Pineapple Fried Rice

Meatless Monday – Pineapple Fried Rice

Pineapple Fried Rice Recently my husband and I went to a cool sushi bar called Buddha Sky Bar in downtown Delray Beach, Florida. If you are ever in the South Florida area this is definitely a restaurant you should make an effort to visit. It is small and decorated very nicely, with superb food and service as well as a nice view over Atlantic Avenue, the main attraction.

During our visit we had the most delicious Pineapple Fried Rice that i just had to try and duplicate it. And I have to say, it came out pretty well. If you get all the ingredients cut up and separated ahead of time it is really quick and easy to make. Hint: Make the rice the day before and put it in your refrigerator overnight.

Pineapple Fried Rice

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked jasmine rice
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine or chicken stock (if not going meatless)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1/2-3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks, chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Thai red curry powder (although I used the paste)
  • 2 green onions, slice thin
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped

Directions:

Cook rice according to directions. This recipe works best if the rice is cooked the day before so it dries out slightly. If cooking the same day, cook earlier in the day and place in refrigerator without a lid so it dries more quickly.

When ready to assemble ingredients:

Place onion, garlic and red pepper flakes together in bowl.

Place carrots & peas in a second bowl.

Place rice mixed with 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil, pineapple chunks and cashews in another bowl.

Mix soy sauce and Thai curry paste together and set aside.

To cook: Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion mixture from the first bowl and stir-fry for about 1 minutes. If pan becomes a little dry add a little chicken stock or white wine. Add the 2 eggs and scramble quickly mixing in with onion mixture. Add the carrots and peas from second bowl and stir-fry another minute or two.

Now add the rice mixture to the pan along with the soy sauce/curry paste and stir-fry about 5-8 minutes. They usually say to cook until you hear the rice making popping sounds.

Place into serving bowl and garnish with green onion and cilantro.

Serves 4.

Note: This recipe is gluten-free if you use both gluten free soy sauce and brown rice or a jasmine rice that has not been over processed.  For a meatier option, add shrimp or chicken .

Wine Pairing:  A white wine with a little citrus flavor blends well with the pineapple in this dish. Try a Pouilly-Fuisse, Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc although some Chardonnays will work here as well.

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Kid Friendly, Mother Approved

Having a picky eater always makes dinner a challenge.  To make tonight’s dinner ‘kid friendly’ I took the traditional meatloaf and turned them into ‘mini meatloaves’ and added some ranch smashed potatoes that anyone would love.  Coupled with a ham & cucumber salad, the dinner turned out to be a success!  Oh, and it’s gluten-free too! 🙂  Win-Win!

Mini Meatloaves Mini Meatloaves @2CookinMamas

Yields: 12 mini meatloaves

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 grass-fed, organic ground beef
  • 1/2 large while onion, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • Dash of hot sauce, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450ºF.  Spray muffin tin with gluten-free non-stick cooking spray.

Place ground beef in large mixing bowl.  Add in grated onion, carrot, & garlic and mix.  Add in salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, breadcrumbs, and egg.  Mix with hands until blended well.  Portion mixture into muffin pan evenly.

In small bowl, mix together ketchup, honey, a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce (if desired).  Spoon on top of each mini loaf and bake for 18-20 minutes.

Ranch Smashed Potatoesranch smashed potatoes

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1/2 cup dairy free milk of choice
  • 1/2 packet Hidden Valley GF Original Ranch Salad Dressing Mix
  • 2 tbsp. dairy free butter substitute
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Scrub potatoes with vegetable brush and cut into 1″ chunks.  Add potatoes to large pot of salted water, cover, and bring to a boil.  Cook until tender – approximately 15 minutes.

Drain potatoes and return to hot pot.  Smash potatoes with a potato masher and add in milk , ranch mix, and butter.  Continue mashing until all ingredients are mixed well.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Cucumber Ham Salad Cucumber Ham Salad @2CookinMamas

Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 8 oz diced ham
  • 3/4 Greek vinaigrette dressing

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together in medium-sized bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 25 minutes.  Stir well prior to serving.

Christina Russell @2CookinMamas

Grilled Fish Tacos & Food App

Quick, easy, & perfect for summertime!  Try this delicious take on grilled fish tacos and make sure to check out the app below for keeping your food safe.

Grilled Fish Tacos

Prep Time: 20 minutes – Cook Time: 10 minutes – Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:grilledfishtacos

  • 1 pound white fish fillets (tilapia, catfish, flounder)
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Dash of salt & pepper
  • 8 flour tortillas

Directions:

Preheat gas grill. In small bowl, mix lemon juice, olive oil, chili powder, cumin, salt & pepper.  Place fish in baking dish and pour lemon mixture on top.  Turn fish to coat both sides, cover, and chill for 15 minutes.  Stack tortillas and wrap in foil.

Cut 1 sheet of heavy-duty foil about 18″ long and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Place marinated fish on center of foil, wrap, and seal edges.  Make sure to leave space for heat circulation.  Reduce grill to medium and place fish packet on grill.  Cover grill and cook for 10 minutes.  After 5 minutes, turn fish and place tortilla packet on grill.  Fish is done when it flakes easily with fork and tortillas are done when warmed (approximately 5 minutes).  Let fish cool slightly and cut into bite-sized chunks.

Serve fish in warm tortillas with your favorite spicy coleslaw or pineapple-mango salsa.

ismyfoodsafeBONUS – FOOD APP:  Not sure how long to cook your favorite foods?  Check out the app on iTunes called ‘Is My Food Safe?‘.  It includes safe cooking temperatures for food, information on how long to keep leftovers, and an ask-an-expert feature.  Free for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

  Christina signature 3

For all my Irish friends

Traditionally an Easter Sunday dinner in Ireland – Corned Beef and Cabbage is today’s national food holiday.  Try pairing this recipe with a Merlot from California, such as San Simeon Merlot Paso Robles 2006 or Robert Hall Merlot 2009, as they are soft and fruity which compliments this meal perfectly.

cornedbeefandcabbageCorned Beef with Cabbage

Epicurious  | February 2008

by Darina Allen – Irish Traditional Cooking

photo by Michelle Garrett and Kevin Dunne

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 lb corned brisket of beef
  • 3 large carrots, cut into large chunks
  • 6 to 8 small onions
  • 1 teaspoon dry English mustard
  • large sprig fresh thyme and some parsley stalks, tied together
  • 1 cabbage
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

PREPARATION:

Put the brisket into a saucepan with the carrots, onions, mustard and the herbs. Cover with cold water, and bring gently to a boil. Simmer, covered, for 2 hours. Discard the outer leaves of the cabbage, cut in quarters and add to the pot. Cook for a further 1 to 2 hours or until the meat and vegetables are soft and tender.

Serve the corned beef in slices, surrounded by the vegetables and cooking liquid. Serve with lots of floury potatoes and freshly made mustard.

Christina signature 3

Got Scallops?

Then today is your day because it’s National Coquilles St. Jacques Day!

Courtesy of the Food Network – here is Rachel Ray’s version of Coquilles St. Jacques:

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Total Time: 1 hr 5 min
Prep: 25 min
Cook: 40 min Yield: 4 servings

Level: Intermediate

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons chopped shallots
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
12 medium clams
18 black mussels
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup white wine
3 tablespoons olive oil
12 medium shrimp
6 sea scallops
8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 lemon
1 quart fumet (fish stock)
1 pint heavy cream
1 cup bread crumbs
4 teaspoons parsley, chopped

Directions:
In a frying pan over medium high heat, add butter, shallots and garlic. Sweat the garlic and shallots until they become translucent. Add the clams and mussels and toss everything together. Season with salt and pepper. Deglaze the frying pan with white wine, cover with a lid and let cook until the mussels and clams start to open. Strain mussels and clams and set aside, reserving the liquid (it will be used to make the veloute).

In a frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and heat the pan until it is smoking hot. Season the shrimp and scallops with salt and pepper. Carefully place the scallops in the pan and sear, until golden brown on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the shrimp to the same pan and saute until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In the same frying pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and let it get hot. Add the mushrooms and saute until they are cooked and most of their liquid is released. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside.

Preheat the broiler.

To make the veloute: In a saute pan melt butter and add flour until both mix evenly together. Let cook for a few minutes on light heat until the mixture resembles pancake batter. Take the pan you used to cook the shrimps and scallops and deglaze it with the liquid you saved from the mussels and clams and squeeze in the lemon. Add the fumet and let reduce. Add the cream and again let reduce over medium heat. Add the butter flour mixture and stir until everything starts to thicken. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Remove the shells of the mussels and clams. Cut the scallops in 4 and remove any shell that is still on the shrimp. Add the mushrooms, scallops, shrimp, mussels, and clams to the veloute and stir everything with a spoon. Fill the baking shells or bowls with the seafood veloute and sprinkle the top with bread crumbs and parsley. Place under a broiler until the top becomes golden brown. Place the hot dish onto another plate to serve.

Christina signature 3

 

Shrimp 9 Ways!

In honor of National Shrimp Day we’ve decided to bring you shrimp 9 ways!  Pick your pleasure and enjoy!

  1. Pan-Fried:  Linda’s Shrimp with Basil
  2. Grilled:  Rachel Ray’s Grilled Shrimp
  3. Baked:  Barefoot Contessa’s Baked Shrimp Scampi
  4. Blackened:  Publix’s Blackened Shrimp Alfredo with Salad Fresca
  5. Kabobs:  Campbell’s Kitchen Sweet & Tangy Shrimp Kabobs
  6. Curried:  AllRecipes.com Curried Shrimp Au Gratin
  7. Thai:  CookingLight.com Shrimp Pad Thai
  8. Deep Fried:  AllRecipes.com Japanese Style Deep Fried Shrimp
  9. Cajun Style:  Publix’s New Orleans Shrimp with Cajun Beans & Rice

shrimppadthai

neworleansshrimp

japanesestyledeepfriedshrimp

Shrimp-with-Basilblackenedshrimp

Resources:

Christina signature 3

It’s National Empanada Day!

Empanadas originated in Galicia, Portugal but have become popular throughout Spain, Brazil, Indonesia, The Philippines and North America.  Here in the states, we usually consider empanadas as tapas, but they are often served as main meals stuffed with seafood, pork, or meat & vegetables, and are served hot or cold.  The name, empanada, comes from the verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread.

Here’s a great recipe to try – courtesy of La Tienda & Spain GourmeTour magazine.  Photo courtesy of Simply Recipes.

curry-pork-empanada-bEmpanada

Empanadas are standard fare in most bars and restaurants, served as delicious tapas with a copa de cerveza or as the main meal. This is a wonderful recipe from the north-west of Spain.
Makes 6 servings.

Prep Time: 1 hr.

Cook Time: 1 hr.

4 Star Rating
Average Customer Rating: 5 out of 5

Ingredients:

1 egg, beaten
3/4 lb of pork loin, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp bittersweet smoked paprika (Pimentón de la Vera)
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 cup piquillo peppers, sliced
3 onions, chopped
3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
1 lb yeast pastry or bread dough
1 large red pepper, chopped
2 hard boiled eggs

Preparation:

Put the sliced pork in a dish with paprika, 1 tbsp of the chopped garlic, oregano, salt and pepper, and let sit for 30 minutes. Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the pork very quickly, removing slices as they are browned. In the same oil, saute the chopped peppers, onions and remaining garlic until softened. Add the prepared tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper and cook until the tomatoes are reduced and the sauce is very thick.

Divide the dough in half. On a floured board, roll out to a thickness of 1/4 – 1/2 inch. Line a cake tin with dough. Spread this with half the prepared sauce. Arrange the slices of pork loin on top and add a layer of piquillo pimentos above that. Slice the boiled eggs and layer above other ingredients. Spoon on the remaining sauce.

Roll out the rest of the dough and cover the pie. Crimp the edges together and trim the excess. Make a hole in the center for a steam vent. Put in a medium hot oven for 30 minutes. Brush the top with beaten egg and bake another 15-20 minutes.

The crust should be golden and crispy. Can be served hot or cool.

Enjoy!  Christina signature 3

What’s Cookin’? Grilled Rosemary and Basil Lamb Chops

I am so excited to be posting my first recipe on our new blog. The recipe today features fresh herbs  from my backyard garden, garlic, which I don’t know what I would do without, and  some thick loin lamb chops, a nice change-up from regular meals of beef and chicken. And with springtime upon us what better way to fix a healthy dinner than on the grill. Hope you enjoy!

Grilled Rosemary and Basil Lamb Chops

Grilled Rosemary and Basil Lamb Chops

Ingredients:

  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ lemon, zested
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 loin lamb chops

Directions:

Preheat outdoor grill.

In a small bowl, mix everything but the lamb chops. Stir to combine. Pat the basil mixture into both sides of the lamb chops and place in re-sealable zippered storage bag (aka Ziploc Bag). Marinate in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Remove the lamb chops from bag and place directly on preheated grill and cook for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through. Chops will be between medium rare and medium depending on cooking time.

Serves 2.

Linda's Signature