Monday, March 30, 2009

Ronnie's Shrimp Fried Rice (Shrimp Chahan)

I have made fried rice since I was in Japan as a missionary -- we called it "chahan." We always had the ingredients and it was a filling and delicious meal. As a missionary, I didn't use shrimp. We used left-over pork, chicken, or whatever we had (even ham). But, my family feels that shrimp is the best.

1 lb. shrimp peeled and de-veined cut into bite sizes
1 stick of butter
2 tbs. canola oil
1 onion chopped fine
4-5 eggs
2-3 tbs soy sauce
1-2 tsp. Cajun seasoning (or McCormick's season all)
4 -5 cups cooked rice (we love basmati rice but any will work it should be cold, day-old is best)

In a large, non-stick pan, melt two tablespoons of butter. Crack the eggs one by one without overlapping. Break the yokes and let them cook on both sides until firm. Remove eggs, cut them into bite sized pieces, and put aside. Next, melt two more tablespoons of butter in the same pan and saute the onion. When they are translucent, add the rest of the butter. Add shrimp and cook until just about done. Then add canola oil. Next, add the rice crumbled into individual grains. Stir with a spatula until each grain is covered in butter/oil mixture (this is the rice frying part). Add the eggs back in. Then add soy sauce. The amount is up to your taste. Finally, sprinkle with Cajun seasoning to your taste.

This rice is excellent as a meal or as a side with rib eye steak served with a teriyaki sauce.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Whole Wheat Bread (no white flour)

I just got my Wondermill and opened it for the first time yesterday. Beth and I decided that we should purchase the mill because we have cans and cans of wheat in our food storage that we have never used at all. I was afraid that when the time came that the wheat was necessary for survival, I would have no idea how to use it. I could have used my mother's hand wheat grinder but it looks sinister and the end result is not very fine if I recall correctly. But, I do plan to tackle the hand grinder soon just for educational purposes.

Anyway, the Wondermill is truly a wonder. The wheat grinds so fine that even Beth will be able to eat it. I made bread totally out of milled white wheat last evening for the first time. While it was heavier than white bread, it was quite tasty and the texture was good.

3 cups water (110 - 115 degrees)
1/3 cup of honey
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tbs. salt
1 tbs. dough enhancer
1 tbs. vital wheat gluten
5 - 7 cups of ground wheat (or wheat flour from store)

Combine water, honey, oil, salt, dough enhancer, and vital wheat gluten (you can use 2 tbs. buttermilk if you do not have the dough enhancer and vital wheat gluten) into your work bowl of your stand mixer (or in a large bowl if not using a mixer). Add yeast and stir until all yeast is dissolved. Allow yeast mixture to proof for five minutes. The mixture should be somewhat frothy. With the dough hook and the mixer at number 2 setting (medium low setting) add three cups of wheat flour. Allow the water to be absorbed by the flour. Add the remaining flour one cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the work bowl and forms a loose ball. The dough will not be as elastic as with white flour. Knead in the mixer for 5 minutes at the number 2 setting or knead by hand for 10 minutes. Do not add too much wheat flour as this will cause the loaves to be too heavy and dense.

Shape into 2-3 loaves (depending on the size of your bread pans) and place in greased pans. Let rise again until double. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and a thump on the outside gives a hollow sound. You can also check for doneness with an instant read thermometer which will read 180 degrees when done.

Excellent served warm with butter and jam.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Gyoza (Japanese Pot Stickers)

I learned to make these on my mission in Japan in the early 80's. They take a little time because of assembly. But they are such a crowd pleaser as an appetizer. Serve with soy sauce or sweet and sour sauce.

1 lb. lean ground meat
3 tbs. freshly grated ginger root
2 tbs. soy sauce
1 cup finely chopped cabbage
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 package of gyoza skins (wonton skins will work)

In a glass bowl, cook cabbage, onion, and soy sauce in the microwave until softened -- about three minutes on high. Allow to cool. Add ground meat and ginger. Mix well. Fill gyoza or wonton skins with 1 tsp of meat mixture and seal by folding over the skin and sealing with a little water. Place stuffed wontons on a cookie sheet dusted with flour until ready to cook.

To cook, use a fryer if possible. ( But it can easily be done in a pot on the stove). Fry until golden brown. Serve hot.

Alternate method:
In Japan, gyoza are steamed in a bamboo steamer. You can do the same thing on the stove. Add a tablespoon of oil and enough water to cover the bottom of a non-stick pan. Steam gyoza until done.

Spinach Casserole

I am feeling nostalgic for my childhood. This was a 70's Sunday dinner staple at my house growing up. The menu rarely varied -- roast, rice and gravy, salad, and spinach casserole. I rarely make it now because my family does not like spinach that much. Nowadays, people would consider this a dip. But we always used it as a side dish.

4 cans of spinach - drained as much as possible (do not use frozen with this recipe)
2 packages of cream cheese
1 stick of butter
1 can of artichoke hearts in water - drained
Italian breadcrumbs to top

Melt butter and cream cheese together. Add drained spinach and artichoke hearts. Pour in a casserole dish. Top with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees until hot and ubbly.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Easy Almond White Cake

This is so easy I am almost embarrassed to post it. But it is my most requested cake. Simple but elegant, it can be made as a layer cake or as a sheet cake. My sister in law, Amanda@imperfectlybeautiful.blogspot.com, said she wants it for her birthday this year.

1 White Cake Mix (Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines are best)
3 eggs
1 cup water
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp almond extract

Mix with an electric mixer two minutes on medium speed. Pour in grease and floured cake pan(s). Bake in 350 degree oven until done (30 minutes for sheet cake).

Cool and ice with the following icing

1/2 cup butter at room temperature
1/3 cup shortening
1 lb of powdered sugar (1 box)
2 tsps almond extract
1 - 2 tablespoons of water as necessary

Whip butter, shortening and almond extract together with mixer. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time. Add a tablespoon of water. Whip. If icing is too thick, add another tablespoon.

Ice the cake with decorative swirls.