Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Cashew Garlic Chicken and Tofu with Sugar Snap Peas

Dear Lauren,

Loved having you and Brooke here these last couple of days. Look, I'm glad you are in summer school and all but have missed having you here all summer. And Brooke, well, she is a treat! She is welcome back any time! I'm so glad she will be joining you, Becky and Caysie as your 4th room-mate at school this year.

When Aviva sent me the recipe for Cashew Garlic Chicken or Tofu with Sugar Snap Peas to test for her for The Six O'Clock Scramble, I

didn't even know you two would be here the next day. But it was the perfect thing for the three of us to cook together and eat, right? And the two of you did a great job cooking this dish. What did I contribute? Slicing the garlic? And advising on pan choices?

Well, I did take the photos. Aviva is promoting a Family Dinner Challenge on her website and that's always something we've enjoyed and yesterday was no exception. Thanks to both of you for humoring me with how many photographs I took though. And yes, I know you don't have makeup on and you didn't comb your hair. Who cares! We laughed and had a great time!  And I think you're both looking your best just like this! 

Cashew Garlic Chicken and Tofu with Sugar Snap Peas
adapted from Aviva's recipe at The Scramble

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast 
1/2 package extra-firm tofu, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon cornstarch
tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
tablespoon soy sauce, divided
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
3 carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced
8 ounces sugar snap peas
1/2 cup cashews, toasted 
tablespoon hoisin sauce
tablespoon rice vinegar
tablespoon mango chutney, or use apricot jam or orange marmalade

Toast the nuts at 300 degrees for 3 – 5 minutes until lightly browned and fragrant, or in a dry sauté pan over medium low heat for about 5 minutes.

It was your idea to use half chicken and half tofu in this recipe but you can certainly use either instead. What we did is toss the chicken or tofu with the cornstarch in a bowl until coated. In a large nonstick skillet or wok (we used a large cast iron skillet that was well-seasoned), heat the oil over medium-high heat.  When it is hot, add the chicken/tofu mixture and cook it for 3 – 4 minutes until it is just cooked through  and drizzle with 1 tablespoon soy sauce about 1 minute before it is fully cooked. Set aside.

Add the garlic, onions and carrots to the pan and sauté it for about 2 minutes, then add the sugar snap peas and cook it for 3 more minutes until tender-crisp. In a small bowl, combine the remaining soy sauce, hoisin sauce, vinegar and apricot preserves.  Add the chicken/tofu and cashews to the skillet, toss it with the soy sauce mixture until it is heated through. Serve over steamed rice.


P.S. I realized I was out of rice on my way home from the grocery store so I stopped at Canton Cooks and bought a large steamed rice. Easy and perfectly cooked!

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