Craving Comfort

After the massive snow cleanup on Thursday, I had a huge craving for kung pao chicken. I’m not sure why, but this Chinese restaurant
standby combining chicken with dried chili peppers, vegetables, ginger, and peanuts in a mouth-watering spicy sauce is always a quick cure for almost any malady I might have.

But, as I lamented to my sister later that day, as much as I longed to dial up  my local restaurant to order this fiery favorite, I worry about its high fat, sodium, and calorie price tag. And that’s when she reminded me that Cooking Light recently ran a recipe for kung pao chicken. I checked online and, sure enough, they actually had two recipes—one published in December 2005 and the other in December 2010. I opted for the 2005 recipe because I had the ingredients on hand.

My family doesn’t enjoy the same level of spice intensity that I do, so I backed off on the crushed red pepper a bit (my favorite part), but everyone enjoyed the dish and it eased my craving. It’s not quite the same as my local restaurant’s, but it was guilt-free and flavorful. Next time I’ll try the second version. With the winter we’ve been having, I’m sure the craving will hit soon!

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