Spicy Szechuan Chicken & Eggplant

Main, Poultry | July 11, 2016 | By

Last week, as I was strolling through my all time favorite Asian market in Atlanta (the Buford Highway Farmer’s Market), these incredibly gorgeous Chinese eggplant caught my eye and inspired me to make a spicy Szechuan dish that I can’t wait to share with you! I added veggies and chicken, and the sauce is sweet and savory with a little heat (just the way I like it!). I used dried sambal oelek, which is one of the spice packets from RawSpiceBar.com that I received as a gift from my two kids. The jarred sambal oelek works great as well! Be careful not to use too much or your mouth will need a fire extinguisher!

Eggplant

5.0 from 1 reviews
Spicy Szechuan Chicken & Eggplant
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ pounds Chinese purple eggplant
  • 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • Salt & pepper
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried sambal oelek (or 1 tablespoon jarred)
  • ½ teaspoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper (or green), chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
Instructions
  1. Cut the ends of the eggplant and slice on a diagonal into one inch pieces. Place in a microwave-safe bowl and cover pieces with water. Microwave for 1½ minutes until just soft but not mushy, checking on it after 1 minute. Remove from oven, drain and pat dry on paper towels. Set aside.
  2. To make the sauce: In a small bowl whisk together the chicken broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, tomato paste, sesame oil, sambal oelek, and brown sugar. Stir in cornstarch until dissolved. Set sauce aside.
  3. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Cook chicken pieces in a large wok over medium high heat with 1 tablespoon canola oil until browned on both sides but not cooked through. Remove chicken from wok and set aside.
  4. Add eggplant slices to wok in a single layer and cook until crisp and light golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove eggplant from pan and set aside.
  5. Heat remaining tablespoon canola oil in the pan over high heat and add garlic and shallots. Cook until fragrant and translucent. Add in bell peppers and cook about 2-3 minutes. Add in green onions, ginger, and shiitake mushrooms and cook another 3 minutes. Stir in the sauce and eggplant, and chicken and cook until sauce has thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat. Garnish with extra green onions, and serve with a side of steamed rice.
Notes
Notes: Dried sambal oelek can be purchased from RawSpiceBar.com. Jarred sambal oelek can be found at select grocery stores and specialty Asian markets.

 

Chicken with Chili Jam & Cashews

Main, Poultry | June 13, 2016 | By

Wow! Close your eyes when you eat this dish and you’ll swear you’re at a Thai restaurant! Chicken and cashews have never tasted better together, and yet it’s so easy for you to make in your own kitchen! This dish is bursting with authentic Thai flavors. Round it out with a side of Jasmine rice and a nice cold beer. Ahhhh!

Chicken with Chili Jam & Cashews
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 to 4 Thai chili peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 4 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil (divided)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Tamarind paste
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 6 green onions, sliced about 1-inch
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • ⅓ cup roasted unsalted cashews
  • ½ cup fresh Thai basil leaves, or regular basil leaves
Instructions
  1. To make the chili jam: Place chili peppers, 2 tablespoons oil, red bell pepper, garlic, and shallots in a food processor. Pulse until smooth.
  2. Heat a wok over medium heat and add the chili mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add in the sugar and tamarind paste and simmer for 10 minutes until the jam thickens. Remove from wok and set aside in a small bowl. Clean out the wok.
  3. Reheat the wok over high heat and add the remaining oil. Stir-fry the chicken until browned, about 3-5 minutes. Add to the wok the green onions, cashews, fish sauce, and 4 tablespoons of the chili jam. Stir together until fully incorporated. Stir fry another 2 minutes and top with the basil leaves. Toss. Serve with a side of Jasmine rice.
Notes
Tamarind paste can be found at select grocery stores like Whole Foods, and specialty Asian markets.

Adapted from: Authentic Thai Recipes by Periplus Mini Cookbooks

 

Thai Cauliflower Pizza

Forget Domino’s! This tasty Thai pizza has a very healthy cauliflower crust that’s to die for! It’s topped off with some of the best Thai ingredients that will make your mouth water. You’ll be begging for another slice! You might even eat the entire pie! Top it all off with cheese if you’d like – it’s really yummy. Scouts honor!

Thai Cauliflower Pizza
 
Author:
Serves: 2 pizzas
Ingredients
Cauliflower Pizza:
  • 2 ½ bags frozen riced cauliflower (Trader Joe’s)
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Pizza Sauce:
  • ½ cup all-natural peanut butter
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
Pizza Toppings:
  • 1 cup shredded chicken
  • 1 cup fresh snow peas, halved
  • ¼ cup shelled edamame
  • ½ cup red and yellow bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 2 Thai chili peppers, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup green onions, sliced
Instructions
For the crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook cauliflower according to package directions in a microwave oven. Make sure most moisture is gone. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Let cool.
  2. Stir in cheeses, eggs, cilantro, red pepper flakes, chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Combine well with cauliflower. On two large baking sheets lined with parchment paper, press and shape the mixture into two pizza crusts. Bake in the oven until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Let cool. (You can make these ahead and put in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap.)
For the sauce:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. (Add one tablespoon of water if sauce is too thick.)
For the pizza:
  1. In a sauté pan, lightly sauté the snow peas, edamame, peppers, and mushrooms. Remove from heat and cool.
  2. Top both pizzas with first the peanut sauce and even amounts of chicken, the cooked veggie mix, bean sprouts, cilantro, and green onions. Bake in the oven for about 7-8 minutes until toppings are cooked through. When ready to serve, drizzle the top of the pizzas with remaining sauce and fresh cilantro.
Notes
Can add cheese on top of pizza when baking, if desired. Can also garnish with chopped peanuts.
Sambal oelek can be found at specialty Asian markets and some local grocery stores.

Inspired by:
California Pizza Kitchen and Allrecipes.com