Sunday, March 15, 2009

Baked Sesame Chicken

This was one of my favorite ways to make chicken back in college. The recipe can be found here. The veggies next to it are simply red and green peppers and carrots stir-fried in garlic with sesame seeds for garnish. And of course, rice. (I did the neat bowl trick, found in the post on fried rice.)
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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Fried Rice

This is one of the few Asian-inspired dishes that I can make without too many mishaps. It’s also a great way to get rid of leftovers. Everyone has their own way of making it and there tons of variations.* Here are a few general tips that I picked up over the years.

- Use day-old rice. The best is to use leftover Chinese take-out rice if you have it because it tends to get dry the next day. I didn’t today so I just used the leftover rice we had in my house.** It also helps to break up the rice before you add it to the pan.

- Don’t be afraid to use a lot of oil and garlic. Start off by using enough to coat the bottom of the pan. You may need to add more oil as you go along.

- Make sure you get the pan nice and hot – I judge it by how the oil makes wavy lines when you *gently* swish it around the pan. Some people like to flick a drop of oil to the pan, and if it sizzles that means it’s ready. I find that way a little scary.

1 garlic clove, smashed with the side of a knife
Leftover ham (I used Canadian bacon here), chicken, pork, beef or whatever you have lying around, chopped into bite size pieces
About 1.5 cups of cooked rice
1 well- beaten egg
Handful of frozen peas
2-3 teaspoons of soy sauce (You may need more depending on how salty you like it)

1. Heat the pan on medium-high with the garlic until the garlic starts to sizzle. (Be sure to remove the garlic when it starts to get brown or it will get bitter)

2. Add the meat and gently brown it – about 2-3 minutes. Set aside

3. Heat the pan again. Add egg and cook until solid (about a minute or two if the pan is hot enough). Break the egg up into pieces using the spatula as you are cooking. Set aside.

4 . Heat the pan again. Add rice and toss it lightly so that it browns evenly. Add cooked eggs and drizzle the soy sauce. The order here is important because you don’t want to put too much soy sauce on the meat or it will get too salty.

5. Stir in frozen peas and meat and cook until heated through. (About another minute or two).

6. To get the cool bowl shape, pack the mixture into a rice bowl, place a plate over it and flip the bowl over.

* My grandma used to make a version with ketchup. As disgusting as it sounds, it tasted pretty good and came out a cool orange color. I’ve tried to make it myself a few times, but never quite the same as Grandma’s.** I could write a whole other blog about the superiority of rice generally found in Asian households as opposed to Chinese restaurant rice. In fact, maybe one day I will. But I admit that fried rice is one thing that Chinese restaurant rice may have over the rice in my house.

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Marinated Portobello Mushroom with Cheesy Orzo and Honey Glazed Carrots

It's snowing during my "spring break." Inclement weather means I have time to cook and blog about it. People have asked me if I have stopped cooking because I haven't blogged in a while. Which isn't really true - I have been cooking, but photographing in my house is a process. First, it means clearing the table. Then taking a dozen or so pictures with my amateur photography skills, while my food gets cold. And lately I've just been too hungry to do all that!

Above is a Rachael Ray inspired menu from this book:

And here is a link to the recipes!
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