Rush Hour

Every once in a while, when my husband and I have a hankering, we head to a local Asian restaurant to make a meal of chicken lettuce wraps and a sweet plum wine. Yes, it's messy ... but the combination of spicy chicken and cooling lettuce is enough to make anyone look beyond the dipping sauce or the bits of filling that fall onto our plates ... or worse!

This, however, is not first date food as my husband puts it! So I went out in search of a way to capture the essence of this favored treat without the extra mess. The result is this month's Asian Chicken Green Salad. All of the "yum" that comes with the restaurant's wraps with little, if any, of the mess. And, like the wraps we order when we go out, this main dish salad is great when paired with a crisp, sweet plum wine.

So, if you want to make a good first impression or would just rather avoid enjoying a dinner that requires an after-dinner wet-nap, try this fun salad. It's a great combination of flavors that comes together quickly, keeps the heat down in the kitchen and suits the summer mood that's in full swing this month. Enjoy!

Asian Chicken Green Salad

  • 1 T. peanut oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts -- cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper -- cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 c. coarsely shredded carrot
  • 1/2 c. hoisin sauce
  • 1 T. chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 T. lime juice
  • 3-4 green onions -- thinly sliced
  • 8 oz. romaine lettuce -- cleaned and coarsely torn
  • 1/4 c. roasted peanuts -- chopped

Heat the peanut oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and stir-fry for about 4 minutes or until the chicken is no longer visibly pink. Add the bell pepper and stir-fry an additional minute. Add the shredded carrot, hoisin sauce, chili-garlic sauce and lime juice and toss the mixture to form a thick sauce. Add the green onions, stir, cover and remove from the heat.

Arrange the lettuce on 3-4 serving plates and spoon the spicy chicken mixture over the top. Sprinkle the top of the chicken with the peanuts before serving.

  • Yields: 3-4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes
As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at .