Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Summer Meals in Arizona: Asian-Inspired Lettuce Wraps with a Peanut Sauce

My husband is awesome. Which is related to lettuce wraps how exactly? Well, you see, he passed the CPA and so we had a party. I had never hosted a party for 30 people before, so I sort of over-prepared and bought way too much food. One thing I had way too much of was lettuce-iceberg lettuce. I am not really a fan of it, either. We just purchased it for burgers and were left with almost a whole head. So what's a girl to do? Make lettuce wraps!

I'll admit that I looked up a few recipes before beginning this process since I had never made lettuce wraps before. It gave me an idea of what it should have, but I was surprised that I already knew most of the ingredients. I also didn't have a lot of the typical veggies one might put in lettuce wraps, like green onion and watercress, so I was just going to wing it with what we had and hope for the best. We were also having two people over for if it was a fiasco, it would not be a good thing. Luckily all turned out well. Better than well, really. These were absolutely delicious. I had all three men spooning off the sauce from their plates and there was absolutely nothing left. No chicken. No sauce. No lettuce. Victory! And to make it even don't even need to turn on the oven. You do have to use the stove top, but only on medium heat, so it really isn't bad. 

Asian-Inspired Lettuce Wraps with a Peanut Sauce (served 4)

Chicken Filling
1 lb of chicken, minced or ground
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 carrots, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 T soy sauce (or to taste)
2 T red wine vinegar (or to taste)
1 T red pepper flakes (or to taste)
2 T Olive Oil
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large pan over medium heat. While pan is heating, prep the veggies, dicing the onion, bell pepper, and carrot. Place olive oil in pan and wait a minute for it to heat up. Place all veggies in pan. Wait for onions and pepper to soften and then add minced garlic. Place chicken in pan. (I didn't have ground chicken so I used my food processor to ground the chicken). Break up the chicken like you would ground beef. Wait for it to book a bit and then add the soy sauce, vinegar, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Once chicken is cooked though, set aside. 

Peanut Sauce
1/4 C. creamy peanut butter
1 T. soy sauce
1/2 C. water
1 clove garlic (or more)
red pepper flakes to taste
curry powder to taste
juice of one lime
salt and pepper

Place first three ingredients in a food processor or blender (after you wash it from mincing the chicken, of course!). Emulsify the peanut butter with the soy sauce and water. (Sounds fancy, right? It basically just means to blend all of them together so that the PB becomes more liquified.) You might need to add some more water, but just see. Then add garlic (minced before putting it in might help it blend better), red pepper flakes, curry, juice of lime, and salt and pepper. You should keep tasting as you go. 

Serve chicken atop a piece of two of iceberg lettuce, top with the peanut sauce, and enjoy! 

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