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      RECIPE TITLE "Stir-fried Chicken Lettuce Cups"
    Copyright © by Wolfgang Puck. Excerpted from: Great Gatherings: Star Chefs Entertain at Home Cookbook. Courtesy of macy's

    ...for more great Wolfgang Puck' recipes go to our GREAT CHEFS page

    yields Serves: 8 as main dish, 24 as appetizer time---difficultyeasy to moderate

    "I like dishes with a lot of personality," says Wolfgang, "and this one really makes a statement. Chicken can be bland and dried out, but when you start with ground chicken and stir-fry it, it gets totally infused with flavor." His unique cooking method calls for first browning the chicken in a large patty, and then breaking it up. This gives you moist, tender pieces, rather than dried-out crumbles. The lettuce cups make a nice cool contrast to the warm, sweet-spicy chicken and eliminate the need for knives, forks, or chopsticks.


    24 whole lettuce leaves
    1 1/2 pounds ground organic chicken
    1/4 cup cornstarch
    Freshly ground black pepper
    6 tablespoons soy sauce
    6 tablespoons peanut oil
    3/4 cup rice vinegar
    2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
    2 cups firmly packed baby spinach leaves, washed and patted dry
    1 cup finely chopped celery
    1 cup shredded or finely julienned carrot
    1 cup very thinly sliced yellow onion
    3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
    2 tablespoons peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
    6 scallions, trimmed and minced
    2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
    1/2 cup Chinese plum wine
    1/2 cup chicken broth
    1/4 cup chiffonade-cut fresh mint or cilantro


    Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and water. Add the lettuce leaves and allow them to soak for 15 minutes.

    Meanwhile, in a bowl, stir together the ground chicken and cornstarch. Season lightly with salt and pepper, mix well, and set aside.

    In a bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons each of the soy sauce and peanut oil, 1/4 cup of the rice vinegar, and all of the sesame oil and sherry vinegar. Add the spinach, celery, carrot, and onion and toss to coat evenly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Drain the lettuce leaves and pat thoroughly dry with paper towels. Arrange the leaves like cups on a large serving platter, or put 3 leaves on each individual plate. Divide the vegetable mixture evenly among the cups and set aside.

    In a 10-inch skillet, heat the remaining 4 tablespoons peanut oil over high heat just until it begins to give off wisps of smoke. Form the chicken mixture into a large patty and carefully set it in the pan. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned on the first side. Then add the garlic, ginger, scallions, and red pepper flakes and break up the patty with a wooden spoon to combine it with the seasonings. Continue to stir for 3 to 4 minutes longer, or until the chicken is evenly browned. Pour in the remaining 4 tablespoons soy sauce and 1/2 cup rice vinegar, the plum wine, and the chicken broth and continue cooking and stirring for 6 to 8 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

    Divide the chicken mixture evenly among the lettuce cups. Sprinkle with the mint and serve immediately.

    HOT! We recommend:

    book Wolfgang Puck's Pizza, Pasta, and More Since the 1982 opening of his L.A. restaurant Spago, Wolfgang Puck has become a household name. Several restaurants, TV appearances, and cookbooks later, Puck has put together Wolfgang Puck's Pizza, Pasta, and More, a collection of his favorite and most popular recipes. "Eating with family and friends is like having a little party," says Puck. "It is pure pleasure, a relaxing and fun experience. Casual and easy to prepare, these are dishes everyone can make and enjoy."
    Puck starts with the basics--stocks, sauces, dressings, and condiments. With chicken or vegetable stock fresh made or stored in your freezer, you have the base for Hazelnut Brown Butter and Herb Sauce (toss with wild-mushroom ravioli and dust with Parmesan) or Tomato Garlic Basil Sauce (good for pasta or pizza). The salads range from a classic Caesar with Homemade Tapenade Croutons to a Grilled Ahi Tuna Niçoise Salad to a colorful stacked Roasted Beet Napoleon. Thin-crust wood-oven pizzas are Puck's signature and he does not disappoint. The Herbed Artichoke Pizza is studded with sautéed artichoke bottoms, niçoise olives, and caramelized onions and the Tangy Chicken Pizza features peppers, eggplant, and chicken marinated in olive oil, lime, jalapeños, garlic, and cilantro. Try the brunch pizza with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on a leisurely Sunday.
    The pastas are equally as enticing. Puck suggests making your own and includes his fail-safe recipe. Particularly temping are Angel Hair with Wild Mushrooms, Asparagus, and Shaved Parmesan Cheese, Crispy Calamari with Chinese Noodles and Spicy Garlic Sauce, and Gnocchi with Braised Veal Shank.
    Besides alluring photos of many of the dishes, pictures of Puck and his staff preparing for the 2000 Academy Awards post-party are included (FYI: Haley Joel Osment's favorite pizza is Pepperoni and Mushroom). --Dana Van Nest
    Click here to buy
    bookWolfgang Puck Makes It Easy: Delicious Recipes for Your Home Kitchen 
    He is creator of some of the world's greatest restaurants such as Spago and Postrio. He is known for the fast-growing Wolfgang Puck Express, a line of cooking accessories, television appearances on the Food Network, and a line of soups and pizzas. He is author of five previous cookbooks. Wolfgang Puck is one of the most visible names and faces in the food business.
    Wolfgang Puck Makes It Easy is a groundbreaking cookbook in which Wolfgang Puck shares his creativity and genius so that anyone can prepare these wonderful recipes. Every element of the book aims to make it incredibly easy to create great food of the highest quality and creativity, as only Wolfgang Puck can do.
    In addition to more than 100 recipes, the book features numerous cooking tips as well as advice on how to select the freshest ingredients, how to adapt recipes to the season, using the right cookware, and menu and wine selections.
    Click here to buy
    bookLive, Love, Eat!: The Best of Wolfgang Puck
    Wolfgang Puck's enthusiasm for good food could light up several small cities, and you'll find the proof on the pages of Live, Love, Eat! The Best of Wolfgang Puck. In 150 of his favorite recipes Wolfgang Puck demonstrates why and how flavorful food and fun can't be separated from each other--certainly not in his kitchen.
    Consider the ubiquitous guacamole recipe. Puck calls his version California Guacamole. His ingredients are few, the flavors marshaling around roasted whole garlic, which adds to the whole an underlying sweet and mellow deliciousness. It's an act of elevation and restoration for one of the grand treats of the Southwest. Puck is a master of the respectful tweaking of familiar recipes and ingredients in favor of rejuvenation and flavor. The lowly chicken comes to mind. Chicken pot pie becomes Chicken Pot Pie Soup, Puck replacing the traditional crust with delicate dumplings. With Spicy Chicken Pizza (the chicken is marinated in lime juice, olive oil, garlic, cilantro, and minced jalapeño chilies) Puck takes this Neapolitan standard on a side trip to Mexico. Viener Backhendl, Austrian fried chicken, meets Asia by way of panko, Japanese-style bread crumbs. And so on.
    Live, Love, Eat! has chapters devoted to appetizers, soups, salads, pizza and pasta, seafood, poultry, meat, accompaniments, and desserts. This is a richly illustrated book showing what results look like and how they get there. A final chapter, "Basics," is worth the price of admission. --Schuyler Ingle
    Click to buy


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