatoes with Wilted Spinach
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) melted unsalted butter
2 minced garlic cloves
1 tbsp whole-grain mustard
1 pound red potatoes
5 ounces fresh spinach
Whisk together melted butter, garlic cloves, whole-grain mustard. (I added fresh ground pepper also)
Toss with quartered cut red potatoes. (I used Idaho gold potatoes because that's what I had)
Roast at 400 degrees until the potatoes are lightly browned and tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
Top with 5 ounces of fresh spinach leaves. (I just topped with a large couple handfuls)
Return to the oven for 3 more minutes.
Toss to coat and season with kosher salt.
Almond crusted chicken up next: if you are looking for a very simple and healthy recipe to replace fried chicken or even flour coated baked chicken, try almonds... you won't regret it! I served ours with sauteed cabbage and a chopped green salad with green onions and boiled eggs. I used parmesan cheese and a artichoke parmesan dressing, shhh I didn't tell Kyle about the artichoke part, and he loved it!
Almond Crusted Chicken
1 cup raw unsalted almonds
1 chicken breast (I used one pound of chicken tenders)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
Prepare your almonds into almond meal. All you need to do this is a food processor!
Give it a whirl… about a minute later you have almond meal!
Now place on a plate or bowl
Slice your chicken into tenders if not already using tenders.
Brush each tender coating it with olive oil.
Dip each one into the almond meal
Place in the oven for 25 minutes or until brown on top
Original recipe found here.
We had a couple of tenders left over so I warmed them up and tossed them in a salad for my lunch at work the next day.
Lastly Game Day, the appetizer I made for the Superbowl on Sunday. Kyle had been begging me to make this jalapeno popper dip ever since he had some at a friends a few weeks ago. So, I thought this would be the perfect appetizer for the game. And oh my word, this stuff is so yummy! Unlike, the last recipe this one isn't so easy on the figure but completely worth it, trust me!I cut the original recipe in half and it still made a 9x9 dish.
Jalapeno Popper Dip
4 slices of bacon, diced and cooked crispy
1 8-oz packages of cream cheese, soft
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
4 jalapeno's, chopped and deseeded. The seeds will make it fiery hot.
1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup of crushed crackers ( I used Ritz reduced fat)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 stick of butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine all of the ingredients into a medium bowl. Stir well.
Transfer to an oven proof dish. The size of the dish depends on how thick the dip is. The thicker the dip the longer it may need to warm up. I used a 9x9 baking dish and my dip was about two inches thick but still cooked fine.
Combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle all over the top of the dip.
Bake the dip for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly.
Original recipe found here.
Don't just take my word for it, try it as your next appetizer! I served mine with chips but I also tried it on the crackers as well and it was great!
Tonight I'm testing out a new and very healthy dish...wish me luck getting it past Kyle! I plan on trying all new recipes next week so, do any of you have ones you've tried that you could share? Please do, I'd love to hear! Now, this post has made me hungry dang it! Cheers to good eats and good times in the kitchen!