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This is one of those recipes that comes about based on the ingredients you have left in your fridge, and it is magic. Tonight was my second time attempting this dish, and fortunately I came across a recipe on Kayotic Kitchen a while back that helped me refine the steps a bit. I’ve thrown together a dijon & sour cream based sauce a couple of times, but Kay’s addition of paprika really brought the flavor up a few notches. Also, her photos are much lovelier than mine! One of these days I’ll get a real camera and give up on these iphone pics… I’ve also done this dish without the chicken – it can easily be made vegetarian by removing the chicken, doubling or tripling the mushrooms, and substituting a few other ingredients. Any way you do it, it whips up easily on a weeknight!

Dijon Chicken Stroganoff
adapted from kayotic kitchen

1 pound chicken, sliced into small strips
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp paprika powder
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp dijon mustard
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tbsp olive oil
freshly ground pepper
kosher salt
4 tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 cup uncooked rice
.
Prepare rice as directed.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large saute pan and cook the chicken until tender, about 8 minutes. The chicken shouldn’t brown. Remove the chicken strips from the pan and set aside. Heat one more tbsp olive oil and saute the bell pepper and onion for 3-4 minutes before adding the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms have softened, then add the garlic. Cook for an additional minute, stirring occasionally. Add the flour, stir and cook for a minute to neutralize the rawness. Pour in the chicken broth, stir well, add the chicken strips and bring it all to a boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer without the lid on for 5 minutes. Add the paprika powder, dijon mustard and sour cream, stir and simmer for another 5 minutes. Let sit a few moments to thicken.
Serve over rice and with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

One of the things I crave constantly is Chinese food, but I have not yet mastered the wok, and so that leaves out… most of my favorite dishes. Except fried rice! Seems to be the only thing I can manage so far. An Asian cooking class is first on my list of  to do’s, just after I brush up on my knife skills.
Here’s a quick simple recipe that can be altered a thousand different ways. We usually just mix up the veggies based on what’s in the fridge.

image via veggiebelly

Egg Fried Rice
adapted from stonesoup

3 cups pre-cooked rice (preferably a day or so old)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons soy sauce, plus more to taste
1 small onion, diced
1 10 ounce package frozen mixed vegetables
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup sliced green onion

Cook the frozen vegetables according to the directions, set aside. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and saute the onion until soft, about 8 minutes. Set aside with the vegetable mix. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, again over medium-high.
Add the egg and toss for about 30 seconds so it starts to cook. Then add the rice and continue to stir fry until the rice is heated through and the egg is cooked. Toss with the vegetables you’ve set aside, and any other pre-cooked additions. Stir in the soy sauce and taste. Add a little more if needed.
Top with sliced green onions.

I have a number of goals this year, but my only true resolution is to get back to eating better on a regular basis. What does eating better mean for me? Less meat, particularly red and pork (but less meat overall), less dairy, more greens, and this year I’m hoping to add less gluten to the list of eating habits I’ve conquered. With that, I bring you a meal with both meat and dairy! Heh.
When the husband put risotto on his list of dinner ideas for the week, I groaned. “But it says ‘No Fuss Risotto!’ ” he cried. “Risotto is always fuss!” I retorted. Although, I will admit, I now know this recipe is much less fuss than most. Much less constant attention, and a bit more watching the clock. Oh yes, and a bit less cheese than I’ve added in the past.
Lighter, friendlier, and my definitely new favorite risotto.


image by Christine’s Cuisine

Risotto with Leeks and Chicken
via The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook

5 cups chicken broth
2 cups of water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 12 ounce bone-in split chicken breasts, trimmed and cut in half length-wise
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 leek, white and green parts only, chopped finely
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt and Freshly ground pepper

Bring the broth and water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium low to maintain a gentle simmer.
Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until just starting to smoke. Add chicken, skin side down, and cook without moving until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook the second side until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to the saucepan of simmering broth and cook until chicken registers 160 degrees, about 15 minutes.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter into the now empty Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks and 3/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the leek is softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until grains are translucent around the edges, about 3 minutes.
Add the wine and cook, stirring continuously until fully absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir 5 cups of the hot broth into the rice, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until almost all liquid has been absorbed and the rice is just al dente, 16 to 18 minutes, stirring twice during cooking.
Add 3/4 cup of the hot broth to the risotto and stir gently and constantly until the risotto becomes creamy, about 3 minutes. Stir in the spinach and Parmesan.
Remove from heat, cover and let stand 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove and discard the skin and bones from the chicken and shred the meat into bite-size pieces. Gently stir shredded chicken, remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, parsley, chives and lemon juice into risotto. To loosen the texture of the risotto, add the remaining broth mixture to taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

 

I’ve been fighting off various colds and all sorts of uck every since we got home. I’ve come to realize how rough travel can be on the body. All I’ve been craving is healthy, hearty, comforting meals. Enter Pinterest. I stumbled across a fantastic recipe from the Cookin’ Canuck and adapted it to what we had laying around in the fridge. And because I love to add a little wine to everything.

Veggie Ragout
Adapted from the Cookin’ Canuck

5 tablespoons of olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves (or 2 teaspoons of dried, if that’s what you have)
12 oz mushrooms, sliced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup white wine (I used a Riesling)
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
28 oz can of diced tomatoes
14 oz can of cannellini beans
1 cup brown rice
2 1/4 cups water

In a medium sauce pan, the water, rice and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Bring to a simmer. Cover, turn to low and let it cook for 45 minutes.
Heat the other 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan set over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes.
Add the mushrooms, garlic, wine, thyme, salt and pepper and cook over medium, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are tender, about 15 minutes.
Add tomatoes and juices and cook until the mixture starts to thicken, about 10 minutes.
Drain and rinse the beans well. Stir in the beans and cook until beans are warmed through, about 5 minutes. Serve over the rice.