Eat at Bett's

Our Passion for Food came from our Mom

Archive for the month “August, 2009”

Pretend PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps

Okay, so I was craving PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps. Whenever we go to PF Chang’s (which is not very often in this economy) we always get the Lettuce Wraps appetizer. Now, lucky for us, we usually have a coupon to use, YAY! Well, yesterday I had the craving again, but knew that we were not going to go anytime soon. My friend Jan was coming by to play cards (the guys were getting together with an old friend) and I asked her if she wanted to come to dinner. She laughingly asked what I was having and when I told her my thoughts, she quickly agreed to come and bring the egg rolls.

I looked online for a comparable recipe and finally found one that sounded like it would work. When Jan got here we commenced with the experimentation. What resulted was pretty good, not quite the same as Chang’s but very close, and I might add, very good.

So here it goes:

Pouring Sauce:
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons catsup
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon hot water
1 tablespoon Dijon or hot mustard
2 cloves of garlic, minced

Chicken Stir-fry:
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed to 1/2″
1 – 8oz. can sliced water chestnuts minced to the size of corn kernels
1/2 cup mushrooms, minced to the size of corn kernels (I use shitake mushrooms)
1/2 onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced fine
6 large leaves of iceberg lettuce or nappa cabbage

Stir-fry sauce:
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

Begin by making the pouring sauce. In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in 1/2 cup warm water, then add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, catsup, lemon juice and sesame oil. Mix well and throw in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.

Combine 1 teaspoon hot water with mustard and garlic and set this aside in small bowl.

Combine oils and add to wok or large frying pan. Heat oil over high heat until it glistens, about one minute. Add chicken and saute until cooked through, then remove from the pan and cool. Keep oil in the pan, keeping it hot over a low flame.

Prep the stir fry sauce by mixing soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar in a small bowl.

Take the pan that you cooked the chicken in (with the still warming oil) and turn it up to medium-high heat (be careful because if too hot, the oils will begin to smoke). Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, wait one minute, and then add chicken, garlic, onions, water chestnuts, mushrooms and the stir-fry sauce you prepared earlier. Stir-fry everything until the mushrooms have cooked, about four minutes, and remove to a serving dish.

Add mustard/garlic mixture to the pouring sauce, 1/2 teaspoon at a time to taste. Serve stir-fry with iceberg leaf wraps and top with pouring sauce.

I found that I needed to double the stir-fry sauce (maybe because I had three small chicken breasts) and add chopped green onions after you finish cooking the chicken and mushroom

Southwest Chicken Corn Chowder

We had some friends come through recently, and this soup hit the spot for a nice easy meal. We made it the night before, and then reheated gently. The flavors really blended overnight.

We made it again tonight (I forgot to grab a photo) because all of us in the house are getting colds (not fun 😦 But this wonderful and easy chowder was just delightful. I grilled some chicken breasts prior to starting this recipe, and then used some of the chicken for the kids’ quesadillas, and then served a cheese quesadilla with the soup as well.
This is a variation on shrimp chowder from Cooking Light.

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped serrano chile (about 1 small)
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, undrained
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen Southern-style hash brown potatoes, diced, thawed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 (15.25-ounce) can whole-kernel corn with red and green peppers, drained
  • 1 pound cooked chicken
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Prep
  • Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell pepper, and serrano chile to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.

Add canned chiles to pan; cook 1 minute. Add flour to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Stir in milk and next 5 ingredients (through corn); bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick.

Stir in chicken; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro.

Carrot Cake

My niece Emma and I made a fantastic carrot cake recipe. This cake was very dense and moist (almost pudding like) and so full of flavor. We made three layers instead of two and it worked well. I loved the cream cheese frosting, but have to admit that it didn’t cover the whole cake. If you choose to make this frosting, please consider doubling the recipe. I am embarrassed to say that I found this recipe at a blog I was visiting, but for whatever reason, my computer didn’t save the site in favorites for me. So if this is your recipe, I apologize for not giving you the credit you deserve.


1 pound grated carrots
4 extra large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups canola oil
2/3 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
Finely grated zest of 1 large orange
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 1/4 cups toasted walnuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup raisins
(I added 1/2 cup drained crushed pineapple)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin tins with 48 regular cupcake papers or oil and parchment two 9″ cake pans.

Mix together the eggs, sugar, oil, brown sugar, vanilla and orange zest. Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a bowl with a whisk. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, beat well. Add the grated carrots (I grated them pretty fine), coconut and raisins.

Pour the batter into prepared pans or scoop into cupcake papers (fill 3/4 full).

Bake cupcakes for 18-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Bake 9″ cakes for about 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. (I had to leave the cake in five extra minutes)

Let cakes cool before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

12 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract (optional)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Beat together until light and fluffy.

Using the spatula, spread the frosting and create swirls on the cake. If you would like, you can lightly press coconut onto to sides and top. We chose to pipe little carrots with some of the frosting that had been tinted with food coloring.

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