Tuesday, August 25, 2015

So, I love you, because the entire universe conspired to help me find you...

Chili Chicken
Fate is a such a funny concept to me. I have been alternatively fascinated and disgusted by it. In some ways I believe that fate is for the lazy, people who can't be bothered to get up off their asses and work for what they want. But I think now, after years of deep thought, i finally understand why fate and destiny are unavoidable. It's like a Field of Dreams-esque concept in my mind now...if you build it, the universe/destiny/fate will conspire to bring it to you. I'm the kind of person that works hard for my dreams and can be single-minded to the point of destruction. Life has knocked me on my ass it's fair share of times, but that's the occupational hazard of ambitious living. I'm not unlike a Hydra, cut one head off and five will grow in it's place. I'm pretty sure that good things tend to come about from raw deals! Stay the course, build the foundation, and the universe will come through someday.

I only bring up fate today because I just came back from a family wedding in Virginia for a woman who is much more than a soul mate to me. I only learned to become a Hydra from watching her handle the challenges of her life. I'm lucky enough to have a partner guide me through my twists and turns. I'm certain that every misfortune and misadventure led her to the man she was DESTINED to be with, the person who hit the reset button on her life (himym reference). I've always believed that women cry during their proposals because in some strange way you think of all the failed relationships you've had, and your mind goes..."AH! There you are, you're the reason everything else couldn't work out". 

The beautiful bride and her handsome husband
There was something so intimate about this couple. AQ looked at her in a way that every woman wants to be seen by the man she loves. Watching him hold her hands and gaze into her eyes before kissing her forehead sent chills up my body. I felt so shy and embarrassed watching...it was as if I was privy to a moment that I was not meant to intrude on. I understood, in that instant, why she chose this man to be her partner and confidant. I realize that life has its challenges and no one is guaranteed happiness, but I wish a bright and joyous future to these two! I can't wait to see what sort of adventures you guys go on.  

It seems cruel not to post a few shots from this weekend, so before we get to the recipe...

Dancing on a bridge, naturally.
Perhaps the best part of an Indian wedding...the rituals
Casually leaning against a bridge, naturally.
These unbeatable sisters
A Bevy of Beautiful Ladies

 Almost all of the paternal cousins
I chose today's recipe because it is a staple in most Indian weddings. Indo-Chinese food originated in Kolkatta. A small group of Hakka Chinese settlers incorporated Indian spices and styles of cooking into their traditional food, and Indo-Chinese was born! Chili chicken is one of my favorite dishes...it's simple to make, fast, and filling.

Chili Chicken
Serves: One

4 to 5 chicken tenders chopped in bite sized pieces
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. flour
1 egg white
salt and pepper to taste
1 small bell pepper chopped
1 small onion finely minced
1 jalapeño finely minced with seeds
1 1/2 tbsp. ketchup
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar 
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp. siracha
1/2 tsp. chili powder

Mise en Place

1. Place all the chicken ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Set aside for 5 minutes


2. Heat a skillet with a generous pour of vegetable oil. You want enough oil to basically fry the chicken
3. Pan fry the bell pepper for 3 minutes, remove and set aside. This will help flavor the oil and keep the bell pepper from cooking too much

4. Fry the chicken until it is golden brown. Remove and set aside


5. Discard most of the oil. Leaving only about 1/4 behind
6. Fry the minced onion and jalapeño for 5 minutes 

7. Add all the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer


8. Add the chicken back in and allow the flavors to meld


9. Top with bell peppers and serve with some fresh and hot basmati rice! 1/2 cup of dry rice should be enough for a single serving

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