Tangy Chicken in Lettuce Cups Recipe!

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Tangy Chicken in Lettuce Cups

Chicken in Lettuce Cups is a fun casual meal for family or friends.

This juicy dish is served family style, and to be eaten with your hands.

Roll your sleeves up, grab some napkins, and dig in!

We Love these, and hope you give it a try!

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Sweet & Tangy Chicken in Lettuce Cups

Makes Appetizers for 4, or Dinner for 2

* Equipment:

Large Wok or medium sauté pan

Tongs, wood paddle, chef knife

Little bowls or dishes for fixings

Ingredients:

3 T oil (peanut or Sunflower is preferred)

6 boneless chicken thighs

1/4 cup flour placed in soup bowl or mixing bowl

1 T chopped Ginger

2 T Honey

1 T Hoisin

1 T Ketchup

1/2 Lime- juice only

1 T light soy sauce

1 T Marie Sharp’s [or your fave] mild hot sauce

1/4 cup water

Side Condiments:

1/4 cup sliced scallions (optional)

1/4 cup lightly chopped cilantro

1/4 cup choice of diced pineapple, red pepper, carrot, onion, chopped peanuts, etc as condiments (as few or as many as you like)

20 lettuce cups (butter or bib lettuce, or Swiss chard leaves) – place on dinner plate

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Chicken in Lettuce Cups
~ Plated to Serve ~

* Method:

  1. Put wok on medium fire
  2. Add oil
  3. Dust chicken thighs in flour
  4. Place chicken in wok and cook to golden brown on one side
  5. flip chicken and cook to brown color on the other side
  6. Turn down heat to low and add ginger and stir with wood paddle, then add honey, Hoisin, ketchup, lime juice, soy sauce, and hot sauce. And continue to stir for maybe a minute
  7. add water and stir.
  8. As soon as chicken is fully cooked, use tongs to remove chicken and place on a cutting board – let the chicken rest for 5 minutes
  9. Using chef knife, slice chicken and place in a bowl
  10. Plate up chicken & condiments, serve and enjoy!

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Shrimp in Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

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Fresh Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

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Shrimp & Fresh Pasta in Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

 “It’s no secret that I love tomatoes, homemade pasta and seafood…

…and the multiple combinations and possibilities using herbs, wines, butters and cream. Having worked in many restaurants, we often made tomato and cream sauces, calling them “Rose Sauces”. The term was used as a quick way to communicate to our guests about the color of the sauce, but it did not succeed in describing the flavors or ingredients to them. Over time, I dropped that term from my menus, and wrote descriptively about tomato sauces; offering critical ingredients that dominated the flavors of the dish. If made often, you will see when combining tomatoes and cream, the results can vary depending upon the type of cream and its origin, or where the tomatoes and garlic were grown. These factors do influence the flavors in your sauce. This fact holds true for the origin of all your ingredients. So I am careful and choosy when making classic sauces. For this dish, I decided to bring back a classic sauce using fresh pasta, tomatoes, cream and shrimp. Note: If you do not eat, do not want, or do not have shrimp on hand – this sauce and dish work equally as well without. You may also choose to omit the cream, and use as a delicious “any day” Tomato Sauce.

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Natural, Quality Ingredients

The tomatoes I used for this recipe are ripe whole tomatoes in puree (canned) from Italy, the cream is local and organic, the garlic and basil were grown in upper Bucks County. This is an easy recipe that anyone can make at home. So, Let’s Get Cooking! 🙂 ” ~ Chef Bruce

 Fresh Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

(with Shrimp & Fresh Pasta}

Prep Time: 20 minutes ** Cooking time: 20 minutes

* Natural Ingredients: (Serves 2)

4 ounces fresh pasta (you may use dry as well).

** Cook the pasta according to directions, but do not over cook the pasta. The pasta will be added to the shrimp and sauce so it will be cooked a bit more in the sauce.

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Fresh, Homemade Pasta

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

10 Shrimp, shelled and deveined *

1 Tblsp Chopped fresh garlic

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or chopped fresh chilies

1/4 cup dry white wine (I prefer Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc)

1/2 cup diced tomatoes in puree, or use your own fresh tomato sauce

1/2 cup fresh cream (I used organic half & half)

1/2 tsp salt

Fresh milled black pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

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Simmering the Tomatoes, Herbs & Spices

* Method:

  1. Place a 10 or 12 inch sauté pan on medium flame. Add the olive oil and butter.
  2. When the butter is melted and starts to sizzle, add the shrimp to the pan in single layer. Cook the shrimp on both sides for about one minute each side.
  3. Add the garlic and stir but do not burn the garlic. Add the white wine and cook for about one minute.
  4. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the cream, salt, milled pepper and basil. Bring to a boil again and then add the cooked pasta.
  6. Stir all ingredients together and taste if more salt or pepper is needed. If you think you need more sauce, just add a few tablespoons more cream.
  7. Plate, and serve. If your pasta absorbs the sauce, you may add a few tablespoons of water or chicken stock. Enjoy!
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Fresh Tomato Basil Cream Sauce w Pasta

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Roasted Garlic Potato Soup

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Winter Potato Soup Scented with Roasted Organic Garlic

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Roasted Garlic Potato Soup

It’s January 2014, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA. The outside temperature is -12 degrees Celsius. It’s flipping cold.

The family asked for a bone warming dinner.

I have just the dish.

Yesterday, Jane and I shopped at our local Co-op and found organic Yukon Gold potatoes, elephant garlic and Porcelain garlic, fresh Italian parsley, micro greens and onions.

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Organic Local Ingredients

I asked the family, “How about a roasted garlic potato soup with focaccia?” The answer was a resounding YES. So, here is the recipe. I hope you enjoy as much as we did. Bon Appetite! 🙂 ~ BW

Winter Potato Soup Scented with Roasted Organic Garlic

Equipment:

4 quart stock pot

Wood spoon

Measuring cups and measuring spoons

Chef knife

Cutting board

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Simmering the Soup

Ingredients for 4 Servings:

3 Tblsp butter

1/2 Spanish or Vidalia onion, 1/2 inch diced

1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

1 bulb roasted garlic, with skins removed & discarded [How to Roast Garlic click here]

1 1/2 cup Béchamel (or white) Sauce [Béchamel Sauce Recipe click here]

1 quart chicken stock

1 cup water

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground white pepper

1/8 tsp ground allspice

1/8 tsp dried thyme leaves

4-5 cups diced potatoes, 1/2 inch dice (preferably Yukon gold, or white potato; don’t use russet potatoes)

Roasted Garlic Potato Soup

Roasted Garlic Potato Soup

Method:

  1. Place stock pot on a medium flame.
  2. Sauté onions in the butter until onions are warm. Add the chopped parsley and stir until the parsley wilts.
  3. Lower flame to medium low. Add the roasted garlic and stir for no more than 30 seconds. Then add the Béchamel sauce and to stir for at least one minute.
  4. Add the chicken stock, water and stir until all boils and all ingredients are combined and simmering.
  5. Add the salt, white pepper, allspice and thyme.
  6. Bring the soup to a boil.
  7. Then add the diced potatoes.
  8. Stir, bring to a boil and cook for about 25 minutes or until the diced potatoes are soft.
  9. Plate, Serve and Enjoy!

This delicious, satisfying soup is chunky and rustic, yet light and elegant.

It is equally at home at family dinner, or at your next dinner party.

Try it sprinkled with shredded cheddar or colby jack cheese,

fresh chives, seasoned croutons, or even bacon bits!

We hope you give it a try!

Cheers, and Happy Eating!

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Elegantly Presented
Roasted Garlic Potato Soup

Moroccan Spiced Chicken with Dates, Golden Raisins & Almonds

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Maybe it’s the colder than normal temperatures this winter,

but I have been on a big spice kick lately.

And hot, bubbly dinners. The kind that warm you up from the inside out.

Bruce mentioned wanting to try making a chicken dish using Moroccan style flavors. I envisioned a recipe that paired it with dates, yellow raisins and almonds. Since he had never made it before, Bruce scoured the internet until he found a recipe on bon appetit that encompassed what both of us had in mind.

Moroccan Chicken with Dates, Raisins & Almonds

The bon appetit recipe did not call for the golden raisins that I wanted, so we added them to our adapted recipe below.

We were also out of cilantro, so we simply left it off. I thought it was plenty fab without it.

Okay! Are you ready? Let’s Get Cooking!

Moroccan Spiced Chicken with Dates, Raisins & Almonds

  • 3 1/2 pounds chicken breast halves, thighs, and drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled & diced [instead of the shallots]
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt [Our Addition]
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 12 dates, pitted, halved
  • 1/4 cup yellow raisins [Our Addition]
  • 1/4 cup almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro (optional)

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*Method

  1. Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt, pepper, and flour. Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add half of chicken pieces to pot and cook until browned on all sides, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to baking sheet or platter; repeat with remaining chicken. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from pot and discard. Reduce heat to medium. Add shallots to pot; sauté until golden, about 6 minutes. Add cinnamon sticks, ginger, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Increase heat to high; add broth and 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until shallots begin to soften, about 18 minutes. Place chicken pieces atop shallots in pot. Bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until juices run clear when thickest part of drumstick is pierced with knife, about 25 minutes.
  2. Transfer chicken and shallots to platter; tent with foil. Boil juices in pot until slightly thickened. Stir in dates, yellow raisins, and remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Reduce heat and simmer gently until dates are heated through, about 2 minutes. Pour sauce, dates and raisins over chicken. Sprinkle with almonds and cilantro (optional).
  3. Serve and Enjoy!

This dish is warm and comforting enough for your family Sunday supper,

while being exotic enough to serve at a dinner party.

It is visually appealing, and tastes fabulous.

CHEERS, and HAPPY EATING!

Braised Chicken with Dates & Moroccan Spices
Photo courtesy of bon appetit

Original Source Recipe Here: Braised Chicken with Dates & Moroccan Spices by bon appetit

To See What Wiki says About Moroccan Cuisine, Click Here

Shrimp, Asian Noodles & Mushrooms in Zesty Black Bean Sauce (A Recipe!)

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Shrimp & Noodles in Black Bean Sauce * Mmmtastethis.com

Few ingredients intrigue me like fermented black beans. The salty, rich, mushroomy, fish sauce flavored quality upgrade a simple stir fry into a mouth watering treat.

If we use cheese as an analogy, soy sauce is to American cheese is what fermented black soy beans are to a cave aged cheese. These beans turn your dish up a notch.

This dish is not shy in flavor and got a thumbs-up from my family. It’s a keeper that will show up again, perhaps some Friday night – very soon! ~ Chef Bruce

* Preparing the Black Beans *

First, prepare your black beans for use. Buy the fermented black beans in loose dry form. Place the beans in a glass jar. Pour Shaohsing Rice wine, or dry sherry, over the beans so all beans are submerged in the wine. Let sit at least one hour. That’s all you need to do and you can store the beans for months this way. * NOTE: Ready-made Fermented black beans can also be purchased in the Asian Section of most markets.

* Shrimp Asian Noodle, &  Mushroom in Black Bean Sauce *

Prep Time: 30 minutes   *   Cook time: 10 minutes   *   Servings: 2

Ingredients:

4 ounces Pad Thai Rice Noodles

Asian Style Rice Noodles

1 tsp chili oil

2 Tblsp veg oil

8 raw shrimp (shelled, deveined; then marinated in 1 Tblsp Corn starch or tapioca flour and 1 Tblsp Sriracha or Korean fermented chili paste)

1 Tblsp chopped garlic

1 Tblsp chopped fresh ginger

Julienne Vegetables: 1/4 cup each of scallion (or fresh chives), carrot, fresh red peppers, and fresh mushrooms (use shiitake, maitake or oyster mushrooms)

1 Tblsp Fermented black soy beans – (prepare ahead of time as above, or purchase prepared from your grocery Asian Foods section – see photo)

Black Bean Sauce

1 Tblsp soy sauce

1 Tblsp Shaohsing rice wine

1 Tblsp toasted sesame seeds

1 cup water or vegetable stock

Method:

  1. Place the rice noodles in medium stock pot. Pour hot tap water over and to cover the rice noodles, for about 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, drain in colander.
  2. Place wok on high flame.
  3. Add chili oil and veg oil, and get oil hot.
  4. Add the shrimp and cook each shrimp on both sides until you achieve brown color. You don’t want to cook the shrimp, just get some color
  5. Add the ginger, garlic, vegetables all at once and stir for 15 seconds on high flame
  6. Add the black beans, soy sauce, rice wine, sesame seeds, and stir for 15 seconds on high flame
  7. Add the rice stick noodles and water and stir and cook for one minute. Don’t worry that you added too much water. The rice stick noodles will absorb the water

* Plate, Serve and Enjoy! *

~ Tip: Try to keep several kinds of noodles and rices on your pantry, and basic veg in your fridge. That way, there is ALWAYS a meal base available.

Also have soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, Chinese cooking wine, hot sauce, and ginger on hand – we use them in a lot of our recipes. It may cost a bit to purchase up front, but they last a long time and are well worth the investment!

Cheers, and Happy Eating!

Asian Seasonings to Keep on Hand!

Easy Tomato Vegetable Soup ~ Yummy in Your Tummy!

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Serves 4  *  Prep Time: 20 minutes  *  Cooking Time: 20 minutes

ImageTomato Vegetable Soup with Parmesan Crustini

GARDEN TOMATO VEGETABLE SOUP

It is winter here in Pennsylvania, and that means it is COLD out side. The is a bite in the air, and some days, you can feel it down in your bones. I ask myself, what can I create that is easy to make, warm in the belly, and that the family will eat? (always my dilemma) Those are days that only a hot, chunky, satisfying soup or stew will do.

Tomato Vegetable Soup is quick, economical, tastes great and healthy. It is guaranteed to warm you and your family from the inside out! As a bonus, you can tell Grandma you ate your vegetables today! 😉

 Easy Tomato Vegetable Soup

 * I added a couple time saving tips that will not affect the flavor, if time is short.

Ingredients:

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1 cup pasta, (I used brown rice macaroni, but you can use any pasta)

2 Tblsp Olive Oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely

1/2 red or white onion coarsely chopped

1 small fresh green pepper coarsely chopped

1 large carrot, sliced in coins or 1/2 inch dice

1/4 cup fresh fennel bulb, coarsely chopped

3 cups fresh pureed tomatoes (*OR use V-8 juice or tomato juice)

2 cups chicken stock (*OR if time is short use water)

1 Zucchini, 1/2 inch dice

1 tsp salt

Ground black pepper (5 turns of the pepper mill)

1 tsp sugar

ImageSOFTENING THE VEGETABLES

* Method:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, wash the pasta, cool and set the pasta aside.
  2. When you start cooking the pasta, place a 4-6 quart stock pot on medium flame and immediately add the olive oil.
  3. Add the garlic, onion, fresh pepper, carrot and fennel and stir; do not burn or try to get color on the vegetable; just get them hot. This takes about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the zucchini, chicken stock, tomato puree, salt, ground pepper and sugar and turn the flame to high heat.
  5. Bring the soup to a boil and cook on a boil for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the cooked pasta, bring to the boil. Soup is ready to serve.
  7. Enjoy!
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Cheers, and Happy Eating!

Home Made Pulled Pork ! <3

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Pulled Pork with BBQ Sauce

We see all kinds of variations of pulled pork these days. Some are bland, some are spicy, some overpowered with BBQ sauce. We have never had unpleasant pulled pork because it is so easy to make. Essentially any meat, when placed in a pot with a liquid, will over time simply fall apart in its cooking liquid. The goal in making pulled pork is the same. You just need to add seasoning and spices so your pork is flavorful. The recipe below will get you started. So, without further adieu, Let’s Get Cooking! ~ Chef Bruce

Pulled Pork

Prep Time: 15 minutes  *  Cook time: 2 to 3 hours  *  Difficulty level: Easy

Equipment: Enameled cast iron pot with tight fitting lid, or any other stock pot where your food does not burn when cooking. You may use your slow cooker instead.

 Ingredients:

  • One pork butt or pork shoulder (approximately 3 lbs)
  • 12 Belizean spice berries, or whole allspice
  • 1 Tblsp Belizean Recado*, Mexican Adobo Sauce or Achiote Paste (dissolved in 1/4 cup water). * Neither of these are spicy. (* SEE NOTE BELOW!)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (optional – I really like the aroma that seeps into the pork))
  • 1/2 small onion or two scallions
  • 1/2 tsp black ground pepper
  • 1 Serrano pepper sliced in half (optional- for those who like a little zing, like I do)
  • Water to just barely cover the pork
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Seasoned Stewed Pork

 Cooking Method (it’s not complicated):

  1. Place pork in pot with all ingredients
  2. Bring to a boil
  3. Place lid on pot and turn down flame so the water just simmers
  4. Cook unit you are able to separate the pork with a fork
  5. Estimated cooking time is 2 to 3 hours
  6. When pork is cooked, turn off the flame, keep the lid on and allow the pork and liquid to come to room temperature. This may take an hour or so. (Note: The pork will absorb some of the liquid if you allow the pork to cool this way. The pork will be juicier and more flavorful).

 Preparing the Pulled Pork:

  1. Place the cooled pork in a mixing bowl. Place a 2nd empty mixing bowl next to the mixing bowl with the pork.  (Be sure to save the liquid in which you cooked the pork).
  2. Using your fingers, separate the fat away from the meat, placing the meat into the 2nd mixing bowl.
  3. Discard the fat (ok, I eat the fat on toast because it tastes so darn good, but that’s just me)
  4. Before serving the pork, you need to use your fingers to separate the pork into shreds which makes chewing the pork easier. If you want to save time, you may use a chef knife to chop the pork into smaller pieces.
  5. I always use some of the cooking liquid to add more flavor and moisture to the pulled pork. For one pork butt, add approximately 12 ounces of the cooking liquid to the pulled pork.
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BBQ Pork w/ Seasoned Fries & Slaw

 How to serve:

Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce on a puffy roll, or open-faced on bread. Try it topped with spicy chili mayo or your favorite melted cheese.You can even make it into Healthy Lettuce Wraps, especially If you don’t do gluten or carbs. As for me, I prefer pulled pork on a toasty roll with tangy BBQ Sauce, seasoned potato wedges, creamy cabbage slaw and hot sauce. (of course!) 🙂 ~ BW

This Recipe is delicious, and is always a big hit with friends & family.

Perfect on a cold winter day! Hope you decide to give it a try.

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Pulled Pork & Pineapple Lettuce Wraps

Cheers, and Happy Eating!

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* NOTE! ~   If you prefer yours a bit spicier, or you don’t have the Recado or achiote paste, you may substitute 1/4 cup of  “La Costena Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce” (canned, and available in the Mexican Aisle of most super markets)

Where to buy Red Recado: If you cannot fly to Belize to purchase Recado, see the website below, which sells it (I stock up each time I visit Belize – Recado lasts forever in the pantry when double zip-locked). CLICK HERE TO BUY RED RECADO