Tag Easy Dinner

Savor the Summer with Parties That Cook’s Labor Day Lettuce Cups of Minced Gingered Chicken

Just because summer may be coming to a close, doesn’t mean the warm weather immediately disappears. In fact, for some, (like those in SF) the real summer warmth has yet to begin. Cool down as we transition into fall with this deliciously refreshing recipe for lettuce cups filled with gingery chicken! Try them out for your Labor Day bash, or whip them up for a weeknight family dinner — we all know your time is precious now that the kids are back in school! With the cooking done quickly in a wok or skillet, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the summer sun or savor your free time in the evening.

Lettuce Cups Filled with Minced Gingered Chicken, Peanuts and Hoisin Sauce
Try this recipe with Pork or check out more tasty appetizers in our Appetizer Recipe Library!

Lettuce Cups:
2 heads butter lettuce

Minced Gingered Chicken:
3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, finely minced
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoons Lap Chang Chinese sausage, finely diced*
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely minced
1/2 cup (6 small caps) fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, finely chopped
3/4 cup minced water chestnuts, drained and minced
3 scallions, finely sliced
2 Tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
1 1/2 Tablespoons canola oil
Pinch of ground pepper
1/4 cup chicken broth or water
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1/4 cup hoisin sauce
Cilantro leaves and chopped peanuts for garnish

Grind Chicken: Grind the chicken thighs in a food processor until coarsely ground or minced. Combine the ground chicken, soy sauce and cornstarch in a large bowl. Set aside.

Chop Ingredients: Mince the garlic and the ginger. Set aside. Remove and discard the mushroom stems. Finely chop the mushrooms and set aside. Drain and mince the water chestnuts, slice the scallions and cilantro. Roughly chop the peanuts. Set all ingredients aside until ready to stir fry.

Stir Fry: In a wok or large skillet over high heat, heat 1/2 of the canola oil. Add the Chinese sausage and cook until sausage has rendered, about 1 minute. Remove from pan (or if using a wok, push to the side). Add remaining oil. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute. Add the ground chicken mixture and cook until the chicken is brown, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add chopped shiitakes, oyster sauce, pepper and chicken broth. Cook until sauce thickens and coats the chicken. Toss in water chestnuts and the reserved sausage. Remove from heat and add the chopped scallion and cilantro. Drizzle with sesame oil. Toss to combine.

Assemble and Serve: Brush each lettuce cup lightly with hoisin sauce. Spoon warm chicken mixture into chilled lettuce cups. Sprinkle with peanuts and garnish with a sprig of cilantro. Serve immediately. Put extra hoisin sauce on table if desired.

Recipe adapted by Parties That Cook® www.PartiesThatCook.com from The San Francisco Chronicle.

*Lap Chang-A dried, hard sausage usually made from pork and a high content of fat. It is normally smoked, sweetened, and seasoned with Rose water, rice wine and soy sauce. It can be found in Asian markets and sometimes in the Asian section of better grocery stores.

Back To School for the Whole Family: Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup Recipe

It’s about that time of year again—and if it hasn’t already hit, it’s coming soon:
Back To School time for the kids! The school year brings hectic schedules and busy parents looking for an easy-to-make, sure-to-please dinner. Boy, do we have the solution for you! The delicious mix of fine cheeses adds a gourmet touch to an old favorite, and the “secret ingredients” added to the tomato soup will have everyone thinking you made it from scratch.  Best of all, it’s super simple!

At the end of the day, Miniature Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Tomato Soup is sure to hit the spot. Check out the Appetizer Version of this recipe, too!


Grilled Cheese:
24 slices white bread
2 cups combination of grated Gruyère, Fontina, and mozzarella cheeses, mixed together
2 Tablespoons chives, chopped
½ stick butter

Tomato Soup:
3 cans tomato soup
1½ cup water
1½ cup milk
9 Tablespoons orange juice


Prepare Bread: Heat oven to 300ºF. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 2 circles from each bread slice.  Toast in the oven on a sheet pan for about 5 minutes to dry out the bread.

Assemble Sandwiches: Mix together the cheese and chives. Top slices of white bread with the cheese/chive mixture. Close the sandwiches.

Cook Sandwiches: In a large skillet, melt about 2 Tablespoons of the butter over moderate heat. Cook the sandwiches turning once, until browned, about 1-2 minutes per side. Transfer the sandwiches to a sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches, using 2 Tablespoons of butter per batch. Reheat the sandwiches in the oven for about 5 minutes, until piping hot.

Make Soup: Mix can of soup with water, milk, and orange juice, and heat to liking. Then serve in small bowls with grilled cheese sandwiches.

Makes 24 mini sandwiches.

Want more fun recipes like this one? Go to our Appetizer Recipe Library!