Friday, January 18, 2013 Orange Chicken Amazingness

From the Noshery.

1 ½ lbs Chicken Breasts, cut into 1½” cubes
1 ½ Cups Corn Starch
1 ½ cup panko bread crumbs
3 Eggs, Beaten
¼ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Pepper
Oil (for frying), approximately 2" in the bottom of a sauce pan
Candy Thermometer (for oil temperature)

Orange Sauce
1 ½ Cups Water
1/4 Cup Orange Juice
1/3 Cup Rice Vinegar
2 ½ Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Orange Zest, Grated
1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
½ tsp Ginger Root, Minced
½ tsp Garlic, Minced
2 Tbsp Green Onion, Chopped
½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
3 Tbsp Cornstarch
1/4 Cup Water

Combine corn starch, salt, and pepper. Prepare a bowl with beaten eggs, another with panko bread crumbs and another with corn starch. Dip chicken in egg mixture, dredge in cornstarch, then again in the eggs and finally in the panko bread crumbs, set aside. 

 Heat pan with vegetable oil to 375 degrees, fry chicken in batches until completely cooked. Each time you do a batch the oil cools down, give it some time to heat back up between batches.

In a large saucepan combine 1 ½ cups water, orange juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Blend well over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in brown sugar, orange zest, ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil.

Combine 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and mix thoroughly. Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into sauce until it thickens. Pour sauce over breaded chicken, and if desired garnish with green onions.

Saturday, January 5, 2013 .625 Architect!

Yesterday I found out I passed my fifth and arguably the hardest of my exams. That's right this girl is 5/8th architect!!! I'm still waiting on one more result and will most likely take the final national test this month. From there I have to wait to complete my work experience hours before the State of California will 'invite' me to take the eighth and final test. I can hardly wait!

Friday, January 4, 2013 Back to Basics, Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have a family recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I made it with such frequency in college I actually gave it up for lent one year. Not because I would eat it by the handful alone, I had 5 roommates and a few friends willing to help me out. The amount of butter and sugar I was going thru simply astonished me, so I took a break. I may have saved a few waistlines, including my own.

I also noticed the recipe rarely made it to cookie form. Only once that I recall, a group of boys specifically requested it in cookie form. I kept most of the ingredients on hand but when requested I usually required the missing ingredients be brought to me. That same group would show up at the door with a bag of chocolate chips or a stick of butter or one time I'm pretty sure they asked one of my neighbors to 'borrow' two eggs.

Most of the time it was eaten as dough (and to my knowledge, no one ever got sick from it). Maybe 30% of the time we would make Pizzookie with it, this lovely treat is in a few restaurants now. Basically you spread all the dough onto a cookie sheet or pizza pan (pizza + cookie = pizzookie) and par-bake it. Just past the 'jiggly' stage, it's a technical term.

This past year i decided to try my hand at the classic chocolate chip cookie, you think it wold be easy but there are thousands of chocolate chip cookies out there. Some have yogurt or pudding mix but I wanted plain, old, normal chocolate chip cookies. This is my favorite, they are gooey and hold together, most recipes have an inherent crumbling problem. The only alteration I made to the link below was a full teaspoon of vanilla, if you double the batch I would recommend only a teaspoon and a half.

1/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Butter
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla
1 1/4 Cups Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until smooth. Beat in the vanilla and egg. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in another bowl; stir into the sugar mixture in 3-4 parts. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets or use a cookie scoop, one of my favorite kitchen gadgets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are golden. Remove from baking sheet to cool on wire racks.

Happy New Year, Hello 2013.


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