Chicken Bang Bang

It all started with a little fillo cup appetizer filled with chicken, scallions and a kicking peanut sauce.  I’ve made these many times and from what I’ve heard,  always gotten great reviews.  I think it’s because the flavor combination is crunchy, creamy and spicy all in the same bite

The other day, my friend Karen and I were discussing lunch ideas for a couple of things she was working on and my little appetizer cup came up. She mentioned that it was too bad that it wasn’t a meal.

That made me think.

I thought it was a great idea.

It can now be considered an entrée.

And that is one reason I love cooking and you should not be afraid of it.  You can take an idea from one little thing and turn it into something that is completely different and yet, still so incredibly good.  All it takes is a thought, a conversation or a suggestion and you can run with it and make it your own. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t turn out well.  Make it again or change it.  It’s all about trying new things.

You could even change this recipe.  Try shrimp with it, thicker noodles, different vegetables or spices to increase the heat a little…whatever you like to make it your own.  Just don’t be afraid.

Send me pictures and let me know what you did.  I would love to see the ideas that you come up with!

Happy eating!

Chicken Bang Bang

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 10 wonton wrappers, cut into 1/4 inch strips
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil plus 2 tablespoons
  • 8 Tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, grated (easier to do if frozen)
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 sirracha or tabasco (can add more for extra heat)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced very thin
  • 1 small bunch of baby bok choy, chopped
  • 1/2 package angel hair pasta or sesame noodles
  • 1/4 (or more) cup pasta water
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 bunch scallions, finely sliced on a diagonal to make sharp spikes

Instructions

  1. heat vegetable oil in heavy duty pan over medium high heat. Fry wonton wrappers in hot oil until golden brown. Remove, season with salt and pepper and set aside.

  2. Combine peanut butter, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, soy sauce and sirracha and mix until you have a smooth sauce. Set aside.

  3. Cook pasta according to instructions and set aside.

  4. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add red peppers and bok choy and toss for 1-2 minutes until heated through but still tender crisp. Set aside.

  5. Pound or filet chicken breasts so that they are about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thick. Season chicken well with salt and pepper. In the same pan, cook chicken on medium high for 2-3 minutes on each side. Let rest for 10 minutes and slice.

  6. Add peanut mixture to pasta. Add chicken and then vegetables on top, add scallions and fried wonton strips.

Lobster Linguine with Lemon and Basil

On most weekends, sitting over breakfast, my husband and I look at each other and ask what we’re going to have for dinner.  It was no different this past Mother’s Day Sunday.  My children were not here to cook for me, and I didn’t want to go out for dinner.  My only other options were to have my husband cook dinner which probably would have consisted of steak on the grill, or to cook it myself.  I obviously decided to cook it myself.

The nice part of cooking for yourself on Mother’s Day is that you get to choose what you want.  And my husband got to do the shopping.  I wish everyday was like that!  Anyway…it was cold for May 12th so we were thinking of something comforting, but I really wanted lobster.  I could have done Lobster Mac and Cheese, because let’s face it…that is the ultimate of comfort foods.  However, we were trying to go a little healthier so it was crossed off my list of choices.

And then it hit me.  I had seen a recipe for a shrimp and pasta recipe that had previously caught my eye.  I could adapt it and use the lobster.  And so I did with some minor experimental changes.

And it was good.

You can use shrimp if you prefer but I think the lobster added a bit more richness to it.   You can also cut out the butter and wine to make it even more healthy if you choose.  This is one of those recipes you can add and subtract to make it your own.  Experiment a little,  I think this is one of those dishes that will always come out tasting yummy.

So the next time it looks like you might have to cook your own celebration dinner…..embrace it.  You’ll be glad you did!

Lobster Linguine with Lemon and Basil

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 2 lb lobster
  • 6 ounces linguini or fettuccine
  • small palm of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup red, yellow and/or green bell pepper strips
  • 1 cup fresh asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • shredded lemon peel from 1 large lemon
  • 8 shredded lemon peel from 1 large lemon
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 1/8 cup basil, chiffonade (this is when you take several basil leaves, roll them and slice)
  • lemon wedges (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook lobster in a pot of boiling water for approximately 7 minutes

  2.  Remove lobster meat from shell and chop into bite size pieces. set aside.

  3. Cook pasta according to package directions.

  4. In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter and olive oil together. Add pepper strips and stir about 2 minutes, or until tender crisp.

  5. Add asparagus and garlic and cook an additional minute. Salt and pepper to taste.

  6. Add wine to mixture and stir.

  7. Add lobster, green onions, lemon zest and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

  8. Add pasta and basil ciffonade

  9. Transfer to serving plates and garnish with lemon wedges and more basil if desired.

SPICY SHRIMP

If you asked my husband about cooking with shrimp he would say there would only be two ways to do it….with cocktail sauce or as shrimp scampi.  There are no other options.

Well, until now that is.

I was in the mood to make something spicy for dinner.  And that included something with shrimp.  You know how it is, you just get that urge and you have to look until you find something that fits what you’re looking for.  Although I’ve never had it, my brain was telling me Thai Shrimp. Don’t ask me why because I couldn’t tell you anything about it except that I knew it was known for being spicy.  I looked through several recipes and none of them really made me scream “make this!”,  so I took a couple of ideas, merged them together and created my version.  It was everything I had hoped for… and more.  You should ask my husband, Mr.Onlycocktailsauceorscampi what he thought.  He is now known as Mr. SogoodI’mhavingseconds.  He loved it.  I loved it and I think you will too.

Step outside of the box and try something new.  It was easy and tasty and a nice change from our typical weekday dinner.  Bon Appetite!

Spicy Shrimp

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1/3 cup chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 small zucchini, halved and cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 2 bulbs baby bok choy sliced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 hot peppers (I used one with seeds and one without),
  • 1/2 cup cream of coconut
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 scallions, sliced

Instructions

  1. Combine minced garlic, lime zest, lemon juice and zest, grated ginger, sweet chili sauce, chili sauce and brown sugar. Stir until mixed together.

  2. Add peeled and deveined shrimp to mixture, making sure shrimp is well coated with sauce and set aside for at least 10 minutes.

  3. Add 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil to pan and heat over medium high heat until very hot. Add zucchini until it turns slightly brown, stirring frequently. Add baby bok choy, season dish with salt and pepper and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

  4. In the same pan add onions and cook until translucent, stirring frequently. Add hot peppers and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Add shrimp and marinade and cook until shrimp are cooked through, approximately 3 minutes more. Add cream of coconut and stir until well combined with shrimp mixture. Reduce heat to medium low and add tomatoes and cashews, cooking 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through. Stir in chopped basil.

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