The Cheesecake Factory is currently my daughter’s favorite restaurant. It’s over an hour away from our house and she orders (drum roll, please) macaroni and cheese every. single. time. I don’t mind going there for the simple fact that said eating establishment is attached to a mall that has Williams Sonoma, Ann Taylor, Wolf Camera, Aveda, and Clarks stores. That’s the deal, you understand. I’ll drive the requisite distance to purchase over-priced comfort food as long as I get my Retail Therapy.
My usual meal at The Cheesecake Factory is as follows: coffee, water, and The Cheapest Thing on the Menu that contains Beef. I don’t even eat their bread because the butter is always cold and impossible to spread without heavy equipment and swear words. The last time we went, however, I ordered their Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps (or whatever they call them). That was a tasty meal.
That was also an expensive meal.
I decided to make my own version at home, and it turned out fantastic, if I do say so myself. …which I just did…so…there.
What follows is tasty, probably healthy, and cheaper than driving for an hour and swearing at a foil-wrapped pat of butter. …but you can cuss, anyway. I often do. With gusto and creativity.
Spicy Peanut Butter Wraps
The Stuff You’ll Need: a non-stick pan, a sharp knife, tongs, a stove-top, basting brush.
The Grub You’ll Need:
chicken breast meat (I bought the ones that were already cut up because I’d spent all day visiting a friend at the hospital and I felt lazy.);
cilantro (washed, torn from stems);
1 Tbsp peanut butter;
olive or vegetable oil;
stir fry sauce;
Thai peanut sauce;
match stick carrots;
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly;
1 head bib lettuce;
chow mien noodles
What You’ll Do:
2) while the chicken is cooking, spread the peanut butter over a dinner plate and keep this near the stove.
3) just before you remove the cooked chicken from the pan, lightly brush some stir fry sauce and some sesame oil over each piece. Place the chicken on the dinner plate with the peanut butter, turning to ensure both sides get at least a little peanut butter.
4) in a large serving bowl: add the sliced cucumber, a handful of sprouts, about 1/4c soy sauce and sesame oil. Toss together and set on the dinner table. This can be used as a side dish or as a topping for your chicken/lettuce wraps.
5) on your table, set out the carrots, the lettuce (after you’ve washed the leaves and patted them dry),
the peanut dipping sauce, and the plate of chicken and peanut butter. This way, everyone gets to build their own dinner. …I love meals that eliminate fussing…
(if you’ll notice, there is no added salt in this dish. the sauces have a ton of salt in them already.)