April 22, 2010

Vegetable Fried Rice

I could eat rice all the time. It is so versatile.  I love that you can just throw almost anything along with it and it works.  Growing up I rice a lot.   Fried Rice, Steamed Rice, Stir Fry on top of rice, etc.  Grandma Millie made steamed rice with almost every meal. Sometimes I miss being a kid and just having someone else do all the work in the kitchen.  Other times I am so glad I'm responsible and creative enough to make my own delicious meals. I thank my family for providing those childhood meals that I still think about sometimes miss.  I think my mom gets annoyed when I find out I don't really like certain things she cooks anymore and when I cook it, the dish turns out better. ha ha But it's their turn to sit back and relax while I whip up something tasty.  I love you Mom & Lola! (You can still make me fried chicken w/mashed potatoes and gravy anytime Mom!)

This is actually a healthy dish so I have a feeling this will be a part of the regular menu rotation.  I just have to watch the portions or it could get outta hand real quick!  I could probably manage to keep that up if I continue to go to kickboxing.  ;p

2 c steamed long grain white rice (prepared according to package)
1/3 c vegetable broth (I used chicken broth since that is what I had on hand)
3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp canola oil, divided
Cooking spray
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 garlic cloves, chopped

1/4 c thinly sliced green onions (2-3)
2 c mixed frozen veggies, thawed (carrots, peas, corn, green beans or your own personal favorites)

**I have found that if I cook my rice in advance enough it has time to cool down and not turn so sticky when I add to the pan with the other ingredients. I usually give it about 30-45 minutes to sit before I start prepping the other stuff.

Combine broth and next 4 ingredients in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk. Set aside

Heat 1 tsp canola oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.  Add beaten eggs; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until scrambled.  Remove egg from pan.

Heat remaining 1 tsp canola oil in pan.  Add rice; cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated.  Add vegetables, broth mixture, garlic and green onions; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.  Then add scrambled eggs and heat through. Enjoy!!

April 21, 2010

Peanut Butter Nutella Brownies

Since I have some free time on my hands, I decided to bake something that my husband would enjoy.  He's a huge fan of Peanut Butter and Nutella.  What do you get when you mix the two things together??  Greatness dancing in your mouth!  I watched them closely so they didn't overbake as I had not tried this recipe before.  It was worth it as they came out perfectly moist.  He came home with dinner and dessert waiting on him. 

1/2 c butter, melted
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 c flour
1/4 c cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 tbsp (1/4 c) peanut butter
4 tbsp (1/4 c) Nutella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper.  

Measure the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into a small bowl and whisk to combine. 

Stir the sugar into the melted butter.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients and mix to combine. 

Put the Nutella and peanut butter in a small bowl and microwave until runny. (about 30 seconds)  Fold into brownie mix.  If you barely mix it you will have delicious ribbons of the sauce throughout.  

Pour mix into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until top forms a crust. 
** I baked for 20 minutes and kept checking every 5 minutes after that with a toothpick to make sure it came out clean.  I think it was done at 30 minutes but every oven is different. 

April 20, 2010

Japanese-Style Crispy Pork

First of all, my picture doesn't do this meal justice so I apologize. Thanks to the May edition of Food Network Magazine, I found this delicious creation.   It's basically schnitzel with a Japanese-style side. Now all I need to do is learn to make the "out of this world" creamy sauces like Jorg's Cafe Vienna and I'll have my own Award Winning Crème Schnitzel.  If you don't know what I'm talking about you must let me know and we will go immediately!  Wow, now I'm craving the Jager Schnitzel. Mmmm. But I'm so serious, if you haven't been there let me know and I will introduce you to heaven in your mouth x10.

1 lb thin-cut boneless pork chops or cutlets, trimmed
kosher salt
2 tbs rice wine, sake or sherry
1 1/2 tsp finely grated peeled ginger
2 medium cucumbers
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 large eggs
2 c panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
3/4 c cornstarch
Peanut oil, for frying
1/4 c tonkatsu sauce ( a sweet-spicy Japanese dipping sauce, sold near the soy sauce; or follow my recipe below to make your own)

If your pork is a little thicker than 1/4 inch, pound it thin with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer.  Season the pork with salt.  Mix the rice wine and1 tsp ginger and spread onto the pork.  Set aside.

Peel, quarter and seed the cucumbers; cut into 4-inch spears.  Toss with the sugar and vinegar.  Then toast the pepper flakes with 1 tbsp salt in a skillet over medium heat, about 4 minutes.  Set aside.

Beat the eggs with 1/2 c water in a shallow bowl.  PUt the panko and cornstarch in 2 separate plates or shallow bowls.  Dredge each piece of pork in cornstarch, dip in egg, then coat with the panko.  Heat 1/4 inch of peanut oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Fry the pork in batches until golden, 3-4 minutes each side.  Place on papertowel-lined plate.

Sprinkle the cucumbers with some of the pepper flake salt. 

Tonkatsu Sauce
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp water
remaining 1/2 tsp ginger

Mix together all ingredients in a small bowl.

Serve the sauce with the pork and cucumbers.