Living at Vdara here in Vegas has made it a little more difficult than usual to eat creatively complex food because of the lack of an oven, larger stovetop (only 2 burners: 1 small and 1 small/big, but 2 sauté pans don’t even fit together…), and ample counter space. So, when planning a meal I have to take all of this crap into account, unlike before when I could dream up a dish of my dreams and make it happen… Luckily, I am pretty creative (toot toot) and can see in my mind how to make or copycat amazing dishes in our cramped kitchen. So here’s my copycat version of a dish Derek and I shared when we were at Yard House Restaurant at Red Rock Hotel and Casino.
Orange Chk’n Lettuce Cups
Serves 2 (as a meal)
1/2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. chopped yellow onion
5 baby carrots (or 1 medium carrot), diced
1/2 medium zucchini, diced
1 medium portobello mushroom, stem removed and diced
Salt and fresh ground black pepper as needed
1 head Boston lettuce (also known as butter and/or bibb lettuce)
In a preheated oven (or in my case, toaster oven), bake the Gardein brand crispy chick’n. Set the package of sauce aside.
In a medium nonstick sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat; add the onions and cook for a few minutes until softened. Add the carrots and zucchini and cook a few minutes more until tender. Once tender, add the Mandarin orange sauce (from the Gardein package) and stir well to coat all the vegetables.
Once the sauce is warm and spread throughout, add the mushrooms, stir. Remove the chick’n from the oven and roughly chop into smaller pieces; add to the sauté pan.
Let cook over medium-low heat for 3-5 minutes to marry all the flavors together and saturate everything in the sauce.
Meanwhile, prepare the lettuce cups by gently removing the lettuce leaves from the stem, wash, and dry well. Spoon the orange chk’n and veggie mixture into the center of each leaf, hold like a taco and enjoy!