Thursday, January 29, 2015

Rice Cooker Fried Rice

When the kids came, it was always a mad rush to do anything.  There were laundry to be done, floors to be cleaned, dishes to be washed, on top of having to keep an eye on the kids to make sure they were not hurting themselves or each other.  Gone were the days where I could leisurely cook in the kitchen, so I improvised and came up with food that could be pre-prepared (in some way or another).  This rice cooker fried rice is one such improvisation.

garlic, chopped
onions, chopped
carrots, diced
celery, chopped
cabbage, chopped
chicken/pork, cut in small pieces
eggs, beaten
light soya sauce
dark soya sauce

  1. Start cooking rice as per your rice cooker's instructions and proceed to chop/prepare all other ingredients
  2. Heat up some oil in a frying pan, add beaten eggs seasoned with light soya sauce and pepper.  Cook until mostly cooked (about 80% cooked) with some parts still runny.  Remove from pan and set aside
  3. Using the same pan, add garlic and onions and fry until fragrant.  Then add in the meat (seasoned with dark soya sauce and pepper).  Then add in the carrots, celery, cabbage and the eggs fried in (2).  Mix well and season with light soya sauce and pepper.  Remove from heat and set aside
  4. Check the rice cooker, you would want to see the water inside bubbling vigorously.  Pour in all the contents of the frying pan, give it a good mix, close the lid and leave the rice cooker to complete its cooking cycle.

Fry ingredients in a pan

Rice cooker fried rice

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Simple Chicken Spaghetti

Chicken Spaghetti

When I have some time, I like to style my food a little, play with my food.  Visually aesthetic food make s for very good eye candy and it also sets the stage for a fantastic meal ahead.  Most importantly, it also shows that the cook cares, that it wasn't just a mish mash of ingredients thrown together.

Here's the recipe for this simple dish:

dried spaghetti
garlic, minced
onion, chopped
celery, chopped (reserve a few celery leaves for garnishing)
tomatoes, chopped
black pepper
chicken thigh with skin on, deboned

  1. Cook spaghetti as per instructions on packaging.  Drain spaghetti, reserving some of the cooking water.
  2. Heat up frying pan.  Season chicken thigh with salt and pepper then place skin side down into the pan.  Let it cook for a few minutes until the skin is crispy and golden brown.  Flip over and cook till the chicken is cooked through.
  3. Remove chicken from pan and set aside, keeping the oil (from the chicken) in the pan
  4. Add garlic and onion to the chicken oil in the pan and fry till fragrant.  Then, add the tomatoes and celery and a ladle or two of the spaghetti cooking water reserved in (1).  Cook for about 5 minutes, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add spaghetti to the pan and stir until well mixed
  6. Presentation time!!  Serve spaghetti in a plate, arrange the pan-fried chicken on top and garnish with celery leaves.  Viola!!
Of course, all this styling is reserved for special days.  When in a hurry, which is most of the time, you could use chicken pieces instead and just mix everything together :)