Chinese cuisine featured topic

By Sheryl Borden: Creative Living

Chinese cuisine featured topic

Information on making flowers from couture ribbon and preparing Chinese cuisine will be the featured topics on “Creative Living” at noon Tuesday and 2 p.m. Saturday.

Author, designer and teacher Helen Gibb will talk about ribbonwork and show how to use small ribbon flowers in various compositions. Ribbonwork was inspired by French couture and is even more popular today due to the selection of ribbons available. Gibb’s business is HelenGibb.com, and she lives in Louisville, Colo.

Cookbook author Kerri Elders will demonstrate making one of America’s favorite Chinese dishes, sweet and sour chicken. One of the secrets to her success is the batter she uses for coating the chicken pieces. She formerly lived in Melrose.

Information on making a pincushion-and-needle case and requirements for a win/win classroom will be the featured topics on “Creative Living” at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday and noon Thursday.

Helen Gibb, a designer and author, specializes in making beautiful flowers from a variety of ribbons. She will demonstrate how to make a hat pincushion-and-needle case. She’s from Louisville, Colo.

Author and educator Jane Bluestein, who holds a doctorate, will talk about school systems and how the role of the school has changed in past years. She has suggestions for a “win-win classroom” that works for students, parents and school personnel. Her company is Instructional Support Services Inc. in Albuquerque.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

• 1/2 pound chicken breasts

• 2 tablespoons rice wine

• 2 tablespoons soy sauce

• 1/2 cup cornstarch

• 1/2 cup flour

• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

• 1 egg, beaten

• 1/2 cup water (more if needed)

• oil for deep frying

• 1 can pineapple chunks, drained (reserve juice for sauce recipe)

• 1 medium green pepper, cut in 1/4-inch chunks

• 1 medium red pepper, cut in 1/4-inch chunks

• 1/4 cup green onion, cut into 1/8-inch slices

• soy sauce

• cooked rice

• Sweet and Sour Sauce (recipe below)

Cut chicken into medium bite-sized pieces. Place in a small bowl and cover with soy sauce and rice wine, stirring to coat well. Allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes. In a medium bowl, combine pineapple, green pepper, red pepper and green onion. Sprinkle with a liberal amount of soy sauce and set aside. Prepare the Sweet and Sour Sauce. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cornstarch and baking soda. In a small bowl, mix together egg and water, and add to flour mixture, stirring until smooth. Drain the chicken pieces, and add to the egg mixture, stirring thoroughly to coat well. Heat oil in a deep skillet or Wok on medium high heat. (A deep fryer is best.) When oil is almost smoking, (this amount of heat is vital to the crispness of the chicken), carefully add the chicken pieces, stirring and separating them with a slotted spoon. Fry for about 6 minutes, or until golden brown, crisp and cooked through. Drain on paper towels. Heat a skillet on medium heat. Add the pineapple mixture and stirfry until heated through. Add Sweet and Sour Sauce and heat through. Remove from heat, add chicken pieces and stir until thoroughly combined. Serve over rice.

Serves 4.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

• 1/3 cup brown sugar

• 2 tablespoons cornstarch

• 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

• 3/4 cup pineapple juice (reserved from recipe)

• red wine vinegar (about 1/2 cup)

• 1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce

• 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

• 2 tablespoon green pepper, finely chopped

• 2 tablespoon red pepper, finely chopped

Combine brown sugar, cornstarch and ginger in a small saucepan. Place pineapple juice in a measuring cup. Add enough red wine vinegar to equal 1 1/3 cups liquid. Add soy sauce, green pepper, red pepper, and minced garlic; pour over sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat until well-thickened and bubbly. (Be sure to use a wire whisk to thoroughly cook the sauce and keep the consistency smooth.) Set aside until called for in the recipe above.