I always wish that Erik (aka, my own personal chef 😉 ) could cook dinner for the kids and I every night of the week. And who wouldn’t? After all, have you seen some of the great meals he cooks up for us on the weekends? (Tender ribs, juicy steak, succulent bacon wrapped shrimp to name a few..). But unfortunately, Erik’s schedule has him busy at work till late in the evening most week nights. And the kids and I still have to eat right? So when the cooking is left to me, I always reach for my cooking magazines. If I haven’t mentioned it already, I am addicted to cooking/baking magazines. And when I say addicted, I mean I really can’t walk into a grocery store without buying one. They kinda take up every shelf on my bookcase. And when it comes to cooking, I really rely on my trusty magazines because, although I am very comfortable with baking, I am really a novice when it comes to cooking meals. Now with my dozens and dozens of cooking magazines, there is one that I go back to on a consistent basis. I love Rachel Ray’s EveryDay magazine. And the one that I use the most frequently is her premier issue from back in November of 2005. That magazine has several recipes I have made staples in my weekly dinner repertoire. This Sweet and Spicy Cashew Chicken, for example is Rachel’s Park City Cashew Chicken with a few modifications. I love it because it has some spice from chipotle peppers and sweetness from honey and maple syrup. The other great thing I love about this recipe is that I can make it quickly. When it comes to cooking meals, I am actually very slow in the kitchen. Normally I plan for about an hour when a recipe is called a “30 minute meal” (seriously, that is how slow I am). But this meal I actually can prepare in about 20-25 minutes. And it tastes so good! So no, I will never be a chef of the calibre of my husband with his natural cooking skills, but with recipes like these at my beck and call, I know I will still eat well during the week!
- 1 1/2-2 pounds of chicken (I use thin slice chicken breasts or cutlets)
- 2 TBLS Chicken seasoning (I use Weber's Kickin Chicken which gives the dish a little extra spice)
- 2 TBLS vegetable oil
- 2-3 TBLS soy sauce
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 8 oz. can of sliced water chestnuts, chopped
- 1c. frozen peas
- 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (depending on your preference for spice) finely chopped
- 2-3TBLS honey
- 1/4-1/3 c. maple syrup
- 1 c. cashews
- Slice chicken into 2 inch pieces, sprinkle with chicken seasoning. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the oil and then the chicken. Cook chicken until it is browned and hit it with the soy sauce. Push the chicken to one side of the pan.
- Add the garlic and red pepper to the pan, cooking until softened. About 2-3 minutes. Add the water chestnuts and peas and mix chicken and vegetables together. Add the chipotle pepper, honey and syrup and stir everything around until equally distributed. Remove from heat and top with cashews. Serve immediately.