Fried Rice

Fried rice is one of the easiest things, but be sure to use older rice that has dried out some.  This lunch was the happy result of finding a baggie of rice in the back of freezer beyond during an exploration this morning.  I also used up a single link of garlic pepper sausage left over from a breakfast a few days past.  Saute the sausage or ham or whatever in sesame oil, add the peas and carrots and chopped green onions and sweat those for a few minutes, add the rice and warm that up.  Lastly stir in some oyster sauce and a little soy sauce.  I usually add in some scrambled egg but this time I didn’t.The chicken was dredged in flour, fried, and set aside.  It has a sauce of honey, garlic, ginger, chili paste, and soy sauce that was simmered to warm and reduce.  Add the chicken to it and toss to coat.  The green beans were steamed and chilled, then re-warmed in a pan with garlic and sesame oil.

Advertisements

Fried Chicken and Green Beans

Chicken thigh dredged in flour > egg > panko and fried till golden, then baked @350 till its juices ran clear.  Green beans were steamed for 6 minutes and then chilled in ice water and set aside.  For plating they were tossed in hot oil until warmed through.  This is my new favorite method for green beans.  Season with salt and whichever other flavor suits you.  Lemon is classic, as is garlic.  These were tossed with sesame oil.

The little side bowls were KFC recipe slaw and potato salad.

Roasted Chicken

This is another of the beer-butt roasted chickens.  I cut up those potatoes and added them into the bottom of the pan the chicken was roasting in so they could cook in the chicken juices.  It was a 400 oven so I waited for the last 30 minutes to put them in.

The green beans were steamed for 6 minutes then cooled in cold running water.  They were warmed for service in sesame oil in a hot skillet while the chicken was resting.

Mmm… Meatloaf Dinner

Your basic meatloaf, half beef and half Italian sausage with milk and crumbs and Parmesan and herbs and spices.  Ketchup with brown sugar and worcestershire sauce for the topping.  There’s onions and peppers in there.  Hard to go wrong but it can be done so don’t take that as a challenge.Mrs J was wanting mac and cheese and green beans because that is what you serve with meatloaf in these enlightened environs.A good time was had by all.  Gabe got some cheese sauce flavored pots and casseroles to lick out and he did a very good job.  Such a good boy, yes he is!

Sticky Legs

Doesn’t roll off the tongue like sticky wings but they are pretty good.  I noticed that the drumsticks were cheaper than wings so I said “why not”?  They got the two-step treatment, steaming then baking in the sauce.They spent 20 minutes in the steamer then I managed to crowd the entire batch into one pan with the sauce.  These baked at 425 for 25 minutes then were turned over to get color on the other side.The sauce for these was me winging it:  Honey, soy sauce, black vinegar, sesame oil, sweet soy sauce, rice vinegar,  fresh grated ginger, and chili garlic paste.We bought a big bag of green beans and had a few of them stir fried like those in a Chinese buffet line.  Cook, covered, in oil and a splash of water for 5 minutes, then add oyster sauce, soy sauce, and a teaspoon of sugar and toss to coat.

Tidbits

Tomatoes!  So many!  The weather has been playing havoc with the yields, it may have slowed but it hasn’t stopped them.  Brings up the dilemma faced by most all tomato growers:  What to do with them all.Everyone loves the BLTs, what we have here is a TLT.  Tuna salad is a summer favorite of ours: Tuna, mayo, pickle relish, chopped celery, chopped egg, chopped green or red bell peppers, minced onion, and this one even has shredded cheddar.The classic summer salad of sliced cucumbers and tomatoes.  I make a dressing of 2 parts water to 1 part rice vinegar, a splash of canola oil, and seasoned with salt and pepper.  If you like you can add a bit of granulated garlic and a dried herb or 2, basil and thyme or oregano.  It’s better the next day after an overnight in the fridge.Macaroni and tomatoes is one of those simple dishes that are so good you should make some right away.  Drop the tomatoes into boiling water for a minute then transfer them into an ice water bath to take off the skins.  Chop them up and simmer them for a half hour in a pot in which you have softened some minced garlic in a little oil.  Garnish with fresh basil and eat hot or cold.Green beans boiled with potatoes in ham broth is another summer favorite.  We use cured chunks of ham or smoked ham hocks.  Boil the ham and a sliced sweet onion in chicken stock for a few hours then drop in the potatoes.  We used fingerlings for this but any small potato will serve, or just cut bigger potatoes into smaller pieces.  Give the potatoes a head start because they will take longer to cook through, then add the green beans.  Don’t be afraid to cook the beans for an hour or more.  Cornbread is the perfect side.I did the sous vide ribs thing again, worked great again.  We ate gratin potatoes and baked beans with them this time.  Mrs J declared this “a full meal deal”.The potatoes were easy enough:  I sliced these with my mandoline with the skins on, then arranged them in a casserole alternating layers with sliced onions.  Pour on a cheese sauce and bake, covered for 45 minutes or so, uncover for the last 10-15 so the top browns.  I made this one with cheddar.This is a dish full of chicken and rice enchiladas in a tomatillo sauce.  It doesn’t look like much but it was tasty.

Southern Style Green Beans

20161104_1127471600x1200These are cooked for a long time over low heat – that’s what the “Southern Style” is all about.  This dish today was cooked with a cured ham hock, one of those we travel an hour or so north to get from a meat processor there.20161104_0921201600x1200This is part of one, it’s been simmering in water and stock with an onion for a couple of hours.  I didn’t see any of these out on display the last trip and asked for a couple.  They brought out two humongous hocks and my eyes nearly bugged out.  The guy asked, helpfully, if I wanted them cut up some?  I nodded yes and he took them to the saw and cut them each into three parts.20161104_1127161600x1200You have to make cornbread to eat with these beans – It Is Written.  To cook these it’s not so much a recipe as much as a method.  I start the hock early, then set it out to cool and add the beans to the water and chicken stock it simmered in.  Bring them to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for a couple of hours.  After the hock cools, remove the bones and skin and cut it up to add back, add potatoes a little later.  Those little baby potatoes I used take about 45 minutes to cook at a simmer.  I used salt, fresh ground black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper and granulated garlic to season these.

Beef and Barley Vegetable Soup

DSC_9314 (1600x1060)

JeffreyW makes mouths water with this photo of his Beef and Barley Soup (with bonus foccacia recipe here)

It has been unseasonably cold here. Today was the first day that I could actually open the windows. So soup seemed like a good idea over the weekend. Chuck roast was on sale for the amazing price of $2.99 lb. So I bought several large pieces, cut them up to dinner size and a couple pounds up for soup and stew. First up was this soup.

Beef & Barley Vegetable Soup

  • olive oil
  • 1 lb chuck, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 6 to 8 cups of water
  • 12 oz sliced carrots (frozen ok)
  • 12 oz green beans (frozen ok)
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp salt (more as desired. I use salt-free canned tomatoes, so I usually add more salt)
  • 2 bay leaves (remove before serving)

large saucepan

Heat oil in saucepan, sauté onions for 1 minute, add beef and brown on all sides, add garlic and sauté for 1 minute making sure not to burn the garlic. Add remaining ingredients** and bring to a low boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer for 40 minutes to 1 hour, until barley is tender.  Serve with biscuits or cornbread.

**Alternately – I blend tomatoes, and 6 oz of the carrots, 6 oz of the green beans, 2 stalks of the celery, 1 cup water into a smooth puree, to make a hearty base for the soup. Then I add the remaining veggies as directed above. I like the hearty stock.

Yum.