The primary grain for large parts of the world. Cheap, easy, and filling.
A good vehicle for a complex sauce or meat course.
The plan tonight was to make a risotto again. Then I forgot to buy the
mushrooms. Unfortunately, I still had some beef stock to use up. So, as I had
been perusing some coffee table books, I came across a recipe for rice pilaf.
Making pilaf is pretty simple: Melt some butter, sweat some onions, cook the
rice a bit, then add the stock, boil, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed.
For improvisation, it turned out fantastic (and now that I think of it, Spanish
Rice is very similar to Pilaf...)
The same cookbook had a recipe for green beans and tomatoes, which turned out
pretty well, but I forgot the basil, which likely would've made it better.
All this was in accompaniment to some pork chops I picked up and pan-fried with
Altogether it turned out terrific, but I need to keep working on my vegetable
This is a good show of how much I've learned over the last 2 years:
- The chicken breasts were seasoned with Lawry's, pan-seared on a hot
pan with a bit of oil for browning, and then finished in a 400° oven
- While the chicken finished in the oven, I prepared the risotto,
mostly from this recipe from
(though I've learned from Emeril's recipe, and these risotto
techniques from The
- A cup of milk deglazed the pan, 1/4 tsp of garlic powder, 2 tbsp of
dijon mustard, some salt, some pepper, and 1 tbsp of flour created
a pan sauce
And one thing I haven't learned:
- Frozen broccoli looks kind of silly next to the rest of this...
Altogether I like the formula: One difficult or involved thing
(risotto), one moderately-complex thing (the pan sauce), and the rest
easy things (chicken and broccoli). I spent about an hour in the
kitchen, and created something wonderful!
Another one from the dawn of my culinary bachelor past. This dish is
easy, cheap, nutritious, and delicious. It's so easy, I've lost the
recipe, I haven't made it in 5 or more years, and still I was able to
figure it back out from scratch.
This is a classic easy weeknight meal. Make some rice (20 minutes),
build the burritos (5 minutes), and bake for 20 minutes, and you're
done. The main ingredients, rice and beans, are pantry staples. The most
expensive ingredient is the cheese, but it's good to keep some cheese
around for cheese emergencies (though, in my opinion, the only emergency
is not having cheese).
Get the recipe for Bean and Rice Burritos
I love risotto. It takes some effort, but that effort is rewarded with
a delicious, creamy, flavorful rice dish. I've been making risottos for
a while. I made a mushroom parmesan barley risotto with poulet au vin
blanc, a few months back.
This gruyere and shrimp risotto was
a departure from the recipe I found, which called for asiago and
a pressure cooker. I made mine in the classic way, on the stove, slowly.
I had some gruyere left over from the potato dauphinois a few weeks
ago, and some shrimp that were
starting to get a little freezer burn (leftover from shrimp
It turned out amazing. The gruyere is sharp but not overpowering. The
shrimp lends a wonderful flavor. And it went great with the poulet,
which I'm always a fan of.
See the gruyere shrimp risotto recipe
When I started this blog, my refrigerator was practically empty. Now,
I've got half-used bottles of dozens of condiments, all waiting for
their return to the limelight. Today's recipe, Buffalo Chicken Bowls
brought back the buffalo hot sauce (leftover from an interesting pasta
concoction that didn't see the publish button), and hot sauce's natural
frenemy: Ranch dressing.
This recipe was a piece of cake with a slow cooker. The magic formula
for slow-cooking chicken seems to be:
- 2-3 pounds chicken
- 1-2 cups flavorful liquid
- 2-4 cups vegetables (beans, corn, potatoes, onions, carrots, celery)
(for other instances of this formula, see Taco Chicken
Bowls and Indian Spiced
I left out a few ingredients from the recipe, leaving only:
- Buffalo sauce
- Black beans
- Ranch dressing
In short, this was the Taco Chicken Bowls
recipe with buffalo sauce instead
of salsa, and no need for the spice blend.
Like the Taco Chicken Bowls, this goes great in a bowl with some rice,
a bit of ranch dressing and cheddar cheese, or wrap the lot in a burrito
skin, which is like a tube-shaped bowl you can eat!