Hi everyone. I had a great discussion with a woman wanting to take back her kitchen today. Believe it or not, she was encouraged NOT to cook as a child, and to pursue more interesting, intellectual endeavors. This is not the first time I have heard this.
For many of us growing up in the 70s, 80s and beyond, cooking was devalued. We are not here to point fingers, as our mothers and others believed they were helping us to develop into more evolved beings, but they were perhaps victims of the times and a bit misguided. Instead of blaming them for not providing modeling of cooking behaviors or teaching us to cook, how about we thank them for trying their best?
How about we show them that they raised a competent person who can overcome struggles and frustration and come out on the other side as a rockin’ Celebrity Home Chef???
Here’s a fantastic recipe that looks daunting but is actually crazily easy. Although some of the ingredients look scarily obscure, most supermarkets have them.
Mongolian BBQ Chicken (or tofu) -from the Cookbook “Chef Interrupted” by Melissa Clark
1/2 cup sherry vinegar (I use red wine vinegar)
1/2 cup peanuts, coarsely chopped (no skins)more for garnish if you like
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup Asian toasted sesame oil
1/3 cup plum sauce
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup srirachi or chili-garlic sauce-found in most supermarkets but may have to go to an Asian food store (Whole Foods has it)
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
3 TBS hot chile oil
2TBS minced shallots (I don’t put these in)
2 TBS chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
1 1/2 TBS minced fresh gingerroot
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 1/2 lbs chicken thighs and legs (I use 5 lbs boneless, skinless thighs)
Now here is the easy part: Put ALL the ingredients together in a big bowl with the chicken (after you wash the chicken). Get sauce all over the chicken and dump the whole thing in a big bowl covered with saran wrap or in 1 or 2 Gallon size Ziplocs OR a big tupperware.
Leave it in the fridge for one or two days to marinate. When you are ready to cook it, broil in the oven in a roasting pan for about an hour. If you don’t have a broil setting, you can turn the oven to about 450 degrees and start checking the chicken to see if it is done after about 1/2 hour to 40 minutes. The sauce may be bubbling but the chicken may still be raw inside so stick a knife in it to check. If the tops of the chicken start looking too done, leave in the oven but cover with aluminum foil until done.
Serve this with rice and listen to your friends and family drown you in compliments.
Yes, you will have bought all these unusual ingredients but now you HAVE them and you can make the chicken again next week! No shopping!
Also, you can freeze the extra sauce, which you will have , and use it for a sauce for fish, tofu or whatever at another time. It is delectable! Enjoy!