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Tonight’s dinner: Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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I cooked tonight.

That is, I cooked something complicated. Something that had several steps and required planning and grocery shopping and chopping and stirring and tasting.  Something that did not come from the freezer, and something that is not one of my 4 “regular” meals that I can cook. 

Weekdays are busy; I work several days at a law firm, and after work I need to pick up Eliza at daycare.  We get home at 5:30, which and she is usually starving, which means I am usually cooking her dinner still wearing high heels and my coat.  By the time Evan is finished working for the night and Eliza is bathed and put to bed, we’re usually too hungry and/or exhausted to start cooking. So, our dinners generally consist of take-out or one of the same four meals that don’t take a lot of time to prepare.

Tonight was different.  Evan has been away on a business trip since early Saturday morning.  It’s been raining ever since he left, and its still gloomy out.  But the prospect of seeing my husband has filled me with joy, reminding me of how I used to feel when we were dating and we wouldn’t see eachother for a few days.  I would be excited, happy and a little nervous. During those early days of our relationship, I cooked for him a lot. I loved spending time chopping up vegetables, whipping up a sauce for the main course and presenting him with a special dessert from an italian bakery, all the while dreaming of him, and our relationship. 

A marriage, a dog, a house, and a baby later,  I rarely cook extensive meals for him.  But after not seeing him for a few days, the old dating mentality kicked in. I missed him, in a way I never have a chance to do anymore.   So I attempted to recreate the past: I packed Eliza up, and braved the rain to go to the grocery store. I bought all sorts of new and different ingredients and I cooked for my husband.

It felt (and tasted) good. But tomorrow night, it’s his turn.

My recipe for Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps:

1lb of chicken, sliced up in bite sized pieces
1 red onion
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
2-3 portabella mushrooms
1/2 cup water chestnuts
1 red chili pepper
1/2 fresh lime
2-3 tablespoons bottled fish sauce (to taste)
red chili flakes to taste
Soy sauce to taste
1 head of Boston Bibb lettuce

Finely chop all vegetables except the lettuce; set aside.  Sautee onion in large saucepan or wok. Add chopped up chicken.  Cook until mostly done. Add rest of the ingredients, cook on medium for about 5 minutes, then turn down heat to low and let cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.  Serve in a lettuce cup and eat like a taco.

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