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Category Archives: Rice

Score Big Smiles with Seared Sea Scallops with Leek Risotto and Lemon-Brown Butter Sauce

Sea scallops are one of those foods that are an occasional treat around our house. They are one of the favorite seafood meals for all three of us, but the cost of sea scallops today make them pretty prohibitive to have often. Even when you can get them on sale, they are very often still around twenty dollars per pound. However, once you are eating them and they are cooked correctly, you tend to forget all about the price and wonder why you do not have them more often. Scallops, like all seafood, requires attention when cooking so that you do not turn them into little disks of rubber and ruin your meal. You can cook them pretty easily, putting a nice sear on them for some color and flavor, in just a few minutes, and when you can find some great dishes to complement the rest of the meal, you will hit a home run. Such is the case with this recipe I tried from Serious Eats for seared sea scallops with a leek risotto and lemon-brown butter sauce. It sounds fancy and complicated, but it is pretty easy to make (save for the stirring of the risotto).

Seared Sea Scallops with Leek Risotto and Lemon-Brown Butter Sauce

For the Leek Risotto:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice 

4 tablespoons butter, divided

2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, washed well and diced (about 2 1/2 cups)

1/2 cup dry white wine (or chicken stock if you do not use wine)

5 to 6 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock or water, kept warm

3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 2 ounces)

2 teaspoons lemon zest, finely grated (from about 1 large lemon)

1 tablespoon fresh juice from 1 lemon 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Lemon-Brown Butter Sauce:

5 tablespoons butter 

1 medium clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh juice from 1 lemon

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Scallops:

8 to 10 large dry-packed sea scallops (about 3/4 pound), dried thoroughly with towels

Kosher salt

1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as vegetable, canola, or grape seed 

2 tablespoons pickled pepper (optional)

For the Leek Risotto: In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until the oil is shimmering. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until the rice turns translucent around the edges, about 3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and the leeks and cook, stirring, until the butter is melted and the leeks are tender but not browned, about 5 minutes.

Add the wine and simmer, stirring, until the wine has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of warm stock and stir the rice mixture until almost all the liquid has been absorbed. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth in 1/2-cup additions, and stirring until the liquid is absorbed before the next addition, until rice is al dente, about 20 minutes. The rice can be kept warm at this point until you are ready to finish cooking.

 

When you are ready to finish, stir in enough warm stock to loosen the risotto to a creamy consistency. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, mascarpone, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. When the risotto is finished, the grains of rice should be suspended in a thick and creamy sauce; if the risotto thickens too much, simply add additional warm stock or water to restore the risotto to the proper consistency.

 

Meanwhile, for the Lemon-Brown Butter Sauce: Add the butter to a small saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring and swirling the pan every few seconds until the foam subsides and the butter begins to turn golden brown and smells nutty, about 3 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the garlic and let it sizzle for about 10-15 seconds, then add the lemon juice. Season the butter with salt and pepper; keep warm.

 

For the Scallops: Season the scallops with salt. Let the scallops stand in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

 

Remove the salted scallops from the fridge and pat them dry with paper towels. Season the scallops lightly with a little more salt. Heat the vegetable oil in a large stainless steel cast-iron skillet set over high heat until the oil is lightly smoking. Add the scallops, leaving space between each one. Press each scallop down very gently with a spatula to ensure good contact with the pan.

 

Cook the scallops without moving them until they are well browned on the first side, about1-2 minutes. Carefully flip the scallops and cook them until they are seared on the opposite side and medium-rare within, about 1 minute longer. Transfer the scallops to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. To serve the meal, scoop the risotto into warmed bowls or warmed plates, top the risotto with the scallops, and drizzle the scallops with the sauce. Top with a few pickled peppers, if using.

Okay, making risotto is always a bit of a chore because you have to constantly stir it to get the liquid absorbed properly so the rice comes out right. Many people today are making use of their Insta-Pot or pressure cooker to make risotto. I have yet to give it a try myself but some people swear by the results and say it is worth it so if you can do it, go for it. I didn’t mind the stirring all that much (consider it your workout for the day). The flavor of the risotto was very creamy and the leeks really shine through in the dish. The scallops are cooked very simply so that you get the best flavor of the scallops and Michelle and I loved the lemon-brown butter sauce as a topping for it all. I think this is an easy and delicious way to cook your scallops. You could serve it with a nice side of asparagus, broccoli or peas and you have a great meal (don’t forget to use the rest of your white wine from the recipe to go with dinner; it’s a nice touch and pairs well with the meal).

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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Posted by on March 30, 2017 in Cooking, Dinner, Rice, Seafood

 

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Talking Turkey (Meatballs) – Scallion Meatballs with Soy-Ginger Glaze and Carrot Rice

Meatballs are always a family favorite and provide a lot of versatility when I make then. Typically, they start off with a meal that includes some type of pasta, but the meatballs are also fantastic for meatball subs or meatball parmigiana sandwiches. They also make a great addition to a pizza for pizza night. All of that is perfect when you make meatballs in tomato sauce, but once in a while, I like something that is a little bit of a change. I love Swedish meatballs or meatballs in a gravy and have found that making meatballs using turkey meat gives me the chance to play with all kinds of different flavors and create new meals. I had picked up some ground turkey recently at the store and wanted to make something different for dinner, so I combined these two recipes, one from Martha Stewart for a carrot rice and the other from Julia Moskin for scallion meatballs with a soy glaze.

Scallion Meatballs with Soy-Ginger Glaze and Carrot Rice

For the Sauce:

½ cup dark brown sugar

½ cup soy sauce

½ cup mirin sweet rice wine, or 1/2 cup sake with 1/4 cup sugar

¼ cup chopped peeled ginger

1 teaspoon ground coriander

4 whole black peppercorns

For the Meatballs:

1 pound ground turkey

4 large or 6 small scallions, finely chopped

1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped about 1 cup

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

Freshly ground black pepper

Vegetable oil

For the Rice:

Salt

1 cup long-grain white rice

1 carrot, shredded

To make the sauce, bring the sugar and 1/2 cup of water to a boil in a saucepan set over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar melts completely. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the soy sauce, mirin, ginger, coriander, and peppercorns. Simmer, occasionally stirring, until the sauce is reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Strain the sauce through a sieve. The sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated.

To make the meatballs, mix the ground turkey, scallions, cilantro, egg, sesame oil, soy sauce and several grindings of pepper in a medium bowl. Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls.

In a skillet set over medium-high heat, generously cover the bottom of the pan with vegetable oil. Working in batches to avoid crowding, place the meatballs in the pan and cook them, occasionally turning, until the meatballs are browned all over and cooked inside, about 8 minutes per batch. Arrange on a heated platter, spoon a little sauce over each meatball, and serve with toothpicks. If desired, keep warm in a 200-degree oven until ready to serve. Garnish with sliced scallions, if desired.

To make the rice, in a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups of salted water to a boil. Add the rice and stir, and return the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the rice and cook it until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the rice from the heat and top it with the shredded carrot. Let the rice stand, covered, for about 5 minutes, then stir in the carrot and fluff the rice with a fork. Arrange the rice on a heated platter and top with the meatballs and sauce. Garnish the dish with sliced scallions, if desired.

Ground turkey by itself does not have a lot of flavor to it, but when you add the ingredients to the dish with the meatballs and the sauce, you will find that they pack quite a bit of flavor. The scallions and soy shine through nicely, and the meatballs are tender and tasty. The carrot rice is very simple, and the carrots add a nice touch and texture to the rice for something a little different. You can easily just make the meatballs and use them as an appetizer for any dinner, party or buffet you are having as well. I felt the dish was a nice change of pace from the usual meatballs and gives me something different to fall back on when I want to liven the meatball routine up a bit.

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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Recipes for Picky Eaters | Bon Appetit

We all have picky eaters in our households. For us, Sean won’t eat tomatoes, Michelle is not a big fish eater, and I don’t eat pasta and cheese ( I know, gasp!). Very often this means re-working recipes to make it fit everyone’s needs. Of course, there are some great recipes for the picky eaters in your life that mask some ingredients they may protest about but love once they eat them. I have done it myself, using some cheese in things I usually would not eat and they were quite tasty. In any case, Bon Appetit has put together 32 recipes for the picky eaters in your life to help them learn to love some great dishes. Check it out!

By the way, our kitchen is complete, and I can start cooking again. I’ll be doing a post on Wednesday about the new kitchen, and I already have some recipes that I can’t wait to post. See you then!

Source: Recipes for Picky Eaters | Bon Appetit

 

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17 Tips for Faster, Healthier, and Easier Weeknight Dinners | Bon Appetit

Coming up with ways to make easy, fast and healthy dinners can seem impossible sometimes. There are many days when the last thing you want to think about is what is for dinner and wish something could magically appear that you can cook quickly. Instead of turning to pizza delivery or fast food, start using some of these 17 ideas and tips Bon Appetit offers to keep healthy and easy dinner options right in your kitchen so you can throw something great together in just minutes and look like you have been thinking about it all day. Check it out!

Tomorrow should be the day our new appliances come, and hopefully, that will complete our kitchen. It’s been tough trying to cook meals just using an electric pressure cooker, a sandwich press and two small electric burners we borrowed, so it will be great to have a stove again that I can with each day. Fingers crossed it works out tomorrow, and I can get back to recipes!

Source: 17 Tips for Faster, Healthier, and Easier Weeknight Dinners | Bon Appetit

 

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Quick and Easy Christmas Dinner Menu Ideas and Recipes : Cooking Channel

If you are still looking for some quick and easy recipes to use for your Christmas dinner, Cooking Channel has 25 great ideas for you for side dishes, entrees, salads and more that are very easy to make and can help you round out a menu that is planned even at the last minute. Check it out!

 

Source: Quick and Easy Christmas Dinner Menu Ideas and Recipes : Cooking Channel

 

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The End of the Turkey in a Delicious Way – Turkey Rice Soup

Now that I have returned from visiting family for the Thanksgiving holiday and gotten caught up with some of the work I had to catch up on, I can get back to trying to do some blogging. Even though I did not cook Thanksgiving dinner at home this year, I still had some leftover turkey from a couple of the turkey meals I had tried out before Thanksgiving. With that in mind, I naturally had to come up with some different ways to use some of the turkey meat and the turkey stock that I had created with the carcass from the turkey. I have made potpie and open-faced turkey sandwiches in the past and even turkey salad but this seemed like a good opportunity to try to make a quick and easy soup. I found this recipe at Food Network for turkey rice soup that was simple, used basic ingredients and was put together very easily. This recipe assumes that you have not already made turkey stock with the leftover carcass and gives you instructions on how to do so but if you have a ready-made the stock you can simply skip over that step and get right down to making the soup.

Turkey Rice Soup

1 turkey carcass
2 stalks celery with leaves, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 bay leaf
8 cups water
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 cups chopped carrots
1 cup rice
2 cups chopped leftover turkey
1 cup frozen or leftover corn
3 tablespoons fresh parsley
Salt and pepper

In a large pot, combine the turkey carcass, celery, carrots, onion, bay leaf and water and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer the stock for about 2 to 3 hours over medium low heat. Strain and discard all of the vegetables and bones. Reserve the turkey stock.

In a separate large pot, melt the butter over medium heat and cook the onions until they are tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the celery and the dried thyme. Stir in the carrots and rice and toss the ingredients to coat the rice. Stir in the turkey stock and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook the soup until the vegetables and rice are tender about 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the turkey, corn and the parsley. Return the soup to a simmer and season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.

That is all there is to this particular recipe. You can easily make use of everything you have right in your home and have the entire meal done in under thirty minutes. It produces a very flavorful soup that you can use as a meal all on its own. You could certainly add other vegetables to the soup if you have some that are left over or just prefer having different vegetables, such as broccoli, green beans, peas or just about anything else. You could also swap out the rice and use noodles instead if you want to make a turkey noodle soup, though you will not have to cook the noodles quite as long as you would the rice in order to get them tender. Soup always goes great with some homemade bread or biscuits if you have them or even your favorite store-bought variety. You could also have your soup with a sandwich or salad to make it a more complete meal with that is what you want.

That is 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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100+ Classic Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes : Food Network

Sure, the turkey is the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving meal, but the side dishes you serve can really help the dinner shine and be what people remember the most about the meal. Choosing new, interesting or classic side dishes is easy when you take a look at over 100 different side dish recipes that Food Network provides for you. Check it out!

Source: 100+ Classic Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes : Food Network

 

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A Meal of One’s Own – Apple, Sausage and Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash

As tempting as it might be to make big ,filling meals all of the time like meatloaf, fried chicken, burgers and the like, sometimes you need something a bit more on a little bit lighter for dinner. Dinners like warm chicken salad or other refreshing salads seem to go well with warmer weather and the summer and fall weather is a great opportunity to not only do things with soups but also with all of the great winter squash that is available. A lot of the squash you find can serve as a great vehicle not only as the vegetable of your dish but also as part of the serving and presentation. My favorite thing is to try to do this with acorn squash. You can get them at just the right size so that when they are halved they make a great serving bowl all of their own that you can eat practically all the way through. Naturally, you want to be able to fill the squash with some great ingredients and I took a cue from this recipe at The Pretend Baker and took the opportunity to not only use some of her ingredients but add my own and use up some of the leftover wild rice we had from a previous meal.

Apple, Sausage and Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash

2 medium acorn squashes

2 tablespoons butter, plus more if necessary

1 pound pork sausage, casings removed

1 large sweet onion

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 stalks of celery, diced

1 medium apple, peeled, cored and diced

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, minced

1/2 cup cooked wild rice

1 large egg, beaten

Salt and pepper, to taste

¾ cup shredded white cheddar, mozzarella or Gruyere cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squashes in half, remove the seeds and place the squash halves on a baking dish, cut side down, and roast them for about 30 to 45 minutes or until the flesh is easily pierced with the tip of a knife. Remove the squash from the oven, turn the temperature down to 375 degrees, flip the squash over and allow them to cool until you are able to handle them.

Meanwhile, heat a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat and cook the sausage until it is browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the sausage to a plate.

Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to the skillet along with the minced onion, celery and chopped apple. Add a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent and the apple is soft about 5 to 6 minutes.

Add the garlic and minced herbs and saute for about 30 seconds until they are fragrant.

Remove the onion and garlic mixture to another plate or bowl.

Add the remaining butter to the skillet and return the onion/apple mixture to the skillet along with cooked sausage and all the accumulated juices.

When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out most of the flesh, leaving some in the skin for sturdiness.

Add  the squash flesh to the pan and stir until well incorporated. Add the wild rice to the pan and stir. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

Mix in the beaten egg and fill squash halves. You may have leftover filling – just add it to an oven safe dish.

Top the squash with shredded cheese, return the squash halves to the oven on the same baking sheet and bake them for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and brown.

Let the squash stand for 10 minutes before serving.

The blend of flavors and spices here make the kitchen smell great and you end up with a really nice meal all in one package. I loved the mix of the sausage, apple, squash and wild rice together. It was very hearty, warming and filling. While I didn’t top mine with cheese, Michelle and Sean both had cheese on theirs and said it was delicious. The great thing about this meal is that you can leave out the sausage entirely if you want to make this a vegetarian dish. You could also substitute in just about any grain that might you like instead of wild rice – brown rice, barley, quinoa, for example – and still have a wonderful meal. The leftovers are great for lunches as well as they are already nicely portioned out and if you have any stuffing leftover after filling the squash it makes a great side dish for chicken, turkey or even a pork dish.

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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Our 20 Most Popular Thanksgiving Side Dishes – Recipes from NYT Cooking

It’s that time of year again – when people begin to think about Thanksgiving and what the meal will contain. It’s never too early to start planning out your menu and the more organized you can be the smoother the days leading up to and Turkey Day will be for you. A good place to start is to consider some of the side dishes that you will want to make for the day. New York Times Cooking has put together 20 of their most popular Thanksgiving side dishes so you can see some classic recipes or give something new a try this year. Check it out!

Source: Our 20 Most Popular Thanksgiving Side Dishes – Recipes from NYT Cooking

 

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A New Take on a Takeout Classic – Chinese Fried Rice

Everyone always has their favorite dish when it comes to getting Chinese food. While some people will always defer to things like egg rolls, beef and broccoli, wonton soup, General Tso’s chicken or Mushu pork, there always seems to be one thing that is consistent with all Chinese food takeout orders – fried rice. The great thing about fried rice is that it goes so well with any of the entrées you might choose for takeout but it can also be an entrée all of its own. There are different varieties available from whatever place you normally get your Chinese food from but fried rice is easy enough where you can make something like this right at home to go with your favorite Asian meal or just to have as the centerpiece of your dinner. I have tried a few different fried rice recipes over the years and recently came across this one at Food.com that promise to have the taste and flavor just like you get from your favorite takeout place.

Chinese Fried Rice

3cup finely chopped onion

2 1tablespoons oil

1 egg, lightly beaten (or more eggs if you like)

3 drops soy sauce

3 drops sesame oil

8 ounces cooked lean boneless pork or 8 ounces chicken, chopped

1cup finely chopped carrot (very small)

1cup frozen peas, thawed

4 cups cold cooked rice, grains separated (preferably medium grain)

4 green onions, chopped

2 cups bean sprouts (optional)

2 tablespoons soy sauce(add more if you like)

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat; add the chopped onions and stir-fry until the onions turn a nice brown color, about 8-10 minutes; remove the onions from the skillet.

Allow the skillet to cool slightly.

In a small bowl, mix the egg with 3 drops of soy sauce and 3 drops of sesame oil; set the bowl aside.

Add 1/2 tablespoon of the oil to the skillet, swirling to coat the surface; add the egg mixture. Working quickly, swirl the egg until the egg sets against the skillet. When the egg puffs, flip the egg and cook the other side briefly. Remove the egg from the skillet and chop the egg into small pieces. Set the egg aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in the skillet. Add the selected meat to the skillet, along with the carrots, peas, and cooked onion. Stir-fry the ingredients for about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the cooked rice, green onions, and bean sprouts (if using), tossing the ingredients to mix everything well and stir-fry for about 3 minutes.

Add 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce and the chopped egg to the rice mixture and fold them into the rice. Stir-fry everything together for 1 minute more and serve.

As is always the case with fried rice, you can use any type of protein you like with the dish – beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, tofu – or no meat at all and keep everything vegetarian. I did find that this recipe does seem to taste a lot like takeout rice. I am not sure if it is the amount of soy used or just the method, but the taste was really close for me. I served this with the chicken teriyaki I made and it complemented the meal perfectly, but as I said this fried dish could stand on its own as a meal if you want something easy one night and have some leftover protein and vegetables to deal with. I even threw in some leftover asparagus tips into the mix to top ours off.

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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