I'm becoming quite a fan of Thai food. Although I haven't gotten extremely adventurous when ordering out, it's always fun to try new things at home. This is a safe (it's chicken and veggies which are definitely not scary), but tasty and spicy (look at those chile flakes!) dish you can make anytime you're in the mood for something a little different.
As it was my first Friday night at home in a while, I tried a new recipe, rented a couple movies, opened three bottles of wine (ahem*), and made a few observations...
1. Guys like Channing Tatum (The Vow) and Zac Efron (New Years Eve) don't exist... they're just too nice (and way cute). If you disagree, prove it.
2. It's very sad to discover that two bottles of wine have gone bad and you have to pour them out.
Thank goodness for one last (unopened) bottle that saves the day.
3. After a spicy homemade meal, sometimes the simplest sweet dessert is best. Haagen Dazs Mango Sorbet topped with Smucker's Chocolate Magic Shell.
I digress. If you, too, find yourself digging Thai food, this is definitely a recipe to try. It's even light, so you don't need to feel the least bit guilty about the sorbet and chocolate. Wine and movies with dreamy men are optional.
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/4 cup minced shallots
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
6 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless, chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1 1/4 teaspoons chile paste with garlic (such as sambal oelek)
1 teaspoon water
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sliced basil leaves
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallots and garlic to pan; cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add chicken to pan; cook 13 minutes or until chicken is done.
Combine fish sauce and the next 6 ingredients (through salt) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add fish sauce mixture to pan, and cook for 1 minute or until mixture thickens, stirring to coat chicken. Remove from heat, stir in basil.
Sauteed Snow Peas and Peppers
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil, divided
2 1/2 cups fresh snow peas, trimmed
1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon sesame oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add snow peas and bell pepper to pan; saute for 4 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat. Drizzle vegetable mixture with remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss well to combine.
When I'm using new ingredients, I always find it helpful to know what I'm looking for at the store. I'd never bought Sambal Oelek before and wouldn't have guessed it was in a little jar like this. If you have Sriracha on hand, you could probably substitute that, but you won't get the great flakes and texture that the Sambal Oelek provides.
I added the snow peas (actually I used snap peas because they were all out of snow peas at the store) and peppers to the chicken mixture instead of alongside and served it all over brown rice.