I recently realised how much I like to cook and I decided to make an online collection of recipes I've collected and tried. These are all pretty easy, and I have made many of them while watching a toddler, or at least during nap time.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Orange Chicken



2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into bite-size cubes)
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 eggs (beaten)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Oil (for frying)

Orange Sauce-

1 ½ cups water
2 tablespoons orange juice
¼ cup lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon orange zest (grated)
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon ginger root (minced)
½ teaspoon garlic (minced)
2 tablespoons green onion (chopped)
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

Cooking Instructions:

Step 1: Combine flour, salt, and pepper. Dip chicken in egg mixture and shake in flour mixture to coat. Deep fry chicken in batches at 375 degrees in a deep fryer (or use a wok) until completely cooked.

Step 2: Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine 1 ½ cups water, lemon juice, orange juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Blend well over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in brown sugar, orange zest, ginger, garlic, and onion. Bring to a boil. Add more orange zest and juice if you like. I recommend making the sauce a little too strong and sweet if you will be eating this with rice.

Step 3: Combine 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and mix thoroughly. Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into sauce until it thickens. Pour sauce over breaded chicken, and if desired add red pepper flakes and garnish with green onions.

from: http://blogchef.net/orange-chicken-recipe/

it helps to get a large bowl or a pan (like a cookie sheet with sides, whatever it's called), line it with 2 layers of paper towels, and place your chicken on it. A bowl will help retain heat, the paper towels absorb oil.

this does not make very good leftovers--so only make what you plan to eat. the coating on the chicken gets a little soggy with moisture. the sauce, however, keeps well. it starts to look gelatinous after being in the fridge, but I just dump it in a saucepan and reheat.

egg beaters work just as well as whole eggs. gluten free flour and tamari soy sauce also work great if you have celiac/follow a gluten free diet--tastes the same. I believe I used Red Mill flour (all-purpose)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

The Crust
(You'll need an electric mixer or food processor with a dough hook for this--thank God for Kitchen-Aid's)

2 packages dry yeast ("Quick Rise")
2 cups tepid water (90 degrees F)
1/2 cup salad oil
4 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup cornmeal
5 1/2 cups flour

In the mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water. Add the salad oil, the olive oil, the cornmeal and 3 cups of the flour. Beat or process for 10 minutes. Add the dough hook and mix in the rest of the flour. Knead for 10 to 15 minutes. Put the dough onto a plastic countertop or a cutting board and cover it with a very large metal bowl. Allow dough to rise until double in bulk. Punch down and allow to rise again. Punch down again.

Oil two large round deep dish pans or cake pans. Divide dough between the pans. Put a little olive oil on your fingers and press and push the dough to the edge and up the sides of each pan. The dough should be 1/8 inch throughout.

The Filling

3/4 to 1 lb. sliced mozzarella cheese
1 28-oz. can of plum tomatoes, coarsely crushed
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
2 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed (according to taste)
grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbs. olive oil

Layer the mozzarella cheese all over the bottom of the pies. Next add the tomatoes, basil, oregano and garlic. Add salt to taste, and then, if you wish, add any or all of the following

Optional Additions to The Filling
crumbled sweet or hot Italian sausage
thin sliced Pepperoni
diced yellow onions
sliced mushrooms
slices of cored green pepper
sliced ripe black olives

Liberally sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and drizzle the olive oil on top.

Bake the pizzas in a pre-heated 475 degree F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is golden and gooey and the crust is a light golden brown.


lightly sautéed red onions
green bell pepper
artichoke hearts (in brine, not the marinated ones)
fresh spinach

I don't layer it according to directions--i put a the tomatoes down, then spinach,cheese, then other toppings.

I think I make five or six 9-inch pizzas. the disposable foil cake pans work great--just make sure they're cake pans, not pie pans!