Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Spicy is not a flavor!

Really? What do you think? Is "spicy" a flavor? Depends on who you ask, I suppose. I, personally, don't think that it is. Whatever is causing the spice is a flavor, but the feeling of spice in your mouth is not.

One thing that I struggle with when it comes to ethnic flavors is that although the spice factor is always adequate, I'm left feeling a bit underwhelmed with the overall flavor. There's always something missing that I just can't put my finger on.

So, I came to this recipe with caution. I hoped that it would give me that missing flavor punch that I always desire.

A chef friend shared a recipe with our group that she modified from a Cooking Light recipe. (Martha in MA, I've mentioned her before. Awesome personal chef! ) I made a few of my own adjustments, but nothing major.

Thai Chicken Saute is what she was cooking up and it looked like something that could please all of the palates in my house!

2 pounds chicken (either breasts or boneless skinless thighs..or a mixture)

2 T. cornstarch

2 T. fish sauce

4 t. canola oil, divided

1 T minced garlic

2 t minced ginger

1 red bell pepper, chopped ( I left this out because not everyone likes it)

1 1/2 cup light coconut milk

2 or 3 T thai hot chile sauce

1 T sugar

2 T fresh lime juice

steamed snow peas (couple of handfuls)

1/2 cup julienned fresh basil

1/2 cup chopped peanuts (I left this out too because someone didn't want it in there)

*Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Toss chicken with cornstarch and fish sauce.
*Heat 1 T. canola oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan and saute 5 minutes, or until light brown. (I did this in several batches so as not to crowd the chicken). *Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
*Heat remaining 1 t. oil in pan and saute garlic and ginger for 30 secs. Add red pepper and saute 30 more secs.
*Stir in coconut milk, hot chile sauce, sugar and lime juice; cook for about 1 minute. Return chicken to pan and cook about 5 minutes, or until chicken is done and sauce has thickened.
*Remove from heat and cool. Stir in steamed snow peas and top dish with fresh basil and peanuts.

Martha mentioned that she served this with Coconut Rice, so I made up a batch of Coconut Cilantro Jasmine Rice. Easy and perfectly matched.

This chicken was almost perfect. Next time I'd salt at the end, but other than that, I loved it. Finally, an ethnic recipe that packed flavor with it's punch. The spice was there, but there was plenty of flavor as well. Just what we were looking for. Thanks Martha!

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you liked this. It's not everyday I'm mentioned in a blog. Thanks!