Take-out Fake-out

Take-out Fake-out: Chicken Lo Mein

by Shawnda on November 12, 2013

in Chicken & Poultry,Pasta, Rice, and Grains,Take-out Fake-out

Chicken Lo Mein

There are some days that only the ringing of the door bell can fix. Assuming the person on the other side of that door is holding a large brown bag full of an oil-drenched sodium bomb.

Or a margarita. (And one day, I’ll bring that dream of a margarita delivery service to life. Or at least be their very best customer.)

No amount of justifying “but homemade is soooo much better – and better for you!” fixes those days. Carbs must be over-paid for. Then delivered outside of the promised window without the extra spicy mustard you specifically requested. And then consumed in excess, and far too fast.

But on days when you don’t need the psychological effect of throwing your credit card at a stranger standing on your front step, homemade is so better. And better for you. Because there’s room in everyone’s kitchen for a take-out recipe that doesn’t come drenched in a 1/2 cup of oil.

Chicken Lo Mein

For the last 5 years, that bowl of DIY take-out Chicken Lo Mein has been the second-most popular noodle dish in this house. 5 years.

The recipe comes courtesy of my friend Elly over at Elly Says Opa. Her blog is usually the place I visit when I’m short on ideas for our weekly menu. Also, it’s where I go when I want to look at dreamy photos of delicious Greek food that no one else in this house would eat with me.

Well, at least not before I introduced them to the magicalness of gyro and baklava at Greek Fest… but that’s a different story and a different recipe.

Today, it’s Chinese Food from my favorite Greek blogger.

Chicken Lo Mein

We make a few minor changes to the recipe. We don’t incite the natives to rebel by including mushrooms. And the open-bag-of-frozen-snap-peas-dump-in-pan keeps the littlest native from picking through her bowl of noodles looking for an offending chunk of celery or an icky chunk of carrot. (Because in typical 3 year old logic, carrots are awesome raw and carrots are awesome cooked to a mush in a can of soup. But she will cut you – and by “you” I mean “me” – over anything in between).

And sometimes we add orange juice and strips of orange zest. And sometimes that orange becomes grapefruit.

And when we can’t keep up with the red bell peppers from the garden, I throw in as many of those as I can squeeze into the pan.

And as long as there’s no celery or mushrooms or carrots, everyone is happy. And stays happy.

Chicken Lo Mein

A lighter, better-for-you-than-takeout chicken lo mein.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz lo mein noodles
  • 2 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or stock
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp olive (or other cooking) oil
  • 8 oz chicken breast, sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, quartered and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 green onions, sliced (dark green parts reserved)
  • 8 oz frozen snow peas
  • Sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Cook the lo mein noodles according to package directions.
  2. Drain, toss with a few dashes of sesame oil, and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the oyster sauce, soy, chicken stock, cornstarch, and red pepper until smooth; set aside.
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet (I use a nonstick pan) over high heat.
  5. Stir fry the chicken for 3-4 minutes, until almost cooked through and add the ginger, onions, garlic, white and light green onion parts, and snow peas.
  6. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until the onions are cooked to your preference, stirring frequently.
  7. Whisk the sauce and add it to the pan, letting it boil for 1 minute before adding the noodles.
  8. Toss to coat, top with dark green onion slices, and serve.

Notes

Yields: 4 servings

Slightly adapted from Elly Says Opa

Estimated time: 40 minutes

FacebookTwitterTumblrShare

{ 16 comments }

Eggs Benedict con Queso

Hi, my name is–

Queso! QUESO!! KAY-SOOOO!!!!

That’s kind of what happens when we go to Austin. We stop by the original Kerbey Lane Cafe at least once… a day. And before the server can even get his or her name out, my husband is already reaching for his tranquilizer gun.

So maybe it’s not that bad, but I am a certifiable chile con queso junkie. And I’ve never really paid much attention to their menu. (Seriously, they have a menu! Who knew?)

Eggs Benedict con Queso

But a reader recently brought to my attention a dish from that alleged menu: “Eggs Francisco.” Eggs Francisco is an English muffin topped with scrambled eggs, tomatoes, bacon and a scoop of Kerbey queso.

That? That sounds like my kind of breakfast. (Or breakfast for dinner, as it turned out.)

We took a slightly different approach to Eggs Francisco, instead merging Eggs Benedict with a few TexMex and breakfast favorites to create a dish totally worthy of a fancy & pricey brunch: bacon, avocado, pico de gallo, and a generous spoonful of queso.

Eggs Benedict con queso y avocado y bacon y pico de gallo. But you can call ‘em Eggs Benedict con Queso.

Eggs Benedict con Queso

And then you can call it the best thing to happen to Eggs Benedict since butter and homemade English muffins.

I already had English muffins in the freezer and leftover pico and queso in the fridge from the night before, so I really only had to cook the bacon, poach the eggs, and toast the muffins. It took no time at all for it all to come together!

Eggs Benedict con Queso

Eggs Benedict, with a TexMex twist.

Ingredients

  • For the pico de gallo:
  • 2 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • Handful of cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Salt
  • For each serving:
  • 1 toasted English muffin half
  • Sliced avocado
  • 1 slice of cooked bacon
  • 1 poached or fried egg
  • 1 scoop of warmed chile con queso (this is my favorite recipe)

Instructions

  1. Stir the ingredients for the pico de gallo together in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Build your Eggs Benedict con queso from the bottom-up: english muffin half, avocado, bacon (breaking the pieces as necessary to fit), egg, queso, and a generous scoop of pico de gallo.

Notes

Yields: Servings vary

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride, Inspired by Kerbey Lane Cafe

Estimated time: 30 minutes

FacebookTwitterTumblrShare

{ 25 comments }

Chicken Relleno

One of my favorite places to grab lunch near the Foodie Groom’s office is Cafe Red Onion. With the world’s best collection of Tex-Mex restaurants within 5 minutes in any direction of our house, their “Latin fusion” really stands out. The food is incredibly fresh and every plate that comes out of the kitchen is a festive and colorful work of culinary art. And if you need another excuse, their pineapple salsa can be incredibly addicting.

My favorite dish is the Chicken Relleno: a chicken breast stuff with an oozy goat cheese that’s loaded with pistachios, poblano, and roasted red pepper and served over and under a cilantro curry sauce. It’s served along side a quick and super simple fun confetti-style pile of white rice tossed with rinsed black beans and diced Texas cantaloupe (don’t forget to hit it with a little lime juice and cilantro for garnish!).

While the recipe serves 4, I recommend only making 3 – dinner, a leftover lunch, and then a worthy use of the remaining stuffing and sauce for His & Her Burger Night:

Leftover Chicken Relleno

I know, right?

Chicken Relleno

Chicken breasts stuffed with goat cheese, pistachios, poblano, and roasted red pepper and served over and under a cilantro curry sauce.

Ingredients

  • For the filling:
  • 1/3 cup pistachios, shelled
  • 4 oz goat cheese, softened
  • juice from 1/2 a lime
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 roasted red bell pepper, chopped (reserve the other half for another use)
  • 1/2 roasted poblano pepper (reserve the other half for the sauce)
  • salt and pepper
  • For the chicken:
  • 4 5-oz chicken breasts
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 of roasted poblano
  • juice and zest from 1/2 a lime
  • dash of curry powder
  • fat-free half and half or canned condensed milk (not sweetened!)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Process pistachios in the food processor for ~10 seconds, until mostly ground. Add goat cheese and lime juice and process until thoroughly mixed. Add cilantro, the chopped bell pepper and poblano peppers and pulse to just combine. Salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Pound chicken breasts to an even thickness. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Place 1/4 of the goat cheese mixture in the center of each chicken breast. Roll the ends up and secure with toothpicks. Heat olive oil in an oven-safe saute pan until very hot. Place chicken breasts in the pan (toothpicks up) and sear 1-2 minutes, until nicely browned. Flip (toothpicks down) and transfer to the oven for ~8-10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through (use a meat thermometer).
  3. While the chicken is baking, make the sauce: Cut the bunch of cilantro so that most of the stems are left behind. Place all ingredients except the half-and-half in a blender. With the blender running, slowly stream in the half-and-half until you reach a nice, saucy consistency. Transfer to a small sauce pan and heat on low. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Divide chicken between plates and serve with a generous spoonful of sauce.

Notes

Yields: 4 servings

Inspired by Cafe Red Onion

Estimated time: 45 minutes

Nutritional Information
Calories: 372.1 | Fat: 18.5 | Fiber 2.3
WW Points: 9

FacebookTwitterTumblrShare

{ 17 comments }