Two delicious meals from one

February 24, 2014

Potato and Pork Curry

I love it when recipes come together so easily. A couple of weeks ago, I was looking for a simple meal that wouldn’t take any time to prep. I actually had the luxury of time for it to cook, but I needed to be taking care of other things around the house, so the situation called for something that didn’t need baby sitting and would get me to work ASAP. Usually my go to in this situation is a roasted chicken, but I’ve made quite a few of those lately, so I turned to the cookbook Rôtis for some inspiration.

While I love this cookbook, I wasn’t too hopeful about finding a recipe I could make as most of them, though they need little prep, usually require forethought because the recipes have wonderful marinades. To my surprise, I stumbled upon a recipe for roast pork with lemongrass and tea that required no marinade, 15 minutes of prep, and about two hours to cook. Sold! Off to the store I went. (more…)

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Hoppin’ into the New Year

December 28, 2013

Hoppin John

Hoppin’ John is one of my favorite dishes, and it’s something that really shouldn’t be confined just to the first day of the year. For those of you who have never heard of Hoppin’ John, it’s a traditional Southern dish made with rice and black eyed peas, and when eaten on New Year’s Day, it is supposed to bring good luck and prosperity for the year. It is generally served with greens. The black eyed peas are supposed to resemble coins, and the greens add to the year’s prosperity and wealth due to their green color (you know, the color of money). Sometimes cornbread also gets into the action, given its golden color (again, the color of a different kind of money). While I’m not sure about all that, I am sure that creamy black eyed peas mixed with the saltiness of bacon and spiced up with some andouille and pepper makes taste buds happy and fills up bellies. (more…)

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Chicken and rice soup, with a ginger kick!

October 7, 2013

Chicken and Rice Soup

At the end of last week I shared with you what is quickly becoming my favorite roast chicken recipe, and I promised a follow up post with a chicken soup that could be made with the leftovers, if you had any. While you could just as easily make a traditional chicken noodle soup following the same instructions, I decided I wanted to give my soup a little kick this time around with a few Asian flavors – ginger, lemongrass, and just a hint of Thai chile. It sounded like the perfect match for a chicken and rice soup, and I agree even more so with that sentiment now that I’ve devoured a large potful of it. (more…)

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Pineapple Fried Rice

July 12, 2013

Pineapple fried rice

Lately I’ve been on a bit of a tropical kick, so I’ve had more than my fair share of pineapple hanging out in my fridge. As I grew tired of enjoying the sweet flavors, I happened to have a bit of leftover rice hanging out in there too, and I decided to try my hand at pineapple fried rice. A hint of sweet, a lot of savory, and just the right amount of salty with the ham and soy sauce makes this recipe tick all the right boxes for me. (more…)

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The pressure cooker diaries: Red beans and rice

May 20, 2013

Red Beans and Rice

Something I’ve had my eye on for quite a while now is a pressure cooker. Yes, like most of us, my mom and grandmothers had an ancient version that sits on the stove top, sputtered around with this funny metal thing on top that spouted steam, and quite frankly sounds like a scary pain in the rear to use with all the caution needed to ensure it doesn’t explode whatever food you’re cooking all over the kitchen, the hot stove, you, guests, etc. So while I was intrigued by being able to shave hours of time off my cooking, I still couldn’t quite pull the trigger on buying such a monstrosity.

Then I discovered the electric versions. Still, I couldn’t pull the trigger. Another large item that does just one thing. One thing maybe well… I wasn’t sure. Since it wasn’t like my mom’s, and like my grandmothers’, maybe it didn’t quite work as well. So I continued to put off the purchase.

Then, then I found out there were units that pressure cooked and slow cooked. A slow cooker is another item that I have put off buying, mainly because I’m super-paranoid about the idea of leaving food cooking while not at home (i.e. the way slow cookers are marketed – “Come home to a heavenly meal!”). But I must admit, occasionally I think I want one, and that I should quit being so paranoid. At the least it might be handy on those work-from-home days or the weekends when I’m around. Though, really, wouldn’t my dutch oven suffice.

I digress. I settled on a pressure cooker – the Nesco PC6-25P 6-quart electric programmable pressure cooker (isn’t that a mouthful?). I unearthed it from its box, cleaned it up, then tried to decide what on earth I should make that needed to be cooked quickly. My initial foray was a pulled pork, which did work out quite well, if not missing a bit of the smokiness I would expect. Then I moved onward and upward to beans. How I hate soaking beans the night before! This would change everything for me. Especially since the manual said the beans would cook in 5 to 7 minutes. (more…)

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