August 14, 2010

Microwaveable Risotto-Style Rice

This is a play off the basic microwave risotto recipe. With ingredients on hand, my mom and I made an even simpler version to compliment the salmon my dad grilled. It was very yummy and it would be so simple to mix it up and add on. I will definitely be posting follow-ups to this with different variations. This basic version is amazing because it only dirties up two dishes!

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth* 
  • 1 cup uncooked medium grain white rice**
  • 3/4 cup white wine (we used Chardonnay)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
*This could easily be made vegetarian by using vegetable broth
**Risotto is traditionally made with Arborio rice, but we used the regular white rice we had on hand.

  • In a small bowl add butter and garlic. Microwave on high for 1 minute. 
  • In a large bowl microwave chicken broth for 2-3 minutes (just before boiling).
  • Add rice and butter/garlic to the broth. Cover the bowl (we placed a plate on top) and microwave on high for 6 minutes. 
  • Stir in wine, cover and cook 10 minutes. 
  • Stir in cheese & serve.
Easy Variations
  • Add 1 small onion chopped with the garlic, like in the original recipe, and increase cook time from 1 minute to 3 minutes.
  • Saute onions and/or fresh mushrooms and add at the end.
  • Add a dash or cream or milk to make the rice creamier.

August 12, 2010

Pork Milanese with Spicy Dijon Mayo Sauce

I tried Giada's recipe from her book, Everyday Italian, on Xavier and we both loved it!! Her Pork Milanese recipe gave me the best success with breaded meat I've had in awhile. I'm in Louisiana right now visiting my parents and decided to make this for them. I made a few modifications and then doubled it to feed my family and make for leftovers. Her recipes online are slightly different than the one from the book so here is my version. I highly recommend halfing this recipe if you're only feeding a few people.

Served with Uncle Ben's fast cooking wild rice and cucumbers from my parent's garden. The Spicy Dijon Mayo Sauce is not pictured.
You can use 2 cups bread crumbs from a can but I recently discovered how to make them fresh and I definitely love it that way. Do not leave the bread out to go stale, just under-toast about 4 slices of whole wheat bread before using to dry it out. Wait until they're no longer warm and put them in the food processor and pulse until it makes very fine crumbs.

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs (see above)
  • 2/3 cup parmesan
  • 3 tbsp basil (my parents had fresh, yum!)
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 6-8 boneless pork chops, thin-cut or pounded to about 1/2 inch thick
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • Combine bread crumbs, parmesan, basil and thyme in a shallow mixing bowl.
  • Beat eggs in a small bowl and flour into another.
  • Dredge pork chops through the flour, then egg (letting excess drip off), and then through the bread crumb mixture.
  • Place on baking sheet, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate chops for at least 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to lowest heat setting (mine is 150).
  • In large skillet melt half the butter in half the oil. Fry 4 chops for about 3 minutes on each side. When cooked, place on clean baking sheet and put in the oven to keep warm. Heat remaining oil and butter and fry remaining pork chops.
2/3 cup mayo
2 tsp spicy brown mustard
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (you can skip the extra cayenne if you don't like it too hot)

August 9, 2010

Meatless Monday: Black Beans & Brown Rice (Vegan)

In high school I was a vegetarian. One of the few things I actually learned in my biology class, was that vegans and vegetarians should try and eat complimentary proteins to create "complete" proteins. In comes: black beans and brown rice! Two of my favorite things, together. I've been making this for years now and you know what? It's even boyfriend approved.

  • 1 15oz can black beans
  • 1/3-1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • (optional) dash of cayenne red pepper
  • 1 cup instant brown rice

  • In a medium sauce pan combine all ingredients except the brown rice on medium heat. 
  • Bring to a slow boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Prepare 1 cup brown rice according to package instructions. (Tip: add 1 tbsp butter)
Yield: 2 servings

August 4, 2010

Mama's Cinnamon Toast

A lot of recipes are called "mama's this, mama's that," but really.. my mom did make this! It was always a nice treat when my mom would make cinnamon toast cause who needs Cinnamon Toast Crunch when you have the real thing? All 4 ingredients are kitchen staples in my book.

  • 2 slices of your bread of choice
  • margarine (the softer, the easier to spread)
  • 2tsp sugar
  • 1/4-1/2tsp cinnamon
  • Turn oven to "broil."
  • Spread margarine over bread slices. Use enough to cover the whole slice with a thin layer.
  • Sprinkle 1tsp sugar over each slice of bread.
  • Holding your measuring spoon full of cinnamon, slightly tilted over the toast, gently tap your finger on the spoon to dust the toast evenly.
  • Place on cooking tray and set in oven on highest rack. Keep door ajar. Toast will be ready when sugar turns slightly transparent and edges of toast brown. Should take about 1 minute, depending on your oven.

August 2, 2010

Meatless Monday: Velveeta & Rotel

This HAS to be my ultimate "on hand" recipe. I always keep a box of mac n cheese in the pantry and either a can of rotel or a jar of salsa. Either will work for this super easy recipe. I got the idea for this one from my boyfriend when he made macaroni and cheese with rotel and black olives. This is an easy, one-pot meal and it's something slightly out of the ordinary.

  • 1 box Velveeta mac n cheese (shells are my favorite. Kraft will work too)
  • 1 can Rotel*, drained (original is my pick)
  • *If you're not a huge tomato fan, replace the rotel with a half-jar of salsa
  • (optional) 1 can sliced black olives
  • Prepare macaroni according to the package.
  • Drain Rotel and add to macaroni.
  • (optional) Drain olives and add.

Like I said, super simple it really doesn't require instructions. Just remember to drain the cans!!

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