Monday, October 28, 2013

Rice, rice baby

God. Wasn't it just Monday like, 45 seconds ago? I swear, I was just here. Why am I here again? Monday is the worst. Ugh. Monday.

Time to eat my feelings.

I've been having a terrible craving for fried rice. The sort of greasy kind with cubed carrots and huge chunks of chicken that's so salty you can barely gulp down your Diet Coke fast enough that is so bad for you and yet so. damn. tasty.

Of course I can't digest that and also I'm poor so I decided to make my own. Also I had a lot of random stuff in my fridge/freezer/pantry I needed to use up. That's the great thing about fried rice, you can put almost anything in there.

I did the basic carrots, peas, onions, chicken and some egg but then also a handful of shrimp since I didn't have that much chicken left. Also, I used brown rice which was still good but tasted a tiny bit too healthy so if you have white rice, I encourage you to use that if you want a more authentic flavor. But be warned, white rice turns to sugar the second you digest it and is a lot less nutritious. Definitely yummier.

Also, sorry the pictures for this are shitty. I was using my iPhone because I was a genius and left my SD card for my nice camera in a computer at the journalism school. Don't remind me of how great my handle on life is.

This recipe is easy as pie but I highly recommend you have the rice cooked beforehand if you're using brown rice since it takes about 45 minutes. Also, this freezes extremely well so you can have dinner for plenty of nights. Also it soothes the Monday blues. With some frozen chicken potstickers from Trader Joe's, this is like the perfect faux-Asian comfort meal and you don't even have to feel guilty about going out and spending money you don't have because you wasted a ridiculous amount at the bar since it was homecoming weekend and you felt compelled to buy your alumni friends drinks. Or maybe that's just me. In any case, frugal is the name of the game until further notice.


1 tbs. canola oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 lb. chicken meat
1/3 c. soy sauce (or to taste)
2 large carrots, diced
3/4 c. frozen peas, thawed
6 c. cooked rice (white or brown)
2 eggs
Handful of shrimp
Green onions (for garnish, if desired)

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, onion and garlic and sautee until chicken is almost cooked through, about 5 minutes, then add shrimp until they are no longer translucent and are light pink.

2. Stir in veggies and stir fry for another 5-6 minutes, then add rice and stir thoroughly.

3. While the rice is busy frying, lightly grease a small pan. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs and quickly scramble in the pan. Use a knife or a hard spatula to slice the eggs into little pieces and mix into the rice.

4. Add the soy sauce to the large pan, stir well and serve immediately, piping hot. Add some chopped up green onions for garnish if you want.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Kale Me Maybe

I'll be the first one to come right out and say I really don't like kale all that much. I think it ruins perfectly good salads by showing up and being totally tough and unlovable, sort of like Bill Rawls on The Wire. Plus it sort of tastes like dirt (which I haven't eaten since my early childhood but couldn't have changed that much, flavor-wise).

This is why I was surprised when I found myself buying a huge bunch of the stuff at the supermarket last week. The produce at Giant is typically wretched but the kale looked...kind of sexy actually. It was dark green and frilly and just said, "Hey. Eat me."

So I did.

But first I sauteed it with onion and garlic and some spicy sausage because there's such a thing as too healthy, and kale is it.

So ultimately I ended up with this delicious pasta creation which I made for the dinner where I reunited with my old friend and the most beautiful dancer at Maryland whose name is Katie and happens to be single, boys.

It's easy and quick and totally delicious and also very much open to interpretation. Feel free to add more kale or cut out the chickpeas or deglaze the pan with chicken stock instead of white wine. It doesn't reheat especially well though so just make as much as you'll eat in one night. As someone who doesn't know what a serving of pasta looks like (and doesn't want to know either), I leave that serving size up to you.

Fettuccine with sausage and kale

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb hot turkey or pork sausage, casings discarded and sausage crumbled
1/2 lb kale, tough stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
1/2 lb dried egg fettuccine
2 cloves garlic
Half a medium onion, chopped
1 can of chickpeas
¼ c. white wine
Crushed reds to taste
Lemon wedges, for serving
1 oz finely grated Pecorino Romano (or parmesean) (1/2 cup) plus additional for serving

1. Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook sausage, garlic and onion, breaking up any lumps with a spoon, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water, uncovered, until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander.

3. With five minutes to go until the pasta is cooked, add kale and chickpeas to sausage in skillet and sauté, stirring frequently, until just tender, about 5 minutes. Deglaze with white wine, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet

4. Add pasta and stir in cheese. Serve immediately, with additional cheese on the side.