Creatrixsblood's Weblog


Recipe for Homemade Chicken or Vegetable Lo Mein!
February 26, 2014, 4:30 pm
Filed under: cooking | Tags: , , , , ,

I crave Chinese food pretty regularly.  In the past, I’ve attempted to sate such cravings with teriyaki stirfries, and while the results have been delicious, nothing I’ve made yet has compared to this Chicken Lo Mein!  I took the basic recipe from Allrecipes, but made some important changes. Next time, I intend to make a Vegetable Lo Mein.  For that, I will simply omit the chicken, replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth and add more veggies!

Don’t be daunted by the long ingredient list.  The dish is quite simple to prepare. While it does require that the chicken marinate for 45 minutes to an hour, the actual time spent mixing and cooking is less than 30 minutes!

Image

Image via Spoonful. I neglected to make a picture when I made this.

All Ingredients:

  • 2-4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves cut into thin strips (I used 2, cut extra finely as a matter of taste)

  • 5 teaspoons white sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce, divided

  • 1 can chicken broth (Allrecipes called for 1 1/4 cups.. which is not quite a can..I elected to use it all and use less water.)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1 tsp ground black pepper (Allrecipes asked for 1/2 tsp, but I ended up adding more after sampling the sauce.)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 (12 ounce) package uncooked lo mein noodles (Allrecipes called for linguine, but since Lo mein is readily available in the Asian section of grocery stores, not using them seemed silly.)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided  (Here, I used Seasame Oil.. because I really like the flavor.  However, Chris wasn’t fond of the extra sesame flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (1 tablespoon less than Allrecipes calls for.  I like ginger, but not THAT much.)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 6 green onions, sliced into small bits
  • Vegetables of your choice! (Allrecipes simply called for 1/2lb sliced shitake mushrooms.  I did add sliced shitake, but also snow peas, diced carrots, broccoli florets, and water chestnuts.. I didn’t measure, just added them to a pile until it looked good to me. Restaurants typically add cabbage and sliced onions.  Baby corn, bamboo, and bean sprouts would all also make yummy additions.)

Step 1: Slice chicken and makemarinade.  In a medium bowl, mix the sliced chicken with 2 1/2 teaspoons of white sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar and 1/4 cup soy sauce. Mix well, ensuring that the chicken is well-coated.  Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes-1 hour.  

Step 2: Prepare brown sauce.   Add 1 can chicken broth, 1/2 c water, 1 Tbsp sesame oil, 1 tsp ground black pepper 2 1/2 teaspoons of sugar, 1 1/2 tsp rice vinegar and 1/4 c soy sauce. In a measuring cup, add 2 tbsps corn starch to a small amount of a sauce mixture.  Dissolve completely before adding to the main sauce.  

Step 3: Cook lo mein noodles and stir-fry chicken. Prepare noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil on high in large sauce pan or wok until it begins to smoke.  Cook chicken for 4-5 minutes until golden brown and no pink remains.  Transfer chicken and juices towarm plate. 

Step 4: Stir-fry Vegetables and let sauce thicken.  Heat another tablespoon of vegetable oil on high in the large pan.  Add the veggies, ginger and garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds for crispy veggies.  Add the brown sauce, then the chicken.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer uncovered for 2 minutes until sauce thickens.

Step 5: Add noddles, toss, and enjoy.  Add the reserved noodles to the thickened sauce. Toss gently, coating the noodles well.  Your meal is complete! You need no side dishes!  I like to add crushed peanuts for a bit of extra crunch before serving.



Easy homemade chili (no cans, no stewing, no preservatives)
July 29, 2013, 8:53 pm
Filed under: cooking, Food, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , ,
omnomnom

Shown here in a small serving, because we ate the rest.

I wanted to make a homemade chili that used as few canned goods as possible. As you may be aware, canned goods, especially tomatoes, tend to have high levels of BPA. This recipe does take a while, but does not require much effort, especially if you have a food processor.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Ground beef
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • ½ large onion (or 1 medium onion)
  • ½ green pepper
  • 1 red pepper (or 2- 4 ghost peppers)
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 1 to 2 T of cumin (to taste)
  • 1 to 2 T chili powder (to taste)
  • 1T salt
  • 1T pepper
  • 1 T cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ½ cooked brown rice or quinoa
  • 1 to 2 cups prepared and drained dried black beans (you can used drained, canned black beans if you prefer)
  • Cheddar cheese,shredded (optional)
  • Sour cream (optional- p.s. I hate sour cream)

Materials:

  • 1 large skillet (with lid)
  • 1 medium pot (to prepare beans)
  • 1 small pot (to prepare rice)
  • Food processor (optional if you don’t mind extra slicing and a chunkier chili)
  • Sharp knife

 Directions:

First run ½ of a large onion, 2 cloves of garlic,  ½ green pepper, and the red pepper(s) of your choice through a food processor. (Newbs: slice first) Add to large skillet with beef. Brown. Drain off fat if necessary/desired.

Slice and food process 4 large tomatoes, then add them to the beef along with the desired spices. For a mild chili, add only 1 T of chili powder, 1 T of cumin, and omit cayenne pepper. After mixing well, bring it a boil and then turn down the heat and let simmer for 1- 2 hours. The longer you let it simmer, the more spicy the chili will be.

If you are using dried black beans, begin to prepare them while chili simmers by covering them in 5 inches of water. Bring water to a boil and reduce heat to simmer and cover. In one hour, remove from heat and drain. Also prepare rice or quinoa according to package directions while the chili simmers.

Just before serving, add rice (or quinoa) and beans.

If desired, top with cheddar, sour cream, or both. Great alone or with crackers! Also tastes great served on top of a baked potato.

A note on rice:

If you actually only wish to make a 1/2 cup of prepared rice, use 1/5 cup rice and roughly 2/5 of water.  Water will boil away faster if you cook it this way, so you will have to check on it periodically.