Friday, January 27, 2012

Easy take out alternative dinner!

Sometimes you just want take out food, but you really, really don't want to spend the money! Tonight's dinner is perfect for that!
Sweet and sour chicken is a family favorite in this house, as in, even my 2.5 year old loves it (though admittedly she calls it ketchup chicken). I have a tendency to pair it with brown rice and steamed broccoli, I could probably change that up, but I love it like this!

Tonight I also showed my husband how to roll sushi, and we did a some yummy veggie rolls to go with our chicken. Which, he rolled like a pro, so proud!

The sushi was not up to professional standards, I did not use sushi rice, I just used plain white because I had it in the house. However, I will say that if you're doing a roll with sushi grade fish, spring for the specific sushi rice, the container will last you forever, and if you're already spending $20/lb for amazing tuna, what's another $6 for the right rice?

I won't give a "how to" sushi lesson here, because honestly you can find everything you need at this amazing website, Make My Sushi. I say if it's your first time, go with a veggie roll like we did tonight, cucumber, carrot, avocado. That way you can perfect your technique and have fun with rolling without worrying about wasting expensive ingredients.
**Don't forget the section on making sushi rice, because you need that awesome sticky texture to make really good sushi, and those directions CAN be followed with plain white rice if you have it in the house like I did**
One more note on sushi before the chicken recipe, powdered wasabi is the way to you, it last forever, it's relatively inexpensive (about $3.60), and you can adjust it to your heat-factor preference by adding more or less water as you make it into a paste.

Without further ado, here is the sweet and sour chicken recipe I use, adapted and Frankensteined from like 6 that I've found over the years:

4 teaspoons cornstarch
6 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons garlic ginger paste
1 pound skinless boneless chicken
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 teaspoons vegetable oil

In a bowl combine 2 tsps of cornstarch, 3 tsps of soy sauce, and the garlic ginger paste. Stir together well, breaking up the lumps in the cornstarch, then toss chicken to coat and set aside.
In a small bowl combine the water, through rice wine vinegar along with the remaining 2 tsps of cornstarch and 3 tsps of soy sauce to make your sauce.
Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, add the chicken and cook until browned and cooked through.
Add the sauce to the skillet and bring to a boil. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly until thickened.

As I said before, I serve this over brown rice and broccoli but I bet it would be excellent as a stir fry with peppers and onions and water chestnuts too!

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