Thursday, June 19, 2008

Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Spinach Artichoke Dip. Yes, more recipes

Wow, I'm really rocking the "Eat Local Eastern Massachusetts While Watching Reality TV" demographic. I hope I'm not putting all of you to sleep, since I doubt there's anyone else besides me who falls in that very select group.

Can you tell I'm still excited about the CSA? Our second pickup is tonight, so I thought I better catch up and share a few more recipes I've made this last week. Both were pretty darn good, if I do say so myself :) So without further ado:

Chicken Lettuce Wraps:


I very, very loosely followed this recipe. I made quite a few changes and while I was extremely happy with the results, the wraps weren't exactly similar to the P.F. Chang lettuce wraps. So if that's what you're looking for, you might want to go to the original recipe. Having said that, here's my version:

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground chicken
4 oz. water chestnuts, minced
6 oz. baby bella mushrooms, minced
1/2 medium onion, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
Splash rice wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons ketchup
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
1 Tablespoon spicy brown bean sauce**
Lettuce leaves (we used about 2/3 a head of Bibb lettuce)

Directions:

In a large skillet, brown the ground chicken. When it is about 3/4 of the way done, add the water chestnuts, mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Continue cooking, stirring often, until chicken is browned.

Meanwhile, mix all remaining ingredients (except lettuce) in a small bowl. Stir well.

When the chicken is done, add the sauce you mixed in the small bowl. Stir well to coat all the chicken and let cook for about 2 or 3 minutes until slightly thickened.

Place a spoonful of filling onto a lettuce leaf, then roll the lettuce up.

**As I mentioned previously, the original recipe linked above called for red chile paste, but the only brand I could find had peanuts in it, which is a no-go due to food allergies here. So I got House of Tsang brand spicy brown bean sauce. The final recipe was not quite spicy enough. I'd say either use the red chile paste if you don't have to worry about allergies, or add some red pepper flakes in addition to the brown bean sauce.

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Next I tried Fresh Spinach and Artichoke Au Gratin. I wasn't sure how it would come out using fresh, uncooked spinach...most recipes call for the frozen stuff. I almost steamed the spinach or blanched it, but ultimately, laziness ruled the day and I just used raw spinach. Worked out fine! Again, there's a recipe I used as a jumping off point (here), but made some significant changes.
Ingredients:

1/3 pound spinach, coarsely chopped
2/3 of a 14 oz. can of artichoke hearts (non-marinated, drained), coarsely chopped
6 oz. cream cheese
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Soften cream cheese and butter in the microwave for about 20 seconds until it can be stirred together.

Mix in artichoke hearts, spinach, and parmesan cheese. Transfer to a baking dish (or just make the whole recipe right in the baking dish from the get-go...that's what I did!)

Bake for about 20-25 minutes. Serve with chips, bread, and/or veggies for dipping.

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Random related thought, Friends of Jules (FOJ) editon:

Jules has warned that she might have sent some fellow CSA'ers my way. If so, hi fellow friends of Jules!

2 comments:

jules said...

ahhh...my own, personal shout out!
i'm flattered!

and i don't care what you say about taking creative liberties in the kitchen - those lettuce wraps look PHENOMENOL and just like the ones at our local chinese restaurant. if i may be so bold as to ask - just how do you prepare ground chicken?

in the meantime - you can't leave me hanging like this. what did you get in this week's CSA pick up?

What A Card said...

Hi Jules! For ground chicken, just toss it in a pan and cook like ground beef. It doesn't have nearly as much fat that drains out (almost none), so you don't need to drain it. You do need to use your spatula to break up the chicken into little pieces. Is that what you were asking? I wasn't sure. If your question was, how do I turn chicken into ground chicken, I don't. I buy ground chicken :)