Tuesday, May 17, 2011
The Couch Potato Confessions...
Hello, my name is Kelly, and I'm a lazyholic. No kidding. For weeks now, I've been letting my list of things I would like to do get longer and longer, but I've barely put a dent in actually accomplishing any of it. Writing. Visiting friends. Blogging.
However, I've been doing a wonderful job at being lazy. Spectacular, even, I dare say.
Today, I'm taking care of business. You know, during commercial breaks. First up, a new blog entry. I think what has disappointed me most of all is that I've had dishes ready for posting for over a week now, but I've been squandering my time. On today's entry: a quick and easy weeknight Asian dinner and another confession from a couch potato.
I. Love. Chinese. Buffets.
I am obsessed with Chinese buffets.
I am a self-proclaimed connoisseur of Chinese buffets.
And I have a problem.
For weeks now, I have had a never-ending craving for Chinese buffets. Trust me, I've satiated this craving several times now. Instantly, I want more. If I could afford it, I would eat at Chinese buffets every day of the week. But sadly, I cannot afford such fancies. My wallet cannot afford it, and my waistline cannot afford it.
I had to take drastic measures––cooking my own.
Last week, I made my own interpretation of General Tso's using shrimp and frozen veggies I had on hand. What I love––and you will love––about this recipe is its versatility. You can use chicken, shrimp, tofu, or whatever you have on hand. You can add in whatever veggies you like or happen to have on hand. You can make it as spicy or as mild as you like. You can even control the calories by skipping the pan frying and simply sauteing your protein.
Any delicious Asian dinner is not complete without a side of fried rice, and this one was no exception. To top it off, I baked up a frozen egg roll that my local grocery carries. They truly rival any restaurant egg roll.
If you are looking to bridge the gap between visits to your local Chinese restaurant, give this recipe a try.
I would also like to take a moment to extend my deepest gratitude to Poor Husband, who obediently accompanies me on my frequent Chinese buffet binges, and never with any eye rolling or scoffing. You're a peach, my love.
Future post sneak peek: I have a spiffed up Italian classic waiting in the wings, as well as plans for your leftovers, should there be any. Also, I'll be making a birthday meal for my amazing friend very soon, and I'll be sharing my results with you here. After much kicking and screaming (sure, it was an online conversation, but I know it was there), I finally got her to 'fess up on her ideal b-day meal, and nobody deserves it more than she does.
Until next time, enjoy these Amateur Noms!
General Tso's Shrimp
3/4 pound peeled, deveined medium sized shrimp
3 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 egg white
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 cups frozen vegetables (I used a broccoli/carrot mix)
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon cooking sherry
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2-4 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
1. Combine the egg white, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, and sesame oil in a bowl. Add the shrimp and toss until coated. Marinate for 20 minutes to 1 hour.
2. Heat your cooking oil in a skillet over medium heat. You need about 1/4-inch of oil.
3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the remaining soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, sherry, tomato paste, and Sriracha until well blended. Whisk in a tablespoon of cornstarch. Set aside.
4. Toss the shrimp in 1/2 cup cornstarch until they are lightly dusted, and pan fry in batches over medium heat for 1-2 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crisp. Allow the shrimp to drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
5. Put your frozen vegetables in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 3-5 minutes, or until warm. Drain any excess moisture.
6. Meanwhile, empty your skillet of any remaining oil, wipe it clean, and add the sauce mixture. Reduce the heat and cook over low heat until the mixture begins to thicken, 2-3 minutes.
7. Once the sauce has thickened, add the shrimp and vegetables and toss until coated. Serve immediately.
Optional toppings: Sliced green onions, chopped peanuts, sesame seeds
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup diced carrots
1/4 cup diced mushrooms
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 egg, scrambled
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups cooked rice (brown or white, your preference)
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1. Heat the cooking oils in a skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots, mushrooms, and onions and sautee until soft, 2-3 minutes.
2. Move the vegetables to one side of the pan and add the egg. Cook the egg and scramble it together with the vegetables.
3. Add the rice and butter and cook until warmed through, 1-2 minutes.
4. Add the soy sauce and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes.
And on the plate...