I think Arkansans have gotten used to the heat.
Maybe our brains have become cooked and melted because I was startled at hearing many (even I chimed in) at “Oh just mid-upper 90s? That’s great!”
It is not great. It is sticky. It is steamy (and NOT in good ways) The air is thick and overpowering. The heat and humidity have subsided. But, what can you do? (Besides to hunker down in the A/C and keep repeating to yourself ‘School has Started, fall will Follow” …)
It’s hard to cook in these conditions.
As a method of combat, I brought out my slow cooker. It’s older than I am, and I can recall many wonderful meals simmering for hours within it. I don’t use it as often as I’d like–most often when I am craving a slow-cooker dish, or find something I’d like to try, it’s already in the early evening hours.
This time I planned ahead, and found a recipe for Chicken Lettuce Wraps I wanted to try. I knew they wouldn’t turn out like the ones I Adore at P.F. Chang’s, but I also knew it’d be fairly simple.
- 1.5-2 pounds of Chicken breast (cut into small chucks. I ground mine)
- 5 Cloves Chopped Garlic
- 1/2 Onion, Chopped
- 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
- 1/4 Cup White Wine
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ginger
- Allspice (OR Cloves, Cinnamon & Black Pepper)
- 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
Cut the Chicken into Teeny Pieces-put in the crock pot
Cut the Garlic & Onion–add them
Combine all other ingredients–pour over the top.
Let the slow cooker do it’s thing (the standard 4-6 on high/6-8 on low works DEPENDING on your device, mine runs hot)
I’d suggest stirring a few times to break up the chicken.
Serve on iceberg leaves (I know they aren’t healthy but Romaine doesn’t keep that crisp that you’ll need)
I also added watercress/green onion/carrots for crunch.
They’d be perfect like that, but I also made 2 sauces:
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon hot mustard
1 teaspoon red chile paste, or to taste
1/3 cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons hot water
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon Chili powder
2 to 3 teaspoons bottled plum sauce (Syrup or Honey would likely do ok here)
(Note: I wasn’t happy with this at first, I wanted more zip, so I added ginger and rice vinegar, but my suggestion is combine the ingredients and tweak to your tastes)