One thing that makes this recipe challenge more feasible for me is that not all of the recipes are entrées. There are starters, sauces, soups, desserts, and sides as well. This allows me to make two or three recipes for regular meals, and even more for bigger meals. Last night, I decided to tackle an entrée, a side, and a dessert.
Unfortunately for my lazy bones, the National Holiday week here in China has kept our usual on-campus produce vendors at home. This meant that I had to walk to the grocery store to get everything I needed (I know, I know; Posh Corps problems). To make it worth it, I decided to get everything I would need for the next week. Armed with my sunglasses and my iPod, I headed out. Thankfully, it was a beautiful day. Thankfully, we have a lot of those here in my town when it’s not winter.
The trip overall wasn’t bad. I got everything that I needed, with a few substitutions. I did discover something heart-breaking, though: they stopped selling the imported organic New Zealand milk! Let me explain. China has its own milk. It’s fine. But it’s not exactly healthy. How do I know? Because it stays good for over a month after opening it. And it’s never refrigerated. So when I saw this NZ milk for the first time, I was so excited. The organic label was comforting, whether true or not. And when I tried it, it tasted like milk. Like America (even if the label said New Zealand). It still has far-away expiration dates, but this is only if unopened, so again, it’s consoling. Because of these dates, I was planning on stocking up. Bu keyi (can not). Later in the day I would find out that a market further down carries it. You can bet that I will be stocking up this weekend.
Anywho! Back to the business at hand. For dinner I decided to make Almond Chicken with a side of Broccoli in Garlic Sauce, and Almond Pudding with Dates as dessert. The entrée and dessert made my life easier in that they could be made in increments. The chicken had to marinate, and the pudding could be made before adding the final ingredients. To make sure this blog isn’t infinite, I will break it up into three parts, one for each recipe.
The chicken had the most prep-work, as I had to cube it, make the marinade, mix the sauce for later, and shell the almonds. I learned that it would have been worth it to pay the extra 5 yuan for the de-shelled (shell-less? un-shelled?) almonds. But I also learned that a garlic press can double as a nutcracker and chopper!
The recipe called for a few things to cook with the chicken, but since I know best what I like, I decided to make it my own. It was simple. All I had to do was…
Marinate the chicken for over an hour, then brown…
Add the sauce and green onions…
And simmered until it was fully-cooked, yet still fully-juicy.
The Recipe! (6 Servings)
What you need:
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon corn flour
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 egg white
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- ½ teaspoon corn flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ tablespoon of sugar
- 3 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- 6 green onions, chopped (small)
- 1/3 cup almonds, chopped
- 1/3 cup peanut oil
What to do:
- Marinate the chicken at room temperature for at least one hour
- Brown the chicken in as little oil as possible to avoid burning
- Add the sauce and green onions
- Simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Mix in almonds
- Turn heat down to lowest setting for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally