Monday, January 30, 2017

Orange Chicken aka Panda Express...Ree Drummond

  •  Vegetable Or Peanut Oil For Frying
  •  Chicken
  • 4 whole Egg Whites
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 4 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs, Cut Into Bite Sized Pieces
  •  Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup Orange Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Packed Brown Sugar (OR White Sugar OR Honey)
  • 1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar (or Regular Distilled Vinegar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sesame Oil
  •  Dash Of Salt
  •  Dash Of Crushed Red Pepper, More To Taste
  • 1 clove Garlic, Pressed Or Minced
  • 2 teaspoons Minced Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Cornstarch (additional)
  •  Zest Of 1 Orange (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 2 whole Green Onions, Sliced
For the chicken: In a large bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and egg whites with a fork until almost frothy, about 1 minute. Add the chicken to the mixture and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

For the sauce: Meanwhile, put the orange juice, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, salt, crushed red pepper, garlic and ginger (and orange zest, if using) in a small nonstick skillet and whisk together. Heat until bubbling and starting to thicken, about 3-4 minutes.

Whisk together the cornstarch and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the cornstarch slurry to the sauce. Mix in and thicken for 1 minute. (If sauce gets overly thick, just add in another 1/4 cup water and whisk in.)

Heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed pot until a deep-fry thermometer inserted in the oil registers 350 degrees F. In batches, carefully drop a few pieces of chicken into the oil (drop them in one by one to keep them from sticking together) and move it around, 2-3 minutes or until light golden. Let the pieces drain on a plate lined with paper towels for 2 to 3 minutes. Then drop them back into the oil for 1 minute to really solidify the coating.

Toss the chicken in the sauce and serve immediately with orange zest and sliced green onions on the top.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


The first time ever, in my very long life, that I had Naan bread was when we first visited NHB in Florida.  Hillary took out some naan and made individual pizzas for lunch.  It was so good.  Yesterday I needed to make a couple of dishes for the library's CookBook BookClub.  One I opted for was naan, a recipe in the cookbook we were all working from.

Turns out it was SO easy and SO MUCH better that better.  Here's the recipe.  It's a keeper for sure.

3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed for roling
1-1/2 t. active dry yeast
1 t. sugar
2 t. kosher salt
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup plain yogurt
Grapeseed or canola oil
unsalted butter, melted, as needed for cooking
Kosher salt, as needed

1.  Sift the flour, yeast, sugar, salt together into the bowl of a stand mixer. In a small bowl, combine 1 cup warm water and the yogurt.

2.  Place the bowl on the mixer, fit with a dough hook, and add the yogurt mixture.  Mix on low speed until completely combined.

3.  Increase the speed to high and mix about 8 minutes to develop the gluten. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes or til the dough as doubled in size.

4.  Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and form each piece into a smooth ball.  Allow to rest 10 minutes.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece to a circle about 1/4" thick (after the first one I cooked and which we immediately ate, I rolled the rest out a bit thinner...and yet it still bubbled nicely).

5.  Heat a part cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, brush the naan with melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Cook in the skillet until the naan is golden brown and puffed on both sides, 3-5 minutes per side. Serve immediately

Makes 8 flat breads

Garlic Naan:  Mince 2 cloves garlic and sprinkle on top of the naan with the salt.

Onion Naan:  Dice enough yellow onion to make 1/2 cup and sprinkle on top of the naan with the salt.

Cilantro Naan:  Coarsely chop enough cilantro to make 1/4 cup and sprinkle on top of the naan with the salt.