Traditional Mandarin Fried Rice

For my Chinese New Year Dinner, my friend Yumi prepared this Ming Tsai dish. It’s a wonderful fried rice recipe that is as easy as it comes! The ingredients include common items with the exception of Chinese Sausage. If you don’t have Chinese sausage available, you can use bacon or even ham (which is what was used here).

Traditional Mandarin Fried Rice
recipe from Ming Tsai

4 tablespoons canola oil
3 eggs, beaten lightly
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
1 la chang (Chinese sausage), cut into 1/8 inch dice
1 bunch scallions, white & green parts chopped and separated
5 cups cold cooked rice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
salt to taste (if needed)

Heat a wok or large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and swirl to coat the pan. When the oil shimmers, add the eggs, which will puff up. Allow to set about 5 seconds, and using a wok spatula or similiar tool, add push the sides of the egg mass towards the tender to allow uncooked egg to reach the pan and solidify. Flip the egg, allow it to set about 5 seconds, and slide it onto a dish; do not over cook. With the edge of the spatula, break the eggs into small pieces. Set aside.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil to the wok and swirl to coat the pan. when the oil shimmers, add the garlic and ginger and stir fry until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the la chang or bacon, the white parts of the scallions, and the rice. Toss thoroughly until heated through. Add the soy sauce, pepper, and reserved eggs and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper; transfer to a platter and garnish with the scallion greens.

Crispy Onion Topped Orzo

Rather than doing the usual potato or rice side dish, I wanted to do something a little different. I came across this Baked Orzo dish from several food blogs I read and thought it would compliment my herbed turkey well.

I made quite a few adaptations to Giada’s original recipe to use ingredients I had on hand and it came out wonderfully. The flavors were rich, hearty and perfect with roast turkey. I used turkey stock which provided more flavor, imported Spanish mushrooms (thanks to fellow blogger, Nuria), spinach, roasted garlic, brie cheese and topped with french fried onions.


Crispy Onion Topped Orzo

with Mushrooms, Spinach, Onion & Brie

recipe inspired by
Giada DeLaurentiis

4 cups turkey stock
1 pound orzo pasta
3 tablespoons butter, plus more to grease the baking dish
1 onion, chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (I used imported Spanish mushrooms)
1 cup diced brie
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 cup french fried onions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish.

Bring the turkey (or chicken) stock to a boil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Add the orzo and cook until almost tender, about 7 minutes. Pour the orzo and the broth into a large bowl. Set aside.

Meanwhile, melt the butter over medium heat in a medium skillet. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to saute until the mushrooms are beginning to turn golden around the edges, about 7 minutes. Add the mushroom mixture to the orzo in the large bowl. Add the spinach, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Dot the top of the baking dish with brie and top the entire dish with french fried onions. Bake until golden, about 10-15 minutes.

Congri

I made the following recipe for our annual Holiday Party where our menu highlighted Floribbean cuisine. This is a variation of a traditional Cuban dish. I chose this since there is a strong Cuban presence in Florida and it’s also evident in Floribbean cuisine.

Congri
recipe adapted from CubanFoodRecipes.com

2 cups white long-grained rice
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes with chilies
1 large white onion
4 large cloves of garlic
a pinch of ground oregano
1 large bay leaf
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 long link of chorizo
1 teaspoon salt

In a saute pan, cook chorizo until heated through. Add onion, garlic, peppers and oregano and sauté the onion is softened. Add the vegetable or chicken stock, the rice, the bay leaf and the salt. Cover.

Place the pot over medium heat until it comes to a boil, stir to prevent from sticking to the bottom of the pot, and keep cooking over low heat, until the rice looks completely dry. This process of drying the rice should take from 10 to 15 minutes. Stir again, remove from heat and let cool before serving.

Arroz con Gandules

I made the following recipe for our annual Holiday Party where our menu highlighted Floribbean cuisine. This is a favorite Puerto Rican dish of mine. I like to think of it as a Puerto Rican fried rice dish that isn’t quite fried. For this dish, I added bell peppers and corn for a more filling vegetarian option to my menu.

Arroz con Gandules
(pigeon peas & rice)
recipe adapted from FoodNetwork.com

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
2 cups long-grain white rice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Sazon seasoning with cilantro
1 (15-ounce) can green pigeon peas (gandules), rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can sweet kernel corn, rinsed and drained
1 cup diced colored bell peppers
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups water
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Place a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat and add oil.
Add the onion and cilantro.
Continue to cook for 5 minutes until the onion is soft.
Add the rice, oregano, cumin, salt, achiote, pigeon peas, corn and bell peppers.
Cook for 5 to 7 minutes until the rice is opaque.
Stir in the tomato paste and water and bring to boil.
When all the water is absorbed, cover tightly and reduce the heat to low.
Cook for 25 to 30 minutes until tender.
Serve on a decorative platter and garnish with cilantro.

Chicken & Smoked Sausage Gumbo with White Rice

The following recipe was made for my Food Network Chefs Dinner. You can read about it and get other recipes made for the event HERE.

Chicken & Smoked Sausage Gumbo with White Rice
(seen on the left below, in red pot)
shared at the event by Howard
(an Emeril Lagasse recipe, found HERE)

1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 pound smoked sausage, such as andouille or kielbasa, cut crosswise 1/2-inch thick pieces

4 pounds chicken thighs, skin removed

1 tablespoon Essence or Creole seasoning, recipe follows

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups chopped onions

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped bell peppers

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

3 bay leaves

9 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup chopped green onions

2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves

1 tablespoon file powder

White Rice, recipe follows

Hot sauce

In a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven or large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until well browned, about 8 minutes. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.

Season the chicken with the Essence and add in batches to the fat remaining in the pan. Cook over medium-high heat until well browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan, let cool, and then refrigerate until ready to use.

Combine the remaining 1/2 cup oil and the flour in the same Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook, stirring slowly and constantly for 20 to 25 minutes, to make a dark brown roux, the color of chocolate.

Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers and cook, stirring, until wilted, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the reserved sausage, salt, cayenne, and bay leaves, stir, and cook for 2 minutes. Stirring, slowly add the chicken stock, and cook, stirring, until well combined. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.

Add the reserved chicken to the pot and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, skimming off any fat that rises to the surface.

Remove the pot from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken thighs from the gumbo and place on a cutting board to cool slightly. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Pull the chicken meat from the bones and shred, discarding the bones and skin. Return the meat to the gumbo and stir in the green onions, parsley, and file powder.

Spoon rice into the bottom of deep bowls or large cups and ladle the gumbo on top. Serve, passing hot sauce on the side.

Emeril’s ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Yield: 2/3 cup

Recipe from “New New Orleans Cooking”, by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

White Rice:

2 cups long-grain white rice

4 cups water, chicken stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 bay leaf

In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the rice, water, butter, salt, and bay leaf and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit, covered and undisturbed, for 5 minutes.

Uncover and fluff the rice with a fork. Discard the bay leaf and serve.

Spicy Sausage & Rice Casserole

The following recipe was shared at my Caribbean dinner event. You can read about it and get additional Caribbean recipes from the event HERE.

Spicy Sausage & Rice Casserole
shared at the event by Nick
recipe HERE


28 ounces fresh, ground spicy pork sausage
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
1 slice onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a skillet, brown sausage and drain grease. Stir in rice, onion, garlic and peppers. Cook 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, chicken broth, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Pour into 9×13 inch pan.
Bake for 1 hour or until rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Or, at this step, you can cover and freeze it.

Curried Rice, Bacon & Cabbage Pilaf

The following recipe was shared at my Caribbean dinner event. You can read about it and get additional Caribbean recipes from the event HERE.

Curried Rice, Bacon & Cabbage Pilaf
shared at the event by Yumi
recipe from HERE


4 bacon slices, chopped
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, diced, divided
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups low-salt chicken broth
3 cups chopped green cabbage
1 cup chopped seeded plum tomatoes
1 cup chopped green onions

Cook bacon in large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels. Add 4 tablespoons butter to drippings in skillet; melt. Add onion, garlic, and ginger. Sauté over medium-high heat 5 minutes. Add rice, curry powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir 1 minute. Add broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium. Stir, cover, and simmer until broth is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt remaining butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add cabbage; sauté 3 minutes. Mix in tomatoes and green onions. Season with salt and pepper. Stir rice mixture into cabbage.