Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Day 8

Day 8 - Egg Foo Young
There's nothing terribly spectacular to see here. Just a glorified omelet with steamed rice and broccoli. Carry on!

The Egg Foo Young had ham, onions, garlic and ginger in an egg mixture. I didn't make it, so I don't know the specifics. Our sugar canister was a casualty of cookery, though. Please don't leave a plastic container near the stove and have the burner on high. The results are unpleasant.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Thus ends the first 7 of 300 days

Why not 365 days? Or 366 since it's a leap year?

I'll tell you why. Not every day will have rice in it. Some days there will be potatoes or sweet potatoes or corn! Since there are a TON of GF bloggers out there who post recipes and what-not, I didn't want to reinvent the wheel.

Because really, this blog isn't about being GF. It's about exploring all the different ways that rice can be used in recipes. You might be surprised at where it can turn up! If you've ever eaten a Rice Krispie Treat, you've eaten rice. Or Chex cereal? As long as it isn't Wheat Chex, it's GF *and* will have rice in it. Rice Krispies and Chex cereals are my go-to cereals.

Kellogg's makes a GF version of Rice Krispies but even fresh out of the bag they taste STALE. Regular Rice Krispies use malt flavoring and the jury is still out on whether or not the malt flavoring contains gluten or is harmful to celiacs, so it can't be labelled GF. I can eat regular Rice Krispies with no ill side-effects, but I can't eat anything made with wheat flour. Whether or not you want to risk eating the regular Rice Krispies is up to you, but don't say I didn't warn you about the GF ones. They taste OK in Rice Krispies Treats, though. So there is that.
MMMMM Rice Krispies Treats. Now I want some.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Day 7

Day 7: Pollo Tropical, chicken on the grill
Another one of our go-to places to eat out (there are only a few) includes Pollo Tropical/Tropi Grill. I swear the place used to be called "El Pollo Loco" back in the early 90s, but I could be wrong. Either way, their chicken on the grill is TASTY. The family meal comes with plaintains and bread (no bread for me) and then you can add as many sides as you'd like.

We typically get the Caesar salad (green stuff, YAY!) and white rice/red beans. My rice-n-beans has diced onions on top and cilantro-lime sauce on the side. Good stuff. This rice is NOT jasmine rice. I don't know what kind it is, but it's still good. They also have yellow rice with chopped up bits of veggies and brown rice to choose from as well. Rice for everyone!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Day 6

Day 6: Corned beef & havarti sandwich for lunch

Bet you didn't expect to see bread here! As a GF person, my breads have to be made with alternative flours. Rice flour is a biggie. This bread is from Rudi's (not Udi's!) and is amazing IF you toast it first. If you don't toast GF bread before trying to eat it, it crumbles into what I can only describe as resembling papier mache fuzz. Totally not tasty.

I've tried a lot of different GF breads. Let's just say that I like this one the best and leave it at that! They even make Cinnamon Raisin (my favorite!). There is nothing like a bacon, egg & cheese with mayo on raisin toast from Waffle House. That was my "after-clubbing" meal when I was a much younger person and there was actually a Waffle House on every corner. I can't wait to make myself one. MMMMM Raisin Toast!

Not every GF bread is made with rice flour, so I won't be including that in our gluten-free gastronomic journey. If I do post a meal with bread, it's rice-based.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Day 5

Day 5: Singapore Chow May Fun
Also known as "Singapore rice noodles", this is one of our favorite take out dishes. It is on the spicy side and has curry in it. The protein sources are pork, shrimp, fried egg, and chicken. There are green onions, chilis and assorted vegetables sliced thinly and tossed together in a wok. I'm not sure exactly HOW this is made, but it's VERY good.

The bonus is that the take out place is on my Better Half's way home from work, so if things have imploded at home, I can text him to pick up Chinese for dinner. Winning! The only down side to this dish is that there isn't enough of it. Time used to be that between him and me, we could eat one take out container of this and still have some left over. Turns out that our middle child (she of the buffalo wings at 2 years old) likes the spicy nature of this dish as much as we do. So we have to share.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Day 4

Day 4: Cilantro lime rice w/fajita chicken, refritos, broccoli
We like to go to Chipotle for a treat and we all LOVE the cilantro lime rice. I didn't bother to Google the recipe for it, I just grabbed a wad of cilantro, washed it, patted it dry and then chopped the heck out of it and tossed it in the rice cooker with the rice and water. I also squeezed about a half a lime into the water and swished everything together to make the flavors mingle. Mash "White Rice" on the front and wait for the beep!

Our rice cooker is from Costco. It's not one of the super-duper Japanese rice cookers that do your homework, massage your scalp and bake bread while singing "O Solo Mio". We used to use a tiny 4 cup rice cooker before our kids got bigger. Once we had three kids and were having family over for dinner, 4 cups was NOT enough. So we opted for the budget friendly Aroma brand. The link will tell you it's a 4-20 cup rice cooker. It isn't. Unless you're using the "new math". It will, however,  cook 2-10 cups perfectly EVERY time. I am not being paid by Aroma to shill their rice cooker. I promise. I'm just telling you what we own.

Not fancy, but it works!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Day 3

Day 3: Roast chicken, egg & cauliflower curry, spinach
Not the best picture but.... This was a yummy meal. Well, except for the spinach which tasted rather ODD. The rice is plain old steamed jasmine rice, cooked in the rice cooker, nothing fancy. The chicken however is a Cantonese Roast Chicken that my better half makes. The weird blob and egg in the bottom of the picture is cauliflower/boiled egg in curry sauce. Don't ask. The egg was good, but I over cooked the cauliflower. Whoops!

There are a lot of types of rice! For the majority of the dishes we make at home, they will be made with jasmine rice because it's what we buy. In 25 pound bags. We go through about 1 bag per month with 5 of us (2 adults, 3 kids ages 10, 8, 6). We also give my dad about 5 pounds or so a month because he LOVES rice. And well, we have plenty. If I make a dish with something OTHER than jasmine rice, I'll be sure to note it. I'll also link to recipes if they are available. :-D

Friday, January 4, 2013

Day 2

Day 2: Same as Day 1 with chili sauce
Second verse, same as the first! Okay, now you know I REALLY like this dish. I repeated it the very next day. I told you it was comfort food. This time I made a little change to the recipe. With comedic results.

Since the previous night's dinner was NOT ENOUGH!, I decided to make more... and since we ran out of water, I decided to up the amount of water. It's a 10 cup rice cooker, after all... The base recipe for the soup was identical to the previous evening's and I mashed "White Rice" on the front of the cooker and went on my merry way until there were about 12 minutes left on the cook cycle. I went to check on the soup and...

There was a MESS all over my glass top stove. This was one night I was GLAD that my stove is a solid surface. The rice cooker had overboiled (takes talent, I know!) and there was sticky rice water EVERYWHERE. But the soup was A-OK! I would've cried if it had been ruined because I wanted MORE SOUP!

Despite the minor mishap, the soup was delicious and my Better Half and I both ate about 2.5 bowls each. There is still leftover soup in the fridge (probably should toss it by now...)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Day 1

Day 1: Bubur (rice soup) with shrimp 

This humble dish is a staple in many Asian cultures. It is known by the name "congee" in China and "bubur nasi" in Indonesia. I call it "comfort food". There is nothing quite like a nice bowl of warm soup when the weather is cool and you feel like crap. It doesn't take much effort to eat or much effort to cook if you use my method.

We have a 10 cup rice cooker at our house. To make this soup, I put 1 cup of rice and filled the cooker with water to the 4 cup line and mashed the "White Rice" button on the front. I let it run through it's whole cycle (big mistake!) and when it was done, the soup was too thick. Easy to remedy, though. I used my instant hot water dispenser and added about 2 cups of boiling water to thin it down.

For protein, I threw in some smaller pre-cooked shrimp that were previously frozen (a go-to protein source at our house) about halfway through the cook cycle. For flavor enhancement, I put 2 garlic cloves, a small amount of fresh ginger and some green onions (just the whites) in with the water at the beginning of the cook cycle and swished it around a bit to get it mixed in. The result when you open the rice cooker is an aromatic, savory aroma that makes you HONGRY.

Most Asian dishes are served with condiments. True confession time: When my Better Half and I were first married, I would get SO put out because he would put sambal (hot chili sauce) on darn near everything. I was raised that you taste the food before adding anything to it so as not to insult the host/cook. It took about 4 years before I got over it!

Condiments make the soup. Common condiments for rice soup can include:

  • soy sauce
  • Szechuan chili oil
  • sesame oil
  • fish sauce
  • fried shallots
  • green onions (the green parts)
  • fried Chinese bread

The beauty of this is that you can add whatever you like in whatever amount you like to make it your own perfect bowl of soup.

My bowl had fried shallots, green onions, Szechaun chili oil, ginger oil and soy sauce. And it was GOOD. There is this restaurant in Jakarta that serves bubur. It's their main thing they make. They started as a food stall and eventually were a sit-down restaurant (with A/C!). They make about 10 different varieties of this dish. Some with a seafood base, some with pork, some with chicken and on and on. This restaurant was one of my late father-in-law's favorites. And it's one of mine, too. I can't wait to go back there when we go back home again.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What is 300 Days Of Rice?

As I've been chronicalling (is that even a word?) my rice-laden meals on Facebook/Twitter and was asked, "What is 300 days of rice?" and "Are you blogging it or something?". It was patently obvious to me what I was doing, but apparently my hashtag "300DaysOfRice" didn't have the same sort of meaning for everyone else out in the ether.

On January 1st, most people make resolutions. I don't. I find them to be a total waste of my emotional energy because eventually the will be broken. But I did want to try an experiment this year. A lot of my friends participated in "Project365" wherein one takes a photograph every day and blogs/tweets/ status updates it. I failed miserably at that in 2012. I wanted to do something, I just didn't want to make a commitment to a whole YEAR of something.

My ADD makes it hard to remember to eat some days. But I do eat at least one meal per day. I can remember that! And because I have gluten intolerance and have been gluten-free for going on 3 years, I figured, "Hey! Why not blog about my food?" Since I'm GF, rice makes up the staple grain in my diet. And since my Better Half is Asian, we already ate a lot of rice to begin with.

Many people don't realize how versatile rice is and so #300DaysOfRice was born. My culinary journey with 300 days with rice in them. It might be in a form you aren't used to seeing, but it will definitely be rice.

Dig in and enjoy!