Two into one: Foods that shouldn’t go together

Tonight I’m going to try something a bit different, tonight we’re going to take two main course meals and combine them into something completely new.

Don’t worry though, my ‘How to Ruin any Food’ posts will return starting in February when I’ll have several new foods to ruin.

I hope you enjoy tonight’s post, if you have any ideas for a good title for future posts like this, please let me know in the comments.

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General Tao’s Chicken Fried Steak

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Tonight we’re going to combine to dishes, General Tao’s Chicken and Chicken Fried Steak into one. First a tiny bit of history before each dish:

 

General Tao’s Chicken:

The history behind this dish is very interesting, mostly because the  general it’s named after is died long before the dish was created. It’s also known by several variants of the name: General Tso’s Chicken, General Gau’s chicken, General Cho’s chicken and many others. Another translation of the name means something more like ‘ancestral meeting hall chicken’.

There are also many people who are claimed to have invented the dish, these are too many to list tonight.

This dish is made with chicken that is cut into bite sized chunks and dipped into a cornstarch batter before being deep-fried. It is served with a soy sauce based sauce.

 

Chicken Fried Steak:

This dish is also an interesting one, mostly because of how it could be related to several other dishes from around the world, such as:

  • Wiener Schnitzel (Germany/Austria)
  • Milanesa(Italy)
  • Scotch collops (Scotland)

There may be even more dishes similar, however my brief research only turned these up.

This dish is normally made from a pork or beef steak, which has been tenderized. The methods of tenderizing are varied, from pounding to grinding. After which it is normally dipped in egg,  breaded, and fried. It is also served with gravy.

 

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Now that we know the basics of each dish, let’s look at how we can combine them. The first thing is to realize that it’s going to end up being more like one or them other, there is no getting around this fact, however we’ll do our best to even it out.

Meat mixture:

The first this to do is to get your meats ready. I suggest using an equal part of ground chicken, ground pork and ground beef or buffalo. That way you get the chicken and the steak, plus the ground pork will ease the transition between the two, however you can leave it out if you so desire.

Next season your meats, use chili peppers, hot sauce, garlic powder, onion powder and some soy sauce. Mix well and shape into patties about one inch wide by four inches long, give or take. Once you have your patties made, set aside while you get your flour mixture ready.

While you can make your flour mixture first, it doesn’t hurt for your meat patties to sit for a few minutes, it may actually help them hold their shape.

Flour Mixture:

For this you’ll need some flour, enough to fully coat your meat patties in. Add a bit of salt, some black pepper, garlic powder and a dash of paprika, mix well.

Dipping:

You’ll also need an egg, slightly beaten. I suggest playing a game of poker with your eggs, you’ll win as it’s well know that eggs tend to get beaten.

Dip your meat patties into the egg mixture, fully coating them, then roll each patty in the flour mixture.

Deep fry the patties until done, this should only take a few minutes if your oil is hot enough, test with a meat thermometer.

 

The Sauce:

This is the most interesting part of the dish, blending a sauce and a gravy.

Start with a sauce pan with a few tablespoons of butter, melt the butter until you can whisk in some flour,  stir the flour around until it starts to brown, but add water before it burns.

When you have added water enough to make the proper amount of sauce/gravy, add the following to taste:

  • Minced fresh garlic
  • Freshly chopped chives
  • Soy sauce (at least two tablespoons, depending on the amount of sauce)
  • White wine vinegar (or your favorite vinegar)
  • A pinch of sugar (more or less, depending on your taste.)

You’ll likely notice that your sauce is fairly thin, that’s to be expected, so don’t panic.

Take a small bowl with some water and a tablespoon or two of cornstarch, again depending upon how much sauce you’re making you may need a bit more cornstarch or a bit less. Mix the cornstarch into the water until it’s fully dissolved and add to your boiling sauce, stirring rapidly until it begins to thicken. Turn off heat and serve at once.

I suggest serving either rise or mashed potatoes  with this meal.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading!

 

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