Thursday, February 2, 2012

homemade takeout :: sweet and sour chicken and crab rangoon

I used to make chinese food once every couple of months. More recently it's been pretty much every week.

I actually worked in an Asian Wokery at Wegmans for several years when I was younger (if you don't have a a Wegmans I am so very sorry for you). I didn't cook though. I loved (who am I kidding -LOVE, still love!) the wokery food at Wegmans, even though it's totally Americanized. One of the cooks I used to work with would cook 'real' Asian food for us sometimes and would tell me how "American" all the food was they cooked for the bar. Too much sugar, he said. Which I'm sure is true, but it's still totally delicious.

So my homecooked Chinese simply doesn't compare to Wegmans. But it's pretty darn good for homemade 'takeout.'

I find that it's a pretty good process. Chinese night means a good 1.5 hours of food prep and cooking, so I try to only do it on nights that The Husband is home as well.

I also find I probably do too much frying. I baked eggrolls last week. Not as good. I justify it by saying that we probably eat less fried foods than the average american family getting fast food several times a week.

For a few weeks I was just doing a quick pork and veggie stirfry and eggrolls. But the last couple of weeks we've been branching out a little more. I'm thinking I need to get us some chopsticks and some authentic asian recipes.

Last nights dinner was sweet and sour chicken, veggie stirfry, rice, and crab rangoon (um. sans crab so just rangoon?)

Colin told me it was better than Wegmans. That's one heck of a compliment around these parts!

Sweet and Sour Chicken 
6 boneless skinless breasts cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cups flour
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 1/2 cups water

Combine dry ingredients and slowly add water until a thick batter forms. Add the chicken pieces and mix to coat.

Drop one by one in fryer preheated to 350 degrees. I did 4 batches total, each one taking about 10 minutes. You'll want about 1 quart of oil (vegetable, coconut, peanut  - whatever you want)

Keep finished chicken pieces on baking sheet in 200-250 degree oven to keep warm and crispy will frying additional batches.

1/4 cup pineapple juice (or 8 oz can crushed pineapple - use all the juice and about 1/2 the pineapple)
1 3/4 cup water, divided
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar
red and yellow or orange food coloring if desired to look like takeout sauce

In a saucepan mix 1 1/2 cup water, sugar, pineapple, vinegar and food coloring if using. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Mix 1/4 cup cornstarch with 1/4 cup water and add to saucepan (I would halve those amounts next time) - stir until thickened (I kept this on simmer while everything else cooked up)

Serve sauce over chicken

Non Crab Rangoon. 
1 8oz pkg of cream cheese, softened
garlic powder to taste (I used around a tablespoon)
1/2 tsp paprika
dash of pepper
green onions, sliced (as many as desired)
1 pkg wonton wrappers

Mix all ingredients except wrappers (obviously)

spoon mixture into center of wrappers (about a tablespoonish)

wet edges of wrappers with water, fold in half and pinch closed

Fry at 350 for about 5 minutes. Can keep warm and crispy in oven on 200-250 on baking sheet.



Donna said...

Looks inviting~~~~~~:@}

Valkyrie said...

Um. YUM!! Is this a double comment? I can't tell if my first one went through. Anyway, this looks delicious. :-)