Tuesday, May 19, 2009

goodbye fried chicken, hello fried rice!

* simple supper series *

when i make rice for a dish, i always make extra so that the following evening, i'll have leftover rice for this dish.  i toss in whatever produce and protein i have lying around (the recipe below is based on what i had in my fridge tonight).  its not so much a true fried rice as it is a chinese-takeout inspired rice pilaf.  the best part is that its nearly as fast as ordering take-out and its even more satisfying.

1 medium onion - finely chopped
1/4 cup carrot - diced
1/2 cup broccoli - chopped
handful frozen corn niblets
1/2 cup protein (chicken, pork, beef, tofu - whatever you have leftover in the fridge) - cubed
1-2 eggs - scrambled, cooked, and chopped
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (optional - if you want a spicy kick)
2 cups cooked rice (brown or white)

heat large saute pan over medium-high heat.  add olive and sesame oils.  once oil is hot, add the onions and carrots.  cook 5-7 minutes over medium heat until the veggies are nearly cooked through.  add remainder of veggies, protein, soy sauce and garlic sauce.  saute for 3-5 minutes and then add rice.  at this point, it depends on how "fried" you want your rice.  mix the rice and veggie mix well, toss in the scrambled egg, and cook over medium-high heat until rice is heated through (another 5-7 minutes).  

(title of post taken from a dave chappelle skit)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

cupcake cookoff at union pool

i went to the third annual cupcake cookoff hosted by the brooklyn kitchen last evening.  there were sixty entries that ranged from banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting topped with bacon bits, to vanilla citrus cake with mascarpone frosting, to mexican hot chocolate cupcakes.
my favorite, aesthetically, was a vanilla cupcake with strawberry frosting topped with bluebirds and ladybugs (at left) by cake hero.  she got my vote.  i also really liked the 24-carat cupcake (at right).  this was a carrot cake cupcake with cream cheese frosting.  

cupcakes aside, my favorite part about the event was that all proceeds benefited the greenpoint soup kitchen.  

(below: creamsicle cupcakes & mexican hot chocolate cupcake)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

chicken marsala with fried zucchini

my friend taylor makes the best chicken marsala.  i've been begging him to send his recipe to me for months.  alas, he hasn't, so i improvised based on observation and taste.  below is the result.  taylor (seen at right enjoying . . . something) always serves his chicken marsala with breaded zucchini, and who am i to break tradition?

chicken marsala
2 chicken breasts - pounded flat (to approx 1/2 inch thickness)
1/2 cup onions - finely chopped
1 1/2 - 2 cups mushrooms - sliced
1/4 cup (or more) marsala wine (ironically, taylor always uses the "taylor" brand - its also the cheapest)
1/4 cup scallions - sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
enough all-purpose flour to lightly coat chicken

pre-cooking prep:  after pounding chicken breasts, pat dry, rub down with salt and pepper and lightly coat in flour.

place olive oil in medium-hot skillet (large enough for the chicken breasts to lie flat).  add onions and saute until onions are soft (5-7 minutes).  add butter, raise heat and add mushrooms.  saute over medium-high, adding marsala wine if the mushrooms get dry.  cook for approx 7-10 minutes.  add chicken, more marsala and brown chicken on both sides.  salt and pepper dish to taste as you cook.  just before chicken is fully cooked (10 minutes or so), add the scallions, allow to slightly cook (3-5 minutes).  remove from heat, rest 5-7 minutes, serve.

fried zucchini
2 cups zucchini - thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons finely ground bread crumbs
2 tablespoons onion - finely chopped (or grated)
3-4 tablespoons parmesan or pecorino cheese (grated)
salt & pepper to taste

add above ingredients to a large mixing bowl.  toss until breadcrumbs and cheese are evenly distributed amongst the zucchini.  saute over medium heat until zucchini are cooked through (or longer if you want them crispy).  the zucchini can also be baked at 375 for 15-20 minutes.