Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Taste The Love

Sweet Chili Fire Chicken

2016-07-15 16.50.51

2016-07-15 17.22.27

2016-07-15 17.24.11

How about making “take out” at home? I’m saying “why not”! Sometimes grabbing fast food once and a while is sometimes a necessity. Making delicious Chinese “take-out” dishes at home is even better. A few simple ingredients with a heavy bottom pot can make this dish a reality. This is my version of Sweet Chili Fire Chicken.

Chives (2)

Chives (2)

2019-06-08 23.01.07

2018-06-07-09.25.41

2015-11-27-08-58-18

2016-05-27-16-18-32

Snow Peas

2018-02-04 08.57.05

2016-07-15 15.09.09

Olive Oil

2016-07-15 15.10.54

2016-07-15 14.44.14

2016-07-15-15-16-57

2016-07-15 15.18.25

2016-07-15 14.57.01

2016-07-15 14.53.18

2016-07-15 14.56.52

2016-07-15 14.55.00

eggs

2016-07-15 15.31.21

2016-07-15 15.47.44

2016-07-15-15-47-47

2016-07-15 16.02.22

2016-07-15 16.50.51

2016-07-15 17.22.27

2016-07-15 17.24.11

 

 

 

 

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Equipment: 1 (6-quart) Dutch oven, candy thermometer, spider, 1 (12-inch) sauté pan, rimmed baking sheet pan

Ingredients:
1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 red bell peppers, julienned
2 1/2 cups of canned pineapple chunks, drained
2 bottles of Thai sweet chili sauce
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of snow peas, very thinly sliced on the bias
3 tablespoons of chives, finely minced
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

For The Chicken:
2 pounds of skinless boneless chicken breasts, diced into 1 1/2-inch size cubes
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 cups of vegetable oil
2 cups of all-purpose flour
4 cups of cornstarch
6 large eggs, lightly beaten

Directions:
Prep all the veggies first, having them on stand-by.  Using a meat cutting board, dice up all the chicken, tossing them into a bowl along with the salt and pepper.  Using tongs, make sure the salt and pepper are distributed evenly on the chicken. Grab the largest bowl you have or a large Tupperware container, making it easier to coat the diced chicken pieces. Next, add the flour and toss so that all the pieces are coated.

Preheat Vegetable oil to 360-degrees F.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy bottom pot, like a Dutch oven. Over medium-high heat, and using a candy thermometer, have the oil temperature reach 360-degrees F. The oil will take a little while to reach the perfect temperature for frying. Move on to sautéing the vegetables.

Add olive oil to the sauté pan. Over medium-high heat, add the veggies and minced garlic. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, cook until just soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the pineapple chunks just to warm through. Turn the heat off.

Transfer the sautéed veggies and pineapple, from the sauté pan, to a large deep-sided skillet. This will be necessary for accommodating all the ingredients. Set the skillet to the back of the stove before starting the frying process.

In one large mixing bowl have the beaten eggs, in another large mixing bowl have the cornstarch. In small batches, dip the diced chicken into the eggs and then into the cornstarch shaking off any excess cornstarch. Place the finished coated chicken pieces onto a rimmed baking sheet pan.

Check the temperature of the oil. Once the oil is ready, add the battered chicken in small batches, about 5 to 6  at a time, into the pot. Continue dipping the chicken into the egg mixture and then into the cornstarch. Cook around 2 minutes per side or until golden and crispy. Remove from the oil, then transfer them onto a sheet pan lined with a paper towel. Repeat this process until all the chicken pieces are cooked.

Place the skillet over medium heat. Add in all the crispy golden pieces of chicken to the veggie and pineapple mixture. Pour in the bottles of the Thai sweet chili sauce and toss to combine. Simmer for another 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once everything is hot, turn the heat off. Garnish with minced chives.

Serve immediately.

I like to serve my Sweet Chili Fire Chicken over a bed of Basmati rice.

Leave a comment »

Farro With Grapes, Pineapple, And Raspberry Glazed Almonds

2015-10-05-16-39-42-e14496090536971

It’s really amazing to me that Farro is one of the oldest grains in the world.  It’s composed of grains from certain wheat species. It’s believed that this grain was the one from which all others were derived. Not until recently was Farro so easy to find in the grocery stores however; it’s now available, where the rice and dried beans are found.

Farro is softened in water and cooked until al dente. Like rice and barley, Farro is a blank canvas. You can add whatever ingredients you like to Farro enhancing the overall dish.

I’ve made Farro, in the past, using chicken or vegetable broth as my cooking liquid and adding asparagus, mushrooms, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. There have been times where I’ve made Farro is the style of risotto, using white wine, Parmesan cheese, and other ingredients to flavor the dish. Commonly served as a savory dish, I thought I’d put a twist on the usual Farro recipes and make my Farro With Grapes, Pineapple, And Raspberry Glazed Almonds. A light and healthy snack that curbs those sweet cravings.

I started with raspberry glazed almonds. You could substitute hazelnuts or walnuts, whatever you have on hand. I also have some dried cherries, dried apricots, golden raisins,  fresh pineapple chunks, and green grapes.

That’s all there is to it!  Believe me when I tell you, this dish is so addictive. Listen, rice is also commonly served as a savory dish, but as a dessert, rice pudding is also amazing. Why not put a sweet twist on Farro.

2015-10-05 15.46.09

2015-10-05 15.46.13

2015-10-05 15.47.24

2015-10-05 16.24.02

2015-10-05-16-35-02-e1449608946298

2015-10-05 16.36.27

2015-10-05 16.08.55

2015-10-05 16.09.10

2015-10-05-16-39-42-e14496090536971

 

 

 

 

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 to 30 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 6-quart saucepan, mesh sieve, chef’s knife, large mixing bowl

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of Farro, rinsed and drained
4 cups of water
1/2 cup of *Agave nectar dark amber (liquid measure)
1/4 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 cup of whole seedless green grapes then halved
1/4 cup of chopped dried cherries
1/4 cup of chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup of golden raisins
1/4 cup of chopped raspberry glazed almonds (nuts of your choice)
1/4 cup of diced pineapple chunks

Directions:
Place 1 1/2 cups of Farro in a mesh sieve, rinse and drain. In a saucepot on medium-high heat add in the 4 cups of water salt, and the *Agave nectar. Give that a good stir before adding in the drained Farro. Stirring occasionally to prevent and Farro sticking together, bring the Farro up to a boil. Reduce the heat to low heat, cover, cooking for 25 to 30 minutes. Pour the cooked Farro through a mesh sieve again draining off any remaining liquid.

Next, transfer the Farro into a large bowl. Toss the Farro a couple of times to bring the temperature. Add in all the other ingredients and toss to combine. The cold grapes and pineapple mixed with the warm Farro are so delicious.

Ladle a good helping of Farro With Grapes, Pineapple, And Raspberry Glazed Almonds into a porcelain serving bowl. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*Agave nectar: Agave is a natural sweetener that comes in dark or light amber.

Leave a comment »

Pico de Gallo-Two Ways

Pico de Gallo Two Ways (12)

Pico de Gallo Two Ways (11)

Pico de Gallo is referred to as salsa fresco, a type of salsa. It’s a fresh, chunky, uncooked, and a distinctly visible mixture of tomatoes, onions, cilantro, fresh chiles, lime juice, and salt. Traditional salsa has a thinner consistency with more liquid.

Who says pineapple can’t be a Pico de Gallo. We’re having tacos tonight with two different types of Pico de Gallo. The traditional Pico de Gallo with tomatoes and onions, and a pineapple pico. We love having options!

My neighbor, Lucinda has a few beautiful pineapple plants which are ready for harvesting. You just know they’re going to be so sweet. I knew I had to make something using, pineapple. I’m also going to make a traditional Pico de Gallo.

This is my Pico de Gallo-Two Ways.

2013-10-24-12-28-531

Pineapples

2016-03-10-13-11-13

Limes

Red Onion

Diced Red Onion (2)

Cilantro

2014-01-09-09-58-50

2019-02-03 12.20.30

2016-04-08-07-46-02

Pico de Gallo Two Ways (2)

Pico de Gallo Two Ways (3)

Pico de Gallo Two Ways (5)

Pico de Gallo Two Ways (4)

Pico de Gallo Two Ways (7)

Pico de Gallo Two Ways (6)

Pico de Gallo Two Ways (9)

Pico de Gallo Two Ways (8)

Pico de Gallo Two Ways (1)

2014-08-05 15.01.26

Pico de Gallo Two Ways (10)

2014-08-05 15.15.00

Pico-de-Gallo-Two-Ways-12

Pico-de-Gallo-Two-Ways-11

 

 

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yields: 4 cups of each Pico de Gallo
Equipment: 2 large mixing bowls, Chef’s knife

Ingredients For Pineapple Pico de Gallo:
3 cups, 1 large pineapple, cored and diced into 1-inch pieces,
1/2 a red bell pepper, diced
1/2 an orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced (substitute jalapeno)
1 lime, juiced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper

Ingredients For Traditional Pico de Gallo:
2-pints grape tomatoes halved
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced (substitute jalapeno)
1 lime, juiced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl add all the ingredients for each type of Pico de Gallo you choose. Toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap, transfer to the refrigerator for 15 minutes to chill before serving.

Leave a comment »

%d bloggers like this: