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Category Archives: Sides

Ginger Fried Rice

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Let the holiday gorge of Prime Rib, sugar cookies, and green bean casseroles come to end! I need a holiday food detox, STAT. I love the holidays but once a year is definitely enough and nothing has “end of the holiday’s” written all over it like fried rice. I’ll make this quick because I know most of you are probably still running around preparing for your New Years Eve’s festivities tonight.

This is a simple dish but not so simple that it makes you feel like you’re coming down too fast from all that decadent holiday food. Plus, be honest with me, are you one of those people that have so many leftover ingredients that you don’t know what to do with them? Don’t lie to me. I’ve seen some of your refrigerators and the game of Tetris you’ve been playing just trying to get the orange juice to fit back on the shelf. This is the answer. Fried rice is a versatile dish that is delicious no matter what you put in it.  I put bacon in this one, but if you’ve got some leftover scraps of chicken (or even prime rib if you can still stomach looking at it) dice it up and throw it in. If you’ve got a few handful of different vegetables that you don’t know what to do with – chop them up and throw those in too.  All of your friends will be wondering how you still have the energy to throw together such a fabulous dish when really all you’ll be doing is getting rid of all the extras you’ve been worrying about spoiling. No need to thank me. I’m here to help.

onion garlic ginger

I’ll be honest, I’ve only made fried rice a handful of times in my life but every time I do, I’m very happy. I did have to rewrite this recipe a little bit after making it this last time because I fell into what I like to call “The ginger trap”, that is to say, I always forget that a little ginger goes a long way. Really, it does. I love ginger and no matter how many times I try and remind myself to remember not to overdo it, somehow I still have a way of reasoning with myself that maybe just a touch more would be even better. That’s when it turns into ginger overkill. Maybe i’ll add “remember to take it easy with the fresh ginger” to my ever-growing and long list of new year’s resolutions that i’ve already penned for myself. Is it wrong to have more then one resolution? I’ve officially given up on my normal resolution of “stop biting my nails” seeing as I just can’t seem to make it happen, but I do have some other resolutions, both food related and non-food related that i’m looking forward to making a conscious effort to accomplishing. I hope everyone else is looking forward to the new year and everything that it has to offer. Hopefully together we can all make it even better then the last for not only ourselves but for the others around us as well.

scallions

Ginger Fried Rice

The secret to good fried rice is to use day old rice. I’m serious. So if you had a stir fry for dinner last night and have a bit of rice left over – this is a good way to recycle it. Rice preference is up to you – there are tons of different rices that you can experiment with to find your favorite. The other secret is to cook your eggs, and then remove them from the wok, adding them back later to keep them nice and fluffy throughout the dish.  Remember. Day old rice and remove your eggs. Got that? Good, let’s cook.

Ingredients:

  • 2 plus 1 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 5 eggs, beaten, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 5 thick-cut slices of bacon cut into lardons
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon of minced fresh ginger
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of dry sherry
  • 5 1/2 cups of white rice, chilled
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 5 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal.

Directions

1. In a large wok, heat 2 tablespoons of peanut oil until very hot. Cook the eggs until just one and then remove them to a paper towel lined plate, about 1 minute.

2. Add the bacon and cook until crispy, stirring occasionally, and remove from wok to the same plate as the eggs. Pour off the excess grease and wipe out the wok.

3. Heat the remaining tablespoon of peanut oil. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for about 45 seconds. Add the onion and cook until golden. Pour in the sherry and cook for about 3 minutes to burn off the excess alcohol and until the sherry is reduced by half. Add the rice and stir. Add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Stir. Add the half of the scallions, bacon, and eggs, and stir. Cook until rice is hot throughout then season with salt. Sprinkle with remaining scallions and serve.

Brussels Sprouts with Red Cabbage and Carrots

Brussels Sprouts with Red Cabbage and Carrots

Brussel Sprouts with Red cabbage and Carrots

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There’s 2 things you should know before I tell you this story. 1.) At first, you’re probably going to think it’s not the best representation as to why you should cook with brussel sprouts, but bare with me,  and 2.) If 8 year old me was a doctor, I’d be terrible at diagnosing.

So, here we go;

When I was in elementary school, I caught a really nasty flu.  I’m talking the kind that leaves you on the couch for a couple of days, with no school, and nothing to entertain you but The Price is Right and re-runs of Judge Judy. While that actually doesn’t sound THAT bad, trust me, it was. (I’ll spare you the details). To make a long story short, right before I had fallen ill, we had Brussels sprouts for dinner, and like any logical 8 year old, I blamed the vegetable for what ailed me. I was having none of it when everyone was trying to explain it to me that it was a virus that sweeping around my second grade classroom. That was preposterous.

Why, then, were all my classmates sick too? Let 8 year old me tell you why.

“Because their Mothers had obviously made them eat Brussels Sprouts too, duhhh.”

How stubbornly witty.

Luckily, I was resilient enough to recover from the Great Brussels Sprouts plague of ’95, but the damage was done, and some sixteen years later, I’m consumed with regret.

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Have you ever accused someone of something that wasn’t true? It’s a terrible feeling. I feel as if I’ve aided in convicting someone who had nothing to do with the crime.

Reparations must be made and so i’m here today to issue a public statement, that I, Karla, was wrong. Yes, I said it, I was wrong. (Don’t tell Jamie. I’ve built a solid foundation for our relationship on never admitting to being wrong.).

My official public service statement is as follows;

My sincerest apologies to the brussels sprouts family. They are extremely delicious and will in no way, or capacity, give you the flu.

Make this recipe.

Brussels Sprouts with Red Cabbage and Carrots

Brussels Sprouts are seriously one of my favorite vegetables (yes, i’ve had a complete change of heart). Not only are they really yummy but they’re really good for you too. A lot of the problem is that there are a lot of people who don’t know how to properly cook them. Overcooking them will give them a terribly tinny flavor and a mushy brussel sprout is just not worth the time. More often than not, I blanch my sprouts first, and then finish them in the pan. If you’re a cabbage lover (or you’re Polish, like me) you’ll love this simple recipe too.

Ingredients

2 cups of Brussel Sprouts halved or quartered, outer leaves removed

2 tablespoons of butter

3 medium sized carrots, julienned

1 cup of shredded red cabbage

half a cup of sliced onion

3 cloves of garlic minced

Directions:

Bring a small pot of salted water to  a boil. Blanch your brussels sprouts in the water for about a minute. Remove the sprouts and shock in a small ice bath or run them under cold water, set aside.

In a medium saute pan, sweat your onions and garlic over medium heat. Add the Sprouts and Carrots and cook for about 3-4 minutes.

Add the red cabbage and continue cooking for about 2 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.