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Print Exclusive: Celebrate the Chinese New Year with these recipe ideas

Feb. 06, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- This year, 2013, is Year of the Snake on the Chinese calendar.

Chinese New Year, also known as the spring festival, is the oldest Chinese festival with many traditions and always celebrated in January or February. This year, the festival begins Sunday, Feb. 10, and normally lasts about two weeks or until the moon is brightest.

Food, fireworks, dancing, parades and painted lanterns are also featured in the celebration.

Much like Americans, Chinese families gather together for a large traditional meal on New Year's Eve with different types of food depending on which region of China people are from. It's said that people eat a steamed dumpling -- djiaozi -- in the north and a sticky sweet rice pudding -- nian gao -- in the south.

These Chinese cuisine recipes are from "Taste of Home:"

CHINESE NEW YEAR SKILLET

1 pound boneless port butt roast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 (20-ounce) can unsweetened pineapple tidbits

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup uncooked long grain rice

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons water

1/2 cup coarsely chopped green pepper

1 medium tomato, cut into wedges

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

In large skillet, saute pork in oil. Drain pineapple, reserving juice in 2-cup measuring cup; set pineapple aside. Add enough water to juice to measure 11/4 cups; stir into pork. Add vinegar, sugar, salt and garlic powder. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; cover; simmer 20 minutes or until meat is tender. Meanwhile, cook rice according to package directions. In small bowl, combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into pork mixture. Bring to boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in remaining ingredients and reserved pineapple; heat through. Serve over rice.

EGG DROP SOUP

5 cups chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/3 cup sliced fresh spinach

2 green onions, sliced

In large saucepan, bring broth and sugar to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low. Drizzle beaten egg into hot broth. Remove from heat; stir in spinach and onions.

ALMOND COOKIES

1 cup shortening

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

11/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons sliced almonds

In small mixing bowl, cream shortening, 1/2 cup sugar and brown sugar. Beat in egg and extract. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture; mix well. Shape into 1-inch balls. Roll in remaining sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten with bottom of glass. Press three almond slices into center of each. Bake at 350 degrees 9-11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 2 minutes before removing to wire racks.

This fresh, flavorful Chinese dish is from "Family Fun:"

SWEET AND SOUR CHICKEN BUNDLES

1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons canola oil

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, sliced into 1/-inch cubes

1 small green bell pepper, chopped

1 small red bell pepper, chopped

2 scallions, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons minced ginger

1 cup chopped pineapple

12 egg roll wrappers

In small bowl, whisk together first seven ingredients. Set sauce aside. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken; cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add peppers, scallions, garlic and ginger; cook, stirring often, until peppers are slightly tender, about 3 minutes. Pour in sauce; bring mixture to boil. Continue to cook mixture until sauce has thickened slightly, about 1 minute. Stir in chopped pineapple, then remove pan from heat. Heat oven to 375 degrees; coat standard 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Center; press egg roll wrapper into each well of tin to form cup.fill each one with chicken mixture. Fold in three corners of each wrapper; then lightly brush inside of remaining corner with water; press it in place on top of others. Brush tops of bundles with remaining oil. Bake them until golden and crisp, about 15 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before unmolding them.

This recipe is from "Woman's Day:"

CHINESE CHICKEN & NOODLE SALAD

8 ounces linguine

4 ounces fresh snow peas, ends snipped

DRESSING

1/2 cup bottled Asian salad dressing

2 tablespoons each peanut butter and hot water

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

11/2 cups shredded cooked chicken

1 Kirby cucumber, halved crosswise, cut lengthwise in thin sticks

1/2 cup each shredded carrot and sliced scallions

Garnish: chopped unsalted peanuts and diced red bell pepper

Bring large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add pasta; cook 6 minutes; add snow peas; cook 2 minutes longer until pasta and snow peas are firm-tender. Drain; rinse with cold water; drain again. Meanwhile whisk dressing ingredients in large bowl until blended. Add pasta, snow peas and remaining ingredients. Toss to mix and coat. Garnish with peanuts and bell pepper.

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