Archive for the rice Category

Spicy Chicken 2 (Murgh Korma, more or less)

Posted in asian, chicken, condiments, indian, rice, sauce, stew, yogurt with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2013 by oskila

Chicken has only recently been allowed in the kitchen as the significant other softened the bird-eating veto. In combination with the increased comfort in the blending of various spicy spices, this opens up a whole new chapter of cooking, previously unseen in the Nerd Cuisine kitchens.

Not bothering with checking any recipes before cooking, this dish might differ significantly from what other people perceive as proper chicken korma. The spice blend consists mainly of cumin, coriander, turmeric and chili, with smaller amounts of cinnamon, allspice, cloves, sumac, cardamom, nutmeg and ginger.

Ingredients beside chicken include onions, carrots, tomato paste, broccoli (which is a bit out of place I admit, but needed eating) and thick yogurt. Deducing from the recipes I looked at afterwards, it’s far more common to base the sauce on cream.

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Somewhat disorganized photo of the described korma dish with rice, naan and kheere ka raita.

Mongolian Style Pork Loin

Posted in asian, discount, eggs, pork, rice, sauce, squash with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2013 by oskila

Read about Mongolian food in the newspaper and became a bit interested. Thought about the article for a couple of days and then decided to try cooking something that more or less resembled that particular cuisine. A bit of googling around hints that this dish may or may not actually be authentic, but could be a Chinese impression of what Mongolians eat or a westernized version. The recipe in the paper was intended for beef – i have no idea whether just substituting beef for pork will be odd or not.

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The marinade, which is the significant part of this type of food, I’d say. It contains dark soy sauce, sugar, an egg, rice vinegar, oil, powdered chili peppers, baking soda and tapioca starch. The recipe also called for hoisin sauce, but I made my own instead combining ssamjang, Worcestershire sauce and powdered garlic. I have no idea what the baking soda is for, possibly something about crunchiness. The original recipe also called for grated ginger, which I didn’t have.

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Strips of pork go in marinade. Longer is better, preferrably at least an hour.

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These three are the rest of the dish, apart from rice. Carrots are nearly always cheap and the spring onions and zucchinis were this week.

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While the meat is marinating, fry the vegetables for a bit. Mushrooms would probably be good too. Mixing everything together in the same pan could end up chaotic and ugly-looking since the marinade contains egg and starch and would likely stick to everything.

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Put vegetables aside and stir-fry the meat. This is too much meat for one pan really. It’d been better to use two pans or fry twice. The recipe said to fry quickly over high heat, but they used beef and not pork, so I had to be a bit more careful.

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A bowl of supposedly Mongolian pork, some vegetables and rice. Had the meat and marinade been prepared say the day before, the cooking part had been really quick, which lunch-box improvisers like me appreciate.

We’re frying salad now?

Posted in asian, cabbage, meatballs, rice with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 20, 2013 by oskila

Here in Sweden, Chinese cabbage (or nappa cabbage, or napa cabbage) is mostly encountered in a salad bowl, but in Korea it’s commonly used for kimchi (i.e. fermented and spiced) and in China the seeds are pressed for cooking oil. It’s also used in stir fries in many stir-frying countries, something which seems pretty far fetched to a Swedish palate.

I had to try it of course and whipped up a lunch box, containing fried rice, garlic sprouts and Chinese cabbage. In the end I added some prefab meatballs to get more protein in there. It wasn’t bad at all and I recognized the texture, so I think I must have had it on occasion in a box of Thai or Chinese take-away.

Super ugly phone photo today, because I was in a hurry.

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September Casserole

Posted in lentils, rice, sausage, stew with tags on September 30, 2012 by oskila

Today we start in medias res just because we can.

Diced sausage (falukorv) grated carrot and finely shredded leek having a sauté.

Transferring to a pot, then adding cooked green lentils. The lentils had soaked for days before cooking because I couldn’t decide what to do with them. Also a good time to add garlic, bay leaf, French herbs and such.

Flour, vegetable bouillon cube, tomato paste and milk added. Bring to a boil and wait for as long as you want.

I had some for lunch, then left the rest overnight in the fridge and had it for lunch again with fried leftover rice and a small amount of capers. For a vegetarian option, leave out the sausage and add another pulse or perhaps soy sausage.

A Quick Stop to Meddle with Chili.

Posted in american, bacon, beans, condiments, corn, discount, ground beef, peppers, rice, stew, tex-mex with tags , , on September 18, 2012 by oskila

Since I spent a lot of spring and summer writing blog posts instead of school papers, this semester has had a bit of a rough start.  There’s still a lot to do before I can relax, but I felt a need to at least post a little something. Autumn is about to get serious (even took some time this weekend to pick a bit of mushrooms) and one starts to long for big pots of food that has simmered for hours on end and keeps you warm all week. Also the time for economically minded university students like me to start putting boxed lunches in the freezer. I hit the store and started forming a plan when there was good discounts on both bell peppers and minced beef.

I’d like to apologize to an chili purists out there in advance, as this post might be offensive to you, just like what I did to the other national dish of the United States a while back was potentially offensive. Before cooking the dish for this post I had never laid eyes upon a recipe for chili con carne, nor did I until I had started eating, after which I learned that there are lots of interesting dichotomies and conflicts regarding what constitutes proper chili. But we’ll sort that out along the way.

Sweating onions, garlic and bell peppers. Apparently, onions aren’t really allowed (but onion powder is fine) and peppers should at least be red, but preferably hotter than bell.

Browning ground beef. Choosing ground meat over cut seems to be a big faux pas among chili aficionados, according to the internet.

Adding bacon (which is technically diced pork, should be safe) and seasonings, including chili powders (ancho and nameless) cumin, powdered onion, cocoa, dried basil, chili paste (which is probably unheard of and not right at all) and tomato paste. Tomato is another matter of debate within the modern chili paradigm. My excuse for using paste is that my fiancée is allergic to tomatoes in most forms, but can endure cooked paste without discomfort.

A few minutes later, the minced beef has joined the party along with beef stock, beans and sweet corn. In Sweden, chili con carne is strongly associated with beans, especially kidney beans, but I’m given to understand that Texan law enforcers may fire at will upon those about to put beans in chili. I don’t know if anyone but me puts corn in chili con carne, but I’ve always done that for no other reasons than that it’s an American vegetable and it tastes good.

Here it’s been simmering for a hour and a half, which is a bit on the short side, but considering that I’m using ground and not diced meat I saw no reason to keep from eating it any longer.

And the potentially abominable, chili-esque gringo food is done and plated. I added a bit of rice to secure more lunchboxes and crème frâiche and corn chips for awesomeness.

Another Sausage and Rice Jumble

Posted in leftovers, rice, sausage with tags on July 28, 2012 by oskila

What to do when there’s a need for dinner quickly and no one has bothered to restock basically anything after the long trip abroad? One method, which I evidently use often, is to gather some leftovers, something frozen, and whatever fresh stuff there is, and then throw something together.

Still nearly frozen sausages, chucked in the pan. These sausages happen to be of an unusually coarse and interesting grind and subtly seasoned with juniper berries.

My brother had bought a bag of funny little green peppers and forgot them in my fridge, so I nicked one (don’t worry, he knows) and chopped it up along with a red spring onion.

Those not in favour of red onions or juniper berries got grilled falukorv and instant macaroni instead.

Falukorv is a Swedish sausage, in some aspects quite similar to bologna sausage. If I remember correctly, the sausage and its name originates in the Swedish city of Falun, where the copper mining operations used a lot of leather straps and therefore a lot of oxen to make leather from. Eventually, Germans working at the mine taught the locals to make sausages from the meat. These days there’s more pork than beef in the sausage though. Like with german lyoner sausage, the diameter of the sausage, the red casing and the ring shape are diagnostic attributes.

Some leftover rice is added, along with various spices, and the jumble is done.

This is of course a very very simple dish, which doesn’t perhaps need as elaborate a blog post as this, but I’m doing it for the purpose of inspiration, to me and others.

Also, if you haven’t noticed yet, the blog now has a facebook page, where there’s occasionally other stuff that doesn’t quite fit in the blog. There’s also a ‘like’-button near the top of the blog’s main page. Tell your friends ;)

Five Ingredient Dinner – Fried Rice with Sirloin

Posted in asian, beef, rice with tags , on June 27, 2012 by oskila

Neither this dish or the Five Ingredient Lunch was conceived or cooked with a five ingredient shtick in mind, but I guess it’s a reasonable number of flavours and textures to put in food if it’s not to be too messy on the palate. Actually, what I really mean is five main components, since ingredients should also include for example salt, pepper, water and oil. This has kindly been pointed out to me by people who are as nitpicking and obnoxious as me, so I’ll just smile and wave and claim artistic liberty.

As you can see, this photo has plenty of motion blur, because the little red compact camera and I have different opinions on how photography is best carried out. The ingredients are: shredded beef sirloin, which has been marinated in a mix of soy, water, garlic and vinegar, rice, carrots, red onion, green chili pepper.

Rice is in the pot, meat drained of surplus marinade, and I simply can’t help but like pictures of prepared ingredients on cutting boards. Especially when the cutting was done with a lovely Japanese knife – a knife that’s so sharp I won’t use it when I’m in a hurry.

The carrots are the crunchiest ingredient, so they fry first.

Adding onions and chilies.

Adding meat. Sirloin of beef bought shredded like this is of course the trimmed off pieces of a proper steak, but a good way for stores and suppliers to minimize waste as well as a neat way for cheapskates like me to get good meat at reasonable prices, since a tray of shredded meat like this comes at less than half the price of a whole piece of sirloin of equal weight. There’s no point in trying to cook these thin shreds medium; focus on getting  a good sear and the marinade will keep the meat reasonably juicy anyway.

Long time readers (if there are any, I’m not sure) will have noticed that I often mix everything in rice dishes. I think it’s a good way to spread flavour around and get the rice a bit more interesting. It does seldom look very posh, but elegance isn’t the only way for a dish to appeal visually.

Then again, with a bit of effort, the completed dish can still look fairly posh.

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