Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Shrimp Fried Rice

I tasted sushi once, a few years back, and was not very impressed with it. But a lot of my friends rave about sushi and say it is simply the best. So I had a dinner meeting the other evening at one of my favorite places, Sushi 101, and decided to try something new. Yes, I know I just said I didn't care for sushi...but I don't go there for the sushi. I am hooked on the shrimp fried rice. However, the other night I was feeling a tad bit adventurous so I was coerced into eating an avocado roll as well. O-M-G. I have been converted. It was so silky and delicious. Nothing like what I anticipated. So of course it is on to the California roll next. But, everything in moderation. Now I won't be eating eel or anything that out of the box; but I am definitely more open to trying some new things now.

I was having a craving for shrimp fried rice this evening but not feeling much like driving to the restaurant. So I figured I would try it in my own kitchen. I did not have any leftover rice, which is a problem when making shrimp fried rice. But it was pretty darn good, if I must say so myself. The reason the rice should be leftover and cold is because it turns the grains firmer and gets rid of excess water. Using freshly cooked rice will turn into mush. Mine was not quite mush; but definitely a close cousin.

I like to do things my way so I am not big on the traditional things that you expect to see in fried rice - peas , baby corn, the egg, carrots. In my fried rice I included zucchini and mushrooms. But you can use almost any vegetables you like.

Shrimp Fried Rice

2 tbsp chicken broth or water
2 tbsp rice wine (or other white wine)

1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt

1 tsp toasted sesame oil
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Fried Rice:
2-3 tbsp sunflower oil
1 small zucchini squash
1/2 medium yellow onion
1/2 medium green bell pepper
1/2 medium red bell pepper
1 c mushrooms
1/2 c long grain brown rice
10-15 medium shrimp

Wash and cut vegetables.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok or deep skillet over high heat until hot, but not smoking.

Add the shrimp and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Remove shrimp and set aside. Incorporate remaining oil. Add vegetables to the pan and stir fry for 3-5 minutes. Add the rice, stir frying and removing any clumps of rice that have gotten stuck together.

Add the shrimp back in. Incorporate the sauce and mix well. Remove from heat and serve.

So we will be a little more prepared next time, with some cold rice. And who knows? I might even try my hand at the avocado rolls too! Chopsticks anyone?

All photographs are actual pictures of the recipe listed, prepared by Sweet Treats 'n Good Eats, and cannot be used without the owner’s consent.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Apple Chips

It is really never good for me to be in the house for an entire day because I end up doing way too much snacking. I am out of Chex Mix and not feeling like running to the store so I am officially out of treats. So I am at it again with the mandolin and the potato chips. This time I am making my all-time favorite, apple chips.

My first experience with apple chips came shortly after Panera Bread added the Fuji apple chicken salad to the menu. So delicious! This salad comes with apple chips on the top. While it is truly a great salad, the chips get a little too soggy. And I don't do soggy. So I would find myself eating the chips off of the top of the salad before digging in.

I won't go into my obsession again with the chips and how I spent an arm and a leg with Seneca Foods, purchasing them in bulk to have on hand 24/7. But let's just say I did find it easier to make them myself. Today was supposed to be a day at the pool. But with the impending storm it looks like a day on the brown couch. Healthy snack...check. Fuzzy blanket...check. Remote control...check. Let's go!

Apple Chips

2 large apples (Red Delicious or Granny Smith)
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Healthy option:
2 large apples (Red Delicious or Granny Smith)
1/8 tsp Stevia (or use no sugar at all)
2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Use mandolin to thinly slice apples. Arrange apples in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Using a sieve, sprinkle over apple slices.

Bake in bottom part of oven until apples are crispy and dry, about 2 hours. Every 30 minutes flip the apple slices over to ensure they bake evenly. Once chips are done, let them cool completely. Store in airtight container for up to 3 days.

All photographs are actual pictures of the recipe listed, prepared by Sweet Treats 'n Good Eats, and cannot be used without the owner’s consent.