Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Dinner. (or, how I learned to make fried rice).

Newlywed Husband is pretty easygoing when it comes to food. He's not a picky eater, usually goes back for seconds, and will freely share his favorite meal with you: Chili's Margarita Chicken with double rice, no veggies, and an iced tea.

He's never refused to eat any of the little messes I've cooked for him since we got married...even the fried eggs that were hard as rocks! (I'm allergic to egg yolks, so my egg-cooking experience was very limited until I met him).

Usually I stick to a pretty basic menu:

  • A green salad (I mix it up with different toppings/dressings)
  • Two veggies
  • A starch (oven fried potatoes, or sometimes just a little piece of french bread)
  • Grilled fish/chicken/turkey burgers

It make grocery shopping a whole lot easier (I've learned this the hard way), if you have a bunch of recipes that use similar ingredients as the base then created variety with the spices. I don't even take a list anymore unless I'm making something special...just stock up on the basics and get a little creative.

Monday night was one of those times that you just don't want to go out to eat...but there wasn't much in the house to cook. So...I got a little creative :)

The Cast of Characters:

  1. Frozen Salmon
  2. Rice (I use the kind you microwave for 90 seconds, but whatever is fine)
  3. Veggies (anything you have, I used frozen corn and some baby carrots)
  4. Two Eggs
  5. Soy sauce
  6. Sake (or any kind of rice wine)
  7. Brown Sugar
  8. Rice Wine Vinegar
  9. Salt and Pepper

First, defrost the salmon in the microwave. (whatever did we do without microwaves? Yes, I'm lazy. Hush.)

While the salmon is defrosting, stir together in a wide shallow pan equal parts soy sauce, brown sugar, and sake/rice wine (about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of each is good...if you're into using measuring cups and such).

Place the defrosted salmon in the pan with the soy sauce mixture and stick it in the fridge to marinate for about 5 minutes.

If you're lucky enough to have gotten a rice steamer for a wedding present - hooray for you! Cook the rice. I have no idea how to use a rice steamer though, so you'll have to figure that out for yourself. I personally prefer the Uncle Ben's rice that comes in the microwaveable bag. Cut a slit in the corner of the bag, microwave for 90 seconds. Set this aside for now.

Flip the salmon over in the pan, and let the other side marinate for about 5 more minutes.

Take the veggies you are using, and defrost / chop / cook them if you need to. I used frozen corn (defrosted), and baby carrots (chopped/cooked).

Heat a large skillet with a little EVOO (sorry Rachael Ray, I totally ripped off your acronym there), or butter flavored pan spray. I personally despise the taste of olive oil (I know, weird, huh?), so I usually go with the spray. Throw in the veggies that you are using, and let them sautee a for a bit, stirring occasionally, until they are starting to get just a little browned.

Meanwhile, heat another pan (also with a teensy bit of oil/spray), and put the salmon (but NOT the marinade into it). Cook for about 4 minutes, then flip it over and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes - until it's almost done, but not quite done. Take it out of the pan and just let it rest for a few. Pour all of the soy sauce marinade into the pan just vacated by the salmon, and pour in about 2 Tbsp. (or two generous glugs), of rice wine vinegar. Let this come to a boil, and then simmer for a few minutes, until it thickens into more of a sauce.

Back to the fried rice: add the two eggs into the pan with the veggies, and stir them around so they scramble. Add the rice once the eggs are fully cooked (if you add it too soon it will clump), and let it heat all the way through. Drizzle in a little soy sauce, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Throw (not literally), the salmon back in the pan with the marinade/now sauce, and let it heat back up.

That's it. Plate that sucker up, pour a nice big glass of red wine (you totally deserve it), and EAT!

P.S. Newlywed Husband loved this!

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