I was looking through Mary Ellen's blog recently and ended up printing out more than 20 recipes that sounded absolutely fantastic. When I made my menu for the week I decided to try three of her recipes, the first being this one for Chinese Chicken with Peanuts and Vegetables:
I did a lot of prep on Sunday, so this came together in just 30 minutes. I ended up using more veggies (a whole pepper and a whole zucchini) and increased the amount of peanuts since we love them in kung pao chicken, the dish this is based off.
I have to admit, we were a little disappointed in the final result. We liked it well enough, but like all Chinese recipes I've tried to recreate at home the flavors seemed muted. I don't understand how dishes that have soy sauce, garlic, ginger and a ton of other vibrant flavors can be on the bland side. I followed the recipe exactly, but if you look at my picture and Mary Ellen's picture you'll see that her sauce is a lot richer-looking. Mine wasn't even that spicy and I used the full amount of red pepper flakes. I'll have to try again, especially if Mary Ellen reads this and can offer some tips.