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NEW YEAR’S GRUB... CHINESE STYLE

January 23, 2019

HUNTINGTON — The Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival, is the longest holiday of the year as families gather to share Chinese foods symbolizing good luck, good health, peace and prosperity.

On Tuesday, Feb. 5, the Year of the Pig begins and lasts to Feb. 19 — 15 days total. During this time, firecrackers, lion dances, flowers and Chinese decorations play an important role in the event, as does eating with recipes such as the following recipe from RecipeLion.com:

CHINESE GROUND BEEF CASSEROLE

2 pounds 93 percent lean ground beef

3 ribs celery, chopped

Half large onion, chopped

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cans chicken and rice soup

1 cup frozen petite peas, thawed

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon pure sesame oil

2 cups water

1 cup long grain white rice (not minute rice)

3 cups chow mein noodles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In very large oven safe skillet with lid, cook ground beef on medium heat with celery and onions. Break up the ground beef and continue cooking while stirring until beef is no longer pink and veggies are tender. Now add salt, soup, peas, sugar, soy sauce and pure sesame oil. Stir well and remove from heat. Thoroughly mix in water and rice. Cover and bake 30 minutes. While casserole is baking, start making the brown sauce.

CHINESE BROWN SAUCE:

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 (14.5-ounce) can beef broth

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons pure sesame oil

In medium-size sauce pan over medium heat, whisk together all brown sauce ingredients and bring to boil. Simmer while whisking until sauce thickens. This should take about 5-7 minutes. When sauce has thickened set aside to pour over casserole before serving. When casserole is done baking, remove from oven and top with chow mein noodles. Pour brown sauce over noodles and serve warm.

This recipe is provided by realmomkitchen.com:

CHINESE CHOW MEIN CASSEROLE

1 pound ground beef

1 onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of chicken soup

1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup uncooked rice

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 1/2 cups warm water Pepper

1 (5-ounce) can chow mein noodles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In skillet, brown beef with onion and celery. Drain off any excess grease. Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT for chow mein noodles. Place mixture in 2 quart or 9-by 13-inch baking dish. Cover and bake 1 hour. Uncover and top with chow mein noodles and bake 15 more minutes.

This recipe is from Taste of Home:

WONTON MOZZARELLA STICKS

12 pieces string cheese

12 large egg roll wrappers

Oil for deep-fat frying

Marinara or spaghetti sauce

Place piece of string cheese near bottom corner of one egg roll wrapper (keep remaining wrappers covered with damp paper towel until ready to use). Fold bottom corner over cheese. Roll up halfway; fold sides toward center over cheese. Moisten remaining corner with water; roll up tightly to seal. Repeat with remaining wrappers and cheese. In electric skillet heat 1/2 inch oil to 375 degrees. Fry sticks, few at a time, 30-60 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with marinara sauce.

These recipes are from allrecipes.com:

GENERAL TSAO’S CHICKEN II

4 cups vegetable oil for frying

1 egg

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon white sugar

1 pinch white pepper

1 cup cornstarch

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 tablespoons chopped green onion

1 clove garlic, minced

6 dried whole red chilies

1 strip orange zest

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

3 tablespoons chicken broth

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons peanut oil

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/4 cup water

Heat 4 cups vegetable oil in deep-fryer or large saucepan to 375 degrees F. Beat egg in mixing bowl. Add chicken cubes; sprinkle with salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, and white pepper; mix well. Mix in 1 cup of cornstarch a little bit at a time until the chicken cubes are well coated. In batches, carefully drop chicken cubes into hot oil one by one, cooking until they turn golden brown and begin to float, about 3 minutes. Remove chicken and allow to cool as you fry next batch. Once all of chicken has been fried, refry chicken, starting with the batch that was cooked first. Cook until chicken turns deep golden brown, about 2 minutes more. Drain on paper towel-lined plate. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in wok or large skillet over high heat. Stir in green onion, garlic, whole chiles, and orange zest. Cook and stir minute or two until garlic has turned golden and chiles brighten. Add 1/2 cup sugar, ginger, chicken broth, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and peanut oil; bring to boil and cook 3 minutes. Dissolve 2 teaspoons of cornstarch into water, and stir into boiling sauce. Return to boil and cook until sauce thickens and is no longer cloudy from cornstarch, about 1 minute. Stir chicken into boiling sauce. Reduce heat to low and cook a few minutes until chicken absorbs some of the sauce.

BLACK PEPPER BEEF AND CABBAGE STIR-FRY

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 small head cabbage, shredded

1 red bell pepper, cut into strips

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 cup cold water

1 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste Salt, to taste (optional)

Heat wok or large skillet over medium-high heat, and add oil. Saute garlic for 5 seconds, add ground beef. Stir-fry until beef is evenly brown; drain excess fat. Stir in cabbage and pepper, and cook until vegetables are tender and beef is fully cooked. Stir in soy sauce. Mix together cornstarch and water, and stir in. Season with pepper; add salt to taste. Cook, stirring, until sauce has thickened.

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