Sorry for getting this post up late...but after dinner last night we watched Hustle & Flow and while that was on, I worked on a side projected. I started cataloguing my cookbooks. You can find those on the right side of this blog now. It's a work in progress, so check back as I keep updating and making changes.
As for the movie...it's not the purpose of the blog...the song...great...the movie...eh.....but if you want more on yesterday's Oscar noms, go to Sterfanie's blog or J-lo's blog.
OK, on to Dinner.
When I moved to DC in 1998 to go to grad school, the place I moved into had a kitchenette. I had a tiny fridge with a freezer that didn't work. A mini-microwave, a double hot-plate and a sink. That's what the apartment came with and that's what I had to work with. I soon added a few things. A blender...I was a college student after all and needed to make margaritas! An electric wok and what was called a "kitchen kettle." I still have the blender, it was a good investment and still works really well. The wok worked well (alliteration!) for awhile, then it went into a landfill. The kitchen kettle stayed around for a few years. It was a marriage of an electric kettle that worked like crap and a slow cooker that was either too hot or too cold. But it was much safer than the hot plates and I had many uses for as a warmer as years went on.
One of the first "dishes" I made actually came out of the wok...and really wasn't a wok sounding food....Spanish Rice.
This is a side dish that served as a main dish more often than I care to admit in those early, very broke, no money years. It is still a a good affordable dish and can be adapted easily to many likes and dislikes. We had it last night with a basic cheese quesadilla...so it was a non-meateaters friendly meal. But not particularly healthy, unless you add more veg, which we could have done, I just estimated wrong in my prep!
(serves 6-8, as side)
1 cup rice (we had jasmine rice)
approx 3 cups water (start with 2 cups)
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
6 shishito chiles (it's what we had, or 1 bell pepper and 1 jalapeno)
1/2 yellow onion, diced (it's what I had in the fridge prepared)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 TB Olive Oil
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp oregano
1/2 packet taco seasoning
S/P to taste
In a large skillet heat the olive oil until hot, add the onions and pinch of salt, saute until soft, about five minutes. Add garlic, stir for one minute. Add rice, stir for one minute. Add first two cups of water, bring to a soft simmer and cover for ten minutes.
Remove cover and stir. Add in peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, cayenne, oregano and 1/2 the packet of taco seasoning. Allow to simmer over low heat. Pay attention to the rice and the amount of water in remaining. I always have to add extra water, so I add a few splashes at a time. Last night it was an extra cup, before the rice was done. One reason for the extra water, the taco season has a thickening agent in it that sucks up the water....so play it by ear.
Take a taste and season with S/P.