Saturday, January 15, 2011

Overslept, Floods, Atomic Industry

Oops, we overslept this morning, most unusual for us. Went to bed relatively early as well. Guess it doesn’t really matter. Woke up to fairly thick snow again. Roads are pretty white although I just saw someone drive one as though it was bare and dry!! It finally looks like winter in Canada round here.

CooperationThis is the most incredible picture I have ever seen, talk about co-operation. This picture was taken in the Queensland floods by Armin Gerfach. A green frog riding on the back of a brown snake. If only we humans could co-operate as well as this.

Being up so late I have no idea what is going on in the world, however, on a quick check of the news doesn’t seem to be much that’s changed. Although it appears that Canada has been trying to sell its nuclear power agency, why? However the talks have collapsed. I cannot imagine why we would want to sell this agency – ah, it appears it is desperately overrun on costs which is making us taxpayers foot the bill. Read about it here There are some fairly cogent arguments at the end of the article.

Eating Well are promoting healthy eating this week and here is another of their recipes in this class. I have always enjoyed Sichuan dishes.

Sichuan-Style Chicken with Peanuts

From EatingWell:  February/March 2005, EatingWell for a Healthy Heart Cookbook (2008)

The piquant Sichuan Sauce (which doubles easily) Sichuan Chickenworks well with almost any stir-fry but particularly enhances dishes with meat, fish and poultry. When stir-frying chicken, always spread the pieces in the wok and let them cook undisturbed for 1 minute before stirring. This allows the chicken to sear and prevents sticking. To smash the ginger, use the side of a cleaver or chef's knife.

4 servings


Sichuan Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Chinkiang rice vinegar, (see Note) or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, or thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon Shao Hsing rice wine, (see Note) or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 1/2-inch-thick slices ginger, smashed
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas, (8 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1 scallion, minced
  1. To prepare Sichuan sauce: Whisk broth, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch and crushed red pepper to taste in a small bowl.
  2. To prepare chicken: Combine chicken, rice wine (or sherry), soy sauce, cornstarch and garlic in a medium bowl; mix thoroughly.
  3. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or large skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl oil into the pan, add ginger and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Carefully add the chicken mixture, spreading it out. Cook until the chicken begins to brown, about 1 minute. Using a spatula, stir-fry for 30 seconds. Spread the chicken out again and cook for 30 seconds. Continue stir-frying until the chicken is lightly browned on all sides, 1 to 2 minutes. Add snap peas and stir-fry for 1 minute. Stir the Sichuan Sauce, swirl it into the pan and stir-fry until the chicken is just cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened and glossy, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer to a platter (discard the ginger) and sprinkle with peanuts and scallions. Serve immediately.

Per serving : 273 Calories; 12 g Fat; 2 g Sat; 6 g Mono; 66 mg Cholesterol; 11 g Carbohydrates; 28 g Protein; 3 g Fiber; 177 mg Sodium; 427 mg Potassium

1 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1/2 other carbohydrate, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1 fat

Tips & Notes
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare Sichuan Sauce (Step 1); cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
  • Notes: Chinkiang is a dark, slightly sweet vinegar with a smoky flavor. It is available in many Asian specialty markets. If unavailable, balsamic vinegar is an acceptable substitute.
  • Shao Hsing (or Shaoxing) is a seasoned rice wine. It is available in most Asian specialty markets and some larger supermarkets in the Asian section. An acceptable substitute is dry sherry, sold with other fortified wines in your wine or liquor store. (We prefer it to the “cooking sherry” sold in many supermarkets, which can be surprisingly high in sodium.)

Have a great weekend


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