Why Take Out, When Take In is Doable?

I had to take a hiatus from my cooking and posting for a few days because I was on three-day long, overnight field trip with 56 high school students. 5 hours of sleep combined over two nights later, and I was pretty much done and ready to go straight to sleep at 5:30 pm when we got home from the trip Saturday night. Unfortunately, my stomach thought otherwise. After three hours on a bus, and only a yogurt at breakfast and some tacos at lunch, I was ready for some dinner. Luckily for me, my wonderful boyfriend was ready to step in with some grade A romantic moves. I came home to find dinner, drinks, and dessert already planned. All I needed to do was sit and watch. Anyone who knows even a little about me knows that I just can’t do that. I will say I stepped back SIGNIFICANTLY, but I couldn’t help but stir the sauce a little and saute some chicken. For me, that definitely is stepped-back though.

img_0475

From the image you can tell that this meal was a little more involved than some of my previous posts have been. I was very impressed, and frankly shocked, that this was the meal that he chose. You see, I had told him that anything was good when asked what I wanted- this was all Mitch’s motivation to try take-out at home. And he was awesome.

A little bit about us- we really enjoy Chinese take-out from China City and this little restaurant called Exotic Thai up the street from us. I will be the first to say that cooking Asian food at home is not one of my strengths or areas of deep knowledge. But I LOVE take-out from these places. One of my cooking goals has been to try out and see if I could ever figure out how to do. There have been some key problems here:

  1. I try to avoid being an over-salter when I cook. I also know this is a key ingredient in take-out food. That’s an issue.
  2. I don’t have a wok. I will never own a wok. I will never have an open-fire stove top to use my non-existent wok on. Most Asain recipes call for this cooking process.
  3. I always felt like I would have to buy a lot of ingredients I would never use again to create these dishes since I could never figure out quite what made each dish unique (most likely as a result of the barrage of salt coating my mouth).

Since these three problems have plagued me, I’ve bit the bullet, paid the (in my opinion) overpriced at times prices and got the take-out made for me. With this new Skinnytaste, recipe though, Mitch has shown me that Pad Thai at home is actually a doable task. Pad Thai is quickly becoming a new favorite take-out dish for me. It consists of rice noodles, a magical sauce, chicken or beef, some sort of veggie mix, peanuts, and lime. What seems like a lot here, is really actually very easy to complete at home. Below find Gina Homolka’s Pad Thai for cheaters and enjoy. Because it’s seriously good.

img_0476 (That’s the best action shot I could get- he was really focused)


Asian Noodles with Chicken and Veggies in Peanut Sauce

Ingredients:

  • Sauce:
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • 5 tablespoons peanut butter
    • 2 tablespoons honey
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
    • 1 tablespoon fresh peeled and grated ginger
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Chicken:
    • 1lb boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into thin strips
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • Juice of 1/2 lime
    • 2 minced garlic cloves
    • 1 tablespoon fresh peeled and grated ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • Veggies:
    • 3/4 cup chopped scallions
    • 2 1/2 cups shredded veggie mix (coleslaw mix works well so long as it has carrots and veggies shredded in it)
  • Noodles:
    • 8oz rice noodles cooked according to package instructions
  • Toppings:
    • Roasted, unsalted peanuts
    • Lime wedges
    • Fresh Cilantro

Steps:

  1. Make the sauce: Combine all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, and cook until flavors are blended and the sauce slightly thickens, about 10 minutes.
  2. Make the chicken: Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and add Sriracha, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, ginger. Toss well. Heat a large, nonstick skillet over high heat. When hot, add the sesame oil and saute chicken until cooked through (time depends on how small your strips are). Rem0ve to a plate and set aside.
  3. Make the veggies: In the same pan, saute all veggie ingredients for 2-3 minutes and transfer to a plate.
  4. Make rice noodles based on package instructions.
  5. Combine cooked noodles, chicken, and peanut sauce in the same nonstick skillet and toss together
  6. Serve in bowls. Add veggies, peanuts, lime, and cilantro to taste.
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