My Wednesday’s have gotten a little out of control as of late and with the recent addition of piano lessons (will I have to have recitals?) I have almost no time to cook. So I cooked the lettuce wraps Tuesday night. That being said, Justine I am going to try to make your soup tomorrow. I’m into weird, and I’ll try anything twice.
Like I said in the posting of the recipe, there were several reasons why I chose the Lettuce Wraps. It had a relatively short ingredient list, but included some things that I felt wouldn’t be terrible to have in my cupboard and it went, for as far as I can tell, with everyone’s “no” list. It is also (minus the frying in the canola oil) pretty healthy. + gluten free. If you go with the ground chicken, it produces hardly any grease. And come on, it’s a glorified hot salad! But, before I even began cooking I had already started a gripe list. Come on Kitchen Quest you’re really going to mention P.F. Chang’s 6 G.D. times and then tell me that’s not what I’m having?! I for one will not stand for that, so with a rough idea of the flavor I needed in my mouth, and a set of guidelines telling me that I wasn’t going to get to it, I started.
I yanked the ground chicken out of the freezer and took off for a run. An hour later it was almost thawed. I was hungry. And I was certainly having the P.F. Chang lettuce wraps. I grabbed my trusty cast iron pan and started sautéing the garlic and ginger. The ginger was messy… and not what I expected. I went with ginger root then I used a nutmeg shaver, and the ginger got pulpy and stuck in the shaver. So I don’t think that I really got the desired amount. And now that I think about it, I have tons of things like measuring cups, teaspoons, tablespoons, heavy restaurant grade knives and I don’t use them. So what makes me think I would use an actual ginger grader, or a food processor for that matter? But all that aside I ventured on, only after realizing I was using the small burner on the range and that’s why everything was taking so ding dang long to cook. I separated the chicken chuck as best as I could I switched over to a large burner and kicked it into gear.
Diced the mushrooms (oyster again since I had such good results last time), used the green onions up to the ends of the stalks, roughly chopped the water chestnuts that I got from a can, I find that fresh ones seem really sweet and peeling them takes far too long. And I couldn’t find them, so I didn’t really have the option in the first place. And once I threw those in I made the sauce to set aside. And since I was going for the apparently unattainable, I tasted the sauce and knew it was off. But, I have no souse chef, I don’t know my neighbors and Kelsey lives to far away to have her test a sauce. So on a whim I grabbed light brown sugar and started spooning it in and viciously mixing. Not gluten free anymore. I put enough in until it was less runny and more like a paste and poured that over the top of what was really at the moment kind of a monochromatic steamy meat dish. I added the other sauces as well and diced a red onion just to be sure I would have terrible breath at work tomorrow. Added a whole bunch of cilantro and decided to call it a day.
By now I was really hungry. I tried to delicately remove one piece of lettuce from the whole head and ended up getting ripped shards of Iceburg. Then I heaped a few spoonfuls on top and dug in.
The whole meal took less than an hour to make. It tasted good. The recipe could call for a little less salt, possibly a bit of sweet (not so much as to make the savory sweet) but a little. It was just Okay in my book. A nice “B” I probably won’t make it again, but having it at lunch for the rest of the week really isn’t bugging me. And she was right, these weren’t the P.F. CHANG Lettuce wraps, but i swear the addition of sugar helped, and her lack of chili paste as an ingredient on here really didn’t help either.