Basic components of cashew chicken

Basic components of cashew chicken


The nice thing about cooking for yourself or close friends is that there’s no particular reason not to mix up cuisines. No, I’m not talking about ‘fusion’ but, well…cooking as in this case, a Chinese main (Cashew Chicken) and having an Italian Chocolate Mousse for dessert.  I mean, we aren’t Chez Panisse trying to stick to a theme, be it California cuisine or whatever.

The spirit moves you.

As typical, I was taking an afternoon break from work and my book was holding my interest less and less, so I grabbed a magazine off the rack and took it into the cafe for a quick browse. The magazine, Cucina Italia, occasionally has some interesting recipes to try out, but what caught my eye this afternoon was Parsley Marinade for meats and fish, the aforementioned dessert, Strawberry and Fava Bean Salad with Pecorino and what I suspect is a common dish, Farfalle with Peas and Prosciutto. I quickly shot hi-rez pics and they may make the cut later this week.

But tonight, a simple Cashew Chicken Chinese style…or maybe Malaysian, which frankly the definition of which is beyond the scope of this blog entry.

A close look at the ingredients reveals few surprises; chicken (called for breast but I opted for thighs), a bell pepper, a quarter of an onions and five slices of ginger. The sauce is a simple combination of soy sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper, sesame oil, and not a whole lot else.

The meat was marinated for fifteen minutes in baking soda…why? Old Chinese secret. I have my guesses, and then marinated in a bit of rice wine and corn starch. Then cooked. Will this make a difference?

Hard to say cuz I got busy with the chocolate mousse, Italian- style, which means…what? No use of raw egg whites? In any case, the mousse looked just fine and are chilling in the refrigerator, as is the bottle of cheapass Pinot Grigio. Hey, on a weeknight if you have the wherewithal to spend $10-20 on wine, be my guest.

The finished dish was delicious, but could have stood a bit more ginger and julienned rather than roughly sliced.

Oh, that chocolate mousse? I’ll show you tomorrow. I made five mini ramekins and it was delish. The addition of some French liquor was nice.