January 30, 2015
I bet you thought I’d be talking about Super Bowl fare today?! Don’t get me wrong, I love chips, dips and wings as much as the next guy, but these days family meals have been on the brain. Fear not friends, I have included a couple links at the end to ensure your Super Bowl Bash is a success.
This stir-fry recipe for cashew chicken is tasty and packed full of delicious flavors; a little bit sweet, a tad spicy and super fresh tasting. It’s been on our January dinner rotation, receiving top marks from my picky critics (even the 4’ under sect) and it’s easy! Full disclosure, it’s not the most overly fresh-picked-from-the-garden focused recipe (can I get points for planting sugar snap peas last week?) With not much effort it’s a healthy dinner on the table in under 10 minutes cooking time. I’m always on the lookout for easy and fresh family meals — who’s with me?
Don’t let the list of ingredients intimidate you — it may seem like a lot to put together but once you have these ingredients in your pantry you can make so many dishes. Also, you’d be surprised at the variety of Asian styled ingredients you can find at your ordinary grocery store.
Prepping ingredients in advance doesn’t take away from the flavor of the stir fry one bit. Simple steps like dicing the chicken and veggies, mixing the sauce ingredients and even pre-cooking the rice in a rice cooker will save a lot of time when you come home and need dinner quickly. Keep everything in the fridge on a tray and pull it out, heat up your stove and get ‘woking’.
A few things to keep in mind when you are making stir fry.
-Prep your chicken and veggies so they are ready when your wok is ready. Put all of those little nesting bowls, sitting so lonely in your cupboard to use!
-Get your wok screaming hot. Splash a little water on the pan to make sure things are sizzling before you add your oil and aromatics.
-Use a clean tasting oil with a high smoke point so you don’t burn your oil. I usually use grape seed oil but here are some other options: sunflower, rice bran oil, peanut oil (though check for peanut allergies if your serving a group).
-Make rice in a rice cooker – it will turn out perfect every time. I especially love it for brown rice, which never seems to turn out right for me (full confessions from a foodblogger). This California grown rice from Koda farms is awesome!!!
-If you don’t have a wok, substitute with a large cast iron frying pan and follow the same rules in the first two tips.
1.5 lbs chicken breasts, boneless and skinless (2 -3 full breasts), diced in 1″ pieces
2 tablespoons grape seed oil
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 chile de arbol (optional)
1 tablespoon (about one nub) ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 large red bell pepper, large dice
3 green onion, slice in 1” pieces
1 cup sugar snap peas, veins removed and sliced in half
½ cup whole cashews
1 tablespoon lime
1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 tablespoon Hoisin sauce
1 tsp Sriracha
1 tablespoon mirin wine
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoon water
This will go quickly so make sure your rice is done with cooking or just about done before you start with the wok.
Heat wok on high. When you think the wok is good and hot, splash a bit of water in the pan, if it sizzles, the pan is ready. Add chiles and oil, in the mean time, season chicken with salt and pepper and coat with corn starch.
Add the chicken to the wok, moving it around the pan with a metal spoon from time to time to ensure even cooking, cook 4 minutes, the chicken will turn slightly golden in color. Next add the ginger and garlic to the pan stir to coat the chicken for 1 minute. Pour in the sauce mixture and reduce by half about 2 minutes, then add the veggies stir and cook for 1-2 minutes. Veggies should maintain a good crunch. Lastly, if you don’t want anyone at your table to eat the peppers, remove them now and add the cashews. Stir to incorporate. Serve over rice.
What will you be serving for the big game?