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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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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Indian Bhel Puri

Bhel puri. I know you are probably questioning, ‘what the heck is bhel puri?’. I don’t blame you, but that’s why I’m here; to expose you to another great ethnic snack dish known as bhel puri. It’s a mixture of all types of textures and flavors that when eaten is something really, truly awesome. This is basically an Indian snack made of puffed rice, along with tomatoes, chutneys, onions, some spices, and something called sev.

I was first curious about this when I visited a local Indian grocery outside of Milwaukee called Best Indian store, and that’s when I really began to explore more and more Indian cuisine. This is really easy to throw together, and the trick is to eat it pretty quickly as the chutneys will soften the puffed rice rather quickly. This is a savory snack and is just packed full of flavor and texture. A real winner.

Indian Bhel Puri Recipe
Indian Bhel Puri Recipe

Let’s get started.

  • 2 cups of puffed rice
  • 1 tbsp mint chutney
  • 2 tbsp red chutney
  • 1 tbsp tamarind sauce
  • 1 small russet potato, peeled, cubed and boiled until tender, cooled
  • 1 tomato, pulp removed and discarded, diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 cup sev
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 papdis (like an Indian cracker)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

You can find all of these ingredients at your local Indian store, and the chutneys (which I will post later) can be made at home.

Start by heating a skillet on medium-low heat. Add the puffed rice, and gently toast for a few minutes, agitating along the way.

To a mixing bowl, add everything but the lemon juice. Gently stir, and mix, ensuring that the chutneys get mixed well, then sprinkle on the lemon juice. Now you are ready to serve.

How to make Indian Bhel Puri
How to make Indian Bhel Puri

I molded my mixture in a bowl and served. The textures, the flavors, and the experience made this all a perfect snack. My wife and I dug into this and really enjoyed it.

Indian Bhel Puri Recipe
Indian Bhel Puri Recipe

If you are looking for a great snack, and a great introduction into Indian snacks, give this one a shot. I know I’ll be making this throughout the year. Hope you enjoy!

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Broccoli Cheese Bites

Often times I hear my wife say how much she loves broccoli and cheese soup. I do to for that matter, but in all honesty it is something that I have never made. I know how to make it, but again, something I have never made. I think that is in my very near future now that I mention it. I love cooking for my wife, it’s one of the things that probably drives me to cook on a daily basis, that and my kids. Have I mentioned how the kids are eating my out of my house? I often joke that I need to be raising a farmer’s plot full of vegetables, apple trees, and cattle and pigs. They are literally eating me out of my house. Regardless, back to the broccoli and cheese soup…

As I knew my wife loved that soup, I decided to come up with the flavors of that soup and come up with some finger food for some pregame football watching. What turned out as the broccoli and cheese cheddar bites, turned out to be something super yummy.

Broccoli and Cheese Bites Recipe
Broccoli and Cheese Bites Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz Frozen Chopped Broccoli, thawed, and strained
  • 1 cup of Italian bread crumbs
  • 2 whole eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of shredded Monterray Pepper Jack cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt, to taste

Really simple ingredients make this finger food a real treat, plus it’s way too easy to make.

Start by adding everything to a mixing bowl, and with your hands, make sure everything is nicely incorporated. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to let everything set up.

Next, preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

How to make broccoli and cheese bites
How to make broccoli and cheese bites

Next, take the mixture out of the refrigerator, and with an ice cream scoop, make your scoops and place them onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Continue scooping until everything is gone. I think this batch made about 16 bites.

Place into the oven, and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove and serve.

Broccoli and Cheddar Bites
Broccoli and Cheddar Bites

Gosh these were so good. I probably ate three of them right away and had to walk away from them (then returned pretty quickly). My wife fell in love with them right away. Not only are these a perfect bite for a game day appetizer, but they are everything you would expect in a broccoli and cheese recipe, with just the right heat from that pepper jack cheese. Hope you enjoy!

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