Monthly Archives: July 2010

Mmm…Iced Shrimp and Fried Rice

You see these in every Chinese buffet:  Cooked shrimp on a bed of ice, the big pan of fried rice on the hot line.  I suppose I could have added some noodles in a brown sauce.  No matter, we had all we could eat.

The shrimp were steamed, then cooled quickly in ice water and served on a bed of crushed ice.  No real reason to do it that way other than it made a cool presentation.  I bet there are a million fried rice recipes out there. [1,630,000 per teh Google-Ed.]  The only way to get a good fried rice is to start with good rice, not over cooked mush.  Bring a quart of water to a rolling boil, add one cup of rice and a tablespoon of butter.  Stir once as the water returns to a boil, half cover the pot and boil for 8 minutes.  Taste the rice, you want it semi soft, not crunchy, more “al dente” than anything.  Dump the pot into a colander to drain, return the rice to the pot and cover.  It won’t hurt to cool the rice and put it into the fridge if you will be some time before you need it.  Today I used jasmine rice.

There are various ways to go about putting the fried rice dish together, not going to say which is the authentic and only true way.  I scrambled three eggs in a non stick pan and put them aside.  Chopped some broccoli, julienned some carrot with my new gadget, thawed some frozen peas, minced some garlic, added a spoonful of ginger paste to the veggies.  Diced a bit of sliced ham and added some more garlic to it.  Fired the wok, and got it smoking hot, added some oil, and tossed in a few dried red peppers.  As they started to turn black I tossed in the veggies and gave them a stir, then the ham.  Followed that with the rice, stir it all about to get it all hot, add some fish sauce and a little oyster sauce, dump in those scrambled eggs and cut them up with the spoon.  Dump into a nice serving dish and holler “dinner’s ready”!


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Tortilla Pizza!

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Gadget Post

A julienne peeler thingy.


Mmm…hamburgers and French fries.  What?  Oh, the ketchup. Yes, it is homemade ketchup. Thanks for noticing.  Yes, it is very good.  Maybe a tad sweet.  Yes, it does look just like the Heinz.

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Thursday Night Menu: Steak and Potatoes Edition

Not my most original recipe, but a summer classic, for sure. LFern and her husband think collard greens are great, which is why I even grew them in my garden one year. I know some people like them, but if you don’t, you can easily substitute spinach in the recipe. I love fruit crisps, and I’ve featured this crisp before, but thought it was worth repeating in this menu. As far as the steaks go, a good ribeye needs very little in the way of seasoning before grilling, but if you want to take it up a notch, the coffee rub from February was very popular. You can use any good cut of steak for this menu.

On the board tonight:

  1. Grilled Ribeyes
  2. Grilled Baked Potatoes
  3. Collard Greens w/Bacon
  4. Apple & Blackberry Crisp

Grilled Ribeyes

  • 4 Ribeye steaks
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • pepper to taste

Rub garlic and pepper on both sides of the steak and grill. 5 minutes on each side will be rare, cook longer if desired.

Collard Greens w/ Bacon

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch collard greens (or spinach)
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • salt & pepper to taste

skillet, saucepan and steamer

Wash collard greens. In skillet, cook bacon till crisp, remove, cool and crumble. In bacon drippings, sauté onions, remove. In saucepan, place steamer and enough water to come to the bottom of the steamer, add greens and steam until tender. Mix honey & vinegar, and a little of the bacon drippings if you like. Toss all ingredients together and serve.

Grilled Baked Potatoes

  • 4 large baking potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half
  • Olive oil
  • Coarse salt

Rub each half with olive oil and salt. Place on the grill, cut-side down, away from the direct flame and they’ll bake quicker, with a nice crisp crust.

Apple & Blackberry Crisp

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • 3 apples, cored & sliced (peeling opt)
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

8×8 baking dish and bowl

In bowl, cut together sugar, brown sugar, flour, oatmeal, cinnamon & butter until crumbly. In baking dish, toss apple slices & blackberries with sugar & lemon juice. Crumble butter mixture over the top evenly. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes, until top is golden and bubbly. Let cool 10 minutes before serving to let fruit set.

Shopping List:

  • 4 Ribeye steaks (or other)
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch collard greens (or spinach)
  • 4 large baking potatoes
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 apples
  • 1 cup blackberries

Also: crushed garlic, pepper, balsamic vinegar, honey, sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, lemon juice, coarse salt


Spent nearly all the day long on this.  It’s been fun, the smell is wonderful, but I’m pretty sure I won’t be doing this again.  Kroger has Heinz ketchup arrayed by the yard.  This is good, and we used Splenda instead of sugar, and there aren’t any preservatives and yada yada yada.  I reduced 4 apples, 3 onions, 5 cups of Splenda, 1 quart of apple cider vinegar, and 8-10 pounds of tomatoes to make 3 cups of ketchup.  My 12 quart sauce pot was over half full of juice and apples and onions and spices.  I did lose some solids when I forced the ketchup through a sieve twice.  Maybe a cup, and left some more on the sides of pots when I downsized during the sieving.

3 cups.

Used this recipe times four.

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Chili Beans

Been having fun canning tomato sauces so I decided to branch out just a little bit.  Took a couple of pounds of dried beans, a pound each of red and black beans, and set them to simmering.  When they got soft I dumped most of the water and started ladling in tomato juice from the latest bucket of tomatoes.  Added garlic and chili powder, ancho sauce and some adobo sauce, some red pepper flakes, a touch of ground cayenne, some black pepper and some salt.  That’s been on a low flame all afternoon with the occasional addition of another ladle full of the ever thickening tomato juice.  Last thing to go in was a good amount of sliced pickled jalapenos.  When the quart jars are done in the dishwasher I’ll spoon the beans into them and fire up the pressure canner.

TaMara’s Fault Entirely

Her tomato cucumber salad looked so good I made a stab at one.  Mercy me it was so good.  Used the last of the feta, we were working on a 2 pound brick.  I wondered if we would use it all before it went bad.  Not really sure how long it will keep but the answer to that seems to be longer than we can go without eating it all up.  A happy state of affairs.

Along with the feta I went with a commercial ranch type salad dressing rather than make something up for myself.  This one was ranch with bacon bits.  More bacon would have been a very good idea.

Breakfast Seduction

These fritattas are so good I’m thinking they are all named Mrs Robinson.  So easy and so good.


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Hummingbird Bush

We were sitting out on the porch today watching the hummers flit about when I noticed 5 or 6 sitting in the viburnum bush behind the feeders.  I’ve seen them go in and out of there without thinking much about it.  The sight of so many sitting in such a small part of the bush was what got my attention.  I went and put on the longest lens I own and dragged the old tripod out.  Had some fun tho I didn’t get any really great pictures.  The depth of field is so shallow  that rarely could I get more than one hummer in focus, and that as much by accident as anything.  Trying to get the best focus “on average” means nothing is very sharp.  Oh well.

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