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Simply put, I love food. I revel in everything about it: taste, texture, preparation, presentation, etc. The most favored aspect for me is the social aspect of food…learning to cook from one’s mother, preparing food with friends, grilling out, potlucks, dinner parties or simply meeting for dinner. I light up watching the people I love eat the food that I create. It still truly amazes me how food brings us together. So a little about me. Now in my early 30s, I’ve learned all I know about cooking from my mother and grandmothers. My Midwestern roots are definitely reflected in my cooking style and the recipes that I choose as I am very “meat and potatoes” centric and heavy handed with the butter sometimes. More later, but for now Happy Nomming!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sweet and Sour Chicken

This is one of my favorite quick weeknight meals from Martha Stewart.  I can't stand her voice, but boy do I love her recipes.

I've made this as follows, but also made it with shrimp which is equally as delicious.  If you are using (uncooked, peeled and deveined) shrimp instead of chicken, make sure to add it when you add the scallions and garlic later in the recipe. 

Chuck pineapple is also a great addition to this recipe, if you are feeling crazy!

1 cup of rice (long grain brown, basmati, jasmine, whatever)
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup white vinegar
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1-1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed into 1-inch pieces
2 bell peppers, diced (orange & red pictured, but you can use any kind)
½ pound fresh green beans, trimmed & halfed
5 scallions, sliced thin
¼ teaspoon of ground ginger (more if ginger is your thing.  It’s not mine.  You can also use minced fresh ginger, if you’d like)
3 garlic cloves minced (or 1 ½ teaspoons of minced garlic)
¼ cup chopped peanuts, garnish

Cook rice according to package instructions. While the rice is cooking, whisk together cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce & vinegar. Set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add chicken, bell peppers & green beans.  Stir frequently until veggies begin to soften (about 5 minutes). Add scallions, ginger, and garlic.  Stir frequently until chicken is cook through and veggies are tender (about 5 more minutes).  Add soy sauce mixture to skillet and toss to coat.  Stir constantly until sauce thickens. Remove from heat.  Serve over cooked rice and garnish with chopped peanuts (I roasted my peanuts in a saucepan over low heat until they were golden brown). 

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