Thursday, February 14, 2013

I Heart Beef

Happy Valentine's Day

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Orange Chicken in Lettuce Cups

The oranges are so tasty these days, I had bought a 5lb. bag from Olsen Organic at the Sunday Civic Center Farmer's Market and I had 2 lbs. of ground chicken from Barrett Farms (Clucky Plucky) too so I knew I had the start of something good.  I looked up a couple of recipes and the majority of the ones that came up were Thai in nature so I went with one and tweaked it to make it work for the stuff I had on hand.  A quick note about Clucky Plucky--they have the best pricing on eggs at the market if you can get them before they are sold out, also, also, she's selling "stock packs" for $4.00 TOTAL.  It includes a back with wings and 3 feet.  I made a stock from only those parts and it was pretty good, but I have to admit a better stock is made with a leftover carcass and then this pack added to it.
Orange Chicken in Lettuce Cups
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (Thai basil preferred--I found this at the Asian Market in San Rafael)
5 cloves garlic
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 tsp. to 1 tsp. prepared sambal OR when in season 2 Thai red chili peppers, seeded and cut into strips, amount to taste   
teaspoon freshly grated ginger
lb ground chicken (or turkey)
5 teaspoons fish sauce make sure to get one that is made from anchovy
Grated zest from one orange
Juice from one orange 
1 head butter lettuce washed, whole leaves pulled and dried

In oil over medium-high heat, saute onion for 2 min.  Add basil, garlic, green onions, chilies, orange zest and grated ginger in oil until onions are soft.
Add ground chicken and sauté until browned.
Mix fish sauce and orange juice together; add into chicken/basil mixture and stir to coat.  This will smell really strong while cooking, don't be put off, the fish flavor does not come through on the dish and fish sauce is incredibly healthy for you so don't skip it.
Saute for another 3 to 4 minutes.  You can make this ahead and let sit for about 15 min. or refrigerate and reheat gently
Note: please use Thai basil if at all possible, which holds up better under heat and is much more aromatic than common Italian/French basil.