Due time for a food post.

I haven't posted about food in a while . . .

(photo courtesy of Heidi Swanson, 101cookbooks.com)
I haven't been repeating a lot of recipes lately, because there is just so much good stuff to try. Until this year, I hardly ever used recipes, and just relied on my own culinary intuition to guide me. The things I know worked out pretty well, but I've learned that using recipes and cookbooks has opened me up to all kinds of flavors and techniques that I wasn't using, simply because they weren't in my arsenal. And now that I've started, I just can't stop. Recipes are fun!

That being said, there is one recipe that I do keep coming back to. I've made it three times, twice for a crowd, and it is always a winner. Tasty, healthy, so simple, and quite beautiful, this Wild Fried Rice from 101cookbooks has awesome texture with the bite of the wild rice, big fluffy pieces of egg, and sweet peas that pop in your mouth. It's seasoned only with sesame oil and soy sauce, and is a good lesson for me of the value of simple flavors, as I often dump everything in my spice cabinet into one dish. I must admit that I omit the tofu, but you can be adventurous, or add meat if you please!

This is how I adjusted the recipe to what I have in the kitchen on a regular basis:

1 cup (uncooked) wild rice
1 yellow or red onion chopped
1 tsp chopped garlic
2 handfuls frozen peas
5 eggs, whisked (we like a lot of eggs, especially w/o other protein, but you could certainly do less)
1 Tbs sesame oil
olive oil
soy sauce
Cook the rice according to package instructions. You'll probably need to drain it and set aside. In a skillet or wok, heat olive and sesame oil and pour in eggs. Let cook as a thin layer and flip when the bottom begins to brown a little, keeping the eggs together. Remove from the pan when eggs are cooked through and slice the eggs into 1 inch strips. Add a bit more of both oils to the pan and add onions. Cook until translucent and add then add garlic. Cook for about 1 more minute and add peas (and any other veggies you want. The other day I added frozen corn and chopped green peppers. If you go that rout, add the peppers with the onion and the corn with the peas). Add a few shakes of soy sauce and stir in rice and eggs. Remove from heat and serve. Add more soy sauce to taste. Enjoy!

Speaking of tofu, I was thinking the other day about how silly it is, with all of the chemistry experiments that we call "food" out there, that we're scared of tufu, a totally natural, healthy protein. I know that I have a weird aversion to is simply because of the general wariness and skepticism against it. One of these days I'm going to go for it, but I might have to convince the person who shares my dinner table of it first :) Are there any tofu lovers out there to encourage us? 


allykirk said...

Elaine, I don't know if you remember me, but we met a few times at UCF and around Birmingham. I have enjoyed reading your blog and especially the photography. I wanted to encourage you that Tofu is in fact pretty great. A couple of recommendations. When you buy a brick of tofu I would get the extra firm if you are putting in a dish in large pieces kind of like cut up egg. I also read somewhere and have used this method. You take the tofu out of the fridge and place it between two plates and then put a book on top and let it drain for about 45 minutes. Then you cut it up into pieces like you would chopped chicken. My favorite is tofu in pad thai. Its good if after you drain the tofu you let it marinate in the sauce that you are using for a while. Then it soaks up the flavors and is so much better. Just some thoughts. Good luck

Kelly Davis said...

Hey Keith and Elaine! I used to eat this soup when i worked at the Japanese restaurant; it was really spicy, and featured tofu...it was awesome. We don't eat it much now though. Hope y'all are doing well.

Steve Mac said...

I'm pretty sure tofu aversion is in your dna, so it may not be curable!
Love ya!