San Francisco Shrimp

San Francisco Shrimp

We’ve been on a shrimp kick again. Only this time, we’re eating more than just the sriracha shrimp. J bookmarked this recipe on a wonderful recipe finding site, Big Oven. So far almost every thing we’ve made from the site has been delicious. While at first glance this dish may seem time and labor intensive, it isn’t. The key to making it a weeknight meal is to have the ingredients ready to go.

Ingredients:
2 pounds jumbo shrimp shelled
5 stalks scallions finely chopped (more works too!)
8 cloves garlic, minced
5 slices ginger root finely chopped (we grated it, it was easier)
2-3 pods dried red chile peppers crushed (in a pinch you can use red pepper flakes)
Sauce
1/2 cup Ketchup
1 Tbsp cooking sherry (this is a bit salty in my opinion, we usually use regular sherry)
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt (if using cooking sherry, omit this!)
4 tablespoons cooking oil (you might need more or less depending on the oil you use. We found with sesame oil, it absorbs fast, but tastes the best!)
cornstarch about 2/3 of a cup should be enough

Directions:
Put the cornstarch in a zip top gallon sized bag. Dry the shrimp with paper towels and put into the cornstarch bag. Shake. Pour about an inch of cooking oil in the bottom of a wok. Deep fry shrimp in batches until pink and slightly golden. Remove shrimp to a separate plate covered in paper towels. Ladle a bit of oil from the wok to a non-stick skillet. Heat and add scallions, garlic, ginger, and chile pepper mix in the oil until fragrant, about one minute. Pour sauce ingredients into the skillet, stir until bubbly. Return shrimp into the skillet, mix well. Serve over a bed of rice.

My Opinion:
This dish is perfect for a hot summer night. It’s delicious and sweet and spicy and a touch sour. We’ve added a diced onion into the scallion mixture and it was wonderful. We’ve added broccoli into the sauce and it was fantastic. This might just be in my top five favorite meals. So good!

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Best Sweet and Sour Chicken

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We’ve been eating a home a lot more lately. Which means, when we’re craving specialty food, we have to make it ourselves, while trying to use up the left overs.We had left over onions and green peppers from grilling and decided to try our hand at sweet and sour chicken adapted from this recipe. It was amazing. Right up there with the Kung Pao. Flavorful and even better easy.

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sherry wine
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (you can use fresh too)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups vegetable oil
1 (15 ounce) can pineapple chunks (we used a bigger can and be sure to save the juice!)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 medium green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 onion, cut into 1-inch pieces

Directions:
Mix together first 6 ingredients. Add chicken; coat well. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Fry chicken until lightly browned (we skipped this since we velveted the chicken).  Removed chicken; drain. Drain pineapple, reserving liquid. Add enough water to juice to make 1 cup (if you used a larger can of pineapple, you should have one cup of juice from the can and won’t need the water). Add the cornstarch, mixing well. Combine pineapple juice mixture and next 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil. Stir green pepper, onion and chicken into sauce; cook until thoroughly heated. Serve over rice.

My opinion:
I know what you’re thinking, will this sauce really taste good? It has ketchup for goodness sake! I promise, you it will not only taste good, but be delicious. I like this dish so much better than the one at our favorite local Chinese place. Especially without the breading. One of the secrets is not to cook the green peppers too long. You want them to still be bright green, not dull green. Next time, we might add a dash or two of chili peppers to make it a bit spicy. Yum!