Saturday, January 31, 2009

Easy Fried Rice

I was sitting here tonight editing a friend's book and started getting the munchies. I made a roast beef wrap, ate a few bites and realized it wasn't what I wanted to eat. So I gave the rest of the wrap to a doggy and suddenly realized I was craving rice. I wanted to make something with the incredibly aromatic and yummy Texmati Basmati rice I had in my pantry. I Googled "easy rice recipes" and when I saw the words "fried rice" I knew that is what I wanted, one of my all time favorite foods. A perfect comfort food and good for you too! Now let me tell you that all those nutritionists out there claim that white rice is horrible for you and don't eat it. Well, they can go shove it. My botany prof in college is convinced that rice (white or brown) is an almost perfect food because of the high level of amino acids (and if you eat beans and rice, depending upon the type of bean, you can potentially have a complete protein, and this is a very, very good thing!). But I digress...

I have found the Texmati brand of Basmati rice (grown in Texas) has the most incredible aroma when toasted to a light golden brown and cooked. The air is filled with the scent of buttered popcorn. I've even seen Alton Brown suggest it as his rice of choice on Good Eats. Yay! So on to the recipe we go...


1 cup Texmati Basmati rice
1 Tbs Olive oil
1 3/4 cups water

1/8 cup vegetable or canola oil
3 Tbs seasame oil
1 yellow onion chopped (I prefer sweet Texas yellow onions)
2-3 cloves garlic chopped
1-2 cups frozen peas & carrots
2 eggs scrambled
1/4-1/2 c low sodium soy sauce

In a sauce pan over medium heat add the olive oil and rice, stirring rice to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, until rice is a light golden brown. Add water, heat until boiling, cover and cook for 13-15 min. (The package says 15 min but mine was done after 13, and make sure you open the lid away from your person, I did not do this and now have a nasty steam burn on my forearm!).

While rice is cooking in water, heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add veggie or canola oil and sesame oil, mixing together w/a spoon or spatula. Add onion and garlic, cook until onion is translucent then add frozen peas and carrots cooking until heated about 1-2 minutes. Push veggies off to side and add egg mixture. Scramble and once cooked, incorporate into veggies.

Now drizzle veggies with some of the soy sauce and mix until coated. Add 2 heaping spoonfuls (or spatula-fuls) of rice to skillet, drizzle with a little more soy sauce, mixing to incorporate and coat, and keep repeating until all rice is incorporated.

Let leftovers cool for about 20 minutes, place into a storage container and refridgerate. I would guess this is good in the fridge for up to a week.

Optional: Drizzle a little soy sauce or sesame seed oil on top of rice as garnish.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Rockin' Black Bean Chili

I love how recipes created out of scrounging tend to be some of the best. Tonight for dinner I made the most rockin' black bean chili. Here's what I used:

1 lb stew meat
olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper (I use McCormick Grinder, Black Pepper Medley)
onion powder
garlic powder
chili powder
3 chopped garlic cloves
1 chopped onion
2 beef bouillon cubes
heaping tablespoon adobo paste
1 can Rotel (undrained)
1 can fire roasted chilies (undrained)
2 cans black beans (undrained)
couple handfuls crushed tortilla chips
2-3 tablespoons lime juice

In my cast iron dutch oven, I cooked the meat with a liberal sprinkling of all the seasonings until it was mostly browned, then I added the onion and garlic and cooked until soft.

I then added the beef bouillon, adobo, Rotel, chilies, and black beans, heating until boiling, covered and reduced heat to low. It cooked for about 30 minutes before I added the tortilla chips to thicken the mixture, which I let cook for another 15-20 minutes to allow them to dissolve. About 10 mintues before serving I turned off the heat, added the lime juice, stirred to incorporate, and let the chili rest before serving. I topped with some grated mozzerella cheese I had on hand.

I would have taken a photo but we ate it all before I remembered to write down the recipe.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Music City Muse

So I now have another writing gig doing music reviews for The Music City Muse that my friend Mel Barnes started. I'm really excited about this opportunity to help fatten up my portfolio and hopefully one day actually have a paying job from home!!! The first reviews I'm working on are of the bands J Minus as well as Slander. I'll let you know when the first reviews are posted!