Etienne's Cooking Adventures
Sweet Fried Rice

Breakfast and I don’t get on very well most of the time. When I have energy at the beginning of the day, I experiment trying to find foods that I will actually eat not long after I wake up, and today, I found a good one. I like fried rice, I like sweet spices, why not try sweet spiced fried rice. Alex described it as kind of liked French toast, so here, the fried rice equivalent of French toast.

1 bowl of leftover rice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (ground)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (ground)
1/2 teaspoon cloves (ground)
1/2 teaspoon allspice (ground)
1/2 teaspoon star anise (ground)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons cooking rice wine
1 egg
a bit of canola oil (or other lightweight, low flavor oil)

1. Mix the rice wine, sugar, and spices in a small bowl.
2. Whisk the egg.
3. Use a bit of oil on the bottom of your frying pan, heat to medium, cook the egg until no longer runny.
4. Add rice and sauce (and if needed a bit more oil), stir thoroughly.

It will be done when everything is blended and sizzling a bit.

Notes: I use the rice wine sugar combination as a sweet light soy sauce substitute sometimes, so this would probably be good with that if you are not allergic to soy. It could also be interesting to add a fruit that cooks well to this (if you try it and it turns out well, let me know!).

Beef Ribs and Beef Broth

(I forgot to take pictures.  Sorry!)

I decided to make beef ribs using the recipe the recipe for pork ribs that I have used in the past.  Because the beef that I was using is less fatty than the pork that I have used, I decided to add a bit extra liquid for the slow cooking.  What ended up happening was that I made accidental (delicious) beef broth.  Next time I cook this, I’m going to pretty much put as much liquid as the clay pot can hold along with the beef (and maybe some spare marrow bones if I can get them) and make intentional delicious beef broth.

More information under the cut:

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Sweet Fried Rice With Vegetables

(I forgot to take pictures again…  I really need to remember to do that).

Tonight I made a two dish dinner (and there will be a post about the other dish in a minute).  The first dish was a Sweet Fried Rice with Vegetables.  I was feeling kind of tired and did not want to cut up a ton of vegetables really fine, so instead of buying whole vegetables for this, I bought a pack of coleslaw veggies (broccoli, carrots and cabbage) at the grocery.  If you know that such things are usually pretty fresh where you shop, it can be a great way to save some prep time (or just your hands and wrists some pain) basically shredding vegetables.

More on the dish itself under the cut:

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Pad See Ew
One of the cookbooks that I’ve acquired (The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook) has an excellent recipe for Pad See Ew.  It’s also just a lovely cookbook.  This is a really quick dish to make, though there are a couple of moments that are a little bit challenging (starting the oil and meat mainly).  This is becoming one of our staple foods, and despite the fact that I’ve made it several times now, I still haven’t taken a picture.  Maybe I’ll remember next time I make it.
I’ve shared this recipe around because it is delicious and easy to make substitutions for.  When a recipe calls for sweet light soy sauce, equivalent amount of rice wine and brown sugar makes an excellent substitute (and it apparently tastes very similar).
Pad See Ew recipe below the cut.

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I’ve let this lapse a little bit because the real world is being insane, and I haven’t had much time for experimental cooking.  Once I’m done with some things that are work related, I should have the time to make interesting things and post about them again.

Chinese style pork ribs with green beans.  This dish turned out wonderfully.  I used a recipe for The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook which called for soy sauce, but I switched in fish sauce and added some extra sugar and honey, and it worked just fine.  This is one of the few ways that I’ll eat pork.

I did try to make this again with chicken, and the fish sauce imparted a bit too musky a fish flavor.  (That’s what happens with fermented fish…)  I’m not sure if it’s the pork that balances it out or the bone in nature of ribs.

Beef and Basil in Oyster Sauce

More than anything I’m posting this because I have a real wok now!  This was a stirfry with beef, (Taiwan) basil and oyster sauce.  There is also fresh ginger and garlic in there.  Basil is a great substitute for spinach in stir fries.  It has a richer taste, lots of good vitamins and minerals, and it doesn’t get stringy nearly as easily!

Meet the claypot.  Isn’t she pretty!  This is one of the most amazing Goodwill finds ever.

Had another go at claypot chicken.  I doubled the sauce/marinade, and it turned out much richer and more delicious.  I also used a little bit of chili sesame oil to make it spicier.

Had another go at claypot chicken.  I doubled the sauce/marinade, and it turned out much richer and more delicious.  I also used a little bit of chili sesame oil to make it spicier.

Marinating Ground Meat

When I was making a dish with ground meat instead of bite sized pieces and needed to marinade them, I used the equivalent amount of marinade for the weight.  It turns out that this was a mistake.  When I got to the point where I had eventually adjusted the sauce enough for the meat not to be dry, I’d pretty much doubled the amount.

Word to the wise, if you are substituting ground meat in a recipe, you should probably double your marinade amount.  There is more surface area per volume for the ground meat.

Oh well, next time I make the dish, I will know.