Laotian Beef Mince Lettuce Wraps (Larb)

Laotian Beef Mince Lettuce Wraps (Larb)

16 Boston Bibb or butter lettuce leaves
1 pound lean ground beef
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons minced pickled ginger
1 dash Asian chile pepper sauce, or to taste (optional)
1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 teaspoons Asian (dark) sesame oil

Rinse whole lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not tear them. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir beef and cooking oil in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes.

Drain and discard grease; transfer beef to a bowl.

Cook and stir onion in the same skillet used for beef until slightly tender, 5 to 10 minutes.

Stir hoisin sauce, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, and chile pepper sauce into onions. Add water chestnuts, green onions, sesame oil, and cooked beef; cook and stir until the onions just begin to wilt, about 2 minutes.

Arrange lettuce leaves around the outer edge of a large serving platter and pile meat mixture in the center.

Tonight, I’m serving with a small bowl of Jasmine rice and fresh fruit compote.

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Shiitake Mushrooms

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Shiitake Mushrooms

3 Tbsp. flour, divided
4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 lb.), pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
6 Tbsp. KRAFT Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing, divided
1 lb. shiitake mushrooms, quartered
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp. lite soy sauce

Place 2 Tbsp. flour in pie plate. Add chicken, 1 piece at a time; turn to evenly coat both sides of each breast.

Heat 2 Tbsp. dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; turn to evenly coat both sides with dressing. Cook 3 to 4 min. on each side or until evenly browned on both sides. (Chicken will not be done.) Transfer chicken to plate; cover to keep warm.

Add 2 Tbsp. of the remaining dressing and mushrooms to skillet; cook 8 min. or until golden brown, stirring occasionally and adding garlic for the last minute. Stir in remaining flour; cook and stir 1 min. Add remaining dressing, broth and soy sauce; cook and stir 2 min. or until slightly thickened.

Return chicken to skillet; spoon mushroom mixture over chicken. Cook 2 min. or until done.

Tonight, I’m serving over a bed of rice noodle, with a side salad and fresh fruit compote.

Roasted Apple, Pear & Cheddar Salad

Roasted Apple & Cheddar Salad

• 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
• 2 tablespoons apple juice
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1 apples, preferably Fuji, peeled and cut into wedges
• 1 pear, peeled and cut into wedges
• 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
• 4 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
• 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
• 3 cups baby spinach, or torn spinach leaves
• 3 cups Boston lettuce, torn
• 3 cups curly endive, torn
• 2/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
• freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F.

To prepare dressing: Whisk vinegar, apple juice, 1 tablespoon oil, honey, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

To roast apples & prepare salad: Toss apples with 2 teaspoons oil and thyme in a medium bowl; spread evenly on a baking sheet. Roast, turning once or twice, until the apples are soft and golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Discard fresh thyme, if using. Let cool.

While the apples are roasting, toast walnuts in a small baking pan until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Let cool.

Just before serving, combine spinach, lettuce and endive in a large bowl; toss gently to mix. Divide the greens among 6 plates, drizzle with dressing and top with cheese, roasted apples and walnuts. Serve immediately.

Tonight, I’m adding some crusty bread and fresh fruit compote to this entree size salad.

Butter Chicken – Murg Makhani

Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken)

1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/4 white onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup tomato puree
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 pinch salt
1 pinch black pepper
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Saute shallot and onion until soft and translucent. Stir in butter, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, 1 teaspoon garam masala, chili powder, cumin and bay leaf. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in half-and-half and yogurt. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat, and season with 1 teaspoon garam masala and cayenne. Stir in a few spoonfuls of sauce, and simmer until liquid has reduced, and chicken is no longer pink. Stir cooked chicken into sauce.

Mix together cornstarch and water, then stir into the sauce. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until thickened.

Tonight, I’m serving with basmati rice, garden salad, garlic naan bread and fresh fruit compote.