Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Easy Chinese Food...without the delivery fees

I've been really into cooking this week.  I just bought two new cookbooks and usually that motivates me, but I've actually been really into cooking and food since my grandma passed away last month.  My grandmother and my great-aunt (who passed a few years ago) were excellent cooks.  Very old school Italian.  No one made lasagna like my grandmother (she rolled tiny meatballs for the meat layer - all the meatballs needed to be the same size). No one baked pies like my great aunt. My mom is also a great cook. Her friends can't believe she cooks dinner 7 nights a week (that's unheard of in a Long Island household...cooking dinner once a week is unheard of in some households). 

Obviously the above dish is not Italian, it's Chinese but that's OK.  Stir fry is the easiest meal in the world.  This recipe came from my Mark Bittman's Quick and Easy Cookbook (an excellent cookbook to make easy but still slightly gourmet meals). 

Peppers (I buy them pre-sliced at the grocery store.  My knife skills are not impressive)
Thin-sliced chicken (cut into thin strips)
Hoisin Sauce (I've never heard of this but it's delicious and I'm happy its now in my fridge)
Vegetable Oil

1. Heat vegetable oil over high heat in a large skillet.  I used my brand new 5 quart skillet. It takes up half my stove and I love it.  Add peppers.  Cook until slightly blackened at the edges (about a minute)
2. Add chicken.  Stir once or twice until cooked through (on high heat the chicken takes about 2-3 minutes to cook). 
3. Add Cashews and 3 tablespoons Hoisin Sauce.  Add a tiny bit of water.  Stir until the sauce coats all the chicken.  I leave it simmering for a few minutes while I wait for the rice to finish cooking.

This tasted like super fresh Chinese food.  The cashews give it the crunch that I love and the sauce is absolutely perfect.  Yum :)

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