Friday, September 14, 2012

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps

Once in a while, I just get bored of ground beef. When that happens, I experiment a little bit. This recipe is a take on one of my favorites from P.F. Chang's. Unfortunately, Mr. Chang likely uses cornstarch, sugar, rice noodles, and vegetable or canola oil in his...I've left those out. I also subbed ground beef for chicken. Take it away, photograph!

*Serves 2-4*

1 lb Ground beef
1/2 cup Shredded carrots
1/2 cup Green onions, chopped
1/2 cup Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Bean sprouts
8 oz Water chestnuts, chopped
8 oz Bamboo shoots, chopped
1 head Romaine lettuce
1 Tbsp Garlic
2 Tbsp Sesame oil
1/4 cup Wheat-free tamari
1 tsp Powdered ginger
1 tsp Stevia
1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes
Coarse salt and pepper to taste

In a large pan or wok, heat the sesame oil. Add in the carrots, mushrooms, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, and green onions. Stir and toss continuously, adding all dry ingredients. Mix in the ground beef, chopping into tiny pieces with the spatula as you go. Pour in the tamari and allow to simmer for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. When all ingredients appear well blended and cooked through, mix in the garlic and stir for an additional minute. Remove each leaf from the head of romaine and serve the mixture on them. (Fold and eat!)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Chicken Stuffed Bell Pepper Poppers

Another product of having random ingredients in my fridge and throwing them together! These are great served as an entree or as appetizers. In this case, I served them as an entree alongside kale sauteed in the bacon fat.

*Serves 2 (as entree)*

8 Mini bell peppers, cut in half and seeded
8 strips Bacon
1 Chicken breast
2 Tbsp Cream cheese
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp Unsalted butter
Garlic powder
Coarse salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large pan, cook the bacon on low so that it gets a little crispy but is still mobile. In a separate pan, melt the tablespoon of butter. Tenderize the chicken, season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper and add to the pan, cooking on one side until lightly browned. While the chicken is cooking, spread the cream cheese evenly on one side of each mini bell pepper. Flip the chicken and turn up the heat slightly, then add the balsamic vinegar. After about one minute, flip the chicken again, allowing to sit in the balsamic reduction for an additional minute. Remove from the heat, slice, and place into the halves of the bell peppers without cream cheese. Re-form the bell peppers by putting the sides back together, wrap each one in bacon, and place on a lined baking sheet (silpats work wonderfully). Bake at 350 for ten minutes, then broil on high for about three minutes (keep an eye on them so that they don't start burning). Serve immediately. Nobody likes soggy bacon.