Tag Archives: Recipe

A medley of flavors — Balsamic Vinegar Chicken with Almonds and Peppers

9 Sep

Tania and I have just recently returned from quite the adventurous vacation, and while that experience will inspire several future blog posts, right now I’m just enjoying the comforts of home and of the familiar. In light of that, when the time came to select a recipe for dinner recently, I opted for something tried and true: Balsamic Chicken with Peppers and Almonds.

Originally taken from Cooking Light (I think), this recipe has become a reliable component of my cooking repertoire.  The blend of sweet and salty stemming from the combination of peppers, raisins, toasted almonds, and balsamic vinegar make this a recipe that covers all of its flavor bases.  Add to that the flavor complexity provided by the Parmesan cheese in the breading on the chicken, and the result is a recipe that is sure to please.  As should be obvious, this isn’t an especially fancy or gourmet recipe.   But does that really matter when it tastes good?

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Better than takeout — Chicken Szechwan and Peanuts

4 Aug

The finished project

Can you call something a secret family recipe if before being “secret” or becoming part of a family’s repertoire it was first published in a newspaper?  I ask, because if you can, what follows can best be described as a secret family recipe.  If you can’t, it’s just old and obscure.  Either way, unlike David Blaine, I’m about to reveal to you  the secrets of a recipe that is delicious, and as a result of that deliciousness, has become a staple in my family.

This recipe was clipped from a food column in either the Baltimore Sun, the Chicago Daily News, or the Chicago Sun Times while people still did such things, long before newspapers began their inexorable decline. (My parents can’t decide which paper it actually came from. They sometimes disagree about things.) The paper is yellowed and brittle, its frailty obvious from the first touch.  It calls out to be handled with the care of an archivist, and yet, it is regularly called into service, age taking a back seat to matters of taste.

Known only in my family as “chicken and peanuts,” some have suggested that it is a recipe for Kung Pao Chicken.  Perhaps on some level it is.  But I can tell you this: It tastes like no Kung Pao Chicken I’ve ever eaten.

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