Thursday, October 3, 2013

Cooking From My Pantry Fried Rice

Fried Rice (minus the egg)






Pantry by definition: Is a room or closet that food items are stored. I consider anywhere I store food items my pantry. Scarey right!

Today I am going to walk you through a Fried Rice Dish. This Dish is always something I make with the stuff I keep in my pantry and my freezer.  If you are ordering out Chinese for Fried Rice, you really can make one in just minutes on the fly, if you have it on hand in your pantry. Or what is hiding in that freezer.

First what is your favorite kind of fried rice? Mine is usually a little meat, sometimes egg, loads of onions, sauteed garlic slices, always peas and carrots, and sometimes another vegetable, if I have any on hand.

Let's talk about Rice.

I keep on hand at least 2 bags of the Uncle Ben's Ready Rice 90 seconds. One bag will make enough for two people or a quart serving of fried rice.



Or a box of Minute Rice. These two rice, seem to hold up better in a fried rice. Now white grain rice if left over night, also will hold up to the second cooking.

Now the Vegetables:

I adore onions when they are softened, so I kinda go heavy on a small dice.
Garlic is another of my favorite and I keep fresh garlic bulbs and any time I get a change to soften them in a stir fry I always add them. I slice them paper thin.
Peas and Carrots are another nice vegetable to add to a fried rice. You add them frozen and they soften as you start making the rice. If you have any brocolli add it in too, frozen and it will soften all together.

The Meat:

Chicken - next time you cook breasts, make one extra and cut in chunks and put into a freezer bag and just pull out when you want it with chicken.
Pork - next time you are making chops, just pull one off and slice it really thin and store it also in a freezer bag.
Kielbasi - which is usually my go to, I take it from the store and cut into 4 pieces and then into bite size pieces and into a freezer bag.

I actually keep a freezer gallon, and put all the smaller meat bags inside and they are labeled for fried rice..sometimes although I sneak over and take a little for a pizza now and again.   SHHHHHH!

 The Egg:

I always do it first in the pan and make scrambled eggs and put to the side. I usually sometimes skip it because I really don't miss it. If you like it, and need the protein then add it. Makes it authentic fried rice.

So now lets us see what we can make here:

Fried Rice  (serves 2)

(Today mine is made with Chipolte Kielbasa)

Ingredients:

Rice (already made) 1 cup

1/4 piece of Kielbasa (diced)

1/2 onion small (diced)

3 garlic cloves (paper thin)

1/2 cup of frozen peas and carrots

1 tbs of soy sauce (reduced sodium)

1tbs of olive oil

Instructions:

*If you want the egg in it, scramble egg first in pan and pull out for a few minutes, you will add back in with rice.


1) In a pan large enough to make the entire rice dish. Put in olive oil and kielbasa. Let kielbasa brown just a bit. Keep on Medium heat.

2) Throw in onions and garlic (watch garlic) just enough to soften.

3) Throw in frozen peas and carrots.. Saute until unfrozen just a bit.

4) Add the rice and egg into the pan. Start to toss all around with the other things in the pan. Add a little soy to it.

5) Heat until rice is warm and continue to toss while it is heating.

Serve and Enjoy

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 Lunch from my Pantry.

Once you get the hang of trying to remake things that you have. Saving that little bit that you usually don't know what to do with it. Can make an entirely new meal.

So if you are hankerin' for that fried rice, you can do it.

Make it your own, add what you like...

Yes, it really is just that simple.....

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Calizone Round 2 Frozen Store Bread Dough







I know, I know...she ain't too pretty....but come on guys looks are deceiving...
Her cargo is full of spinach, garlic, onions, mushroom and oooeye gooey mozzarella cheese. Pulling into shore on this one, you gotta let her sit, so she cools down, cause she is one hot babe...

I laughed the whole time I wrote that. I am my best entertainment. The other day I went to the store and bought the bag of frozen bread dough (5 in a bag) I actually took out three and put each one in a gallon baggie sprayed with Pam spray and slipped back into my fridge. Not really sure what they would become, but as you see during this week they are taking on a life of their own.

Now we all know, I just love spinach, I buy a whole bag or carton almost every week. The thing about spinach is, it can sneak or go boldly into any meal. Also if it looks as if I might not make it in freshness much longer, one can cut into ribbons and put into a freezer bag. Or freezer baggies in serving sizes to pull out for what you are cooking.

I am also a fan of fresh garlic (which can be used and then again saved in freezer) onions which also I have on hand and they can also be prepped for saving too. Mushrooms is another one of mine.. wow these are all fresh things and can be kept a little while and then if you don't use them in the right time, you can preserve them into serving in freezer. Note freezer is my best friend. I have a shelf just for the small things I save.

Saving in these days is so very important. It stretches my grocery bill and if you are like us it can really wrack up in the money. I can spend as much as a house payment in one day.

When I find something I can do multi things with I am delighted.

Today I made a calizone, a big one. I will eat a piece for lunch, the baby will eat a snack piece, the big boy will take 1/3 and eat and the other 3rd I will pack away in the daddy's lunch box.  Gone Calizone....



Calizone

* calizones can be filled with whatever you like. I try to use only dry things that don't have alot of juice. If you use sauce (which I didn't even miss, use a little.) You can use all meats, all veggies. When I have time I sometimes roast all kinds of veggies and keep to put into one. Eggplant is delicious in one.

Ingredients:  (in mine today)

1 thawed pizza dough ( use can use Pillsbury canned, or make your own)

4 mushrooms (diced)

1/3 onion (diced)

2 cups of spinach ( ribboned or chiffonade)

2 large cloves of garlic (minced)

1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese

sea salt

Instructions:

1) I cup up everything and put into a bowl and added cheese and tossed together by hand.

2) Foil a cookie sheet and then spray with non-stick and spread out your dough, like you are doing a pizza.

3) Lay all the mixture kinda down the middle towards the front, leaving clean edges.

4) Pull over top (if you have a hard time pick up the foil at the top and use it to pull top dough over the mixture) Be quick .

5) Pinch all the edges and fold over a bit if you can to make sure you sealed it all. (It will look like a big mountain)

6) Poke a few holes.

7) Pop into a 350 oven for 30-40 minutes. I liked mine browner so I turned it up to 400 for a few more minutes.




PLEASE YOU MUST LET IT SIT AND COOL FOR ABOUT 10 MINUTES OR SO. IT IS SUPER GOOEY AND HOT.  BE PATIENT (I know this cause I wasn't)

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Now check her out. She was as yummy as she looks. I know I am making you hungry and any time you want, holler, I love company. I love cooking.

Keep praying for me, I am working on a cookbook. I know food and me. It is a new path for me. I will keep everyone posted. If you are going to be interested and would like for me to hold one for you. Please post a comment.

Again my friends.. This was made with simple things and from simple things came a really great meal. One to share with your friends and family.

So get out there and make it yours.  It really is just that simple.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Meatless Monday - Indoor Grilled Pizza



MONDAY......
I know today is Tuesday and I tried really hard to get over here and post this, but my Laundry was the boss yesterday...Try like 8 loads...geezzzzz...

I am trying to incorporated at least 3-4 meatless days into our weekly menus. One because it seems we eat a little more veggies and it saves a little more money.  I am making Monday our first Meatless day. Meatless Monday..I know alot of people use that name, so I can borrow it too.

This week I made  personal pizzas. I keep most of the veggies on hand so I can just throw them in a pinch and make the meals more nutritious.  I have shared with you how I cut up and try to use what vegetables I have before they go bad, and right when I run out of ideas I either dice them up into small portions, into freezer bags for other meals, or I boil everything into a purree for a wonderful meatloaf.

For cooking this pizza, I thought I would try something different without cranking up the stove. I have an electric indoor grill that I wear out all the time. Which left me with a great idea... grilled pizza.

When I was younger, I grew up with 5 siblings. My mother would always want to make the birthdays special. We were allowed to choose the meal. Not like these days, we didn't go out, but that was okay, because she was a wonderful cook. My oldest sisters favorite was chicken and dumplings. My oldest brothers were liver and onions. (mine too, but not on my birthday). One of my littlest sisters, hers was chicken pot pies from the freezer section..go figure. Mine was homemade pizza. She would hand make the dough (when it cooked you could smell the yeast) and then take a can of whole tomatoes and squeeze each one onto the top of the pizza, a little garlic salt and then cheese and we were on our way. I loved birthdays..

So let me share with you my new creation

Indoor Grilled Pizza  (2)

Ingredients:

pizza dough ( at this point you can make your own, pillsbury in the can, or I buy the frozen dough bread rolls and let thaw out)
*tip - If you use the frozen bread rolls, I spray a gallon ziplock with pam spray and slip frozen dough in and let it rise in that. You can keep a few days in refrigerator.

Motzerella cheese (or what you like)

Vegetables ( small diced - I used onions, mushrooms and spinach.)

Olive Oil

Garlic Salt

Sea Salt

Instructions:

1) Pre-heat your grill with a little olive oil.

2) Prep your toppings, make them a little small on the dice, so they get tender from the grill.

3) Take 1/2 dough and stretch in kinda rectangly, or how you can get it.

4) Lay on grill. Grill until side is crunchy brown, and flip.

5) Now put on toppings, you can use sauce, but I just skipped it. I also just used a little cheese. Put a dash of garlic salt on top.

6) Crank the heat down just a bit so the crust will heat through and get the toppings cooked a little ( at this point you could slip into an oven) but I proceeded to finish on the grill. I then took my crock pot lid (any lid, or even a pan and flip over top to kinda let the stuff all melt and get gooey.)

When it is kinda melty (watch the bottom you don't want to burn it) Slide off onto a cutting board and let sit a minute. (melts the cheese a little more)

Finish with a splash of olive oil and dash of sea salt. Cut and enjoy.




Here is a shot of the bottom..
 and of course the bite...Yummy...

I think the easier something becomes, the easier it is to plan. Slip in a frozen dough loaf into the fridge and plan something great.. You could fill half of it up, with the same fillings, pop in oven and have a wonderful calizone.

Some things in life are just that simple...