So I failed to tell you the entire culinary story of Ben’s and my Vegas Vacation…
Our first night there, feeling brave after a rather large can of Sapporo, we each dove face first into a Pinks Hotdog, whose newly opened location was strategically placed right outside our hotel. A Classic Dog for him, and a Rueben Dog for her. I know.
Whatever. One bite of the snappy casing, sour ‘kraut and salty pastrami and it was lights out. When in Vegas!
The other meal I failed to mention took place late one night after returning home from sipping cocktails and shooting craps at the casinos. I had previously turned up my nose to the P.F. Chang’s located in the lobby of our hotel, preferring to dine at non-chain restaurants for all major-meals while on vacation. But as I looked at the clock, I came to realize that it certainly wasn’t a major-meal hour of the day morning, and the smell wafting from the restaurant’s open doors smelled too good to resist.
Bring on the chain restaurant – and the Lettuce Wraps – whee!
P.F.Chang’s Lettuce Wraps – I am telling you – salty, greasy, PERFECT. If you’ve ever had them, I bet you’ll agree. But sometimes they can be a little too greasy, know what I mean?
That’s why I decided to recreate.
P.F. Chang’s Lettuce Wraps
1lb ground chicken breast
1/2 onion, minced
salt & pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1″ knob ginger, peeled & minced
2-1/2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 Tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 Tablespoon water
1/2 Tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce (or more if you like it hotter)
dash of pepper
3 green onions, chopped
1/2-8oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained & chopped
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
10-12 large outer lettuce leaves, rinsed and patted dry
1. Heat a large, non-stick skillet on high. Add chicken, onion, salt & pepper, then cook until chicken is nearly done, stirring often to break up the meat. Add garlic and ginger then continue cooking until chicken is no longer pink.
2. Meanwhile, in a microwave safe bowl, combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, oil, peanut butter, water, honey, chili garlic sauce and pepper. Microwave for 20 seconds, then stir until smooth. Add into the skillet and stir to combine.
3 Add green onions and water chestnuts into the skillet then cook for 1-2 minutes until the onions are soft and the water chestnuts are heated through.
4. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts, and serve with cold lettuce leaves.
I die. I die for this dish! It is FANtastic, and so much lighter than PFC’s!
Salty, crunchy and crispy – fun too! Simply pile the chicken mixture onto a lettuce leaf,
and chomp. AWESOME. The fuller you stuff ‘em, the better, too. My first wrap was kind of weak sauce, so I really jammed the filling in with the others. Much better.
The water chestnuts in the mixture are a total must, in my opinion. They add a fabulous crispness and texture to the filling, that you wouldn’t get by just using ground chicken alone. You have to make these!
Confess: what’s your favorite sit-down chain restaurant?
Fridays. I could eat their French Onion Soup everyday. I haven’t been in YEARS!