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Friday, September 2, 2011

50 Women Game-Changers (in Food): #13 Rachael Ray - Orange-Cashew Chicken

In May '11, Gourmet posted a list of 50 Women Game-Changers (in Food) that runs the gamut from food writers to cookbook authors to television personalities to restauranteurs to chefs to food bloggers.  Some are a given.  Some are controversial.  Speaking the names of some brings fond childhood memories.  Speaking the names of others will make some readers cringe.  And of course, some of our favorites were not even included.  We food-lovers are a passionate bunch of people and whether we agree or disagree, every woman on this list has earned her place for a reason.  Being a woman who is passionate about food (cooking, eating, talking about, writing about, photographing), when I caught wind of Mary from One Perfect Bite's idea of cooking/blogging her way through each of these 50 per week...I knew I wanted to join her.  Many of these women paved the way for us in culinary school, in the kitchen, in cookbooks, in food writing, and on television and I think it is a fabulous way to pay tribute to their efforts.  Some of the women on the list have been tops with me for years.  Some I have heard of (perhaps even seen, read, or cooked from) before.  And there are even a handful that I am not familiar with at all.  I excited to educate myself on each of these women game-changers and hope you look forward to reading along.  We are going in order from 1 to 50.
the "Gourmet" prompt...
13. Rachael Ray- She’s heee-eere. Your TV’s haunted by her, and, love or hate the woman, her always easy recipes have cured millions of their kitchen phobia.

It's true.  While I know of some people who really like her, I know my fair share of those who cringe at the mention of her name.  I don't have any issues with her.  Except the made up words.  I'll admit it.  Hearing evoo and yum-o and delish and stoup (especially stoup) used as words makes me shiver a little.  And not in a good way.  The bad thing is, I've probably used delish myself.  But only in writing.  Never out loud.  Anyhoo...her ability to bring home cooking to the masses and take away the intimidation factor is pretty impressive.  She seems approachable.  Her food looks good.  And the things I've tried of hers actually have been good.  She's got her own magazine.  She's got a ton of cookbooks (a few of which I own).  And yes, her fair share of television time.  Let us not forget she is even a brand name.  She doesn't claim to be anything that she is not.  I think she earned her spot in "the 50".  What do you think?

Check out her website.
Orange-Cashew Chicken
slightly adapted from Rachael Ray's Look + Cook
serves 4

3 Tbs. vegetable oil
1½ lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs, chopped bite-sized
freshly ground pepper
1 red bell pepper, ½" dice
1 onion,  ½" dice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1" fresh gingerroot, peeled & finely chopped
¼ c. hoisin sauce
¼ c. orange marmalade
1 Tbs. hot sauce
2 Tbs. tamari or soy sauce
½ c. chicken stock
½ c. honey roasted cashews

hot, cooked rice (brown or white)
4 scallions, thinly sliced

Add 2 Tbs. of the oil to a large pan placed over high heat.  When the pan is very hot, add the meat, season it with salt and pepper, and stir-fry until golden brown, ~5 minutes.  Remove meat from the pan and reserve on a plate.  Add remaining tablespoon of oil, then add the bell pepper, onion, garlic, and ginger to the skillet and stir-fry for ~3 minutes, or until veggies have just begun to get tender, but are still a bit crisp.  In a small bowl, stir together the hoisin, orange marmalade, hot sauce, tamari, and chicken stock.  Return the chicken to the skillet and pour in the sauce.  Add cashews, toss to coat, and continue cooking until the sauce thickens up (though not much), ~1 minute.  Serve over hot rice and garnish with scallions.
Rachael Ray (August 25, 1968 - present)

"I got my job by a series of accidents. I guess, don't plan out your life too much and take any and every opportunity that comes your way, no matter how surprising the idea may be to you.. with the exception of the XXX industry, that is."  ~Rachael Ray

Who is cooking along with these 50 Women Game-Changers?
I am sharing this post with:
fridaypotluck FCFButton fresh food friday at la bella vita Foodie Friday Logo 2 foodfriday
*Saturdays with Rachael Ray at Taste and Tell

Would you like to comment?

  1. Heather, even though I'm one of those who love her (lol), I HATE those made up names. Honestly, a few years ago I couldn't stand her and then I started making her recipes. Now I love her (I'm ashamed to admit). Sigh...... Glad you like her too! :o)

  2. Oh, I just love her--started watching her on the Food Network long before she was a household name. I haven't ever made a recipe of hers I didn't love. Haven't tried this one, but it looks amazing!

  3. A stir fry with's gotta be Good. I love her recipes, but she is a bit too loud for my taste.

  4. I still watch the show but her recipes are very hit big or miss big for me. This looks good. I love cashews and chicken.

  5. I, too, have a love /hate relationship with Rachael, but it's all about her perpetual perkiness ... her food ideas, I love. The rest ... not so much.

    Funny ... my friend Brenda made this a few posts ago and loved it! Hi Brenda! Guess I should put this on my list to make ... it's the season with the peppers, that's for sure!

    Grest post, girl!

  6. Well, we all know that I love her!! And I've made this recipe and loved it. Your pictures have my mouth watering!

  7. I feel the same way you do about her. I think it's because she talks way too much on her shows. Maybe if she was a tad bit quieter. That said, I never discriminate when it comes to recipes. I can always overlook a person for good food! You orange chicken actually looks terrific and...I don't see any sauce pooling at the bottom of the plate. Ha!

  8. Hey heather!! you rock as always. I guess will join in the 50 weeks too. This cashew chicken look fabulous (Rachel Rays one of the best I would say :)

    keep it rocking!

  9. Oh..I love those words about her too. Anything Rachel makes me a happy person. And the best part is of course her sunshine personality, easy approach and lack of pretense :)

    love her all the way :)

  10. Looks delicious! My boyfriend loves ordering orange chicken when we eat outside. I'm going to follow your recipe and try this at home, I'm excited! Thanks for sharing it :)

    Mine is here

  11. I definitely went through a phase where I watched all of her shows, then went through a burn out phase, so I'm glad to revisit Rachel Ray today, and see what she's been up to.

  12. I've never been a fan of cooking shows...although I've never missed a meal! Ha. I certainly can't fault the orange cashew chicken you whipped up. I do now a couple of little white haired old ladies that changed cooking as I knew it. :-)

  13. Rach definitely has her plusses and minuses but I've actually never been disappointed by any of her recipes. (especially the ones that involve pumpkin) This orange chicken looks great! Take-out at home!

  14. Love orange chicken and this one looks so yummy. Now I am hungry ^_^

    Bitter Melon/Ginisang Ampalaya

  15. Just visited Mary's blog right before coming here... Everyone has an opinion. Me, I think she introduces young inexperienced cooks to more complicated ideas better than anyone I see. Me and braising is my case in point. Simple recipes that always work and gives you confidence to move on if you like.

    And your dish... DELISH of course!

  16. Rachel Ray does give you the chance to be 'YOURself' (and not some hard-to-pronounce-high-and-mighty-holier-than-thou chef, lol) in YOUR kitchen, and i guess that's why i enjoy watching her shows. she does tend to talk too much sometimes, but i guess that's part of her charm! lol.

    thanks so much for sharing this over at Food Friday, Heather
    much appreciated!

    enjoy the rest of the week! ;P

  17. Rachel Ray is someone I admire for her hard work and thick skin. You are another woman I admire. I'm always in awe of all the clubs or challenges you join and all with so much substance behind them.

    Thank you for the message on my blog.

  18. This looks really delicious! It's funny about what strong reactions RR elicits!

  19. I really like this recipe and think it was a terrific choice . I know my family would love it. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  20. I'm a fan of Rachael Ray. Anyone who can get people in the kitchen and away from fast food gets major kudos from me.

  21. Rachel Ray has never been on my radar (there's no love nor any hate involved) but if this is an example of what she does - I must look closer. Delicious, simple and packed with flavor.

  22. Chicken and Orange are such a good combination. Yours looks so delish!

  23. That dish looks "yum-o!" Kidding. But the dish really does look amazing - I love stir fry with cashews. As for Rachael, I've got no qualms. I think she's a sweetheart.

  24. I used to really not like her at all but I have come to respect what she does and the brand she has built. I love how colorful and fresh this dish looks. ;-)

  25. For a small town girl cooking for her family she has come a long way "baby". I applaud all that she has accomplished.

  26. If we can ever stop making your carnitas (we had them again last night!), we will be making this one. It looks fantastic! Hope you have a wonderful weekend, Candace

  27. I definitely feel the same way about the made-up words! I'd enjoy watching her a lot more if it wasn't for that. Great job on the chicken!

  28. I can't watch her - her voice is like nails on a chalkboard to me - but I do respect the empire she has built, and anything I have cooked of hers has turned out nicely.
    She's definitely the cook of the people.
    And the orange cashew chicken looks seriously inviting!

  29. Love the idea of using orange marmalade for the orange flavor. I'll have to give this one a try.

  30. You're opinion of her pretty much is the same as mine. Hate the words but yes, she does deserve to be on this list. That being said, this looks delish and positively YUMMO! :-)

  31. I confess, I've used "stoup" a time or two... but I swear, only when it was a requirement... you know, based on the soup's characteristics. This recipe looks DELISH... and I want to thank you for dropping it by Friday Potluck. Whenever it is that I'm ready to eat/make Chinese food again, this will be first on my list to try.

  32. I really like the garnish of chives. I love to put something fresh on comfort food, the contrast is great and it also tricks my senses into thinking that I have having something healthy.