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Posts tagged ‘rice’

Chicken & Rice with Fruit Salsa

I’ve been on another peach eating binge. We bought some at a farm about 20 miles from here and they were very good, albeit not Georgia peaches. I used them to make one of my very favorite meals.

Here’s the recipe:

Grilled Chicken:

2 lbs Boneless, skinless chicken breasts

¼ cup lime juice

2 TBSP soy sauce

1/3 cup sugar

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

Fruit Salsa

2-3 medium peaches (plums, nectarines or grapes also work)

2 medium tomatoes

3-4 chopped green onions (be sure to get lots of the green part)

2 TBSP lime juice

½ tsp ground ginger

I clove of garlic crushed and finely chopped

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup sugar

This meat has to be started early in the afternoon which isn’t my strong suit, but fresh fruit sometimes inspires me to unusual feats!

A few hours before you plan to eat, the chicken breasts need to be tenderized with a meat mallet or similar device. I like to zip them into a plastic bag so that raw chicken juice doesn’t fly around my kitchen.

With a good pounding the breasts should flatten out considerably. Don’t skip this step. It really makes a difference in the tenderness of the meat.

Assemble the sweet tangy marinade with sugar, vinegar, lime juice and some soy sauce. If you have fresh limes, that’s obviously better, but we’re back to that planning issue!

When the marinade is ready, drop in the beaten chicken and make sure that it gets entirely dredged.

Cover the chicken and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours.

When the evening sun begins to cast a golden glow, it’s time to start on the salsa. (Perhaps that golden glow is just lousy photography, but I’ll go with it.)

The salsa gets almost the same marinade as the chicken, but without the soy sauce and it has some garlic and ginger thrown in.

Peaches are my favorite centerpiece fruit for this dish, but I’ve also made it with plums and they are an excellent substitute. I bet it would even be good with halved grapes.

Toss the chopped fruits and veggies in their marinade and make sure it all has a chance to sit for about 30 minutes before serving. The timing is just about perfect to pull the chicken out and get it started.

Grilling is not just for guys! My friend Kathy Madison taught me how to grill chicken breasts when we lived in Kansas and could see into each other’s kitchens for a year. She made it sound so simple that I had a hard time believing it would work, but it does – every time. Here’s how it goes: 1) Preheat the grill to medium high.

2) Throw on the chicken. Close the lid and wait seven minutes without opening it to poke, peek or prod. (Who wants to peek into an ugly grill like mine anyway!)

3) Open, turn the chicken over and quickly baste if desired. (I usually do drizzle on some of the remaining marinade.) Close and wait seven more minutes without opening the lid again. When the final seven minutes are up – it’s done. That simple.

Let the meat rest for a few minutes.

Then slice it into thin strips across the grain.

Pile the hot chicken on a bed of Jasmine rice and top it with the cool fresh salsa.

I’m sure that part of the reason I like this meal is that it’s very pretty, but it really is SO good!

Hope you enjoy!

Lisa

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Un-Sil’s Rice

When we first got married and lived at Fort Lewis, Ric was known as “the tall skinny guy” because he was 6’2″ and 135lbs. Our next door neighbor was a lovely Korean woman named Un-Sil who apparently took note of his physique and decided she would do her part to save him from starvation. She fed us for the better part of three years every time she was cooking enough to share, which was at least one-a-week. The meal that I think was basically her version of my propensity to serve spaghetti or tacos when I’m feeling lazy or uninspired was a rice dish that she always apologized for as “just some rice”. We loved it, craved it, and celebrated every time it showed up on our doorstep with her sweet shy smile! She offered vague directions on how to make it back then, but since I didn’t actually get serious about learning to cook until a few years later it took me a while to figure out how to make something pretty close. I hope you’ll enjoy what has re-emerged as a favorite in our family – even though it does result in a lot of pot washing.

You’ll need rice, eggs, fresh carrots, frozen peas, rouladen beef, soy sauce and sugar. Notice that I’m following the vague recipe tradition…but I’m offering pictures.

The key to this being a quick meal is getting set up correctly before you start the rice. Then, it’s an intense project over the stove, but it only takes about 30 minutes.

Start by dicing some fresh carrots.

Toss them into a sauce pan and cover them with plenty of water because you’re going to eventually throw the peas in with them at the end. Bring the pot to a boil and then let it simmer while everything else is cooking.

Rouladen beef is cut in very thin flat pieces.

Cut it some more…into half-inch strips….

…then some more… into half-inch cubes. Toss those into a large frying pan on medium-high. Non-stick works best if you have that option. If not, spray the pan with non-stick spray but don’t use oil.

START both the beef and the carrots before you start the rice!

I use two cups for our family, cooked in four cups of water.

Crack eggs into a skillet coated with non-stick spray and turn it on medium-low.

Pour about ¼ cup of soy sauce into a dish.

Add an equal amount of sugar and stir it together. I usually have to microwave it to get the soy sauce warm enough to dissolve the sugar. Set it aside.

The meat needs to be “browned”, but as it starts to cook it ends up “boiling” in its own juice, which is not what you want.

When about this much juice has built up, remove it from the heat and drain the liquid.

Return the dry meat to the pan and keep going. I usually have to do this twice during the process.

Once it stops oozing its own juice and you’ve drained it one final time, give it a few minutes to do some actual browning- maybe two minutes on medium high. Then, it’s time to start adding the juice you’ve prepared.

Start by pouring in about half of the soy sauce and sugar mixture.

Stir to coat the meat.

Lower the heat to straight-up medium and keep stirring while the first portion of sauce reduces and gets absorbed.

By about this time, the eggs need a stir to start them scrambling.

Continue to gradually add sauce to the meat…

…until it’s all been poured in and mostly absorbed.

Add some salt and pepper to the eggs and turn them off before they over-cook.

The carrots should be tender at this point. Drop the peas in and bring the water back to a boil.

Drain the meat one more time and clean the pan up a bit with paper towel so that you don’t end up with brown goo in the rice at the end.

This was the absolute final outing for my strainer. I can’t remember how long I’ve had it, but I need a new one now. Look how the handle tore away from the metal. Sad.

I like to pile all of the other ingredients in together so that they keep each other warm and I can start the plethora of pans soaking.

The vegetables are ready to be drained as soon as the peas have had a minute or two of boiling.

A lid will help retain heat while the goodies wait for the rice.

When it’s finally done and fluffed,

toss in the waiting goodness and stir gently.

Ring the dinner bell, break out the chopsticks and dig in!

Molly’s Summer Spinach and Rice Salad

I still don’t have a kitchen of my own, so I’m living vicariously through those who do and apparently, I’ve also been pestering my friend Molly about helping me with this blog for long enough that she got serious with the camera in the kitchen. She sent me some summer salad pictures and recipes that look great! As a moving special, I’ll share them with you before I try them out in my own new kitchen – which I will be occupying on Friday!

The first recipe looks delicious and I have another one up my sleeve for later in the week, so stay tuned.

Here’s Molly….

SPINACH RICE SALAD

“Random Notes” – I don’t know when I last followed the directions exactly for this salad. Usually I double or triple and add ingredients until it looks and tastes right but this is the recipe my mom gave me. Amend as needed.

We always make the Italian Good Seasoning Dressing for the Italian dressing… using red wine vinegar for both the vinegar and water portion. I am sure another Italian dressing would be fine. I just can’t guarantee it. 🙂 Usually, I use regular Soy Sauce but less sodium was all I had…worked out fine. I have never used Minute Rice either…always long grain or Jasmine.

1 c. rice

1 T. soy sauce

1/2 c. Italian dressing

1/2 t. sugar

2 c. fresh spinach, cut in thin strips

1/2 c. diced celery

1/2 c. sliced green onion

1/3 c. crumbled crisp bacon

Stage One:

Cook rice according to directions. Transfer rice to bowl. Cool slightly. – (No pictures, but they have directions on the bag!)

Combine dressing, soy sauce, and sugar (often left out).

Stir the dressings into the warm rice. Cover and chill.

Stage 2-

When the rice is cool and you’re about ready to serve…

Chop green onions,

bacon,

celery,

and spinach,

and toss it all into a bowl so that it looks pretty like this!

Fold the veggies into the rice just before serving. Enjoy!

Thanks, Molly! Can’t wait to try this myself. – Lisa