You know how I used to complain about how hard it was to have a husband who was gone 48 hours in a row for work? I swear I see him less now that he’s a full-time student, and most of that time he’s actually in the same house as me. The guy is studying so hard, but it means I’ve got a lot of alone time to deal with.
You’d think that would mean I’d take advantage of all that time for lots of complicated meals, but mostly it’s just kind of sad. I really like being in the kitchen when Ryan’s in there helping, and it’s a solo act these days. That and I watch Ryan scarf down food so fast so he can run back to studying, I’m not even sure he tastes it. So I’ve found myself searching out quick recipes so I can get them made and eaten and then I can hide in a book.
Geesh, who woke up on the sad side of the bed this morning? Waaah, poor me with all the time in the world to read ridiculous freebie books on my Kindle. Poor Amanda with all her free time! But you know, we still make the best of the situation. I sit in the guest room next door to the office where Ryan is. I get the black dog, he gets the brown one (their choice). And when statistics is too confusing, Ryan comes to my room, brown dog trailing, and we try to figure it out together. Even I’m having nightmares about that stupid class. But at least I get to share space with the guy while he’s stuck in the books. That part’s nice.
This has nothing at all to do with the food blog, does it? Ok fine, on to the recipe, which is a quick and easy one to feed my studious man.
So I know Elizabeth makes lettuce wraps on occasion. I’ve been to her house for one of her lettuce wrap nights (I know, you’re jealous that I’m her friend in real life. I hear that a lot) and it was delicious! This recipe is pretty darn different than hers (making it ok to post a second lettuce wrap recipe on the blog) and it took no time to make. The key is:
Mmmmm, toasted sesame oil. I love this stuff. When you cook with it, already your meat is perfectly flavored for an Asian dish. The original recipe I adapted called for Asian Five-Spice. Well first of all, I couldn’t find it in my store. Second, it probably would have cost $8 if I had found it. Third, it was just as easy to look up what’s in Five-Spice and fake it. I think I did pretty well.
I added peanuts to this, which was a good move. Next time I’m going to cut the carrots differently. Yes, this was the easier way to cut them, but julienne or shredded would have tasted better. I don’t know why cutting things different ways makes them taste different. It just does.
|Turkey Lettuce Wraps|
- 1 bag 90 second brown rice, cooked for 90 seconds in microwave
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 large red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, rinsed and chopped
- 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1/4 tsp ground fennel seeds (I grind mine in a coffee grinder)
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 heads Boston lettuce, leaves separated and rinsed
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as cilantro, basil, mint and/or chives
- 1/4 C. chopped unsalted peanuts
- 1 large carrot, shredded
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add turkey and ginger; cook, until the turkey is cooked through and crumbled, about 6 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice, bell pepper, water chestnuts, broth, hoisin sauce, fennel, cloves, cinnamon and salt; cook until heated through, about 1 minute.
- To serve, divide lettuce leaves among plates, spoon some of the turkey mixture into each leaf, top with herbs, peanuts and carrot and roll into wraps.