Tag Archives: stir-fried rice

WEEKEND CHEF! Hot Wings With Festive Rice (serves 4)

 I married a man who can’t cook but always wished he had learned the basics early on. Everything is so much harder to grasp when you are older (you know, like learning Japanese or ice skating!). Well, I am determined that this doesn’t happen to my kids, at least when it comes to cooking. It would be sinful not to teach them a little of what I have learned over the years, and keeping children out of the kitchen because they make a mess is a poor excuse when you think that one day they could make a dinner like the one my 14-year-old son made for us all this weekend!

Chef Special

Chef Special

Granted he needed a nudge to get going, and he thought because he had watched me for so long he would magically be able to dice an onion into minute uniform squares. He soon realized the only way to learn is by doing it over and over again. My two children have always helped doing “jobs” in the kitchen (my son’s favorite being to chop herbs to a fine powder!), but the other night when I looked at my son as he towered above me I had this vision of him four short years from now in some college wondering how to make good basic dishes to sustain him – panic!

The inspiration

The inspiration (The Sriracha Cookbook)

The two of them certainly know a lot about food and they know how most basic dishes are made (stews, curries, noodle dishes, sauces, stocks, soups etc), but this year I want my son to be our Weekend Chef. This past Saturday his job was to grab any cookbook magazine or food idea, tell me what it was and I would give him free reign in the kitchen (with me of course hovering to impart any wisdom I might want to force upon him). He loves Asian flavors (and sriracha hot sauce) and decided on Hot Wings from a new cookbook (present for my husband which he will probably never open!) and a rice dish I make variations on quite a bit.

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Squeezing lime juice into his sauce (He told me it was “harder than it looked” – “isn’t everything!” was my reply.

He did an amazing job and from watching him I am pretty confident that in the next few months he will be slicing and dicing better than me. He was very specific about his rice and when he tasted it, he only added a little mirin to the end result because he wanted a little “sweetness to balance the fire from the Hot Wings Sauce” We didn’t fry the wings as in the recipe. I think it is a tad dangerous and the risk of crisping them up too much was a factor. He argued that cooking them in the oven would not get the same effect but then seeing the result was happy enough with the crisp skin. I also told him the quantity of sauce was way too much for the amount of wings so he halved the recipe (again arguing with me) and it turned out to be an ample amount of sauce for everyone. He’s already learning that cookbooks should be a guide-book not a Bible.

Last night (as I cooked dinner) he came by to help - see, it's working already!

Last night (as I cooked dinner) he came by to help – see, it’s working already!

He tried to be cool about the whole “making dinner” thing but when we all thanked and complimented him he got to feel the pride and satisfaction that comes with doing something for someone besides yourself. There will be star meals and bombs made over the next year of Saturdays, but I can’t wait for each and every one.

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Hassle-Free Wings:

3 lbs chicken wings – tips removed (demo picture below)

2 tbs olive oil

1 tsp salt

Method:

Preheat oven 400*

1 – Prep wings (see picture below) and place in big bowl with oil and salt. Mix everything together to coat the wings with oil.

iuyg

Take a wing, chop off the tip (discard or keep to use in a homemade stock). Cut the rest of the wing in two. you’ll get the hang of it after a couple of tries.

2 – Place a cooling rack or some sort of oven rack into a baking tray (it will keep the wings separated from the dripping fat) and add the wings in an even layer. Place in oven for between 40 to 50 minutes, or until the wings look nice and crispy.

place wings on rack

place wings on rack

Remove to a bowl and coat with half of the hot sauce (recipe follows)

Coat crispy wings with hot sauce

Coat crispy wings with hot sauce

Hot Sauce for Wings:

1 stick unsalted butter

1/3 cup sriracha sauce

1/4 cup honey

1 tsp salt

1/2 lime – juiced

Method:

Add butter to a pot set on low heat and dd the sauce

Add butter to a pot set on low heat and add the sriracha sauce

Add the honey, lime juice and salt

Add the honey, lime juice and salt

serve warm beside wings or coat wings with sauce

serve warm beside wings or coat wings with sauce

Festive rice Just For You (serves 4-6)

This recipe should be tailored to veggies you like and what you have available in your kitchen. In other words, treat everything as optional, except for the rice!

You will need:

Basmati Rice – stove top made rice: 2 cups (16oz) and follow package instructions and for Rice Cooker: 3 cups in rice cooker measuring cup and follow rice cooker instructions (my ratio is 1 cup rice to 1 cup water)

2 to 3 tbs olive oil

Pick up to three or four of the following:

1 onion – diced (can be sweet, yellow, white or purple)

2 ribs celery – diced (optional)

1 cup diced or Julienned carrots (optional)

8 oz mushrooms – thinly sliced (can be any kind of mushroom)(optional)

2 small yellow squash or zucchini or 1 of each – diced (optional)

4 cups spinach or kale – chopped (optional)

2 large cloves garlic – roughly chopped (optional)

1 to 2 tbs various chopped fresh herbs (optional)

1 to 2 tsp spice (curry powder, mix of cumin, ginger and coriander or anything else you like when it comes to spice flavors) (optional)

Method:

1 – Put rice on to cook and then set aside.

Pari Basmati Rice

Pari Basmati Rice

2 – Put a big saute pan on medium heat and add 2 tbs of oil. When it has heated up a little add the veggies that will take the longest to cook, ending with the veggies that cook quickly. So, add things like onions and garlic first for 3 minutes, next the mushrooms, and then the carrots and squash, and ending with quick cooking things like the chopped greens.  Add more oil if necessary.

Add long-cooking ingredients forst

Add long-cooking ingredients first

2 – So, add things like onions and garlic first for 3 minutes, next the mushrooms, and then the carrots and squash, and ending with quick cooking things like the chopped greens.  Add more oil if necessary. Everything should be cooked within 10 minutes. 

keep adding veggies

keep adding veggies

3 – If going to use herbs and spices, add after the base ingredients like the onions and garlic.

Add rice

Add rice

4 – Add cooked rice and stir. Keep warm until ready to serve.

My son served this to us this past Saturday night!

My son served this to us this past Saturday night!

Heavenly Beef Stir-Fry with Simple Summer Rice (serves 6 or more!)

I cooked this the other evening especially for my son. He was going to be getting braces the next day and I told him he should have something special, something that would perhaps be difficult to tackle for a while (at least until he got used to having gobs of metal in his mouth!). This is what he wanted: chewy beef and stick-in-your-teeth rice!

Great Summer Stir-Fry

Great Summer Stir-Fry

I don’t cook beef very often because in the united States it is a very expensive option if you want to go organic. Grass-fed organic beef for a stir-fry can be upwards of $9 per lb so the meat for this dish could cost $18 alone which I think is a waste of money for 1 meal. However, because this was for a special meal I decided to work something out without making myself feel the guilt of being wasteful (especially for a cut of meat that was mass-produced, and hormone-injected!). I bought the cheapest cut of organic beef (which for about 2 lbs cost $10.85) and cut it very thin. It was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. All it needed was a little marination and quick, high-heat cooking!

beef

Grass-fed Organic Beef is an option if you buy the cheapest cuts

There is definitely a lesson here: go with a better quality, healthier choice and make it work! This whole meal for 6 was truly amazing and only cost about $2.50 per person (that’s including all the ingredients and fuel cost). I grew up in a place where stretching food and making the most out of what was available (money and food) was very important, and this has come in very handy indeed! Hopefully it will rub off on the next generation.

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You will need:

for the beef:

Oil for frying (vegetable or olive oil)

2 lbs beef, thinly sliced bite-sized pieces (I actually used beef that was more for stew than stir-fry but cut it ultra-thin and it worked great. That way I was able to afford organic grass-fed beef as opposed to a better cut of hormone-filled stuff!)

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 mirin

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced

2 tsp sesame oil

1 tbs sugar

for the rice:

oil for frying (olive or grapeseed oil)

2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and cooked according to stove top method OR 3 cups using rice cooker measure and rice cooker method.

1 small onion, diced

1 bright yellow squash, diced

1 zucchini, diced

8 to 10 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced

4 sprigs thyme

Method:

1 – Put chopped beef in a bowl. Mix the soy, mirin, sesame oil and sugar in a bowl and pour over the beef. mix everything together very well and place in the fridge while you prepare the Summer Rice.

Marinate beef

Marinate beef

2 – Prep veggies and cook rice according to instructions. There is no need to keep the rice warm. You can even use leftover rice from another meal but remove it from the fridge right when you begin to prepare this dish (takes the chill out!).

Prep Veggies

Prep Veggies

3 – Time to cook the beef: Put large saute pan on high heat and add 2 tbs of oil (veggie, grapeseed or olive). When it is hot cook the beef in batches making sure not to crowd the pan. It will cook faster if you cook smaller amounts. Remove to a plate as you go and add more oil in-between batches. The beef will cook in about 3 or 4 minutes per batch. Cover beef with foil and keep warm in very low oven until time to serve.

fry beef

fry beef

4 – Put large saute pan on medium heat (you may have to clean out the pan you just used!) and add 2 tbs of olive oil. Add the onions and cook for about 3 minutes before adding the mushrooms. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Saute mushrooms and onions

Saute mushrooms and onions

5 – Add more oil, turn heat up to medium/ high and add the herbs, zucchini and squash. Cook until the squash takes on little brown bits (about 6 or so minutes)

Add zucchini & squash

Add herbs, zucchini & squash

6 – Turn heat down and add the rice. Stir everything together and cook until the rice is hot. Turn off pan or keep on lowest heat setting to keep warm until time to serve.

Add cooked rice

Add cooked rice

Divide rice between bowls or plates and top with plenty of beef and a drizzle of the accumulated juices.

Rice on bottom, top with beef

Rice on bottom, top with beef

It is also nice to have some soy sauce, mirin (or equal parts of both mixed together) and hot sauce on the table for extra seasoning!

Some of us like to add hot sauce!

Some of us like to add hot sauce!

Asian Stir-Fry Beef with Fried Rice – Total Yumminess! (serves 4 – 6)

Yes, yes, I’ve been a slacker, but I have undertaken a few more ventures in my already too-packed life and so my poor blog has had to suffer until I got everything up and running – so, here we go!

fc

Really yummy beef sir-fry for dinner!

The blog may have been MIA but that certainly does not mean that the Crappy Kitchen was collecting dust: I have been cooking up a storm most nights and here is something that I was begged to cook by my son. He had a longing for something I rarely cook, beef, so I succumbed and made something that would please everyone: a whole wok-full of thinly sliced stir-fry beef with rice.

It was delicious beyond belief and even thought it is a tabu food on my particular diet (Blood Type A) I couldn’t help “test tasting” a little more than was good for me!

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You will need:

3 or so tbs vegetable or grapeseed oil (more if needed)

2 lbs beef, very thinly sliced – not shaved (NY stripe or flank steak is good)

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup mirin

1 tsp sesame oil

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper flakes (chili flakes)

2 tsp granulated sugar

10 scallions, including green parts, sliced

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped (use 3 if large)

8 oz mung bean sprouts

1 cup grated or matchstick carrots

4 cups chopped spinach

6 cups cooked basmati rice

Pari Basmati Rice

Pari Basmati Rice

*This is a good time to use that leftover rice – it can be added to the dish straight from the refrigerator. If you do not have rice cooked, put it on to cook first thing. If using a rice cooker (as I do!), cook a 3 cup measure of rice. If cooking on the stove top, use two cups and follow instructions on your rice bag*

fry beef

Fry beef – Hot and Fast!

1 – Mix the soy, mirin, sesame oil, pepper flakes and sugar in a large bowl and add the beef slices. Cover and set aside in the fridge while you prep the rest of the ingredients. Put large saute pan or wok on high heat. When it is very hot, add 2 tbs of oil and add 1/3 of the beef, shaking off the excess marinade and distributing it over the entire surface of the pan. Let it cook for a minute (do not touch it as it sizzles!). Turn and shake the meat about and cook for another minute or two until cooked. Test a piece by eating – it should be tender and soft. Transfer to a bowl. Add more oil and continue to cook the beef in batches until it is all done. Reserve the marinade that is left in the bowl to be used later.

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Yummy stir-fried beef!

2 – If the pan is very dark and blackened on the bottom, you may want to give it a quick cleaning before you continue. Add a little more oil and with the pan on high heat, add the scallions, garlic and carrots. cook for two minutes, stirring often.

stir-fry scallion, carrots & garlic

stir-fry scallion, carrots & garlic

3 – Add the bean sprouts and continue to cook for 1 more minute.

add bean sprouts

add bean sprouts

4 – Add the chopped spinach and cook for about 30 seconds before adding the rice. Stir everything together and cook until rice is hot.

add spinach, then rice

add spinach, then rice

5 – Add the beef and its accumulated juices, as well as the rest of the marinade. Mix well and turn off heat. Taste for addition of more soy sauce or a soy sauce and mirin mixture.

add beef & serve!

add beef & serve!

Serve immediately in warmed bowls with more soy sauce and a dose of sriracha sauce if that is your thing!

Crispy Fried Pork (or tofu!) Medallions with Escarole Rice (serves 4)

Crispy Fried Pork Medallions with Escarole Rice

Crispy Fried Pork Medallions with Escarole Rice

Sometimes I am in the mood to make dinner as quickly as possible, and others, like last night, there is nothing I enjoy more than standing in my kitchen lazily chopping and stirring, in the company of whomever wants to watch the movie I may have playing and perhaps share my bottle of wine.

frying pork to lovely crispiness

frying pork to lovely crispy-ness

I am always trying to come up with interesting ways to cook pork tenderloin. It is such a delicate cut of meat with a tenderness that needs to be preserved for it to taste its very best. I sliced the pork and with a crowded counter filled with bowls of flour, an Asian egg mixture and another of panko crumbs I coated each piece of meat before frying to perfection. This was so good, and such a hit, I was sorry I hadn’t double the recipe!

Fresh herbs will always make your food taste better

Fresh herbs will always make your food taste better

I thought it would be perfect with a very aromatic rice, and since I was hell-bent on using up every last herb I had purchased for recipes over the Christmas break, I added chopped pungent rosemary and liquorice-y tarragon to the rice with a couple of mushrooms and sweet onions to make the best accompaniment ever. It was hard not to eat and say “mmmmm” the whole time we were eating!

By all means these two dishes can be made as part of other dishes. I think the pork with be great on a buffet table and the rice could go with so many other meat dishes, (and in the case of my dinner, crispy fried tofu).

Happy New Year’s Eve – Cook something memorable!

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You will need:

1 pork tenderloin, (try to find one that is about 1 1/4 lbs) cut into 3/8″ or 1 cm slices

OR tofu (instead of pork)about two packages of extra-firm, sliced into triangles or big squares (prepared as instructed below ingredient list)

2 large eggs

2 tbs hoisin sauce

2 tbs soy sauce

2 tbs mirin

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 1/2 cups panko crumbs (have more on hand)

1/3 cup olive oil

3 medium sweet or yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced

1 medium head escarole, washed and roughly chopped

2 large mushrooms, diced

10 (or so) fresh tarragon leaves, chopped

1 stem of rosemary leaves, pulled off stem and chopped (about 1 tbs)

1 tsp cayenne pepper flakes (optional)

sea-salt to taste

6 cups cooked basmati rice

Dipping sauce: 6 tbls soy sauce mixed with 6 tbs mirin. Divide between 2 or 3 bowls for the table.

*This can easily be a vegetarian/vegan or Blood Type A Diet recipe. Use extra firm tofu which you should squeeze of excess moisture (enough for 4 to 6 servings) and follow method below or follow method here.

Method:

1 – If you are going to cook rice, put it on right away and let it be cooling until you need it. If you already have leftover rice, take it out of the fridge and stir to loosen.

2 – Mix the eggs in a shallow bowl with the hoisin, soy and mirin. Place flour in a shallow bowl or a dinner plate. Put panko crumbs on a dinner plate. Place a big platter or plate on the counter beside the other plates and bowls.

3 – Make sure the pork is dry and then dip each piece in flour, then coat with egg mixture (by dipping), and finish by pressing each side into the panko crumbs. Place on the waiting platter or plate. When they are all dipped and rolled, place in the fridge. * I find they cook so much better when they are cold*

Prep pork and store in fridge until ready to fry

Prep pork and store in fridge until ready to fry

4 – Next make your dipping sauce (see method in ingredient list).

make dipping sauce

make dipping sauce

5 – Put big saute pan on medium heat and add 2 tbs of oil. Add onions and cook for about 7 minutes.

saute onions

saute onions

6 – Add the mushrooms and continue to cook for another 5 or so minutes. You may have to add more oil. Add the chopped herbs and some sea-salt (about 1/2 to 1 tsp) and stir into veggies.

add herbs

Add mushrooms, then herbs

7 – Cook until onions are nice and soft.

cook for several minutes

Cook for several minutes

8 – Add the chopped escarole and cayenne flakes (if using) and cook until the greens wilt (about 4 or 5 minutes).

add escarole

Add escarole & pepper flakes

9 – Add the rice and stir until it has completely warmed through. Cover with lid and keep warm on lowest heat (or turn off and reheat right before serving)

add rice

Add rice

10 – Put large saute pan on medium/high heat and add about 3 tbs oil. When it is hot add the pork in a single un-crowded layer. Cook until crispy on both sides (about 2 to 3 minutes per side). Remove to a plate and keep warm in low temperature oven until you have fried all of the batches. You will need to add more oil as you go.

fry pork

fry pork

Serve pork alongside the rice and drizzle a little of the dipping sauce over the pork before serving. Each person may add more dipping sauce or hot sauce as they please.

serve with a drizzle of dipping sauce

serve with a drizzle of dipping sauce

The pork can be easily substituted for tofu (I did) and prepared exactly the same way. (Check above for further instructions)

I had exactly the same thing only with tofu

I had exactly the same thing only with tofu