CASHEW CHICKEN KUNG PAO… & FOOD BLOGGER CONNECT!

“Ponder well on this point: the pleasant hours of our life are all connected by a more or less tangible link, with some memory of the table.”
Charles Pierre Monselet

Life is full of memories, surprises, connections. Who would have thought that 20 years ago the Berlin Wall would be broken down calling an end to the cold war? Then I was too young to even understand what it meant. The politics meant nothing in my secure little world, but I did get 2 pieces of the Berlin Wall from a cousin who stopped by Germany around that time. In those days, they used to let out hammers & chisels at 5 $ an hour. You could chip pieces of the wall & take them away as souvenirs. Novel way to bring a wall down…

Talk about cementing relationships, building walls, breaking them down, building relationships … word play I find intriguing. I remember my cousin telling me that my 2 precious bits of the wall were a lot of hard work to chip because the wall was strong & made of concrete!! I looked at the 2 bits the other day, read editorials, saw news reports & pictures from the 60′s and got goosebumps. Somehow thankfully, the world has moved forward from such tumultuous grey times … leaving us with memories of days gone by, some sad, but mostly happy! It’s always a good time to reflect back, look at the days gone by … …and then again, look forward to what life has to offer. My free spirited nature finds boundaries very restrictive, which brings me to blogging. Ah, the freedom of blogging without boundaries, and with it comes sweet joy. October came with a nice surprise … a call for a food bloggers meet in the UK – FOOD BLOGGER CONNECT. The first of its kind being held in London on the 28th of November 2009, the prospects exciting beyond words. Food Blogger Connect is a fabulous conference/party being held in London on Saturday, November 28 at the Lebanese restaurant Levant. This is your chance to meet your fellow food bloggers face to face over a great meal, get to know them better, share ideas, network, plan. We will have an incredible line-up of speakers – some of whom you can help choose depending on what food-blog-related topics you want to hear about – with time for questions and discussion. And as a plus, we are all meeting up on Sunday for breakfast and a morning foodie tour.It’s being organised by 4 very creative and passionate food bloggers, each very talented & fun all the way. Beth of Dirty Kitchen Secrets , Jamie of Life’s a Feast, Hilda of Saffron & Blueberry and Mowie of Mowielicious. My UK visa’s finally arrived & there’s excitement in the air as I will finally get to meet some of my favourite food bloggers. We tweet to each other everyday, virtually live each others lives on twitter, walk into each others kitchens, share our food, find ‘FEET’, swap ideas, squeal over highs & weep over lows … am sure you get the drift. It’s a tight knit community, addictive to the hilt, very supportive, filled with silly banter, & is growing bigger by the day.

This Cashew Kung Pao Chicken reminds me in many ways of my foodie friends, especially the four wonderful Food Blogger Connect folk. Like them, this dish is full of flavour, colourful, addictive, adaptable, forgiving, accommodating & popular! I saw it a few days ago at Cathy @ Noble Pig & knew there was no time to waste. I had to make it soon. I did, & it was finger licking good. I added some veggies to it, and garlic of course, because I can’t think of a meal without garlic. I might add the veggies in towards the end next time, or saute them right after the cashews, reserve and toss back in the end as a variation. This was the first time I tossed lunch together, from scratch in 30 minutes flat; so QUICK and easy to put together. It also accepted the garlic, extra chili flakes & veggies with open arms. We loved this delicious & simple all time favourite chicken; oh-so-good over steaming hot rice. YUM!! Try it & you won’t ever order out for it again!

Cashew Kung Pao Chicken
Adapted from Cathy @ Noble Pig
Adapted from Food & Wine by Cathy
Ingredients:
500gms boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2″ pieces
5 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons sherry (I used apple wine)
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons sugar
2 Tablespoons white-wine vinegar or rice vinegar
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
1/3 cup water
2 Tablespoons cooking oil
3/4 cup cashews (or peanuts)
4 spring onions, white bulbs and green tops cut separately into 1/2″ pieces
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small head of broccoli, broken into florets
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
3-4 garlic cloves, sliced

Method:
In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of the apple wine and 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch.
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, water and the remaining 4 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of apple wine and 2 teaspoons of cornstarch.
In a wok or large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. Add the cashews and stirring until light brown, about 30 seconds. Remove from the pan.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the garlic & chili flakes. Stir for 2 minutes till fragrant & light pink. Add the white part of the spring onions, bell pepper & broccoli and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
Add the chicken with its marinade and cook, stirring, until almost done, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce mixture and the scallion tops and simmer until the chicken is just done, about 1 minute longer. Stir in the cashews. Serve over steamed rice.

♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

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Comments

  1. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    I'd love to go there…

    That dish looks mighty scrumptious and better than any bought Kung Pao Chicken that you can buy!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. Kitchen Flavours says:

    Nice to know that you are going to be part of that meet……very happy for you dear….hope you get know more foodies and flavours….cashew kung pao chicken looks extremely spicy and yummy…nice presentation too…wishing to see more updates from you on the meet….have run..rock on…

  3. Madame Sucre says:

    exactly my fav. when ordering chinese.. now I dont have to!! cz i can make it at home thanks to you!:)

  4. Divina Pe says:

    Congratulations on your visa. That's great news. That would be really exciting. Hope to go there one day to meet other food bloggers. Nice photos Deeba and love the chicken recipe.

  5. The Cooking Ninja says:

    LOL! Been meaning to cook this dish since my friend gave me her recipe a year ago and telling me how delicious it is. :) Now you are reminding me to do it. Will buy chicken for it. :)

  6. Trissa says:

    How super exciting for you to meet up with all these people that you've gotten so close to through blogging! Remember to bring warm clothing!
    You Cashew Kung Pao chicken does look yummy! What is apple wine? Better than sherry?

  7. MeetaK says:

    yaaah! for the FBC – can't wait to see you there sweets! but i have to comment on this chicken – it looks sensational – i am so making this this week!

  8. Jamie says:

    Yay – jumping up and down and flapping my arms – for FBC and finally meeting you face to face! I can't wait! And what a wonderful world internet is where I have met such generous, funny, smart, talented, great people. And, of course, you have outdone yourself in the kitchen. What a beautiful, tasty dish!

  9. mmmm def a fav dish of mine!! :) love the recipe and love this post even more. yay to FBC. can't wait. you know how many ppl are turning up? xx

  10. bethany (Dirty Kitchen Secrets) says:

    Such beautiful words, such beautiful photography, such a beautiful dish. I can't wait to meet you!

  11. Marija says:

    I really hope this is not the last meet-up. I couldn't come this time but would love to have a chance to meet you!

  12. Nachiketa says:

    Am so glad ure here for your B'day :-)

  13. Christine says:

    I love this classic dish so much. As you said, it's really addictive. I can't miss any garlic. It seems to be a must in my daily meal.

  14. Oh wow Deeba! That sounds like such a fun event, can't wait to hear all about it. And kung pao chicken is one of my all time favourite dishes! Yum.

  15. Murasaki Shikibu says:

    I guess this is the version without sichuan peppercorns which was developed during the long ban in the US. Both versions are delicious in a different way. :)

  16. lisaiscooking says:

    I have to make kung pao chicken soon! Looks incredible with the cashews. Wish I could pop over to London for Food Blogger Connect, but I'll be in Colorado for Thanksgiving. Can't wait to hear about all the fun in London!

  17. Barbara Bakes says:

    Your Kung Pao looks fabulous! I love the description of your friends – wish I was joining you! I am intrigued with the wedding pictures and would like to know more!

  18. Julie @ Willow Bird Baking says:

    Oh, I'm dyyyying for a bowl of this gorgeous kung pao chicken! MmmM!!

  19. Amanda says:

    Oh so wish I could go! Sounds like such fun! :) The Kung Pao looks fabulous! Weird, I have a post scheduled for tomorrow for stir fried spicy beef!

  20. If I would go it would get me out of this country for a couple weeks….hmmm….dang I like this idea.

    Also, you rock because I have been looking for a kung pao recipe so woo hoo!

  21. I'd love to go to that meet-up! Sigh…

    Your chicken looks fantastic! I love anything Asian and spicy!

  22. meeso says:

    You must be excited about seeing so many people! And the chicken looks mouthwatering!

  23. Lauren says:

    This looks fantastic! Food Blogger Connect looks like a lot of fun =D.

  24. Bellini Valli says:

    You will have so much fun at the event in London Deeba…I am also enjoying this savoury dish!!!!

  25. Glad to know you got the Visa. Have a great time and would love to read your post after that.

  26. Heavenly Housewife says:

    Wishing you a marvellous time in london. THere is so much to see and do! Make sure to pack loads of warm stuff though as it is getting cooooooooold!
    Superb looking dish, looks absolutely yummy!

  27. Daily Spud says:

    It's a pretty short hop from Dublin to London and no visa required so going to FBC was a bit of a no-brainer for me. Can't wait to meet you and lots of other good folk then!

  28. petite nyonya says:

    Kung Pao chicken is a very popular dish throughout Malaysia, in Chinese restaurants that is. Love this dish! Have a great trip to UK and wonderful time with the bloggers. I love that place so much!

  29. kitchen says:

    The dish looks amazing. I love chines and Malaysian food.That is one of the dish I order whenever I do Chinese. Will defiantly try this recipe.

  30. farida says:

    Deeba, haven't been to your blog for ages. Missed you! Ahh, I wish I were in London to join you. It would be great to meet you in person.
    Your chicken looks good. I love chicken with nuts. A friend of mine makes it with almonds and it's super delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  31. Julia @ Mélanger says:

    It is a shame London is so far away for me. But sounds like a fabulous event. I hope you tell us all about it when you're back.

    I have a few pieces of the Berlin wall, too. A friend actually brought them back from a trip to Germany. I am old enough to remember the day the wall came down, but I think my father provided much commentary to me and my sister at the time around its significance.

  32. It will be such fun to hear about your adventures in London. The Kung Pao chicken looks fabulous.
    Mimi

  33. I am SO Jealous that you are going to UK for the Blogger Connect. Not fair! The chicken looks pretty good too! We've made that before but have yet to post it…! Enjoy your trip and the event. Its a day before my birthday so have a glass of wine and a piece of cake for me!! LOL

  34. Helene says:

    I'm so jalous. I wish I was there to meet you and all of these bloggers. Have a great trip! Enjoy every minute of it.

  35. Arwen from Hoglet K says:

    Sounds tasty! Nice flower photos, and is that your wedding?

  36. Mowie @ Mowielicious says:

    Yay to Cashew Chicken Kung Pao! Yay to the breaking down walls! Yay to Food Blogger Connect! =)

  37. Sophie says:

    How great for you to go to the Bloggers reunion in London! I couldn't come this year, maybe some other time in the future,..

    Your chicken dish sings to me!!

  38. The Blonde Duck says:

    What fun! That dish looks great!

  39. Dhanggit says:

    I'd love to come with you fellow bloggers….

    again all the photos are feast for the eyes!!

    ps and I agree with Monsieur Monselet

  40. Madame Sucre says:

    Deeba You are nominated for a Kreative Blogger award on my blog!

  41. Gera @ SweetsFoods says:

    I'm missing all these food meetings…nobody near to me in South America.
    This chicken has a delicious balance of flavors, love the savory – sweetness of this gorgeous recipe :)

    Cheers,

    Gera

  42. Maria says:

    I always love your photos and posts!

  43. Megan says:

    I'm so excited for you. I went to Blogher and now I'm kicking myself for not going to Foodbuzz. Have a great time!!!
    Dinner looks yummy! I dont cook much Oriental but this is inviting. Bookmarked for an Asian craving. :)

  44. Michelle says:

    I've been thinking about making an Asian Dish lately and I might just make this for dinner tonight.

    Vindee, looks delicious! Think I'll sub Apple Cider for the wine!!

  45. Christine aka Mistress of Cakes says:

    I love staring at your food!

  46. Dhanya says:

    Hi Deeba
    We made this yesterday and it was yummmmm!!!!!!!!!
    Thanks so much for posting the recipe and also, for the email :)

    Cheers
    Dhanya

  47. Natashya KitchenPuppies says:

    That sounds so perfectly delicious! I love fast food at home. So much better than take away.
    Have a wonderful time at the lunch, eat something for me!
    Plus, kiss Jamie for me!

  48. Chili chicken and the kung pao is the most frequently chinese/indo chinese i make. I am so making it with cashews next time. How lovely.

    I bet you guys are going to have a rocking time in London!

  49. Fresh Local and Best says:

    Your photos are stunning!

  50. Deeba,
    Please stop over at Mimi's Kitchen I have something for you.
    Mimi

  51. noble pig says:

    Deeba I'm so glad you made it. Now you have me craving more!!!

  52. Jeanne says:

    Are those YOUR gorgeous wedding photos? Or whose?? And yaaaaay – looking forward very much to meeting you on the 28th!!

  53. Peter M says:

    You've added a lot of class to a standard Chinese take-out dish. I love the buttery cashews here.

  54. stephchows says:

    oh how I wish I had some of that for lunch today! It looks amazing!!

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