Saturday, April 6, 2013

Asian Themed Chicken or Turkey Lettuce Wraps

FINALLY! I have a few spare minutes to start blogging up some of our favorite Green Grass House recipes.

Asian Themed Chicken or Turkey Lettuce Wraps were inspired a bit by Elephant Bar at Belmar in Lakewood. We like to eat there, but it is in a decidedly hip little area that tends to look at the kiddos and us like we are strange interlopers from the Nether. That, combined with it being a little pricey and tough to get into a lot of the time convinced us we needed to make our own - plus now we can control exactly where our ingredients come from - extra bonus!

What you need for 4 fairly hefty servings:

3/4 cup sliced raw almonds
2 tbsp. olive oil (or other high heat cooking oil if you prefer)
2-3 stems of brocolli (yep, just the stalks - a great way to use them up!)
1 pound ground turkey or chicken (we have done packaged, and ground at home, both work just fine)
2 cloves of garlic (for normal people - we use 6, but we really, really love garlic around here)
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. soy sauce (feel free to use more to taste - I have to watch my salt intake so we go a little low on this)
1 tbsp. mixed Asian blend sesame seed/sea salt *

* We had a lovely blend made by The Art of Spice that we used - it finally ran out and we had to recreate it ourselves - 1 part white sesame seed, 1/2 part black sesame seed, 1 part medium grind sea salt, 1 part Chinese 5 spice powder. If you don't want to go to the effort of making it, or if you can't find all of these, we carry it in our shop, too.

Toast the almonds in a dry pan until crunchy and brown over high heat.

Set toasted almonds aside, turn heat down to medium and add turkey/chicken to your hot pan. If you are using low fat breast cuts, add a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking at this point. While meat is browning, turn your attention to the veggies.

 Peel the tougher sides of brocolli off and coarsely dice them. Peel and thinly slice garlic cloves.

 Add the brocolli and garlic to your pan, along with the rest of the olive oil if you didn't already add it all with your meat.
Cook, stirring frequently over medium high heat until veggies are softened and meat is well browned.

 Reduce heat to low and add sesame oil, soy sauce and sesame/salt blend and stir well. 

 Serve with large leaf lettuce - iceberg is the kids' favorite, I'm partial to one of the butterhead varieties. Scoop spoonfuls into the middle of a leaf, roll it up sort of like a lettuce taco and munch away. It's messy, so eat over the plates, but oh, so good!

 We sometimes use this as an "in front of the tv watching a movie dinner", too!  This is Sara's setup, complete with little umbrellas in the water glasses and the Xbox remote primed for surfing Netflix. :-)