Asian Style Lettuce Wraps with Chicken and Crunchy Pears
Makes 4 servings
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons grated gingerroot
6 scallions, thinly sliced, green and white parts separated
1 pound ground chicken, dark meat
1 tablespoon chili sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 large USA Pear, such as Red Anjou or Bosc, cored and cut in matchsticks
Toasted sesame oil to taste
12 large tender lettuce leaves, such as bib, butter or red leaf
In small bowl, mix cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water to form smooth paste and set aside.
Warm peanut oil in skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add garlic, ginger and white parts of scallion and stir-fry until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken and cook, stirring frequently until it breaks into small pieces and is no longer pink, about 8 minutes.
Add chili sauce, hoisin and soy sauce, stirring to combine and evenly distribute ingredients. Add reserved cornstarch slurry and stir until sauce is clear. Finish with reserved scallion greens, pear matchsticks and a splash of sesame oil.
To serve, place a heaping tablespoon of filling in middle of lettuce leaf with few cilantro leaves, if desired. Wrap lettuce around contents, pick up with hands and eat.
Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Pears, Shallots and Wilted Spinach
Makes 4 servings
4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 large USA Pears, peeled, cored and cut in 1/2-inch dice
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme (about 4 sprigs)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 1/4 pounds fresh spinach, trimmed, washed and dried
Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Using heavy skillet or mallet, pound breasts to 1/4-inch thickness. Season both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper and lightly coat with a dusting of flour.
Place 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and butter in large skillet over medium high heat. When butter begins to foam, add two chicken breasts and sautéone side until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn chicken breasts over and sauté other side until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate, raise heat to medium high and repeat with another tablespoon each of olive oil and butter and other 2 chicken breasts.
Add shallots and pears to pan and cook over medium-high heat until lightly translucent and golden, about 3 minutes. Add lemon juice, mustard, chicken stock and any juices on plate and deglaze pan, scraping to loosen any brown bits on bottom with wooden spoon. Simmer until sauce reduces by half, about 4 minutes. Add chopped thyme and parsley, and gradually stir in remaining butter until just melted.
For spinach, add remaining olive oil and sliced garlic to large sauté pan. Warm oil over high heat. When very hot, and before garlic has color, add spinach and cook, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes or until spinach is bright green and slightly wilted. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To serve, divide spinach between four plates, placing a mound on each. Top spinach with cutlet and spoon shallot and pear sauce over top.
Source: USA Pears