The “rules of engagement” are such:
-Buy your groceries prior to May 17, or on May 17 if you are procrastinating like me.
-Evening of May 17--prepare the recipe
-Hopefully enjoy your meal
-Following the meal, submit feedback to the EAT WITH ME blog and if you have the ability, send a digital photo of the presented plate.
The feedback will be the most important part of the event.
Where are you located?
Did you follow the recipe as written?
Did you change the order or ingredients?
Would you have liked to try something different?
Overall, how did you enjoy the meal?
Once a critical mass of comments have been posted, I’ll compile and add my own feedback into a new EAT WITH ME blog entry for easy reference. If I receive photos, I’ll post those as well…if I can figure out how. If I am unable to load photos directly to the blog, I’ll upload them to Snapfish and provide the link in the entry.
So, here is your first shopping list:
*1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, you can also get the ‘tenders’ to save time preparing later
*1-2 carrots or a 1 lb. bag of baby carrots
*1 green bell pepper
*1 jalapeno pepper
*1 small/medium head of garlic
*fresh ginger root (note 1)
*sesame oil (note 2)
*sherry or red wine vinegar
*red pepper flakes
*whole cashews, unsalted preferred
*rice, your favorite
NOTE 1: When buying fresh ginger root, you’ll notice it is all wild and crazy is shape and size. For a recipe like this, calling for “one inch,” I’ll get two inches, once it’s peeled the dried ends removed, I’ll have the one inch piece called for in the recipe. The other big question is “which piece?” or “they are all a different diameter.” I eye ball it and get something close in diameter to my thumb, three quarters to one inch. Ultimately I think you want about 1 rounded tablespoon of grated/minced ginger in the end. Also, don’t worry about breaking the ginger root up when you buy it at the store, more often than not, the ginger root is one giant mangled mass in a little basket. Snap off what you need.
NOTE 2: If I remember correctly, sesame oil comes either “light” or “dark.” To start, I’d buy the light until you know your feelings for the taste. The dark will be much richer and smokier, but also might come off as very pungent. Try the light and make your way up to dark.
For our veggie friends out there, skip the chicken-obviously. You could easily go with shrimp or a medley of veg or tofu. As I’m not veggie, please let me know what you might do with this dish to make it veggie friendly.
If you are buying all these items for the first time, your shopping bill might be around $15 to $20, but once you’ve stocked your home shelves with the sesame oil, vinegar, hoisin, red pepper flakes, you’ll be good to go in the future. I’d add cashews to that list, but once they are in my house, I eat them. The jalapeno and ginger root might cost you 50 cents! Garlic, maybe a dollar, depending on your store. The rest can range from $1 for the bell pepper to $3 or 4 for an organic green bell pepper. Chicken, that market is up and down with the tide it seems. When we get chicken at Eastern Market, it is almost always $2.99 a pound. But the Safeway and Giant can go upwards of $5 or $6 a pound. Whole Foods, maybe even more.
When I first moved to Washington, I was doing my shopping at Whole Foods and the chicken was $12.99 for a pound of boneless/skinless breast, then I realized it was a special type of chicken I was unfamiliar with at the time. Free Range wasn’t a concept my little Wisconsin mind was familiar with yet, as my parents and I raised our own chickens, we always had free range…we just didn’t call it that…we had ”yard hens!”
Go forth! Shop! Eat!
More updates and tips as we get closer to May 17.