In my mind, part of being a better woman is the ability to watch my spending (as of now, you are probably catching on that before there was Pinterest, I was a tentative cook/chef/baker/you-name-it, lackluster personal stylist and bad with money). While I think it is very important to invest in Life’s desires at times, there are small things that Pinterest is helping me find solutions for. Case in point, I LOVE the Spicey Chicken and Green Beans from the local Chinese Restaurant in my hometown. So, to save money (and gas driving to my parents neighborhood) I attempted to make it myself.
Pinterest introduced me to ChineseGrandma.com’s “Easy Chicken and Green Bean stir fry.”
SEARCH TERM: Easy Chicken and Green Bean recipe
While she warns it is “Chinese cooking for modern Americans…(light, simple and delicious stir fry),” it was absolutely FABULOUS…and since she uses the term “light,” well, I felt better about it, ha!
COOKING PROCESS – I had NO idea that regular ingredients (brown sugar, cornstarch, vinegar – I used rice vinegar, soy sauce, sherry and garlic) could make such a thick sauce! (DO NOT roll your eyes, I told you I was new to cooking. For those new cookers reading this, it was awesome). I also didn’t know that I needed to turn down the heat because the chicken cooked quickly so was a bit dry. My husband, let’s call him Mr. Darcy, and Mack were smart enough not to comment on the dryness ;-). NOTE: She lists the measurements at the end of her post. I figured this out after the fact so guesstimated on the portions for the sauce…but after the fact realized I was pretty close!
HEAT – Since we like things spicy I added the extra slices of fresh Jalapenos, but think I could have added even more. I missed her note about adding crushed red pepper flakes to taste BUT will add those next time…there will be a next time ;-).
EASE OF COOKING – The recipe is EASY to follow and the popping noise she refers to REALLY happens. She links to the process for cooking green beans separately and that was simple and DELISH. Here is a link to her green bean cooking recipe: http://www.chinesegrandma.com/2010/08/green-beans-feta-balsamic-vinegar/. I will definitely cook these again separately from the dish (sans feta).
PAIRING – I paired it with brown rice and a Saison/Farmhouse Ale* (my fav type of beer). I was treating myself to a Goose Island Saison – I had never tried it before. Since Goose Island Brewing’s MATILDA beer is one of my all time FAVORITE beers, I was excited to try their take on a Saison. (Link to ‘Tilda, as I like to call her: http://www.gooseisland.com/pages/matilda/25.php) … I had a tiny bit while I cooked as well ;-).
LEFTOVERS – While Mr. Darcy was playing baseball on Tuesday night I pulled out the cold leftovers of ChineseGrandma.com’s Spicy Chicken and Green Beans. Since I have an aversion to microwaved chicken I ate it cold…Let me tell you, the flavor was STILL there. The green beans obviously lost their crispiness, but it was still super flavorful. ALSO, since you cut a lot of the oil when cooking this at home, I didn’t encounter that film of oil that is usually left on your mouth when eating leftover Chinese food OR left congealed at the bottom of the takeout carton. I’d eat it again…cold too!
*Saison is my favorite type of beer and, while he typically reaches for a much stronger beer, Mr. Darcy indulges in it with me often. My brother in law is NOT a fan of Saison though. He says it is too sweet. BUT, there is SUCH a variety of these types of beers out there that I say, keep trying! 😉 You can usually find this type of beer in stores like Whole Foods or specialty beer stores.
Here is what Wikipedia says about Saisons: Although saison has been described as an endangered style,there has been a rise in interest in this style in recent years, with Saison Dupont being named “the Best Beer in the World” by the magazine Men’s Journal in July 2005.
Historically, saisons did not share identifiable characteristics to pin them down as a style, but rather were a group of refreshing summer ales. Each farm brewer would make his own distinctive version.