Saturday, March 30, 2019

Kung Pao Chicken

I made this Christine Gallary recipe for my two BFF's (Steve and Becky) this week. It was a real hit. It comes together quickly....perfect for a weeknight dinner. As is typical of Chinese dishes, the majority of time required in this meal is the prep....the actual cooking part is quite fast. But, oh, what a dish.

A few notes about ingredients. I used red and yellow bell peppers as they are sweeter than green peppers. And I recommend dry roasted peanuts for this dish as the extra crunch is fantastic.


For the Chicken and Sauce
1-1/2 pounds boneless. skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sherry or vermouth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1-1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons Samba Oelek or chile-garlic paste

For the Stir Fry
3 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
2 medium bell peppers cut into 1-inch dice
2 celery stalk's, sliced
Kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts
2 medium scallions, thinly sliced
Steamed rice for serving


  1. Place the chicken in a medium bowl. Place the soy sauce, sherry or vermouth, cornstarch, sesame oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the mixture over the chicken and toss to combine; set the chicken aside.
  2. Make the sauce. Add the vinegar, sugar, and sambal oelek to the remaining marinade and whisk until the sugar is dissolved; set this sauce aside.
  3. Heat a flat-bottomed wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat until very hot (a flick of water should sizzle and evaporate right away), about 2 minutes. Drizzle in 1 tablespoon of the oil, add the bell peppers and celery, and season with salt. Stir-fry with a metal spatula until crisp-tender and browned in spots, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons oil into the pan. Add the chicken and spread into an even layer. Let cook undisturbed until golden-brown and seared on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir-fry until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more.
  5. Add the reserved vegetables and peanuts to the pan. Rewhisk the reserved sauce to dissolve the cornstarch. Pour into the pan and stir-fry until the sauce thickens, is glossy, and evenly coats everything in the pan, about 1 minute more. Sprinkle with the scallions and serve immediately with rice.

Wine pairing: Sauvignon Blanc

Grogs and Goldie, 1956

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Corned Beef with Bernaise Sauce

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day and I will make one of my favorite meals of the year...Corned Beef with Bernaise Sauce. It will be a breeze to make because I have a fantastic "dump it all in the slow cooker and walk away" recipe.

I am here to tell you that you have not lived until you have tasted Bernaise Sauce on corned beef. It takes the taste of the corned beef to the power of 10! And since I'm making a lazy meal in the slow cooker, I'm going to use my favorite lazy sauce recipe from my favorite German sauce peddler. Knorr Bernaise Sauce. It will take you a whopping 4 minutes to make a really awesome Bernaise sauce.

1 corned beef brisket*, 3-4 pounds
2 medium onions, cut into quarters
5 ribs celery, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon prepared mustard (stone ground preferred)
2 cups chicken stock
12-ounces of beer (lager or pilsner)
1 packet Knorr Bernaise Sauce

*My favorite corned beef is made by that famous Irishman, Sy Ginsberg. It is available at Costco...and it's cheaper than wieners! It's so cheap, I buy three. I cook one and toss the others in the freezer for  feasts at a later date.


  1. Place onions and celery on the bottom of your slow cooker. Add stock, beer and mustard.
  2. Set brisket on top of onions and celery, fat-side up. Sprinkle meat with seasoning packet (which comes packed in your brisket). Put lid on slow cooker and cook on low for 10 hours.
  3. Make Bernaise sauce per package instructions. Remove brisket. Slice and serve with the Bernaise sauce.

Wine pairing: Pinot Noir

Grogs and Goldie, 1956