Thursday, May 15, 2014

Enchilada Gravy Remix

I felt like remixing the enchilada gravy and rice recipe to reflect my recent cravings: cilantro and lime.

2 C (dry) jasmine rice
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 TBS olive oil
3 large chicken breasts (boneless, skinless), diced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can cream of chicken soup (make your own if you need to be dairy free, like me)
1 7oz can salsa verde
3-4 TBS cilantro paste (I buy a tube in the produce section of my grocery store)
4-5 TBS lime juice
Crushed red pepper
Garlic powder

I put the rice (and necessary water) in my rice cooker with the garlic cloves and a dash of salt and pepper.

Sauté the onion and pepper until soft. Add the chicken, and season with a few dashes of the spices (easy on the crushed red pepper if you want it less spicy). When the chicken is nearly cooked add the black beans and a splash of lime juice. When the chicken had cooked through, add the salsa and cream soup. Stir until well mixed and let simmer for about 5 minutes.

Once your rice is done, add the cilantro paste, a few tablespoons of lime juice and extra salt (to taste), stir well. Savor how awesome it tastes, then remind yourself that you aren't just eating rice for dinner.

Mix the rice into the chicken gravy, or serve the gravy on top on the rice.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Brazilian Black Beans and Rice

this recipe comes from my friend, Miriam, who is from Brazil.

My friend, Miriam, had our family over for dinner shortly after we moved to Charlotte. She is from Brazil, where they eat beans and rice very often. And that is what she served us for dinner that night. It was amazing! It makes sense that a Brazilian would cook some yummy beans. I was equally delighted at how delicious -my- beans turned out when I followed Miriam's recipe!

1 lb. dry black beans
7-8 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS salt
1 tsp black pepper
seasoning salt, any other spices; as desired

Rinse the beans, and soak them for 4-8 hours. (I actually didn't rinse the beans before soaking, I just drained the soaking water off before I cooked them.) Place beans in a pressure cooker, then fill the cooker with water until about 1/2 full...but not more than that! Place on medium high heat and cook for 25 minutes once the pressure cooker starts rattling. Remove from heat (place in cool water, if you want) and let the pressure release on its own.

In a separate pot, saute the garlic and onion for about 2 minutes. Add the beans (and the leftover water they cooked in). Add salt, pepper, spices and simmer, covered, for about 5 minutes.

Note: Miriam told me that she sometimes adds little smokey sausages to the beans before pressure cooking them. I actually just cooked up some coined and quartered smoked sausage with my onions and garlic, and it tasted pretty good!

Miriam's Rice
1 C rice
2 C water
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp salt
2 TBS olive oil

Saute the garlic in the oil. Add the rice, stirring continuously, until the rice starts to turn clear. Add salt and water. Bring to a boil, cover, turn heat down. Let cook for 15 minutes, or until rice had absorbed all the water. Let sit for a few minutes. Serve with black beans.

Note: When I made this meal, I cooked brown rice in my rice cooker, and I didn't add any garlic. I am sure that it would have tasted even better if I had followed Miriam's recipe for her rice, but it was still pretty delicious all the same! Also, Miriam uses fresh garlic cloves. I didn't have any on hand, so I used minced garlic from a jar. If you aren't used to the strength of flavor difference, then you probably won't even be able to tell!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Yakisoba and Gyoza

My husband's family lived in Japan when he was born. They lived there for a few years, for the military, and learned to really love Japanese food and culture. One of their favorite food dishes is yakisoba and gyoza. When they introduced me to yakisoba, I was instantly in love [with the food...not my future husband]. I have since shared the meal with some of my family and friends, and I have yet to find anyone who doesn't like it!

Olive oil
1/2 head of cabbage
3-4 large carrots
Any other Asian-type vegetables you may enjoy (radish...especially daikon, peppers, bamboo, mushrooms, etc. We usually just have the cabbage and carrots on hand when we get the hankerin' for yakisoba, so that's usually all we ever put in it!)
2 "servings" of Nama Yakisoba noodles (each pack comes with 3 frozen servings and sauce base packs, we usually use two at a time)

(image courtesy of Google image search)

You should be able to find the noodles at any Asian food store, but my friends in Cincinnati can definitely find them at Jungle Jim's (opening another store in Eastgate, very soon)!

Heat a TBS or two of oil in a skillet (one with tall edges) on medium heat. Slice your carrots in thin sticks. Slice your cabbage in -very- thin strips. Put all the vegetables in the skillet and stir fry until tender crisp. Remove veggies and set aside. Add one TBS of oil per serving pack to the skillet. Add the noodles and cook for 30 seconds to a minutes. Add 1/4 C. water to the noodles (also per serving pack). Loosen the noodles and cook until all the water is gone. Turn heat to low and add seasoning packets. Once the seasoning has been well blended, re-add the veggies and stir some more. If you want to add some ham...or Spam (for a Hawaiian dish??), that would be tasty, too. But you can also leave that out for a vegetarian* meal. Get out your chopsticks and enjoy!

This section doesn't really require ingredients or instructions. Gyoza is the Japanese word for what we typically call "pot stickers". We usually buy pork (and leek...yum) frozen gyoza. At Jungle Jim's, it is usually just a shelf or two away from our yakisoba. Cook it according to the package (fill a skillet with just enough oil to cover the bottom, add the gyoza, cover, cook until heated through and the bottom is nice and crunchy. Some instructions tell you to add water...but I feel like that makes the gyoza too sticky and gooey, whereas I prefer the more crunchy kind.) It is a good idea to get the gyoza started before you start on the yakisoba, because it tends to take longer.

*Vegetarian note: I'm not certain on different vegetarian rules....and I'm definitely not certain on the different ingredients in the yakisoba sauce pack and different types of gyoza. But I believe this can be a vegetarian meal.