Monday, June 11, 2012

Thai Inspired Spicy Red Pepper and Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I had half a rotisserie chicken in the fridge and was thinking about dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow and didn't want to go the sandwich route. I decided to whip together something tasty and simple. And spicy/exotic was on my mind. Asian lettuce wraps sounded right, and they're such an easy fix. I had everything on hand except my beloved roasted peanuts but decided to proceed without them.  

Sauteed Red Pepper and Chicken Lettuce Wraps

2 tsp canola oil
1/2 cup onion chopped
1 red pepper chopped, 1/2" pieces
1 jalapeno pepper seeded and chopped fine
1 glove garlic, grated or chopped

2 T peanut butter
1-1/2 T Thai red chili paste- available in the international aisle of your market (I use Thai Kitchen)
1 T fresh ginger grated
2 tsp fish sauce (also available in the international aisle)
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper (less if you're not used to the heat)
2 tsp Splenda no calorie sweetener (sugar works fine)
3/4 cup lite unsweetened coconut milk (also available in the international aisle)
1/2 lime juiced

1/2 rotisserie chicken, shredded and picked clean

8-10 lettuce leaves
scallions for garnish
crushed dry roated peanuts for garnish
cilantro leaves for garnish
1 to 2 cups cooked brown rice (optional)

I always make the sauce first and let it sit a bit while I saute the peppers.

To make the sauce:
In medium/large bowl, add all the dry ingredients.

And then add the coconut milk.

Whisk until it becomes thick and a medium shade of brown. Set aside

To make the filling:
In large saucepan, on medium low heat, add red peppers, onions, and jalapenos to canola oil. Cook about 5 minutes and add the garlic. Cover saucepan, lower heat a bit and let flavors meld.  Cook another 5 minutes.

Now add the sauce and chicken and warm for 3 to 5 minutes. We're almost done here.

Get the lettuce cups ready by separating the lettuce leaves. I like to use iceberg for this type of dish because the leaves are sturdy and can take the heat. Fill leaves with desired amount of chicken mixture, top with scallions and crushed dry roasted peanuts. Other toppings that I like are thin egg noodles, bean sprouts, cilantro leaves, and even more chopped jalapeno peppers. Since I was lacking in the condiment department, I decided to make Uncle Ben's "Rice in A Bag" and added some to my little packages. Just a tablespoon on each wrap is perfect. But they are missing their chopped nuts. Next time, they'll be there.

No comments: