Ground Beef Rice Bake

How is your luck with baking rice? I usually have poor results when there is a recipe that calls for cooking rice in the oven. I do a great job in a rice cooker or on the stovetop, but not so well with the oven. Who knows, maybe the recipes were not good? Regardless, it makes me nervous to try recipes that include that step. This one had that step, and also called for half-and-half (I hate buying it, especially for such a small amount, since I rarely use it). And then there is the bratwurst idea. I liked it, it was supposed to be the meat in the dish…but it meant going to a separate grocery store (there is a local brand of sausage I like a lot, and it’s not carried at my main store). It also meant that the Fudgelet might not like it. As it was, he decided to not eat much of the ground beef (fickle toddler), but I actually really like it with the beef. I always have some in the freezer and so I just swapped it in. No big deal. Whole milk seemed just fine in place of the half-and-half. I bet you could just use more chicken broth instead, if you didn’t want to use milk. Maybe add a bit of butter to up the richness if you do that?

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Mulligatawny Soup

This is basically a vegetable soup with some awesome seasoning. The name makes me think of the groundhog in Pennsylvania. What about you?

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Jerk Chicken

To be honest, I don’t think this is really close at all to traditional jerk chicken. At least, not from what I’ve seen previously. But, I do think it is a tasty sweet and slightly spicy chicken dish. You can certainly add extra spice to it, but as usual….we tone things down a bit in this house. More of a 1 star kind of restaurant here, haha.

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Tips-y Tuesdays: Leftovers Led to Mediterranean Chicken

I’ve talked about a certain Mediterranean restaurant on here before. It is a favorite of mine and K’s. This time, we had leftovers from it when we had some friends over. Unfortunately, the leftovers did not include protein…just the rice mixed with some vegetables. So, I decided to make a chicken recipe to go with it. I’m all about repurposing leftovers here, so this is another way you can do it.

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Jeweled Rice

We hadn’t had any Indian food for awhile, and in my search for a recipe to make, I came across this. It is not Indian at all, but it had some of the same seasonings which I was craving. This led to my first experience eating pistachios and being aware of what I was eating. They are super tasty! I can see why they cost so much. I was sad I had to buy a whole container initially, but after trying them, I am ok with it. You can buy some of these ingredients already prepped, such as the carrots and slivered almonds, but it’s not necessary. I love my food processor for doing carrots. It does it in under a minute and they taste better than the store-shredded kind.

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I served our jeweled rice with some chicken to add some protein. We had the leftovers other ways, too, like with soft poached eggs. Mmm.

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One Dish Chicken Curry with Rice

Do you go through phases of wanting to make new dishes and other phases of not caring? It happens every so often and it feels almost like writer’s block. Sometimes I’m super interested in baking or cooking, and then sometimes I really dread planning out meals for the week. Those are the weeks I hope to have leftovers around so I do not have to do much thinking. If all else fails, I rely on cookbooks to give me inspiration and luckily I have tons of cookbooks.

After looking at some skillet dishes I decided to do my own version but in the Dutch oven. I like cooking in skillets, but lately I prefer the Dutch oven because it cooks more evenly and makes stirring easier (less likely to have food go flying out of the pan). You can certainly use a skillet if that is what you have…I am calling this “One Dish” and not “Dutch Oven” or “Skillet” Chicken Curry after all.

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Chicken Biryani

This is not my first time making Chicken Biryani, but it is my first time following the America’s Test Kitchen recipe. I was surprised that none of the spices I bought when we first started making Indian food were included in this. No cumin, turmeric…none! Instead, this recipe was all fancy and included saffron and cardamom seed pods. Well, I did my best with this recipe, but I definitely had to make some changes to have it work in my kitchen. I am providing the recipe below, but in “Fudging Ahead Style”.

Before you get all upset about purchasing saffron, I will say that you do not use very much at all. The amount I got cost about $16, but I only used a tiny piece of it, so maybe a couple dollars worth end up in the dish? Not so bad when you think about how adding cilantro and mint each cost a fair amount. It seems pointless, but I will say that this dish had a lot of flavor. As for the cardamom seed pods, I did not find them initially, so I bought just the seeds in bulk and did a bit of an estimate on how many to throw in. If you can get the actual pods, the recipe says to use 10 of them and grind them with the handle of a cleaver.

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