Taco Fried Rice

Do you dream of tacos? I know I do, and when you have a really great taco, it’s hard not to dream of them. One of my favorites in this city, and I know everyone has their own, is at El Rey Supermercado. I love their tacos al pastor, or carne asado, loaded up on corn tortillas drizzled with their salsa verde. This recipe inspired me, not only due to my love of tacos, but of fried rice as well. I wanted to create a fried rice that was inspired by taco ingredients, and this one hit the mark.

Taco Fried Rice Recipe
Taco Fried Rice Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb ground chuck, cooked and drained of any fat
  • 2 whole jalapeno peppers, roasted, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 whole poblano pepper, roasted, skin and seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 whole small onion, diced
  • 12 oz can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic chili salt
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 cups of cooked jasmine rice, cold and preferably 1 day old
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 whole egg, beaten
  • Crushed up tortilla chips
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • canned black sliced olives, optional
  • Your favorite hot sauce, optional
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped, optional

Make the rice ahead of time, and make sure it is cold. Preferably leftover rice, as I think it works better for fried rice.

Make your meat mixture. To a large skillet, cook your ground chuck, then place a lid over it and drain off any excess fat. Place back on the burner on medium heat, then toss in the onion, peppers, black beans, and seasonings. Give this a good stir, cooking the seasonings, then reduce the heat to low. Add in the water, cover, and keep on very low heat to make the ground chuck and beans nice and tender.  Cook until the water has evaporated, then remove from the heat. Place the meat mixture into a bowl, and then wipe out the skillet.

Taco Fried Rice Ingredients
Taco Fried Rice Ingredients

Now onto the fried rice. Return the large skillet back to the stove, and heat to a medium heat.

Add in the butter, and let it come to a bubble, swirling it along the way.

Add in the cold rice, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Once it starts to warm up, start flattening it down, building a nice light golden crust on the rice. Once that crust begins to form, add in the beaten egg, stir, and then add in the meat mixture, and stir, flattening it along the way, getting a nice crust in the process. Cook for about 7 minutes or so, then get ready to serve.

Add the taco fried rice to a bowl. Crush some taco chips on the top for more texture, then top with shredded cheddar cheese, black olives, fresh cilantro, and dashes of your favorite hot sauce, or salsa. If you want add a small dollop of sour cream, or heck, any of your other favorite taco toppings.

Taco Fried Rice Recipe
Taco Fried Rice Recipe

After serving this, my wife and daughter really fell in love with it. It’s everything you may expect in a classic taco, but mashed into everything you love about a fried rice. Even my oldest, who may sometimes be my pickiest of eaters, stuffed this mixture into a warm tortilla and made a burrito out of it! What’s not to love about that! Hope you enjoy!

Taco Fried Rice
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
Ingredients
  • ½ lb ground chuck, cooked and drained of any fat
  • 2 whole jalapeno peppers, roasted, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 whole poblano pepper, roasted, skin and seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 whole small onion, diced
  • 12 oz can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tbsp garlic chili salt
  • salt, to taste
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 cups of cooked jasmine rice, cold and preferably 1 day old
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 whole egg, beaten
  • Crushed up tortilla chips
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • canned black sliced olives, optional
  • Your favorite hot sauce, optional
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped, optional
Instructions
  1. Make the rice ahead of time, and make sure it is cold. Preferably leftover rice, as I think it works better for fried rice.
  2. Make your meat mixture. To a large skillet, cook your ground chuck, then place a lid over it and drain off any excess fat. Place back on the burner on medium heat, then toss in the onion, peppers, black beans, and seasonings. Give this a good stir, cooking the seasonings, then reduce the heat to low. Add in the water, cover, and keep on very low heat to make the ground chuck and beans nice and tender. Cook until the water has evaporated, then remove from the heat. Place the meat mixture into a bowl, and then wipe out the skillet.
  3. Now onto the fried rice. Return the large skillet back to the stove, and heat to a medium heat.
  4. Add in the butter, and let it come to a bubble, swirling it along the way.
  5. Add in the cold rice, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Once it starts to warm up, start flattening it down, building a nice light golden crust on the rice. Once that crust begins to form, add in the beaten egg, stir, and then add in the meat mixture, and stir, flattening it along the way, getting a nice crust in the process. Cook for about 7 minutes or so, then get ready to serve.
  6. Add the taco fried rice to a bowl. Crush some taco chips on the top for more texture, then top with shredded cheddar cheese, black olives, fresh cilantro, and dashes of your favorite hot sauce, or salsa. If you want add a small dollop of sour cream, or heck, any of your other favorite taco toppings.

 

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Celery Root Puree

Our local farmer’s market is winding down, and that is always unfortunate. A couple of weeks ago I stopped there, as I always do, and took a look around. A lot of root vegetables were starting to appear, and I figured I would pick up a few things, one of them being the knobby looking celery root. If you have never seen or used celery root, trust me, it’s pretty darn awesome.  It looks a bit hairy and the roots are still hanging on the base of it, but when you peel all of that back, your left with pretty much a white ball. There are all sorts of ways to cook celery root, and I decided to go with a classic, and make a celery root puree. Smooth, earthy, and creamy, this puree is a perfect side dish as we head into colder weather.

Celery Root Puree
Celery Root Puree

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 celery root, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 tsp of salt, to taste
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • water to cover the potatoes and celery root
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter

Start by adding the celery root, potatoes, heavy cream, and water to a medium sized pot.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, and simmer for about 40 minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender.

Remove about a cup of the cream and set it to the side. Strain the mixture, then use a stick blender, or masher, and blend into a smooth puree. Fold in the reserved cream, butter, and salt. Taste for any additional salt.

The result is something you would think would be a mashed potato, but it’s not. It may be something better! This stuff is super creamy, light, and has just that slight bit of earthiness that I know your guests will be trying to guess at. I’m glad I picked this up at the farmer’s market, and I know that I will be making this again before winter is over. Hope you enjoy!

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Brazilian Cheese Bread – Pao de Queijo

Back in the day, my colleagues and I would go out for a holiday dinner at one of our local Brazilian Churrasco . You know the ones, where you sit down and the servers come out with delicious swords of beef, chicken, and pork? Lord we loved that place, and we often referred to it as a ‘meat faucet’. With that said, the servers would bring out these awesome cheese rolls, rice, and beans. The bread, the bread is all I have to say. I could have been happy just with the bread! If you never had these tender cheese rolls, well now is your chance. The ingredients are way too simple, and the real trick is to use tapioca flour.

I wish I would have made a double batch of these Pao de Queijo as once my kids got a hold of them, well they were pretty much gone in minutes.

Brazilian Cheese Bread - Pao de Queijo
Brazilian Cheese Bread – Pao de Queijo

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup Tapioca flour
  • 1 whole egg, beaten
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
  • cooking spray
  • muffin tin
  • grated parmesan cheese, optional

Trust me, it does not get any better than these cheese breads. If you want, you could brush a bit of garlic butter, a gentle brush and enhance them even more.

Start by preheating your oven to 360 degrees.

Next, spray the inside of your muffin tin with cooking spray.

Toss the ingredients inside of a mixing bowl, folding, and mixing until you have a nice batter. Keep stirring for about 5 minutes. If you have a mixer, with bread attachment, feel free to use it, on low-medium speed.

Once you have a nice batter, fill each muffin tin up to about half way, maybe 2-3 tablespoons of the batter.

Place the tray in the oven, and cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until the top is a nice light-golden brown. Carefully remove, and get ready to dig in.

Slip the Brazilian Cheese Bread out of the tins, place on a plate, grate with parmesan cheese (optional) and grab one really quickly, and watch them be gone in about 2 minutes.

Soft, warm, cheesey. Sounds like me in a couple of ways; at least the warm and cheesy part. Anyway, hunt for tapioca flour, and get this bread started. Next, figuring out where to find the meat sword!

Have a great weekend everyone, enjoy!

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Thai Larb Fried Rice

Have you ever made, or tried Thai larb? Some refer to it as laap, lap, lahb, but I’ve always know it as larb. Regardless, it could possibly be one of my favorite Thai dishes, and it’s one I make quite a bit, probably because of the fresh herbs, and the overall flavor profile. It’s everything you expect in a great Thai dish. It’s sweet, sour, and spicy, and it’s a dish that my kids really love, maybe because they get to eat with their hands, wiping up the larb with sticky rice. I’ve done a bunch of different things with larb such as larb quesadillas, shrimp larb, and even larb bao, only to name a few, but this time I wanted to actually combine the rice and the larb together to make this awesome Thai larb fried rice.

Thai Larb Fried Rice Recipe
Thai Larb Fried Rice Recipe

Whether you go straight for the larb recipe, or fry in your rice, I guarantee you will love this recipe. Let’s just say my oldest devoured most of the entire fried rice, it was that good.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 lb ground pork
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 shallots, minced (approximately 3 tbsp)
  • 1/3 cup of toasted rice powder
  • 2-5 Thai chile peppers, minced (spice to your liking)
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp palm sugar, or regular sugar
  • 2 whole limes, juiced
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint
  • 1/4 Thai basil
  • 4 cups cooked jasmine rice
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Sunny side up egg, per serving (optional)
  • salt, to taste

Add the oil to a large skillet and warm it to a medium, high heat. Once the oil is heated, add in the ground pork.

Once the pork is nicely cooked, add in the shallots, chilies, fish sauce, palm sugar, lime juice, mint and basil, as well as the toasted rice powder. Give this a good stir, and cook for about another 4 minutes.

Remove the mixture from the skillet and place into a bowl. Now let’s start on the fried rice portion.

Wipe out the skillet, and place back onto the stove on medium heat. Add in the butter, and cook until it gets nice and bubbly, but not browned. Add in the cooled rice, and using a wooden spoon, gently stir, and press down, breaking up the rice. Once the rice softens a bit and begins to steam through, raise the heat a bit, and then add in the Thai larb. Gently mix, caramelizing the rice and larb. Once you have a nice fried rice, taste and season with any salt. When you are ready to serve, place in serving bowls, and serve with a nicely fried egg, if you desire.

Thai Larb Fried Rice Recipe
Thai Larb Fried Rice Recipe

Garnish with roasted peanuts, fresh mint, and any additional Thai bird chili peppers if you desire.

Again, larb by itself is so tasty, but now when mixed with a fried rice, well let’s just say the game just got better. Did I mention that when you cut into the sunny side up egg and the yolk runs into the Thai larb fried rice? Whoa. It’s great.

If you are looking to change up your fried rice, or even try Thai larb, I would highly recommend this recipe. Hope you all enjoy!

Thai Larb Fried Rice
Author: 
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1¼ lb ground pork
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 shallots, minced (approximately 3 tbsp)
  • ⅓ cup of toasted rice powder
  • 2-5 Thai chile peppers, minced (spice to your liking)
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • ½ tbsp palm sugar, or regular sugar
  • 2 whole limes, juiced
  • ½ cup fresh mint
  • ¼ Thai basil
  • 4 cups cooked jasmine rice
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Sunny side up egg, per serving (optional)
  • salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Add the oil to a large skillet and warm it to a medium, high heat. Once the oil is heated, add in the ground pork.
  2. Once the pork is nicely cooked, add in the shallots, chilies, fish sauce, palm sugar, lime juice, mint and basil, as well as the toasted rice powder. Give this a good stir, and cook for about another 4 minutes.
  3. Remove the mixture from the skillet and place into a bowl. Now let’s start on the fried rice portion.
  4. Wipe out the skillet, and place back onto the stove on medium heat. Add in the butter, and cook until it gets nice and bubbly, but not browned. Add in the cooled rice, and using a wooden spoon, gently stir, and press down, breaking up the rice. Once the rice softens a bit and begins to steam through, raise the heat a bit, and then add in the Thai larb. Gently mix, caramelizing the rice and larb. Once you have a nice fried rice, taste and season with any salt. When you are ready to serve, place in serving bowls, and serve with a nicely fried egg, if you desire.

 

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