By Robin McDaniel
My family takes a trip in October every year to Florida, and it is always a true family outing. There were 27 of us this year with my father, his kids, their kids and their kids. It is truly a fun family time.
Among the family members this year were Rick and Jenny Swafford, which makes us all happy as Jenny is a fabulous cook. She usually cooks a couple of meals for us, from breakfast to dinner, and treated us this year to what we are calling Jenny Swafford’s Thai Night. The menu consisted of Southern Stir-Fry, Chicken Tempura, Shrimp Pad Thai, rice and egg rolls. The Pad Thai is from A Taste of Thai brand that comes ready to make in a box, and to which Jenny added the shrimp. We like the frozen LaChoy mini egg rolls. The recipes for Jenny’s Southern Stir-Fry and Chicken Tempura follow.
6 slices bacon
1 medium head cabbage, chopped in bite-size pieces
2 medium carrots, sliced crosswise
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 small can sliced water chestnuts
1-2 Tablespoons soy sauce, if desired
Fry bacon in large deep skillet or wok until crisp. Remove and drain. Crumble when cool. In remaining bacon drippings, stir-fry carrots and onions for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, cabbage and water chestnuts, and pepper to taste. Stir, and cover to let steam. Leave the dish covered for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the soy sauce as you stir. When cabbage looks tender, either remove vegetables to serving bowl or serve in the wok with bacon crumbled on top.
(Note: You can add any number of fresh vegetables to this dish as long as you remember the bacon and cabbage. They are the key to the flavor. Depending on what you add, you may have to adjust the order of adding the vegetables as well as the steam time. Broccoli, celery, red and/or green peppers and summer squash are all good in this.)
1 envelope Bisquick baking mix
1 lb boneless chicken breasts
¼ cup cooking oil
Cut chicken breasts into bite size pieces. Add ice water to Bisquick to make thin batter. Heat cooking oil in medium to large skillet on stove top.
Dip chicken pieces in batter, one at a time. Add to hot oil until you have several pieces frying. Turn when browned on bottom. The thinner the pieces, the quicker they will cook. Remove when done to paper towel lined serving dish and keep warm. Continue until all chicken is cooked.
Serve with sweet and sour sauce or soy sauce. If batter starts to thicken, add more ice water to keep thin.