Ohhhhhhhh…. Spring. You’re such a tease. That beautiful day for April Fool’s? Not enough. Now that it’s officially mid-April, I’m ready for some more warm days. As I donned my handknit wool socks this morning, I thought, goodness knows I like wearing my handknits but I am so ready to pack them up for awhile!
I have definitely enjoyed the return of the farmers’ market the last few weeks. Fresh bok choi, radishes, and green onions give me hope.
It’s quite nice to have it getting light at 6:30 and not going completely dark until 8.
BUT it’s still so chilly. I’m craving warmth, even heat.
I guess I’ll have to make my own. Who’s with me?
Kung Pao Chicken
Adapted from various internet recipes
1. Marinate 2 or 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1-inch chunks) in:
1 T white wine
1 T soy sauce
1 T sesame oil
1 t corn starch
4-6 crushed garlic cloves
2. Then make sauce:
2 T white wine
2 T soy sauce
1 T rice vinegar
1 T honey or brown sugar
1 T corn starch
Combine ingredients in a measuring cup, stirring briskly with a fork, and set aside.
3. Start a nice big pot of steamed rice.
4. Prep your veggies:
2-3 medium-to-large bunches bok choi: separate stalks from leaves; slice the stalks in 1/2 inch pieces, cut or tear the leaves into bite-size pieces
2 carrots, sliced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
4 spring onions: separate white parts, sliced, from green parts, coarsely chopped.
a handful of small radishes, sliced
5. Gather your goodies:
2 T vegetable oil
4-8 dried red chile peppers (I used 6 big ones and the spicy was a good, medium spicy)
1/2 cup chopped or whole roasted peanuts
6. COOK IT!
Heat 1 T oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots, and cover to let them steam a minute or two. Remove the cover, add bell peppers, and stir occasionally until beginning to brown. Add white portions of onions. Then add bok choi stems. When everything is nicely browned around the edges, throw in the bok choi leaves and green onion tops and stir until just wilted. Remove all the veggies to a covered dish.
Heat another T of oil. Add the red peppers and let them sizzle for a moment. Drain the chicken from its marinade, and distribute it as evenly as possible in the pan. Let it fry without moving the pieces until browned, then continue to cook and stir occasionally until liquid is evaporated. Remove the pan from the heat, remove the chicken to the covered dish, give the sauce a good stir and add it to the pan. Replace the pan on the heat and stir the sauce until it’s bubbly and very thick – it will thin out when you add the vegetables and chicken back into the pan. Do so, stirring well to combine everything, and then add the radishes and peanuts. Stir again, and season to taste with salt and fresh-ground pepper.
Serve over steamed rice.