Saturday, February 21, 2009

Five Rules for Fried Rice

I have had many unsatisfying bowls of fried rice, but recently I have perfected my technique. These are the my rules for making perfect fried rice.

1. Use room temperature rice, I usually cook mine then tip it in a colander rinse under the cold tap and leave it to sit on the sink while I chop everything else.
2. Use five or fewer vegetables and proteins and cut everything into similar sized pieces.
3. Use a very hot wok.
4. Cook fried rice a serve at a time, start with aromatics like ginger and garlic and raw meat or the hardest vegetable; add the rice and egg last.
5. Add liquid seasoning like soy or fish sauce to the finished dish.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Links clean-up

I was going though the food bookmarks I have accumulated over the last two years, I thought it might be interesting to see how many I have tried and clear out the folder at the same time. I store internet recipes as bookmarks if I might make them and email myself a copy or the recipe if I am actually planning to make the recipe that night or during the week, that way if I really like it I have a handy permanent electronic copy.

*Brinjal Masala, a Kerela-style eggplant dish. I have made this multiple times and it's fantastic. Grill the eggplant instead of frying to reduce the oil content a bit
*Bill Granger's Coconut Bread from the New York Times, I've made this a few times. It's good.
*Jamaica Banana Jam, bookmarked during the Australian banana shortage of 2006. I must have been really craving bananas, but now I have real bananas again I'm not really interested in making this.
*Jim Lahey's No-Knead Bread reprinted by The Wednesday Chef. I did make no-knead bread lots shortly after the recipe came out, but it isn't fantastic as written. I like it made with 1/3 rye, but I've moved on to other breads.
*Perfect Coq Au Vin from Nigel Slater. I haven't made this yet. But I will when the temperature drops below 30 degrees Celsius.
*Korean Vegetable Rice Bowl from Gourmet magazine. I have never followed this recipe, but I did use it as a starting point for my own bibimbap, since nobody on epicurious follows the recipe as written, I think this probably counts as made.
*Frijoles Negros from the Three Guys From Miami. I have made these beans at least twice, but I've failed to return to the site for other recipes.
*Curried Sweet Potato Soup appealed to me because I normally have all the ingredients to hand, but I haven't made it yet.
*Braised Lamb Shanks with Leeks and Haricot Beans from Nigel Slater. I normally braise shanks in a style similar to osso buco; this is another one I will try when the weather cools down.
*Five-hour Shoulder of Mutton from Gourmet Traveller by way of Stonesoup. I was going to try this about 18 months ago, but the butcher didn't have any lamb shoulders and mumbled something about people wanting this cut after watching Jamie Oliver. I still haven't made it.
*Bill Granger's Scrambled Eggs, Aussie food bloggers mostly seem mad for Bill's eggs. I bookmarked it, but I prefer my eggs in most other formats.
*Pickled Jalapeño Rings, I will make this as soon as I can find a lot of jalapeños in good condition and at a reasonable price. I love pickled jalapeños.
*The Amazing Five-Hour Roast Duck, made for Christmas 2007, it was amazing.
*Piaz ka Chatni, a fresh onion relish. I should make it next time we have Indian food.
*Pita Bread, I have been meaning to try this when the bread runs out, but still haven't got to it.
*Traditional Napa Cabbage Kimchi, I totally want to make Kimchi this year. I'm not sure this is the recipe that I'll use.
*No-Knead Pizza Dough, another one from Jim Lahey. I think the no-knead recipe would work better for pizza bases than as a loaf. This only came out this month and it's too hot to make pizza.
*Curried Black-Eyed Pea Soup, it's also too hot for soup.

Six out of eighteen, not too bad for recipes I wasn't necessarily going to try. Lots of these are cold weather meals, so I'll try to review some later in the year.