I have a friend who keeps me updated on all kinds of cooking contests and casting calls for Food Network shows. I haven’t made it on TV yet, but I did enter the “Safeway Cheese Champions” contest last year and I was one of the lucky winners!
The rules were that it had to be an original recipe, and, of course, the ingredients had to include some kind of cheese. Now, I love trying out new recipes or trying to re-create food that I’ve eaten, but I’ve never devoted much time to creating new dishes.
So I took the easy way out and used a recipe that I’d gotten from the cook at my grandparents’ home in Malaysia. She came up with this wonderful dish consisting of ground meat, diced onions and potatoes in a chili and tomato sauce. My sister and I liked it so much that she always remembers to make it for us when we visit. So simple and yet so delicious!
For the contest, I just added feta because that was what I happened to have at the time! But I’m sure you could substitute with other kinds of cheeses too. Or, skip the cheese and try making the original recipe! You’ll only need about 15 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes or so to cook, so if you want something quick, easy-to-make and tasty, be sure to try this!
CHICKEN AND FETA LETTUCE WRAPS (Serves 2 to 4)
2 Tbsp. oil
1/2 small onion, diced
1 tsp. ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large Russet potato, peeled and cut into 1-cm cubes
1/4 cup water
250 grams ground meat (chicken, turkey or pork)
1/4 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. sweet chili sauce*
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
pepper, to taste
1/2 cup crumbled feta + additional for serving
6 to 8 large iceberg lettuce leaves, rinsed and dried
(*I used “ABC Sambal Manis Pedas” (Hot and Sweet Chili Sauce). If unavailable, you can also try using other sweet chili sauces)
1. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, ginger and garlic; saute 2 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add potato and water; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until water is absorbed.
2. Add meat; cook and stir until meat is no longer pink. Stir in ketchup, chili sauce, soy sauce and pepper; mix well. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook and stir until potato is tender. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in 1/2 cup feta.
3. Place lettuce leaves on a serving platter. Spoon mixture into lettuce leaves, sprinkle with additional feta, wrap and enjoy!