Thursday, January 22, 2009
I mentioned before how I was born in the year of the OX...many years ago. This having gone around the cycle and being the year of the OX again gives me reason to celebrate with full vigor. Here's a Chinese New Year's dinner planned...Southwestern style. We do live in a multicultural society afterall, right? So why not celebrate and take the opportunity to enjoy yet another festive occasion with your family.
Here's my lucky dragon. Isn't he wonderful? He's being used as a centerpiece for our celebration dinner. Our wine bottles are covered in Chinese jackets to add to the ambiance. Votive candle holders with good luck wishes written in Chinese characters are also set upon the table for everyone to enjoy.
A bowl of oranges intermingling with some tasty Chinese confections is at an easy reach for munching and savoring.
The meal consists of Chimichanga Eggrolls, Spicy Beef Lettuce Wraps, Chinese Cole Slaw and ends with our dessert version of sushi...Chocolate Style.
Chimichanga Egg Rolls
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, about 1 pound, cooked and shredded
1-cup cabbage, carrot mix, finely shredded
¼ cup finely chopped celery
¼ cup chopped long green onion (include the tops for flavor)
½ cup Chinese BBQ Sauce
½ cup Hoisin Sauce
½ cup chicken stock
8 small (6 inch) flour tortillas
Oil for frying
In large pot, combine all ingredients except tortillas and oil. Cook over medium low heat until liquid has reduced and vegetables are soft. Remove from heat and keep warm. Heat oil in deep fryer according to manufacturers instructions. While is heat, prepare the chimichangas. Warm tortillas, one at a time on stove top griddle set to medium high. Place large tablespoon of chicken filling in center of tortilla. Wrap by folding ends up and over filling then rolling the egg roll (chimichanga) closed. Secure with toothpick. Fry for approximately 5 minutes per side until golden brown. Continue until all egg rolls are done. Serve with Chinese BBQ Sauce for dipping.
Spicy Beef Lettuce Wraps
1-½ pounds of beef sirloin steak
Salt and pepper
1-tablespoon oil (olive or sesame)
½ cup Chinese Chili Sauce
½ cup tomato sauce
Zest of one small orange
8 butter lettuce leaves
8 long green onions
Slice the steak into very thin strips. Season with salt and pepper to taste.Heat oil in large skillet. Add steak strips. Cook until almost done, about 8 to 10 minutes. Combine chili sauce, tomato sauce, and orange zest. Add to cooking steak. Stir until well combined. Lower heat and continue cooking for another 5 to 7 minutes until meat begins to get crispy.Cut tops off of long green onions. Reserve bottoms for other use. Blanche the tops in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes until softened. Remove from boiling water and plunge into ice water to allow the green onion tops to retain their color. Clean butter lettuce leaves. Dry.Place 2 large tablespoons of the cooked spicy streak strips onto leaves and securely tie the leaf with a blanched onion top. Serve warm.
Chinese Cole Slaw
1-cup vegetable oil (or light Olive Oil if you prefer)
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
2 flavor packets from Ramen Noodles (save noodles for salad)
1 (12 ounce) package cole slaw mix
2 packages chicken Ramen Noodles - uncooked and broken into small pieces
1-cup cashew pieces
1-cup sunflower kernels
½ cup sliced green onions
Prepare dressing at least 2 hours before hand to allow mixture to chill. (Overnight if possible) Mix salad ingredients and pour dressing over cole slaw right before serving.*Experiment with other flavor Ramen Noodles. There's an Oriental flavor you might want to try.
1-cup long grain rice
1-cup evaporated milk
1 ½ cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening
Combine milk, water, sugar, and cinnamon stick in pot. Bring to a simmer. Add rice. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick. Allow cooked rice to cool for 15 minutes. Cover a cookie sheet with plastic wrap. Spread cooled, cooked rice in a thin layer over plastic wrap. Melt chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon shortening in microwave for 1 minute. Stir chips. If they haven't completely melted, microwave for an addition 30 seconds. Remove from microwave oven and stir until chocolate is smooth. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.Spread melted chocolate over rice on cookie sheet. Using a spatula, spread chocolate completely over rice. Being careful and going slowly, lift the long edge of plastic wrap until rice and chocolate combination start to roll. Start rolling towards the center, lifting plastic wrap out of the way. Continue to roll until you reach the end. Secure the roll in the plastic wrap and refrigerate until the sushi roll sets, about 1 hour. Remove roll from refrigerator and carefully unwrap the plastic. Slice into 1 inch slices and serve.
May you all have a long, healthy and prosperous life.