Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ham Fried Rice

FriedRice01 003

My family made a ham for Easter.  After a couple days of fried ham and ham sandwiches we were about done.  My mother kept telling me to make fried rice, so I did.  Then she asked why I was making fried rice.


So I decided to make a batch to share with friends.  It's a great dish to use up leftover meat and vegetables.  I searched the food sites for a few recipes but wound up doing my own thing.  Partially inspired by Jean George's ginger fried rice, I took what should be a quick dinner and broke it down into multiple steps, first crisping up finely diced ginger and garlic in oil, then browning the leftover chopped up ham with a small diced onion and frozen peas, and setting them all aside before adding back to the rice and scrambled eggs.

Not having a full time job at the moment, I have the luxury of time to cook a dish that takes all day, and even it doesn't, it has been therapeutic to take a simple dish and focus on preparing each ingredient to bring out as much flavor as possible.  Browning any of the ingredients definitely helps.  I'd like to think that's sort of French of me.

Monday, April 1, 2013


Madelines 001

I actually made these for Valentine's Day, which shows how behind I am!  I believe, like Alton Brown, that you shouldn't purchase anything for the kitchen that is "single purpose."  Like a garlic press.  Use a knife, people!  (My dream knife - Global chef's Knife, 10" (Google Affiliate Ad)). But to make madeleines, you need a madeline pan (Kaiser Classic Nonstick Madeleine Pan (Google Affiliate Ad), or else they are just mini pound cakes.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.  But then they're not madeleines.

The packaging for the pan had a recipe on the back for the little cakes, but I was skeptical.  Who tested it?  I found a few recipes on the Food Network site, and was tempted to choose the easiest one.  But felt for my first time (and Valentine's Day), I should make them right.  So Julia Child it is.  I used the recipe as it was posted from the blog hungry sofia.

I liked not having to use a mixer (too many pieces to wash).  A wooden spoon will do.  And it's good exercise.  There are a few more steps than just tossing everything into a bowl and stirring, but it wouldn't be French if it was haphazard like that.  Browning the butter and adding lemon zest are two things I think are necessary to make them extra special.  They baked with their signature little "hump" on top, and the edges browned nicely.  Not bad, for my first try.