Sunday, March 31, 2013

Orange Peel Chicken

My in house taste tester and I always order Chinese food from a place here in Vancouver called Golden Great Wall, it is amazing!

We always get the same 3 dishes and Orange Peel Chicken is one of them.
When I saw this recipe for a homemade version I had to try it.

It turned out really great! Takes a little prep, but really not difficult.
The chicken was super crunchy on the outside and tender in the centre.
The sauce is sticky and sweet with a good kick of heat.

We loved it!

What you need,

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 tbsp. finely grated orange zest (about 1 orange)
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 2 large oranges)
1/3 cup white vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
2/3 cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp. dried ginger
2 tbsp. grated yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. Sriracha sauce (if you like it hot you can add more)
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
(¼ cup honey, see note!)
1 cup + 2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. Cold water
2 large eggs
Vegetable or canola oil for frying
Chopped green onion and
Sesame seeds, for garnish

Place the chicken pieces in a large zip top bag.

In a medium sauce pan combine the chicken broth, orange zest, orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce, granulated sugar, ginger, yellow onion, garlic, Sriracha and pepper.

Whisk mixture to combine. Measure out 2/3 cup into the zip top bag with the chicken. Shake to coat and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In a small bowl stir 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water to make a paste.

Cook the remaining sauce over medium heat until it just starts to boil.
Stir in the cornstarch paste and continue to cook for 1-2 more minutes until thickened. Turn the heat off and put a lid on the pot to keep the sauce warm.

(I tasted the sauce at this point and felt like it needed some sweetness this is when I added the honey. Kitchen Fail I totally didn’t notice the sugar in the original recipe and left it out…Duh! so don’t be like me, use the sugar. I am sure it would be sweet enough, if not add a little honey.)

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat until the temperature reaches 350 degrees. The oil should be about 2 inches deep.

Drain the excess marinade off the chicken.

In a shallow pie plate, whisk the eggs, in a second pie plate measure out the rest of the cornstarch.
Dip the chicken pieces in the egg then dredge in the cornstarch, be sure the chicken is well coated.

Fry the chicken in batches for 6-8 minutes until it is golden brown and crisp. Be sure not to overcrowd the oil, I did mine in 3 batches.
Once the chicken is cooked remove to a paper towel lined plate.

Place the fried chicken in a large bowl, pour the warm sauce over the chicken and toss to coat.

Sprinkle with the green onion and sesame seeds.

Serve over rice.

This recipe was amazing! I will be making it again for sure.

If I can just figure out how to make the Szechuan Green Beans from Golden Great Wall I won’t ever have to order take out again!


Recipe from Cooking Classy

Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter Recipe Round-Up

It is Good Friday! Time to dust off your Easter baskets and color some eggs!

I thought I would share some of my favourite Easter recipes.

Classic Egg Salad Sandwiches are perfect way to use up some of those pretty colored eggs.

Or, how about these Make Ahead Muffin Melts, YUM!

I have always loved Hot Cross Buns, and these homemade ones are amazing!

We always had Ham and Scalloped Potatoes for Easter dinner.

How about some sweet treats, it is Easter after all!

Peanut Butter Cup Bars. (TO DIE FOR!)

Lemon Cheesecake, heaven, for real!

How about some Lemon Cloud Pie!

I hope you all have a Very Hoppy Easter!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Chocolate Chip Muffins

I had a craving for a good old Chocolate Chip Muffin. I haven’t made muffins for ages, so I decided to whip up a batch!

These muffins are soft and tender, and I love the crunch sugar topping! The hint of cinnamon and nutmeg really adds a nice warmness.

What you need,

3 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup milk, I used 1%
½ cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Sanding sugar for topping, optional

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray a muffin tin or line with paper liners, set aside.

In a bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the milk, oil and vanilla, stir to combine.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. Some lumps are OK.
Gently stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle the top of the batter with the sanding sugar.

Bake at 425 degrees for 5 minutes, turn the heat down to 375 degrees and cook for another 12-15 minutes, until the muffins are golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
I got 1 dozen regular sized muffins and about a dozen mini muffins. You can cook minis at 375 degrees for the whole time and they take about 10-12 minutes.

Remove the muffins to a wire rack and let them cool completely.

Store in an airtight container for 5 days or you can freeze them for up to 3 months.

Nothing better than a warm Chocolate Chip Muffin for breakfast!
Yum Yum!


Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Monday, March 25, 2013

Pistachio Pudding Dessert

I remember this dessert from when I was a kid. My mom made it a few times and I loved it!

You could really use any flavour of pudding you want.  It would be great with Chocolate!

What you need,

1 cup flour
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup finely chopped pecans

8oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup icing sugar
1 (6 serving size) instant pistachio pudding
2 cups milk

1 cup whipping cream or cool whip
2-3 tbsp. slivered almonds

Start by making the crust. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.

In a medium bowl mix together the flour and softened butter until it resembles coarse sand. Stir in the pecans. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

Bake for 15 minutes until just starting to brown. Let the crust cool completely before going on to the next step.

In a large bowl combine the cream cheese and icing sugar, using an electric hand mixer, beat until light and fluffy.

Spread over the cooled crust.

In a large bowl combine the pudding and the milk, beat for 2-3 minutes until it begins to thicken.

Pour over the cream cheese layer.

Cover with saran wrap and let it chill in the fridge for a couple hours.

Just before serving spread a layer of whipped cream or cool whip over the top and sprinkle with the almonds.

Cut yourself a big slice and enjoy!

This dessert is so amazing! It is light and refreshing, a perfect end to any meal.


Recipe from Key Ingredient

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Tomato Mac and Cheese

Just in case I didn’t have enough Mac and Cheese recipes on this blog already (3), I thought I would add another!

This Tomato Mac and Cheese is perfection!
It is super creamy and has a ton of tomato flavour.

Mac and Cheese is my life!

What you need,

1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. salt
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes
6 tbsp. butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
4 cups half and half
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
6 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp. pepper

Heat the oven to 400 degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil, stir in 1 tablespoon of salt and the macaroni. Cook for about 6-7 minutes, just until al dente. You want it a little undercooked.  Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Pour the can of diced tomatoes with their juices over the pasta and stir to coat. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.  Set aside.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until foaming.  Stir in the flour and cayenne and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the half and half and broth until smooth. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Off heat, whisk in the cheese, 1 teaspoon of salt and the pepper. Stir until smooth. Pour the sauce over the macaroni and stir to combine.
Pour the pasta into a 9x13 inch baking dish set on a rimmed baking sheet.  Bake until the top begins to brown and the mixture is bubbling, 15-20 minutes.  

Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.

You guys won’t believe how amazing this is!
It makes a ton, so invite some friends over.