Rice, Rice, Baby

I looked up a bunch of recipes for Omurice, a Japanese and Korean comfort food, and then devised my own recipe based on what I researched. This was the result.

Omurice

Cricket-Style Omurice

1 tbl toasted sesame oil

1 small bunch of scallions, diced

1 lb lean ground beef (you can use ground chicken or pork here as well, any will work)

2 bags of steam in the bag brown rice

1 tbl grated ginger (I always have a jar of fresh grated ginger on hand, but powdered would work too, just use maybe a tsp or two of powdered)

generous squirt of low-sodium soy sauce

generous squirt of seasoned rice vinegar (I used a roasted garlic variety)

decent shake of garlic powder

generous pinch of gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes…though you can use any red pepper if you wish, or none at all)

1 bag of your favorite frozen mixed veggies (I prefer the traditional mixed veg of carrot, peas, green beans and corn)

1/4 – 1/3 cup of ketchup (I prefer the natural no fructose kind)

beaten eggs

Directions

Add sesame oil & diced scallions to a well heated wok pan. Saute for 10 minutes before adding ground beef. Crumble well and add soy sauce, ginger, vinegar, red pepper flakes and garlic when it is almost completely browned. Add steamed rice and mix well, sauteing for another 10 minutes until most of the moisture has cooked away. Add steamed veggies & ketchup, mix again. Remove from heat.

Add one to two beaten eggs to a well oiled omelet pan and allow to cook on both sides.

Serve generous scoops of rice mixture topped with an omelet and additional drizzle of ketchup. It’s fun to use the bottle to draw ketchup designs on the omelet too.

Makes 8 portions. (This is even better the next day, just reheat the rice and make a new omelet)

 

Flat Out Bread

After watching two episodes of Michael Pollan’s Cooked on Netflix, I have been inspired to cook even more of our food myself. Bread has always been a nightmare for me, all the touching/kneading…totally not my cup of chai. I did find a couple of really good no knead sandwich bread recipes though, one from Food 52 and another I found today (I have discovered that the second recipe is actually the same as the Food 52 one, the author just changed a few things and called it her own without linking back to the Food 52 one or even acknowledging it…BAD FORM!). The Food 52 one I have made myself a few times and it’s awesome. I found this recipe and decided to try it. I subbed a little flax meal for part of the flour and also added a touch of sugar and onion powder to sweeten and flavor it a bit.

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just rested ball of flaxy dough

It was easy enough to make with my stand mixer and my new cookware is almost like cast iron so I just used my medium skillet to cook. This also gave me a chance to use my tapered french rolling pin. I bought it ages ago and then left it in the packaging until today.

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I am winning at making this one quite circular

I didn’t have my pan hot enough so mine took longer than 1 minute per side to cook for the first couple.

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shockingly, this was the last one I rolled, and my rolling pin fu had clearly left me. I cooked it first so I could eat the evidence of my failure

I then decided to watch the video and realized I needed my temp higher. Seriously people, if you make a recipe to post online, make sure all your instructions are written in the post as well as on a video…IF you make videos of your recipes.

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the final products happily resting on the counter

This was so easy to do that I plan to make flatbread to go with soups from now on. I can make them while the soup simmers and the recipe is perfect for our family of four. I can also attest to the yumminess of said recipe as I am currently snarfing the misshapen one which I spread with a little spicy pepper chutney some fresh baby spinach leaves and a little crumbled feta. NOM.

*UPDATE* I have made this bread a second time and used All-Purpose instead of bread flour (which is what I used the first time). I think I like it better with the All Purpose. It goes together so fast that it’s not like the gluten has much time to form anyway with the Bread Flour.

Oink Oink Cluck

After spending far, faaaar too long online perusing various techniques for egg boiling and peeling, I managed to boil 4 3 eggs and get them peeled with little difficulty. Boiling & peeling eggs is simple…but not. I have yet to land on a foolproof technique that doesn’t have me peeling half egg with the shell with at least one of the eggs in the batch. Today I used this method, tomorrow I will try a different approach and I may even make – *gasp* – soft-boiled ones.

I started with 4 cold eggs, two from one carton and two from another (only because one carton had just two left). None were freshly laid but had instead been languishing on a grocery shelf for who knows how long before I purchased them and then allowed them further slack in my own fridge. I also use only eggs from a local farm where the hens are not treated like little caged, feathered invalids and shot up with antibiotics. Only pasture roaming, antibiotic free chickens, please. I know this might sound ridiculous to some, but I find the flavor to be better and I have far fewer digestive issues with such eggs.

Next I added said eggs to a medium sauce pan, covered with lukewarm water, added a pinch of sea salt and a splash of Chinese black vinegar. I think ideally I would use white vinegar here, but I happen to be out of it for some reason. I have every other kind of vinegar imaginable but not the plain old distilled white. I thought the black vinegar might impart some of it’s rather assertive flavor into the eggs. I was not wrong. The addition of the salt and vinegar to the boiling water is to not only help prevent the eggs from cracking while boiling, but also to help the white not leak out should they crack and to also help facilitate the peeling process. I hear baking soda can take the place of the salt for this too, but I didn’t really want to make my pan of eggs a volcano experiment.

I then proceeded to place the pan on high heat and left it until the water had achieved a full rolling boil At that point I set my timer for 2 minutes. At the end of the 2 minutes, I quickly removed the pan from the heat, covered it and let it sit for another 11 minutes. After wresting the now sealed to the pan lid (steam is a wondrous thing) off, I proceeded to drain and rinse the eggs a few times with cold water before allowing them to sit in an ice water bath for 3 minutes more.

At the end of this process I was rewarded with 4 3 beautiful eggs that had peeled nicely. We shall not talk about the 4th egg…the one that when I tried to peel it I came away with a hand full of white and shell…the egg I called several choice words before pitching into the trash. Well, I did save a few bits…those went to the cat*. I realize I could and should have eaten it, but I felt it had let me down so grievously that it did not deserve that honor…and I was pissed.

Having originally set out to boil eggs to use for green salad toppings this week, I suddenly had an urge for egg salad so my brain shifted into recipe creation mode. This is the result:

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Spicy Pig Egg Salad

3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and grated (yes, grated)

1 tbl swedish mustard (I use this killer stuff from Ikea called Senap Mild. It has a snappy horseradish bite but is also a little sweet)

1 tbl mayo (you can def use less or use all mustard if you do not like mayo at all)

1-2 tbl pickle relish (sweet or dill, it matters not. I think I would have liked dill, but all we had was sweet)

1-2 tbl bacon bits (depending on how piggy you want to get)

a squiggle squirt of Sriracha (squiggle squirt is too an acceptable measurement…fuck off)

salt, pepper, garlic and dried parsley to taste

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Directions

Really? Do you REALLY need directions for this? Simply put, mix all the shit until it is mixed and schmear on bread. Simple as.

Smear on white bread and serve on a paper plate for maximum White Trash Chic.

Spicy Pig Egg Salad

*I swear I didn’t dig the egg out of the trash then give it to the cat..no really. (coughcough)