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Monthly Archives: July 2016

A Simple Side Dish for Any Time – Homemade Fried Rice

Most people love getting takeout Chinese food for dinner once in a while. I know we do it about once a month and there are always standard favorites that we like to get with the meal. Egg rolls are always a given and Michelle and Sean love to get wonton soup, but one thing the whole family loves is the fried rice you can get. While I like all of the fried rice I am always partial to pork fried rice myself. There is something about the taste of the rice with the bits of pork that is just perfect for a Chinese food meal. I have made fried rice before at home and while it never quite comes out just like takeout, it gets pretty close. Of course I don’t have a commercial kitchen, stove and overhead vents to do everything they can do, so I have to make do with what I have. When we had some leftover pork from dinner the other night I decided to use a piece and try this fried rice recipe from Sam Sifton at New York Times Cooking. Of course, this recipe doesn’t have any pork in it originally, but it also doesn’t have some of the other vegetables I added to it to make it a well-rounded dish of vegetables and rice.

Homemade Fried Rice

3 tablespoons neutral oil, like canola or grapeseed

1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, cored and roughly chopped

2 carrots, peeled and finely minced

1 tablespoon minced garlic, or to taste

1 cup peas (defrost if frozen)

1 tablespoon minced ginger, or to taste

3 to 4 cups cooked white rice, cooled

2 eggs, lightly beaten

¼ cup Shaoxing wine, or water

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

½ cup minced cilantro or scallions

Put 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok or a large skillet, and turn the heat to high. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the onion, pepper and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables to a bowl.

Drain the peas if necessary and add them to skillet; cook, shaking the pan, for about a minute, or until the peas are hot. Remove them to the bowl with the other vegetables.

Put the remaining oil in the skillet, followed by  the garlic and ginger. When the mixture is fragrant, about 15 seconds later, add the rice, breaking up any clumps with a spoon as you go along and tossing it with oil. When the rice is well coated, make a well in the center and break the eggs into it. Scramble the eggs, then stir them into the rice.

Return the vegetables to the skillet and stir everything together to integrate it all well. Add the wine or water and cook, stirring, for approximately 1 minute. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil, then taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Turn off the heat, stir in the cilantro or scallions and serve.

I added some pork into the dish after the vegetables were done and before the rice, cooked to heat it through for 2 or 3 minutes since it was already cooked, and then removed it from the pan and continued the steps. You could just as easily do the same with chicken, beef, shrimp or anything else that you like. I added in some leftover veggies as well like corn and broccoli because it helped to make the side dish one that was then filled with vegetables and rice, meaning I just needed a protein to make the meal. I loved all of the great flavors from the dish with the eggs mixed in and the sesame oil seems to add the perfect touch right at the end to the rice. This is a great way to make use of all of those leftovers you may have in the fridge and just aren’t sure what to do with them. I served this with some steak for a complete meal but really, if you add enough chicken, pork, shrimp or other protein to the rice it can be a one dish dinner all on its own.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Put Some Zing in Your Shrimp – Bloody Mary Shrimp

I just got back from a great vacation in the Outer Banks with my brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews. We had a lot of fun, spent times by the pool, had some great local beer and craft beers and even got to try out a couple of new recipes along the way. One thing that we enjoyed during the trip was having Bloody Marys by the pool in the morning. If you like a Bloody Mary then you love the taste of tomato juice, spices and vodka over ice. We used a Bloody Mary mix called Zing Zang, which has some great flavor and a spicy kick to it that made the drinks fantastic. My brother and I got to thinking since the Zing Zang was so good, I bet it would taste great on some of the fresh local shrimp from one of the nearby fish stores. We headed down to Whalebone Seafood where we got a few pounds of fresh shrimp (and some great fresh clams as well) and then set about finding a recipe for the shrimp. We came upon this one from AllRecipes.com for Bloody Mary Shrimp and gave it a try.

Bloody Mary Shrimp

2 pounds cooked medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

1 (32 ounce) bottle bottled Bloody Mary mix (such as Zing Zang), or as needed

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1 large sweet onion, finely chopped

1 cup finely chopped jicama

4 limes, juiced

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 avocado, peeled and chopped, or more to taste

In a large bowl, gently combine the shrimp, Bloody Mary mix, jalapeno pepper, onion, jicama, lime juice, and Worcestershire sauce until all of the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Cover and chill the mixture for at least 3 hours to allow flavors to blend (overnight is even better if you can). Gently stir in the avocado, then chill the mixture for 1 more hour before serving.

Man this is so simple and you get such great flavor from the dish. I have to admit, having super fresh shrimp really made this recipe standout for me, but I think it could be just as good with any cooked shrimp that you can get for yourself. The dish had great combinations of the sweetness of the shrimp with the spice of the Zing Zang and jalapeno and the addition of the lime juice was just perfect. We couldn’t find any jicama down where we were so we left it out, but I can see where it would add some really nice crunch to round out the dish. We served this as a side dish to go along with the steaks we were having that night but it would be great for any type of appetizer before a meal or as the main dish for your dinner when you want a cold meal. I could see serving this with just a side salad and some crusty bread and you are good to go. You could really spice things up and add a little vodka to the dish as well to get the full Bloody Mary experience, though we left it out since the kids were having some too. Overall it was a great dish to make.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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50 Easy Weeknight Summer Dinners, So You Can Relax – Bon Appétit

It’s summer and it’s hot out so avoiding the elaborate dinner becomes almost a necessity for most of us. Bon Appetit is here to help you out with 50 easy weeknight summer dinners so you don’t have to slave in the kitchen to have a good meal. Check it out!

Source: 50 Easy Weeknight Summer Dinners, So You Can Relax – Bon Appétit

 

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Our 20 Most Popular Shrimp Recipes Right Now – Recipes from NYT Cooking

Summertime and seafood go together really well and there’s nothing better than making use of shrimp for one of your weeknight meals. Shrimp is easy to make, very versatile and just takes a few minutes to cook so you can have a great meal on the table in no time at all. NYT Cooking has 20 great shrimp recipes you can try for all kinds of occasions to make something fun, different and delicious with your shrimp. Check it out!

Source: Our 20 Most Popular Shrimp Recipes Right Now – Recipes from NYT Cooking

 

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29 Grilled Steak Recipes – Bon Appétit

If you have plans to break out the grill any time soon and want to go beyond just making hamburgers and hot dogs, you can’t go wrong with making a steak. With so many choices to go with, you could make something different all summer long with these 29 steak recipes for the grill from Bon Appetit. Check it out!

Source: 29 Grilled Steak Recipes – Bon Appétit

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2016 in Beef, Cooking, Cooking Websites, Dinner, Grilling

 

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Tips for Hosting a Budget-Friendly Barbecue | MyRecipes.com

Everyone loves to cook out and host a party in the summer, but sometimes it can seem pretty overwhelming to your budget when you happen to invite a big crowd. This is especially true if you want to be able to do this several times over the summer. Luckily, they are plenty of great options available to you so that you can have a fantastic summer barbecue where everyone will enjoy the food and you don’t have to spend a fortune each time. MyRecipes.com has put together some really helpful hints and tips so you know just what to do and how to plan for your next summer party. Check it out!

Source: Tips for Hosting a Budget-Friendly Barbecue | MyRecipes.com

 

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A Honey of a Wing Recipe – Honey Mustard Chicken Wings

I have a real affinity for chicken wings. Whether you have them as an appetizer or as your entrée for a meal they can be perfect. I like to try all different types of wings and sample them in different places when we go out to eat. While I may not like them fiery hot like some people do, I do like them with some heat sometimes. Sean, on the other hand, is not a big fan of spicy hot wings or even wings that are medium hot so when I make them for just the two of us when Michelle is away, I usually have to find another way to cook them. I have tried barbecued wings and teriyaki wings in the past, but this time I thought some nice honey mustard wings would be a good compromise for the both of us. We get a little bit of heat for me, the sweetness for him, and we are both happy. I came across this recipe from Food52 for honey mustard chicken wings and it seemed simple to make, so I thought I would give it a try.

Honey Mustard Chicken Wings

pounds chicken wings, separated into drumettes and flats

Salt and pepper

Cooking spray

tablespoons butter

2/3 cup honey

1/2 cup Dijon mustard

tablespoons bourbon

tablespoons soy sauce

teaspoon Sriracha (add more for extra spice)

scallions, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line the bottom of a rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil for easy cleanup. Put a cooling rack (usually used for cakes and cookies) onto the cookie sheet. This allows the heat to circulate better and helps the wings to develop a crispy skin. Lay the chicken wings out on the rack and season them with a bit of salt and pepper and a quick spray of cooking oil.

Put the wings into the oven, cook for about 20 minutes, flip them over, and cook the wings for another 20 minutes. Turn on the broiler and cook the wings another 5 minutes on each side. This will give them a nice, rich brown color and crispy skin. Keep an eye on them so that they don’t burn.

Return the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the butter, honey, mustard, bourbon, soy sauce and Sriracha. Simmer the mixture for just 2 to 3 minutes so that all the flavors come together. Brush the chicken wings with the sauce and put them back in the oven for about 5 to 8 minutes. Flip the wings over, brush them with more sauce, and cook them for another 5 to 8 minutes. The chicken should be pulling away from the bones and the sauce should have a great glaze going. Serve the wings garnished with scallions and additional sauce on the side.

The honey really shines through in this recipe. It seemed like a lot to me when I was making the recipe, but the sauce was not as sweet as I had worried about. The combination of the Dijon mustard, bourbon and soy sauce really help to set it off and the hot sauce gave the wings just that hint of heat that I liked and Sean did not even notice. He remarked to me several times that I needed to remember this recipe and make them again as he really liked them. He even had the leftovers for lunch the next day to polish them off. It is a great alternative for wings for those that may not like hot or Buffalo-style wings.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. I will be vacationing in the Outer Banks starting tomorrow through next Sunday the 24th so I’ll be posting some links to other sites for recipes you might like. Until the next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on July 16, 2016 in Appetizers, Cooking, Dinner, Poultry, Sauce, Snacks

 

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