Category Archives: Snacks

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Popcorn Chicken with Basil and Sage leaves

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My apologies for not including step by step photos. But I figured a recipe post with 2 photos is better than no recipe post at all. A couple weeks ago I had tried popcorn chicken with basil from a bubble tea café in San Jose, CA.. So I attempted to make it at home and I would say it came out pretty well.

This dish is a nice snack (or appetizer) to make, and after frying some marinated chicken I used the same oil to fry some fresh chili pepper, basil and sage leaves. We have a plentiful bounty of basil and sage in our backyard so it was nice to use some up in this recipe. It also gives a nice flavor and aroma to the chicken.

This also cost me $1 to make the entire dish. I bought chicken drumsticks (5 for $1), skinned them and cut them into cubes.

Popcorn Chicken with Basil and Sage

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. chicken, skinned and cut into small cubes (I used drumsticks but you can use thighs or breasts)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. 5 spice powder
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. fish sauce
  • cornstarch (for dredging chicken with)
  • handful of basil leaves
  • handful of sage leaves
  • 1 red chili pepper, sliced into thin slivers
  • oil for pan-frying
  • Salt

Directions:

1) Marinate the cubed chicken with soy sauce, 5 spice, white pepper, sesame oil and fish sauce for at least 30 minutes.

2) Wash the sage and basil leaves and pat dry with paper towel (to avoid splattering when frying in oil later). Cut chili pepper lengthwise and remove seeds. Slice into thin slivers.

3) In a large pan, heat up enough oil to pan fry the chicken with (so the chicken is half covered in oil) on medium high. As oil is heating up, pour some flour into a large dish and dredge chicken until it is completely coated with flour. Place chicken pieces (piece by piece) into the oil. Fry until bottom is golden brown then flip and cook until other side is golden brown (approx. 4-5 min. per side). Place cooked chicken in a large serving bowl. Heat may need to be changed back and forth, between medium and medium high to prevent smoking or burning of chicken.

4) After chicken is cooked, place chili pepper, basil and sage leaves in pan. Cook until leaves turn dark green and crispy. Put pepper and leaves into dish with chicken, toss with salt to taste. Serve with Thai sweet chili sauce for dipping.

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Kale Chips

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Since moving to Georgia, we’ve joined a farmer’s market co-op for a weekly basket of fruit and veggies. In our basket this week was a bunch of kale. Two things come to mind when I think of kale: Zuppa Toscana from the Olive Garden, and kale chips.

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Since I heard so many people around the web boasting how great kale chips are, and some of them even go as far to say they’re better than potato chips, I thought I’d give them a shot.

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For one thing, they’re way easier than making potato chips. No deep frying here. Just rip up the clean leaves, coat with a drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle some salt, and bake until crisp. They are a lot healthier than potato chips, and like potato chips have that same satisfying crunch. They also smell great baking in the oven.

I wouldn’t, however, say they’re better than potato chips. But they are an excellent substitute if you’re trying to eat healthy. Just be sure to watch the oven as they’re baking; once they turn brown they get really bitter. I’d recommend baking a small batch first to see how long they take in your oven and go from there.

Kale Chips

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch kale
  • olive oil
  • salt

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Pull kale off of stems and tear into small pieces. Wash and dry. Drizzle olive oil (I used about 1 Tbsp for a large bowl full of kale). Place kale on baking sheet; try to prevent them from overlapping each other. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 8 minutes or until kale is crispy. Watch the oven to make sure they don’t turn brown or else they are really bitter.

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Directions with Photos:

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Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

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Pull kale off of stems and tear into small pieces.

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Wash and dry.

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Drizzle olive oil (I used about 1 Tbsp for a large bowl full of kale).

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Place kale on baking sheet; try to prevent them from overlapping each other. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 8 minutes or until kale is crispy. Watch the oven to make sure they don’t turn brown or else they are really bitter.

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I had some of the smaller leaves start to turn brown, and they are, in fact, bitter. Try to tear the kale into uniform sizes so the smaller pieces don’t burn before the larger ones crisp up.

Mine also crisped up by 8 minutes. I’ve seen recipes say to bake them for up to 33 minutes at 275 degrees.  Unless my oven is out of whack, just watch yours carefully to see how long it takes you to bake.

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