Orange-Chicken Fried Rice

With all the great weather we have been having lately, the random days where it decides to rain- or hail, i’m left to scrambling to come up with some various dishes. With what I had in the pantry I knew I had to be a tad creative (as the wife is not a huge fan of rice), so I had to kick up the flavor intenstity. In the end, I wound up making my own version of orange-chicken fried rice with broccoli and asparagus.

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The rice part was simple enough. Boil it like you normally would, drain it, and then set aside. Similar regards with the vegetables as i steam em first (not quite all the way) and then set aside. The main component of chicken had already been packaged with diced garlic and soy sauce before I froze the package. Once thawed out, I took the pieces and cut into smaller cubes. I tossed these in a bowl along with some chili powder, a little pineapple juice (optional), a little more soy sauce, some cor starch (give the chicken a crispyt coating while cooking), and I zested two oranges. All of this was mixed thoroughly and I proceeded to cook on my 2-burner griddle in some grapeseed oil (slightly higher smoke point). As this was getting close to the point that I wanted (slight crispiness) I then tossed in the vegetables to finsih cooking them through and for the flavors to soak in.

At this point, I also cleared off a portion on the front of the griddle, tossed on some oil, and poured on the rice to start “frying” it. Once it got to a point I was happy with, I then proceeded to mix all of the ingredients together on the griddle.

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Enjoy.

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Some Quick and Easy Grilling (Healthy Too): Spaghetti Squash and Grilled Chicken

This was a nice meal as it did jnot take terribly long (just over a half hour) to cook, and the results are quite flavorful and it’s an all-around healthy meal.

To start, I took the squash and cut it in half lengthwise. I then score the inside with a fork and then drizzle on some oil, balsamic vinegar, pepper, paprika, lemon/lime zest, and then some parsley. Once cut and seasoned, I put these on the grill, cut side up. Since this takes about 35 minutes to cook, I then had a few minutes to prep the chicken and toss it on the grill as well.

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The chicken I initially tossed on the grill unseasoned and cooked both sides slightly. I then applied a mixture of balsamic and honey and cooked until almost done. I then applied my homemade bbq sauce (has stuff like tomoato paste, worcesteshire sauce, ground up garlic, onion, anaheim peppers, amongst other “secret” ingredients). I then cooked until i got a nice slight char on the sauce coating.

While that was going on, I placed some asparagus on the top rack of the grill and basted in a combination of truffle-infused oil and pumpkinseed oil.

Upon removing everything from the grill, I scooped out the squash and plated and then I cut up the chicken and placed on top.

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Enjoy.

BBQ Drumsticks…in the Oven??

Tonight’s dinner was a nice modification to one of my favorite styles of cooking- barbecuing. However, since it was around 20 degrees out and some fresh snow on the ground actual grilling would not suffice. Time to utilize the oven.

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Beforehand, I had marinated the chicken overnight in a nice spicy marinade as I like to have a little kick to the flavor. I then set up a rack over a sheet pan and started to cook them on 425. After they had been in for a while and getting to the point where they were more thoroughly cooked on the inside (i.e. not much red left) I then basted them with a blood orange and honey reduction I had made while they were first put in the oven. The consistency was almost like a barbecue sauce but with pieces of orange pulp throughout. I then coated one side of the drumsticks, cooked a little longer, flipped over, and then did the other side.

Overall, they still had that spicy kick to them but then had a nice citrusy sweetness (think oriental like Orange Chicken).

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Been moving…Here’s some food

To everyone who follows my blog I would like to thank you and to apologize for a short period away. I was in the moving process earlier in the month which took a fair amount of time and effort and am now settled in between the forests and farms in Southern New Jersey. With a nice large and updated kitchen I can now get back to one of my favorite hobbies.

This past weekend, I had a few friends come down and stay for the weekend- sort of a house/ apartment warming type of deal and to just hang out. Along the way a few of the things I had made over the weekend were as follows (nice fall themed):

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This was the main dish. I had made roasted pheasant in my 5 quart Le Creuset. I had done them in a combination of apple cider, shallots, fennel, tarragon, salt, pepper and topped with thinly sliced apple. I had also roasted potatoes in a variety of spices and truffle infused oil and sauteed green beans with citrusy accents.

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A nice simple Apple tart with fresh blackberries and a nice pairing with a berry-brandy (one of my dad’s friends makes various brandys and spirits). The other dessert I had created went rather quickly and thus no pictures. But they were over-sized macarons (red) filled with a chocolate Chantilly-style cream and fresh strawberry slices.

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Need to have breakfast the next morning. Made up some homemade French toast with the main flavorings coming from vanilla, brown sugar, and cardamom. I then topped it off with a fresh berry-honey sauce (pictured) as well as a pear-caramel sauce). Also topped off with some powdered sugar.

Enjoy