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Entries in dinner (2)


Moo-Shu Chicken with Pancakes - Better "Take-Out" "In"



Mark Bittman's Pad Thai recipe  was a game changer, for me, in the whole scheme of it's possible to make a better "take-out" In, than "taking-out" take Out.

So, when I came across the America's Test Kitchen recipe for Moo-Shu Pork I was intrigued. But when I made it I was like "meh," This. Is. Bland.

I'll get right down to what I did to unbland the Moo-Shu. Added grated ginger and garlic at every step. Obvi substituted chicken thighs for pork, and cut the hoisin sauce with lots of fresh lime juice. 

One thing I'll suggest, don't substitute tortillas for the super thin pancakes that the recipe calls for. They're a little fiddly, but SO easy to get the knack of making, and well worth it. They turn out fresh and light, rather than chewy, and rubbery.  


 For the pancakes – will make 12 super thin pancakes

1 ½ cups flour

¾ cup boiling water

Vegetable oil for frying


Mix the flour and water together, in a large bowl, until a shaggy dough forms. Turn out on a floured surface and kneed until smooth, about 4 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes.


Roll dough into a 12 inch log, cut into 12 one in pieces. With cut side up, press each piece into a 3 inch round. Brush 6 of the rounds with sesame oil, place one plain one on each of an oiled one and roll out to a 7 inch round on a floured surface. Heat ½ teaspoon of oil in a non-stick frying pan, when oil shimmers, wipe almost clean. Cook each pancake about 1 minute on each side. The edges should be crispy and a few brown spots should appear. Let cool slightly and pull apart. Stack moist side up and cover with plastic wrap.


For the chicken marinade

12 oz boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and sliced thin

1 tablespoon grated ginger

1 tablespoon grated garlic

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine


For the vegetables 

2 tablespoon grated garlic

1 oz dried shitake mushrooms

8 oz fresh shitake mushrooms

1 tablespoon rice wine

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons grated ginger

2 tablespoons grated garlic

2 teaspoons cornstarch

8 oz sliced bamboo shoots

2 eggs, slightly beaten

3 cups shredded green cabbage

6 green onions, sliced, white and light green parts separated


Lime Hoisin sauce to serve


Marinate the chicken with the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, toss to coat, cover with plastic wrap. Let marinate for 30 minutes.

Soak dried mushrooms in boiling water until reconstituted and soft. Drain reserving 1/3 cup of soaking liquid. Add 1 tablespoon rice wine, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 2 teaspoons cornstarch to soaking liquid, set aside.

Trim tough stems from mushrooms and thinly slice. Add a little oil to a wok or non stick frying pan, add eggs and scramble lightly, until moist, about 15 seconds. Set aside in a large bowl and mash with fork. Add fresh shitakes to pan, sauté until dark brown in color, add to eggs.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in same pan, add whites of green onions, cook until well browned. Increase heat, add chicken and spread out in an even layer. Cook until brown, about 1, toss until cooked through. Add chicken to the egg and mushroom mixture. 

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in pan, add bamboo shoots, dried mushrooms, garlic and ginger. Cook until fragrant and heated through, about 1 minute. Add cabbage, 2 tablespoons of greens from onions, and mushroom soaking liquid. Continue cooking until the cabbage has wilted, but still crunchy. Return chicken and egg mixture to pan, reheat. Top with additional green onions. 

To assemble: spread a little hoisin sauce on a pancake, add filling. Fold bottom of pancake up to filling, fold in sides against filling, then roll up into a package.





Roasted Pork Tenderloins with Lime and Garlic "Sauce"

This was quick and easy and I really should thank Mr. Produce Guy for this.  I used a prepared cheat since I was short on time and he was “out” of red jalapeños.  The dish was no way short on flavor but next time I’ll concoct my own Lime and Garlic Salsa.

 I came up with this little dinner thought based on, yet again, another Jalapeño conversation.

 Any way, I can confirm, categorically that there will NEVER be red jalapenos in this particular store and possibly on this Island…ever.

 I think Mr. Produce Guy tried to run away when he saw me coming…or at least leaned towards the potatoes with his back to me.  But I caught him, by the peppers, again and asked if he could/would get some red jalapeños in.

He attempted to tell me “there were no such things.” 

"Really???" After another one of those extra long don’t tell me that garbage look that I’ve mastered.  He corrected himself to say…

He had  “never seen them, and they just come in like that…green.”

Well, that’s better…Okay…Fine you win…I give up. I’ll never bother you again regarding jalapeños.

 That short little exchange brought me to the realization that my Spicy Mango Salsa from Simply Ming just wasn’t going to be the same.  I was short on time and left Mr. Produce guy counting packets of chives.  I scurried over to the cold case and bought some.  I ended up with the mango and peach salsa and lime and garlic salsa as well…perfect for my pork tenderloins.  The mango salsa will be another “cheat” for the stir-fried chicken down the culinary road.  So props go to Mr. Produce Guy for my inspiration…and I’m sorry if I scared you…again.

Serves 4-6


2 pork tenderloins (about 2 ¼ lbs)

2 cups lime and garlic salsa

½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder (optional)

1 cup white wine (or chicken stock)

Canola oil


Marinate pork in salsa for 2 hours.  Preheat oven to 425°F.  Heat oil in an ovenproof skillet.  Remove pork from marinade (reserve) shake off any excess. Sear tenderloins, about 2 minutes on each side.  Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes until an instant read thermometer reads 130-135°F.  You do not want to overcook these; they should be pink and tender inside.  For a side sauce, I took the reserved marinade, added a cup of white wine and reduced it over medium heat while the pork was roasting.