Sunday, May 27, 2012

Let Us Wrap

     My husband requested lettuce for dinner. Really? Lettuce? You feelin ok, hun? I personally did not feel like making a boring old salad, so of course I decided to get a little creative. I had some chicken breasts defrosting and a few vegetables that needed to be used up before they decided to rot at the bottom of my vegetable drawer. I also had a nice juicy grilled steak I never ate and a baked red onion that were taking up too much room in the fridge and I grabbed them too, as I pretended they were the mystery ingredients from "Chopped".  I love Cheesecake Factory's Thai Lettuce Wraps and decided to have a little lettuce wrap party. With this dish you can really use whatever you have in your fridge and pantry. We usually have a variety of Asian sauces on hand here at Cafe McMahon. Here's what I came up with:

Wrap it up Rummy's Lettuce Wrap Party:

Wraps: 5 to 10 washed and dried Romaine lettuce leaves laid out on a serving platter

Thai Peanut Chicken:
2 diced chicken breasts (tip: chopping them into small pieces while partially frozen is a lot easier than fully defrosted)
Thai peanut sauce (I like Wegman's brand. It's cheap and has just a hint of heat)

1 cup of fresh mushrooms diced (I use  Phillip's Gourmet mushroom blend of crimini, shitake, and oyster. I always have one of these in my fridge at all times. Very versatile and full of flavor.)
1 thinly chopped scallion (some people call them green onions)
sesame or peanut oil
a handful or 2 of chopped peanuts

Heat oil in wok and add chicken and mushrooms over medium heat. Add a cup of sauce and scallions. Feel free to add sprouts, water chestnuts, red pepper flakes, or cabbage to this mixture. Just make sure everything is in smaller than bite sized pieces. Add peanuts and another few drops of sauce if needed. Sometimes the chicken soaks up all the sauce so i add some at the very end before serving. Place in a serving bowl.

Teriyaki Steak:
Thinly sliced cooked steak (rarely I have steak leftovers, this is a great recipe if you want to jazz up day old meat)
1 red onion diced
Mushroom medley from above recipe
Peanut oil
Teriyaki sauce or marinade (I used a honey teriyaki steak marinade)
1 teaspoon of sugar.

Add oil in hot skillet and throw in the onions mushrooms and sugar. Cook on medium, stirring occasionally cook until caramelized. Add steak and sauce. Cook til heated. Do not over cook or the steak will taste like a cheap, fake leather shoe. Place in a separate serving bowl.

Chinese Noodles and snow peas:
Boil lo mein noodles according to package. Throw in some fresh snow peas to same pot to blanch. Drain and place in a large serving bowl. Add  several dashes of soy sauce, crushed red pepper flakes, sesame oil, salt and pepper and toss. You could add scallions or leftover crush peanuts as well. Some fresh bamboo sprouts, sesame seeds, ginger, or cabbage work well in this too. It's your meal. Get creative.

Put it all together:
Set out lettuce, chicken mixture, beef mixture, and noodles on table. Have guests spoon either mixture onto a piece of lettuce, fold it up, and shove it in their mouth. I was not crazy about the beef mixture in my wrap so I put it on top of the noodles as a side dish. Serve with crunchy noodles and duck sauce to make your party complete. Let us wrap, eat, and enjoy!

Coming Soon: Grilled pizza, a Memorial Day Special!!!

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