Sunday, August 23, 2009

Thai Pineapple Fried Rice

One of my favorite things to order in a Thai restaurant is Pineapple Fried Rice. I have been looking for a recipe to try creating it at home. I came across this recipe on the blog Closet Cooking, written by Kevin in Toronto. Not only does he have some great recipes, but his photography is excellent as well. This was a great recipe - not as good as what you get in an authentic Thai restaurant - but still mighty good! I loved the addition of raisins and pineapple combined with the curry seasoning.

Thai Pineapple Fried Rice
(makes 4 servings)

1 tablespoon oil
2 shallots (sliced) -- I used 1 regular onion
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 red chili (chopped)
1 red pepper (diced)
1 egg (lightly beaten)
3 tablespoons chicken stock (or vegetable broth) --I omitted
3 tablespoons fish sauce (or soy sauce) -- I used soy sauce
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup cashews (roasted)
3 cups cooked rice (preferably a day old)
1 cup pineapple (cut into bite sized pieces)
1 cup shrimp (cooked, optional)
1/4 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup currants (or raisins)
2 green onions (sliced)
1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)

1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Add the shallots, garlic, chillies and red pepper and stir-fry until fragrant, about a minute.
3. Add the egg and stir-fry for a minute.
4. Add the chicken stock, fish sauce, curry powder and sugar and stir-fry.
5. Add the cashews and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
6. Add the rice, break up any clumps and stir-fry for a few minutes.
7. Add the pineapple, shrimp, peas and raisins and stir-fry to mix them in.
8. Remove from heat and serve garnished with chopped green onions and cilantro.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Oatmeal Fudge Bars

I found the recipe on a cool blog in my google reader called The Cookbook Junkie. I like reading The Cookbook Junkie because there are always recipes from cookbooks that I don't have that sound good. This was a very delicious recipe and despite the lengthy directions, it didn't take very long at all. It tasted like a combo of oatmeal cookies and brownies. Very rich!
Oatmeal Fudge Bars
The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book

Crust and topping
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 tablespooons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons instant espresso or instant coffee (I omited)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
1 large egg

For the crust and topping: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with a foil sling: Fold two sheets of aluminum foil so they are as wide as the pan. Lay the sheets in the pan, perpendicular to each other, with the extra foil hanging over the edges. Push the foil into the corners, smoothing wrinkles. Grease the sides and bottom.

Whisk the oats, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Stir in the melted butter until combined. Reserve 3/4 cup of the oat mixture for the topping.

Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer with the bottom of a measuring cup. Bake the crust until light-golden brown, about 8 minutes. Let the crust cool completely on a wire rack, about 1 hour.

For the filling: Whisk the flour, sugar, instant espresso and salt together in a medium bowl. Melt the chocolate chips and butter together in the microwave, stirring often, 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a large bowl and let cool slightly. Whisk in the egg until combined. Stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated.

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread the filling evenly over the cooled crust and smooth the top. Sprinkle with the reserved oat topping. Bake the bars until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached and the filling begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking.

Let the bars cool completely in the pan, set on a wire rack, about 2 hours. Remove the bars from the pan using the foil, cut into squares and serve.

Easy Corn Bread

We were in the mood for chili so along with chili comes cornbread. I am not sure why, but I decided to stray from my normal recipe, Grandma's Corn Bread, from and try the recipe on the container of corn meal. All I had on hand was Quaker yellow corn meal, which is probably not very authentic or southern. I still like my favorite recipe better - probably because I like my corn bread sweet.

Easy Corn Bread
from Quaker

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup corn meal
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt (optional)
1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 egg whites or 1 egg, beaten

Heat oven to 400 F. Grease an 8 or 9 inch pan. Combine dry ingredients. Stir in milk, oil, egg, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 20 - 25 minutes or until light golden brown.

Long Time No Blog...

It's certainly been a long time since my last blog post. I have the best of intentions, even photographing things I've made, but somehow I never get around to posting. I am going to try to do better. I even wonder how many people are reading this thing anyway? I mainly started it as a place to keep track of recipes.