Sunday, April 15, at home in Arizona
Mesquite trees are putting out leaves already, a few weeks earlier than last Spring.
The Blackstone griddle is in position on our covered patio and hooked up to propane!
Let me tell you about my latest experiment cooking with the griddle.
“Am I boring you guys? Pay attention here and you might be rewarded. I’m talkin’ chicken off the griddle. Chic – ken.”
Yesterday the grocery had packages of frozen stir-fry vegetables on sale. I bought three packages, a bottle of Tzang’s General Tso sauce, and a skinless, boneless chicken breast.
Today I’ll see what my griddle can do.
First I chop the chicken into bite-size pieces. With a little olive oil on the griddle I let the chicken pieces cook thoroughly.
Ooh, you browned up nicely, my pretties.
I push the cooked chicken aside with my spatula. Now for the frozen vegetables . . .
The package includes sugar snap peas, water chestnuts, carrots, red pepper, broccoli, and green beans.
Sure, I could use fresh produce and prepare it for cooking.
But you know what? No matter how creative and resourceful I try to be, I always end up throwing out produce, since I’m the only person in this household.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I could make soup. Well, I’m not always in the mood for making soup. And I admit there have been times I completely forgot what’s in the fridge.
Gooey vegetables. Ick.
For $1.99 a package, I have enough for two meals and I don’t have to chop vegetables. Open the bag and dump on the griddle.
You know, it really is laughable for me to be writing a post about cooking. As if I have any creditable experience, skill, or knowledge. Ha.
“Why do it then?” you ask.
I want to demonstrate for my fellow cooking clutzes (you know who you are) that griddling a tasty meal isn’t hard to do.
Throughout this griddling process I have the heat turned to high. As I once explained, I only use two settings when cooking — high and off.
I turn the vegetables frequently. This is the fun part: Standing at the griddle with a big, metal spatula in hand, scraping and turning vegetables, humming a happy tune, breathing in the fresh air mixed with cooking aroma . . .
I feel like an expert at this.
When the vegetables are softened, yet still a bit crunchy, and beginning to brown, I shove the chicken pieces over from the cooler side of the griddle to join in warm fellowship with the vegetables.
Time for the sauce!
I wonder about this General Tso guy . . . . (More about him later.)
I shake the bottle and drizzle sauce over the mixture.
(Note to self: Could go a bit lighter on the sauce. No need to waste it making puddles on the griddle surface.)
By the way . . .
This dish is not anything close to what is generally known as General Tso’s chicken. Different ingredients.
General Tso (or Tsao) chicken has battered chicken, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, Shaoxing wine or sherry, sugar, sesame oil, scallions and hot chili peppers.
I wouldn’t attempt to fool with all that.
Remember: YOU make the rules when you command your own griddle!
Mix up the chicken, vegetables, and General Tso sauce with the confidence of a pro and . . .
Enough for two meals. Maybe tomorrow I’ll cook some rice to go with it. That is, if I want to eat it again. It does look pretty good.
With a bottle of Snapple peach tea, I settle into the wicker rocker with plate on my lap and proceed to fork in the first mouthful.
Mmm . . . It’s good! I like it!
Of course Reggie and Roger want some.
I take a paper towel and wipe the sauce off a few pieces of chicken and share with them at intervals throughout the meal.
Next time I should put their chicken aside before pouring the sauce.
“You’re not getting any vegetables. You’d just turn up your noses and waste them.”
Gosh, this is great. Now I have another dish to add to my griddling repertoire. Woman does not live on Mexican pizza alone!
Hmm . . . Pineapple might make this even better. Next trip to the store I’ll pick up a can of pineapple chunks to griddle along with the vegetables.
WHAT ABOUT GENERAL TSO?
“General Tso’s chicken is a sweet deep-fried chicken dish that is served in North American Chinese restaurants . . . . The dish is named after Zuo Zongtang (also romantasized Tso Tsung-t’ang), a Qing dynasty statesman and military leader, although there is no recorded connection to him nor is the dish known in Hunan, Zuo’s home province.” — Wikipedia
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How about telling us your griddle recipes and/or techniques? Thanks! — Sue
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FIND IT AT AMAZON!
This is the part of my blog where readers share suggestions for products from Amazon that they think you might be interested in.
If you know of a great product, you are invited to write a review in a comment, along with a product description, including brand name.
I appreciate the help! — Sue
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