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.


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.



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.


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.



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.


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).


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):


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.


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.


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.