Posts Tagged ‘rice’

Okay, so if you’ll remember from the last soup, I had leftover the liquid drained from a can of tomatoes.

Well, at that enchilada dinner, one of the participants made a pot of rice (with a seasoning packet) and heated up some kidney beans. Her rice came out perfectly, and I took home what leftovers there were.

And reheated them. All classy-like. But I’m telling you about it anyway because I’m proud of having essentially made dinner for free.

Leftover Beans & Rice

First, I wanted to soften the beans a bit more, so I put them in a small pot with just enough tomato liquid to cover, and cooked that for five or so minutes.

And then I went to look around for other flavors to jazz things up.

Oh, yeah, I have a jar of pipian, so I melted about half a teaspoon into the liquid.

And I have some Lime Cilantro salad dressing, which is more like a pesto than a salad dressing, from a local restaurant – so I added a dollop of that, too.

And then I added the rice.

And as everything came to temperature, I crumbled some dried oregano in it as well.

End result – delicious and filling dinner

I also still had about a third of the roasted butternut squash lingering in my fridge. What was I going to do?

So, again, I went poking for inspiration in the other bits and bobs in there. Aha! I had a small container of coconut chutney from take out dosas a friend had brought to my house. I can play with those flavors.

Coconut Chutney Butternut Squash Soup

I diced a yellow onion fairly small, and I cooked it in coconut milk (6.5oz).

I added some asafoetida and a fairly large amount of garam masala – somewhere around a rounded teaspoon. Oh, and 3 cloves of roasted garlic because it was there.

Once everything was aromatic, I added the butternut squash. I also put a Tablespoon of mustard seeds in a dry skillet to heat.

And about a quarter cup of finely shredded, unsweetened coconut.

Like the previous soup, this one also needed some kick, so I added some cayenne pepper. And some black pepper. And a little bit of cilantro. And adding about a teaspoon of brown sugar really made it sing.

Then I thinned the soup out with some vegetable stock.

Once the mustard seeds started to pop, stirred them into the soup as well.

Done! Rich, tasty, and a bit out of the ordinary.

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I was very lucky back in January to catch a twitter exchange between @HeleneDujardin (of Tartlette and http://www.helenedujardin.com/) and @glutenfreegirl (of Gluten Free Girl about Tamarind Rice.

The recipe comprised only two tweets:

recipe for 3 cups dry rice: 3tb oil, sautee 1/2 c raw peanuts, 1/4 unsalted cashews, 1 tb black mustard seeds, (cont)
2:12 PM – 19 Jan 11

1 tb cumin seeds, 3/4 tsp asafetida powder. When mustard seeds splatter, add 1 cup tamarind pulp, add to cooked rice mix
2:14 PM – 19 Jan 11

Now let me link you to a more detailed version of a Tamarind Rice recipe.

So back in January I favorited these two tweets.

And then in February I ended up with a lot of leftover basmati and looking for a way to package it into lunches I could freeze.

Only I had neither peanuts nor cashews.

But I did have pine nuts and hazelnuts. Okay, so whatever. I can try that. And I did – and I’ve kept making this weird version ever since.

Hazelnut Tamarind Rice

Soak a little less than a cup of hazelnuts overnight.

Put a teaspoon or so of oil in a pan and a palmful of mustard seeds. If you remember, add a teaspoon of asafoetida, but I often forget. Turn the heat to medium high, and if you are particularly clever you might cover it with a splatter shield or a clean aluminum takeout container.

Drain the liquid from the hazelnuts.

As soon as the first mustard seed pops, but before many do, add a bunch of pine nuts (depends on how many you have and how much leftover rice you are trying to use up – let’s say 1/3 cup for now).

Oh, and you can add a bunch of whole cumin seeds, too!

After just half a minute, start stirring the pan intermittently because your pine nuts are toasting and your mustard seeds are popping.

As soon as the pine nuts are almost fully toasted, add the drained hazelnuts. Hey! Water-laden things in hot oil! This will hiss and spit very satisfyingly. Don’t stand too close without a shirt on.

As soon as you get a whiff of things getting really toasty – that is, catching it right before your nuts burn – dump in your leftover rice.

Stir it about, heat the rice thoroughly and evenly mix in the nuts and seeds.

Take a jar of tamarind chutney, and pour some in, stir, pour some in, stir – until you like the color and it tastes good.

Done!

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Yet another delicious meal made out of scraps and leftovers in my fridge.

It all started with a text message to geeksdoitbetter asking: given that I have leftover rice and leftover raita in my fridge, how many more ingredients do you think I’d need to add before I could call it food?

Her reply was that all I’d need to do would be heat it up and add curry.

On further inspection, I noticed I also had some collard greens in need of attention, so a slightly more respectable meal was born.

Curried Collard Greens

Wash and cut up your greens (I went for roughly one inch square pieces).

Heat a teaspoon or two of oil in a pan. Add a Tablespoon of mustard seeds, and drape the pan with foil or a spatter guard because they goal is to have them pop.

Once the mustard seed start popping, add a teaspoon of cumin seeds and a generous sprinkle of asaphoetida.

After just a minute (or less) of toasting the spices, add the greens to your pan.

Sprinkle with a curry powder of your choice. I was hoping to make a dent in a jar of tandoori seasoning, but that ended up needing more fenugreek and turmeric to smell right.

Go ahead and throw the rice in, too, since this will add some moisture and heat to the leftovers (note: leftover rice can develop nasty food poisoning, so store/eat with care).

And then I added both leftover tamarind chutney (1-2 Tablespoons) and the leftover raita (1/2 pt container) and stirred them in until the collards had an even coating of a fairly dry sauce.

The end result wasn’t necessarily classy, but it was a decent and serviceably dinner. It ended up spicier than I was expecting, even.

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I’ve been trying to be thrifty this week. I had to buy tables so I could invite people over for a Passover seder.

But I lucked out last Friday to find leftover crudite from some workplace event put out in the staff room. And I had empty lunch containers at the right time, too. I acquired cauliflower, broccoli, grape tomatoes, orange bell pepper, mushrooms, baby carrots, and a decorative yellow chile.

Breakfast Mushroom Sautee

So the mushrooms were something I wanted to eat for breakfast. So I made half a slice of bacon, removed it to drain and left the fat in the pan to cook the rest.

I turned the halves of mushrooms into slices and then sliced up the yellow pepper and an onion. They went in onions, then mushrooms, then pepper. As it was cooking, I cut in some fresh rosemary.

And then I just stirred it until the mushrooms released liquid and then browned a bit.

I spooned this over top a fried egg on toast, and it was enough to have covered 2 or 3 eggs, but I still had my spoon and just went ahead and ate it directly without company.

I didn’t know what to do with the cauliflower, until I remembered the remains of the Saint Agur I’d been thinking would melt into a nice pasta sauce. I also had a random jar of hot pepper garlic pasta sauce that my parents hadn’t gotten around to using, so had passed on to me. And I’m just going to take a moment to give this a review on its own. That jar is not pasta sauce. It might be the random oddly-sized scraps of garlic and hot pepper (red, decently thick fleshed), having been left over from making a pretty jar of pickled peppers, that you decided to put into a jar with some oil… but it is not sauce. It’s a bit harsh. I have a very sturdy constitution, and it was threatening me with heartburn. So it’s an ingredient… a way overpriced one… but it’s not what it claims to be. Luckily, I was just using it to perk up the cheesiness – unluckily, I hadn’t realized how much oil I’d be unable to avoid adding on top of the cheese. Should you try this, just cut up some garlic and hot peppers on your own.

Spicy Cauliflower Penne

Start the water boiling and just start the cauliflower cooking when you put in the pasta – this isn’t going to take much more than the 9-10 minutes the pasta cooks. I think this dish is well suited to a whole wheat or spelt pasta.

Cut up an onion, and got that started in a teaspoon of olive oil.

Then I went through the cauliflower and barely broke it down even more – into a fork-friendly size – and added any extra stem bits into the pan right away to give them more time to cook. Then I turned the heat higher than medium and added the cauliflower, looking to get it softer and a bit browned without actually making it limp.

When the vegetables are two minutes from the right consistency, turn down the heat and add the cheese in clumps. Stir them in to melt evenly. And here I added some of the hot pepper garlic ‘sauce’ and stirred that in – about 2 teaspoons or so, draining out as much of the oil as possible. It benefited from some black pepper ground on top, too.

Then I used a slotted spoon to shift the al dente penne to the cauliflower and stir it in so that it was coated with sauce and absorbed that for the last bit of its time and sucked in flavor, too.

And then I ate most of the broccoli dipped into hummus, but I had a few pieces left when I was trying to decide how to use up the rest of the vegetables. While looking in the fridge, I noticed I still had a partial can of red thai curry paste waiting for use. Perfect! It was only after I started cutting that I noticed just hot very orange this dish was going to be – at least there were a few broccoli pieces to add a little contrast. Actually, that shocking bit of contrast looked amazing on the plate.

Carrot Red Thai Curry

Rice: 1/2 cup short grain rice; 1 cup water; pinch of salt; 1/2 tsp coconut cream – boil, reduce heat to low and cover for 20 minutes.

Curry – wait until there’s only 10 minutes (or less, but I have no patience) left on the rice before starting to cook.

6 ounce cans of coconut milk are the best thing for the single cook!

Shake the can until it sloshes (keeps the fat from sticking to the lid and sides) before opening, and then pour it into your pan to heat. Once the oil starts pooling at the top, add about a third of a pound of baby carrots, sliced in half.

Cook for a few minute before adding the curry paste – 2-3 teaspoons, stirring in and tasting between each addition.

Add the broccoli.

And then add a(n orange) bell pepper, cut into 1 x 4 cm strips).

Stir to coat and cook evenly. When the bell peppers just start to look no longer raw, take them off the heat and you’re ready to plate.

This made two portions.

I’d put the second portion in my freezer and gone out to the porch to eat, when one of my new neighbors came by and asked if I’d made enough for two since she was very hungry. I’d expected her to end up disappointed either because of the lack of protein or the spiciness level, but she came back full of compliments with my container empty.

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9
Nov

Ghost Chili Breakfast

   Posted by: Livia    in breakfast, Challenges, course, experiments, Food, Marx Foods

So I have these insanely hot peppers to test (see previous entry for full disclaimer about free peppers), and I don’t actually have any friends who will eat spicy foods with me. They sometimes have difficulties with black pepper.

I solved that by putting out a call on the internet to find local people who were excited by spicy food. And this morning I got to meet a lovely person with a delightfully high heat tolerance (who happened also to know two of my pre-existing friends).

We met for breakfast.

Fried eggs were just as tasty on the second go through.

The sweet potatoes were amazing! They didn’t get as caramelized as I expected, and the heat ended up being surprisingly mild. I think I might try candying the sweet potatoes, instead of glazing, just to see what happens.

The butters got approval (as did my homemade bread), and she preferred the honey butter on general principles of texture.

And then I started to improvise.

I picked some of the (bountiful and thriving) chard from my garden and prepared my Kenyan greens recipe, but with some hot pepper sliced in… and that was too hot. Unpleasantly so, without adding anything to the flavor. But once I picked the pieces of pepper out, it was pretty tasty – so perhaps just adding a chunk of pepper while cooking and then removing it.

And then I had the lovely stems left, so I made some fried rise with an onion, chard stems, diced carrot, leftover brown rice, finely sliced ghost chili, and a few drops of oyster sauce for moisture. It received approval from my guest, and I added some roast pork leftovers to it as I packed it up and froze it into lunch portions.

And I sent her home with the spicy truffles, so I haven’t heard back yet. The filling was right on the edge of okay for me, so I’m hoping they end up better once they have another layer of chocolate. I only had time to coat three of them, though, so my taste has to wait until tonight. I did learn an unrelated lesson about truffles, though – using a lower milk fat dairy option for the ganache center (the store was out of heavy cream) really makes a noticeable and unpleasant difference to the texture. I won’t be doing that again.

Note: Marx Foods did provide the ghost chilies to experiment with for free. They did not, however, influence my impressions of the product.

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29
Jun

Food from nothing

   Posted by: Livia    in dinner/lunch, economics, Food, friendly, Recipe, vegan, vegetarian

For some reason, when I was getting ready to go to a conference last weekend I decided that I absolutely could not leave any perishables in my house. I did this crazy ramping up of cooking everything that I usually only do before a big trip.

I made a couple dodgy canning adventures, which I need to get someone with more sensitive taste buds than I to evaluate – lime coconut marmalade, roasted garlic white wine mustard, caramelized cherry jam, pickled onions (seriously – couldn’t leave any perishables for some weird compulsive reason), pickled carrots, and a few other things.

And then when I came back, it was hot. And I just never got the motivation to buy more perishables.

But that’s okay – I have a well stocked pantry. But it ends up being the kind of thing where you look at your shelves and think, “Gah – I have all these ingredients, but I’ve got nothing to eat.”

Food from Nothing

Part 1: Rice

Pulled out some white rice, measured out a quarter cup for a single serving.

Found some lime cilantro dressing left over from a take out salad from a local Mexican restaurant – actually more like pesto than your average dressing. Added all of that – let’s say 2 tablespoons – and counted that at the fat and salt.

And then I added slightly less than 1/2 a cup of water because of the volume of the dressing.

Part 2: Beans

Rice and beans make a complete protein, so that’s clearly the next place to look. Aha – a can of black beans. Given a choice between Hanover and Goya, I prefer Goya’s canned beans (this is a relatively new discovery for me).

So I dumped the whole can into a pot and turned on the heat.

Since that wasn’t enough like food, I looked around for some further seasoning. I found the last tablespoon from a can of red curry paste. Perfect – dumped that in, and I let it simmer down to be a thick sauce holding together mushy beans.

Part 3: Assembly

20 minutes later – everything is cooked.

I pulled out a tortilla, heated it in a skillet, and then wrapped up some of the rice and some of the beans. I didn’t have a cheese that would go with the thai curry flavor, but maybe one of the harder Mexican fresh cheeses crumbled on top would have been good. But I just made burritos out of just rice and beans.

All in all – quite successful.

I used all of the rice over 2-3 burritos, and I had black beans as leftovers for a couple more meals.

I’m not tagging this gluten free friendly because even though it would be easy to leave off the tortilla or use a corn one, I found my flour tortilla in integral part of tying everything together. Your mileage might vary.

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1
Apr

Cobbler-esque

   Posted by: Livia    in course, dessert, experiments, Food, friendly, gluten free, Recipe, vegetarian

I’ve always refused to look in a cookbook for a recipe for cobbler or crisp or anything that is pretty much baked fruit. It’s so easy, it should just be intuitive.

And I’m sure no one is surprised that my results have usually be disappointing. Well, no one other than me. It’s always a surprise.

So there I was with a package of blueberries from a month ago that wasn’t moldy or rotten, just a bit wrinkled, and nothing to do with it other than some kind of baked fruit joy.

So I got out two ramekins. And a tart green apple.

I diced the apple, and I added half to one ramekin and half to the other. Then I picked through the blueberries and split them evenly between the ramekins, too.

Also, for added complication, I wanted a lot of flavor out of as few calories as possible, so I did not put a pat of butter into each of these. Nor did I add a lot of sugar.

I added to each about half a teaspoon of vanilla sugar from Marx Food*, a healthy dash of Korintje cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.

And then that was it for the first one, and it was ready to pop into the oven.

For the second one, I tried a crust.

I mixed together 2 heaping teaspoons of old fashioned rolled oatmeal, roughly the same quantity of leftover cooked brown rice, 1 heaping teaspoon of Trader Joe’s whole wheat baking mix (think Bisquik), and half a teaspoon of Demerara sugar. Mix together first, then spread over the top of the fruit.

And then I baked it for a while in a 350F oven. I didn’t time it, just kept peeping at it while I was cooking something else. I’ll guess they stayed in for about half an hour.

results – crustless
It was tart!

But I’d spent the cooking time also looking through my Weight Watchers cookbook for light dessert recipes, and I’d come across a beverage with added lime juice and I hadn’t noticed that it was a drink at first. And that just seemed right.

So I tried adding lime juice to the already tart baked fruit. And it was amazing! It was a gooey, bubbly dessert that also felt refreshing. Would make again. Don’t know if my friends would like it – but a lump of ice cream on top would probably mellow it out nicely.

When I took the first one out, the crust still wasn’t looking like a cohesive crust. So, I sliced a thin teaspoon of butter off the stick and lay that on top to melt in. And that worked well.

About 10 minutes later, when I’d finished the first dessert (only took so long because it had needed time to cool down from molten), I pulled out the 2nd cobbler.

results – with crust
I loved this. The rice dried out a little and got crunchy, but I thought that was delicious. The topping was a good mix of crispy and chewy, and it had a lot of the richness I like even it is wasn’t packed full of butter. The exact same fruit ended up tasting not nearly as tart with the starchy topping.

So – FINALLY – I’ve had a random experiment with cobbler turn out as joyous as I’d hoped.

*After I reviewed the Black Garlic the sent me for free, they sent me a mix box (related to a mix tape, I’m sure) of more things to try. Also for free. There was not any expectation of more fun from the first experiment, but there is a bit of a relationship now. And now a review of their vanilla sugar:

I have a friend who regularly orders vanilla beans from Penzey’s and makes her own vanilla sugar from scratch. In most cases, when given a choice between regular sugar and the vanilla, I prefer the plain. In fact, I’d pretty much only use it as a substitute for vanilla extract, which I don’t keep on hand either. No, I don’t do much baking. But this seemed a perfect time for a bit of extra.

They use a fine sugar, which is almost a confectioners sugar. I don’t know if it’s thicker because it’s a different grade or because of the additional vanilla, but it seemed a slightly different texture. Oh, hey – there’s a picture/explanation on their website. I think I like their sugar better for just popping on my tongue… not that I did that a lot. :) But I don’t know that there’s much functional difference in a setting where you can’t enjoy the texture. It would make a lovely dusting for a chocolate bundt cake.

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12
Jun

Miscellaneous root vegetable cottage pie

   Posted by: Livia    in non-vegetarian, Recipe

This isn’t so much a recipe as a narration. I accumulated food, and then I ate it.

So there was someone at the farmers’ market selling an assortment of intriguing root vegetables in early summer – woo! So I ended up with a parsnip, 2 rutabagas, and 1 celeriac. I also had some carrots hanging around. And then one of my co-workers came in with a bag of turnips from her CSA farm share that she didn’t want, and I yoinked it because they looked arrow-shaped and somehow much more appealing than your standard turnip at the store.

And then the root vegetable sat for almost a week because it was summer, and not really root vegetable time. I saw a post on roasted root vegetable pizza over at Straight From the Farm, but I do not posses pizza-making mojo, so instead of making it I forwarded the link to a friend who does bake well (and owns a pizza stone) to see if we wanted to make a project of that some time. That was not, however, scheduled in the near enough future to provide the fate of these tubers.

So I did the easiest thing possible – I cut them into chunks, piled them into foil packets (with some garlic cloves), and roasted them. One packet was seasoned with Penzey’s Turkish seasoning and the other one was Penzey’s fajita seasoning with some extra crappy paprika that I got from my supermarket when I ran out and think has red dye in it (and yes, I’ve bought better since, but I’m having trouble convincing myself to throw anything away unused). And I baked it on 350, but I didn’t really pay attention to how long – I think roughly the length of time it took to clean my kitchen and play a round or two or three of bubble spinner.

End result – the packet with the Turkish seasoning was delicious, and the packet with the fajita seasoning was just okay and kind of unimpressive. But I am really loving the Turkish seasoning – it was a freebie in with another order, but when I run out I’d buy more. But I had a lot of food in the house, so the tubers did not end up a meal on their own.

~*~

I also had leftover rice hanging out in my refrigerator. Rice is the one thing I have found, where your results are much better if you are cooking on an electric range.

So for this one – have one burner on high and one burner almost as low as it will go.

Add to your pot with a lid: 1 part rice (in this case, 1/2 cup), 2 parts liquid (in this case, the tail end of jar of salsa and enough water to fill up the rest of the 1 cup measurement), 1 teaspoon lipid (forgotten in this case), a pinch of salt, and anything extra (in this case, the pinched and powdered head of 1 clove, 1 teaspoon turmeric, and 3 dried tomatoes sliced into thin strips).

Put pot onto high burner, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir once, cover, and transfer to the low burner. Wait 20 minutes – and then you have perfect rice.

~*~

And then I had a cheap roast of beef. I cut it into thirds and only prepped part of it to be a real roast (embedded garlic cloves and rosemary and then froze it), but this part was sliced into thin strips against the grain (because otherwise this cheap meat will be tough and stringy).

I tossed the meat with a third of a taco seasoning packet my mother had bought in bulk from Amazon. And then I cooked it down quickly with some sliced onions and minced garlic and jalapeno (flesh only).

~*~

Cottage Pie

So then I pulled out my pie plate (the right size for how much food I had, if there had been more, I would have used a casserole dish – your call).

On the bottom, I lay out some thin slices of a very ripe tomato.

Over that, I layered a mixture of the beef and onions I’d cooked and the leftover rice with sundried tomatoes. I sprinkled over that the rest of the tomato, diced.

Then I heated up the roasted root vegetables and mashed them with some cream cheese and salt – and then spread that over top of the meat.

Baked at 350F until the top was getting nice and crusty.

And the end result was deliciousness and many leftovers turned into actual food and lunches.

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Okay, so after this weekend, I have a lot of meals ready to go:

already cooked
chili
mashed potatoes
coconut rice

thawed/thawing
vegetable lasagna
2 chicken leg quarters in an indian marinade

perishable
1 large sweet potato
collard greens (leftovers)
spinach
1 zucchini

Monday: George Takei talk
Chili
(buy more cheese)

Tuesday: not going to dance practice, possibly going to Film Festival closing night part 6-7pm
cook chicken
coconut rice
spinach or zucchini on the side

Wednesday: not watching Lost, first night of Passover
cook greens with bacon rind (for Passover)
bake sweet potato
leftover chili

Thursday: second night of Passover
vegetable lasagna (buy cheese)

Friday: third night of Passover
mashed potatoes
cook greens with bacon rind (for Passover)
any leftover veggies

Wow – I totally lose at Passover.

Now do I want to buy a box of Matzoh so I can look pious in front of my two jewish coworkers? Sliced ham and mayonnaise is really good in a matzoh sandwich.

ETA: And we have Godiva chocolate at work today because it was a gift from the dental librarian. Later in the week, my boss has promised truffles because she has to clean them out of her house before Passover – score!

ETAA: Why don’t I also give you some recipes?

Chili
I make chili from a mix. But it is the best packaged chili mix ever because it doesn’t come out as a single powder. Instead, they put each spice in its own little packet.

I always use chunks of meat instead of ground beef. And I always have to add real onions and garlic.

Then, when I am adding the spice packets, I have started not using the salt packet and only adding a little salt by taste at the end. I’ll add extra black pepper, powdered thyme, worcestershire sauce, a bay leaf (removed later), and a pinch or two of sugar. This time, I also added a couple cap-fulls of Manischewitz wine.

Awesome

~*~

Coconut Rice
Yeah, I totally made this up with no idea whether it would work.

1 part long grain rice
1 part water
1 part (whole) milk
no butter
instead, a chunk of coconut cream, well – a chunk of the fatty solids on top and a dollop of the liquid below. Note – this is different from coconut milk
a pinch of salt
more sugar (about 2 tsp sugar/cup rice… but I didn’t measure)

cook.

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