Meats fried rice. 1/19/19

This morning I made some brown rice using the oven method. It turns out so well with this method and although it is not fast I really do not have to do anything except put it in the oven and take it out an hour later.  Here is how you do it-                                             Brown rice, oven method                                                                                                                Spray 9 X 9 glass baking dish, set oven to 375F,  in the baking dish put 1 1/2. cups brown rice, 1 tsp oil, 1 tsp salt, 2 1/3 cups of boiling water, cover tightly, bake for 1 hour. After hour is up uncover and stir rice and then recover the dish loosely for 5 minutes. Now you use it or just let it cool and then refrigerate it for use later.

Leftover chicken, pork, and beef smoked sausage fried rice

The vegetables I chop up are the whites of green onions, carrot, celery, and seeded jalapeñ0. Then I add the leftover meats to heat through. (Today I have a little pork, a chicken thigh, and a little smoked beef sausage.) Set aside. Scramble 2 eggs fluffy. Set aside. Add some butter to the pan and put in the rice and cook it until it is crispy on the bottom. Add back in all the vegetables, meat, and egg. Cook together briefly adding soy sauce and sesame oil to taste. Garnish with the tops of the green onions.


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Shrimp biryani. 1/18/19

So we were supposed to be eating the shrimp biryani on Thursday but realized that we did not have any limes. We had spaghetti and meat sauce instead. And as often happens when we are eating pasta, I was too excited to eat it and forgot to take a picture.

Fast forward to Friday-Tonight we prepare Instant Pot shrimp biryani, a dish whose recipe I found on The NY Times Cooking site. In order to cook the shrimp for three minutes under pressure we are advised to get big ones. We bought 20-25 size. The recipe recommended 16-20 but they are hard to find and expensive.

After sautéing the onions, chile, and garlic you toss in the seasoning and then a bunch of water, a can of tomatoes, curry leaves, and basmati rice. This is followed by the shrimp. Instant Pot is set for three minutes. The results-the shrimp and the rice are overcooked. We need to find bigger shrimp or try a different protein. Maybe chicken? The rice kind of clumped together. I think there was too much liquid.

Tasted good but needs work!

Instant Pot Shrimp Biryani- tasted good but overcooked


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Afghani dahl with kale/chickpea/cucumber salad. 1/16/19

Every time I make this I think, “This is so good and easy to make. I should put it on the menu more often!” Basically this a chopped up medium onion, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and 1/2 T. of minced ginger sautéed in some oil or butter. Add 1 cup of picked over and rinsed red lentils and 2 1/2 cups of stock. Bring to a boil and simmer until the lentils are softened, about 15 minutes. Ta da, you are done except for making sure the seasoning is right. It is quite soupy and very delicious. You can put a swirl of yogurt on it or not.

Afghans dahl with kale/chickpea/cucumber salad served with pita

The salad is baby kale and cucumbers with chickpeas that I jazzed up with some onions and sumac, cumin, red pepper, and garlic powder. It is simply dressed with a little olive oil and vinegar. Pita makes a nice accompaniment.

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Sous vide/grilled pork with citrus. 1/15/19

Sous vide then grilled boneless spare ribs with citrus on hearty greens

John vacuum-seals 2 boneless spare ribs with a marinade of lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, and spices and cooks it in the immersion circulator for about two hours at 135F. After this he grills it briefly on both sides to give the outside some char. I prepare a bed of baby kale, cilantro and mint along with some shallot rings. The cooked marinade and squeezes of the grilled orange and lime halves serve as a dressing.

Although the dish is pretty tasty, the 2 hour sous vide is just not long enough to make the pork tender. Next time we need a longer time at a higher temperature to break down the meat collagen or to cook the pork in the Instant Pot after browning it.

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Chicken Monday. 1/14/19

Tonight John grilled some chicken thighs and I made broccoli and a corn casserole.  The dinner was not a total success because the chicken got over-cooked and the corn was a little rich. However, it was dinner and we will learn from our mistakes.

Grilled chicken with BBQ sauce, steamed broccoli and kernel corn with chive cream cheese


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Eggs and snausage. 1/13/19

I love eggs and snausage for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Just to be clear, I am not recommending dog treats for dinner. Snausage is the name John and I use to identify vegetarian sausage from carnivore sausage. We use Morningstar Original sausage patties. One takes about one minute in the microwave.

My love affair with soft scrambled eggs goes back to a trip several years ago to Vienne, France. Michelin-starred Chef Henriroux at La Pyramide Hotel likes to come down to the kitchen some mornings and make breakfast. His eggs cooked low and slow with constant agitation produce creamy small curds.

Creamy scrambled eggs by Chef Henriroux from La Pyramide Hotel, Vienne, France

I am never patient enough to cook the eggs so slowly but I do try to keep them on the soft, creamy side.

Soft scrambled egg, snausage, Pugliese bread toast

Fast and easy, breakfast is for dinner!

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Weekly menu. 1/13/19

I have not made up a weekly menu since the middle of November. That is not surprising, I guess, since Thanksgiving, The Birthdays, and the Trip to Italy have intervened. To get us off to healthy 2019 I think it is time to start again. With the menu in place I know what to shop for and what to get psyched about. As usual it is not set in stone and I have given myself a little wiggle room with a leftover dinner on Friday.

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