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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chinese Chicken Salad and Chinese Cookies

Happy Chinese New Year!
Today marks the start of the new year, the year of the tiger.
So as the ever so popular Tony the Tiger would say,
I hope your new year will be "grrrrreeeeaaaat!!!!"

So I belong to a family who celebrates Chinese New Year. I'm pretty sure it's because we love playing Mah Jong together. But I also think we love to devour all the yummy though very bad for you, thus only eaten once a year, fried Won tons and Crab Rangoons my aunt makes. My yearly assignment, this yummy Chinese Chicken Salad that joined our family at least twenty years ago. OK, so it's not a recipe handed down for generations, but it has been handed down a generation. You gotta start somewhere right?

Chinese Chicken Salad
The Salad (or as we say, The Weed)
2-3 chicken breasts, cooked (boiled) in water, ginger and then shredded. ( I like lots of Chicken, I think the original recipe just calls for 1 breast)
Won ton skins – about 1/3 of the package. Cut and fried. (these freeze well, so don't feel like you have to use the whole package so as not to waste. Just freeze the rest.)
1 head lettuce
8 stalks green onion
4 T sliced almonds
4 T toasted sesame seeds
Mix everything together, but the won tons so they don't get soggy, when ready to serve.
4 T sugar
2 t salt
1 t pepper
6 T vinegar (this year I used Apple Cider Vinegar, it was so good, and you don't need as much sugar. I only used about 1 1/2 T sugar)
¼-1/3 t sesame oil
½ c olive oil

Mix the dressing really well.

Pour the dressing on the salad and toss and then add the won tons just before serving.

*Some of my tricks. I cook and shred the chicken, mix the dressing and slice the green onions the night before. I put all the chicken and the onions in a bag. Shake it to mix them, and then add maybe a 1/3 of the dressing and shake it up well so as to get all the chicken (you may need more, you may need less dressing.) I allow it to sit overnight and all day. Then when I make the salad, I only pour about half the remaining dressing onto the salad and toss the salad really well. Because the chicken is already seasoned, I don't really need all the dressing, though you can put the rest on the table in case your family or guests like a "wetter" salad.

And then the cookies. These aren't cookies per say, but they are yummy. Though this one has passed along two generations - my grandma, to my mother, to me...

Chinese Cookies (for lack of a better name)

1 - 12 oz bag Butterscotch Chips
1 - 12 oz bag Chow Mein Noodles
1/2 - 1 c peanuts

Line 2 cookie sheets with wax paper (or just on really long sheet or two sheets of wax paper on the counter.
Melt the butterscotch chips (I use a double boiler to do this)
Add the peanuts
Stir in the noodles (I start with half the package and then gradually add the rest, stirring to be sure they are all coated well.)
Spoon out clumps of the coated noodles, what ever amount looks sufficient for your desired cookie size, and set on the wax paper to cool.

They'll look like little haystacks...

A yummy combination of sweet and salty.


ariel said...

ha! i was just skimming this post and i thought you were putting butterscotch chips in your salad.

both look yummy!

SLCFoodie said...

I love desserts that are sweet and salty. What a fun idea for an Asian dessert to go along with your meal.

Busy As Can Be said...

These look so good! And what a fun theme.
Thanks for sharing,

Caprene said...

Well Ariel, I hadn't thought of mixing them together, but give it a try and let me know how it turns out