If you’re anything like me, you tend to make way more rice than you need. I seem to ALWAYS have leftover rice in my fridge! This Spanish Rice is a great way to spruce up your leftover rice for your next taco/Mexican night.
I like peas and carrots in my Spanish Rice. Feel free to take a more traditional approach to your own rice and omit the veggies if you’d rather keep it simple.
Vacations are a glorious thing. Instead of worrying about bills or what to make for dinner every day, I spend more time worrying about what shoes to wear each day. Sunny San Diego was beautiful – as it usually is. We were there to pet sit for Mister’s sister but we took advantage and turned it into a vacation for the two of us. It was a balmy 68 degrees during the day and cooled off to a mild 64 degrees at night. Perfection.
We stayed in a neighborhood within walking distance to beach. The sights and smells of the ocean were therapeutic to say the least. Mountainous Colorado is a wonderful place to live but it lacks numerous large bodies of water. I have missed the water so. I could have walked along the beach – soaking in the sun, picking up seashells, digging my toes into the sand – all vacation long (believe me, we did plenty of that!), but there were loads of other sights and sounds to enjoy too.
We attended a BBQ on the beach with family and friends and took a scenic bike ride around Mission Bay. We visited local shops and indulged in some local brews too. We also ate so much delicious food!! I can’t believe we ate so much in the short time we were there. Have you ever heard of a California Burrito?
The name is a bit deceiving because I haven’t seen a California Burrito outside of San Diego. Anywho, it’s a burrito filled with carne asada, cheese and pico de gallo. Your typical burrito… except that it features crispy french fries inside of the tortilla as well! It sounds too good to be true, right? It almost is. I DREAM of California Burritos outside of San Diego constantly.
We also attended a poke festival with a few of the coolest Filipinos I know. We stuffed our faces full of fresh ahi poke, yellowtail poke, salmon poke and (fill in the blank) poke.
When our stomachs were bursting, we walked until we made room, then filled the spaces with more Hawaiian-themed treats like spam musubi, loco moco, shaved ice, kona coffee and mango pastries. Yum, yum and yum!
It was great to spend time with family and meet new friends but it is also nice to be home. There is just something completely comforting about sleeping in your own bed. After so much delicious food in California, we were due for a light meal. This smoked salmon sushi bowl hit the spot. You can easily make this vegetarian by omitting the salmon. It will still be light and flavorful and you wont be able to stop eating it.
Have you seen those commercials for Taco Bell’s new Cantina Bowl? “Experience our new citrus-herb marinated chicken, flavorful black beans, guacamole made from real Hass avocados, pico de gallo prepared fresh daily, roasted corn & pepper salsa and a creamy cilantro dressing, all served on a bed of cilantro rice.”
I must say, they worked on me. I purchased one of these suckers the other day and I haven’t stopped dreaming about it since. Their Cantina Bowls are amazing!
And no, I am not getting paid to write this article (although I wish I were … *wink wink Taco Bell*).
This is my favorite item on any fast food menu by far. The ingredients are fresh and the lime and cilantro really makes everything pop. This is my rendition of their Cantina Bowl. I made sure to marinate the chicken in lime and herbs and mix plenty of cilantro into the dressing. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty dang close! Give ‘er a try and let me know what you think!
Combine the marinade ingredients in a ziplock baggie and add the chicken. Make sure there is enough oil to cover the chicken and close it tight. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
In the mean time, cook the rice.
Combine the ingredients for the dressing, taste and adjust flavors to your taste. Chill in the fridge.
In a large pan over medium high heat, add a bit of the marinade (oil) to the pan then add the chicken. When the chicken begins turning white on sides of each piece, flip the chicken over and cover the pan with a lid. Lower the heat to a simmer and leave the chicken undisturbed for 6-8 minutes. Check the internal temperature of your chicken and remove from the heat once cooked to temperature (165 degrees). Allow to rest for 5 minutes then slice into bite-size pieces.
Heat the black beans and corn kernels in a medium pot over medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To build your cantina bowl, place the rice, black beans and corn, chicken and lettuce in a bowl then drizzle with lime-cilantro ranch dressing. Add dollops of pico de gallo and guacamole and serve.
If you’ve never had Chinese sausage, you are in for a special treat today. Chinese sausages are dried and are made with sweetened pork and various spices. They have a very high fat content, which becomes ideal when they steam with your rice and flavor the entire pot. I usually have my friends pick up a few packs of them for me when they visit Hong Kong or San Francisco. If you aren’t planning a trip to either of those places anytime soon, you can order them online here.
There are two types of Chinese sausages. One is red and made purely out of pork (pictured above). The other is darker in color and is made out of liver (typically duck liver). There are different varieties of each too.
Whichever you prefer, these sausage keep for a long time and are super versatile. Add them to stir-frys, in soups, asian meatballs, or make Sticky Rice.
The recipe below is very forgiving. Add or omit ingredients as you see fit. This is the base recipe I use when I make this dish.
3 cups Chinese or Japanese short-grain sticky ("sweet") rice*
1 cup Chinese dried black mushrooms* or dried shiitake mushrooms (1 1/2 oz)
5 Chinese sausages* (6 to 8 oz total)
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallion (white and pale green parts only; from 1 bunch)
1 1/2 cups bottled peeled cooked whole chestnuts (from a 14- to 15-oz jar), drained and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup Chinese rice wine or medium-dry Sherry
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
Cover rice with cold water by 1 inch in a large bowl and soak at least 2 hours. Drain in a sieve and rinse well under cold running water.
Soak mushrooms in warm water 30 minutes, then drain, squeezing excess liquid back into bowl, and discard liquid. Rinse mushrooms to remove any grit, then discard stems and coarsely chop caps. 3Quarter sausages lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
Heat a wok over high heat until just smoking. Add peanut oil and heat, swirling in wok, until just smoking. Add ginger and scallion and stir-fry 30 seconds. Add sausage and stir-fry 1 minute, then add mushrooms and stir-fry 1 minute. Add chestnuts and stir-fry 1 minute. Stir in rice wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, salt, and white pepper and remove from heat. Add drained rice and stir to coat.
Transfer mixture to a 4- to 6-quart heavy pot and add broth (broth will not completely cover rice). Bring to a simmer, stir once, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 25 minutes more, then remove from heat. Stir from bottom to distribute ingredients and let stand, covered, 10 minutes before serving.
When I think of Hawaii, I think of fresh seafood and road-side fruit stands.
Yes, that’s me and my good friend Siobhan at a fruit stand off of the Road to Hana in Maui. The gentleman working the stand was so genuine and kind – he gave us this fresh coconut (cracked the thing right in front of us with a machete!) to thank us for stopping by. A perfectly refreshing way to unwind on this hot day.
Big Beach, Maui – definitely on my top 3 favorite places I’ve traveled to. The smells and the sounds of this beach make me want to set up camp and call it home.
What can I say? I’m an island girl. With all the plump shrimp and sweet pineapple chunks in this fried rice dish, this recipe is a tip of the hat to the Hawaiian islands and all the joy they bring me. I can’t wait to see you again.
1.25 lbs shrimp, shelled and deveined, (1 lb after peeled), chopped into large chunks
1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple, cut into small chunks
5 large scallions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 fresh jalapeno, diced (with most of the seeds if you like heat)
2 teaspoons soy sauce, or more to taste
1 tablespoon fish sauce
cilantro for garnish
Cook brown rice according to package directions and set aside to cool.
Cut a pineapple in half and use a knife to line the edge between the fruit and the rind. Hollow out both halves to make two bowls. Cut the pineapple into small pieces and set aside.
Heat a nonstick wok or large skillet on high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil and then add the shrimp. Cook a couple minutes, tossing almost continuously, until pink and cooked through. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.
Add the scallions, chili and garlic to the pan. Add a bit more oil if the pan is dry. Saute about a minute, then add the rice, pineapple chunks (and some of the juice) and combine. Add soy sauce and fish sauce, stir and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the shrimp, combine and allow to simmer for a few minutes before serving.
The serve, place the rice mixture into each half of the hollowed out pineapple. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve.
Stir fry is one of my all time favorite dishes. There’s something about crisp, fresh veggies and a quick cooking method that makes me a happy girl. This stir fry recipe is especially rockin’. As Mary puts it, “The sweet and spicy combo kicks some major ass while the gooey texture of the fresh mango gives this dish a really great flavor and thickness.”
Fresh mangoes really make this dish. I absolutely love when mangoes are in season (and on sale!). I buy boat loads of them, slice and dice them and freeze them to use later on. Easy peasey and always on hand.
Combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of garlic and ginger. Place the chicken in a large ziplock bag and add the corn starch. Toss to coat and add the marinade. Set aside while you prep the veggies
Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to a wok or large frying pan and place over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and stir fry it until it is cooked. Remove the chicken, along with it's delectable juices, and set aside.
Add the remaining oil to your pan and heat it. Add the onion, remaining garlic and ginger, and hot peppers. When the onions are clear, add the rest of your vegetables. Stir fry for a minute or so and add the mango and curry powder. Continue stir frying until the vegetables are cook yet crisp.
Add the cooked chicken and chicken juice and season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Serve hot over noodles or rice.
If you're not exactly sure how to pick out a sexy mango or how to cut a mango, check this article out.
Are you asking yourself if you should make this recipe? Well the answer is: YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES EYS YES EYS YES YSEYSE YSEYSEySYeyEYSEYSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!
I will never think of carrots the same way again. I suppose you can take that as a warning if you steam, bake, roast carrots and are satisfied. If you are the type of person who likes carrots just as they are, DO NOT TRY THIS RECIPE!
For those of you who live on the wild side from time to time, TRY THIS RECIPE!!
…especially when you don’t know what to do with those leftover carrots.