Monday, October 28, 2013

I have conquered Rice

I did it.  It took 4 tries, but I did it.

Leila has a love beyond measure for the Mexican rice from Baja Fresh.  She'll order the the cheese quesadilla, but what she really wants is the biggest side of orange rice they will sell.  Then she likes to eat it on chips, or with a spoon, or one grain at a time with her fingers, as long as it gets into her mouth.  It finally occurred to me, after having spent probably hundreds of dollars on rice at Baja Fresh, that I could probably recreate this culinary marvel at home.  According to Leila, who has taste-tested every batch, I have done it, and we should never have to buy a side of rice again.

The first batch tasted good, but was too mushy and wet.  The second batch was the right texture and consistency, but did not taste as good as the first batch.  The third batch was 95% there, but I had the sack to put actual onions in it, and even though they were minced to within an inch of their little onion lives, their sliminess made the rice almost inedible.  Jeez, Louise!  We also learned that tomato paste looked incredibly nasty when squeezed from a tube into warm chick stock, so don't do this.

So here, for all eternity, is the final recipe for Leila's Baja Fresh rice, without the pesky quesadilla.

2 tablespoons vegitable oil
1 cup of long grain rice (I tried rinsing it, and not rinsing it, it made no difference)
1 cup of chicken stock
1/2 cup of tomato sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder (or 1/3 of an actual onion, minced fine, if you're feeling sassy)
1/4 teaspoon of cumin
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Preheat oven to 350.  Sauté the rice in the oil in a pot for 6 - 8 minutes over medium heat, stirring often.  Add the onion powder, cumin and salt, and stir for another minute or so.  Add the chicken stock and tomato sauce, bring to a boil.  Put the lid on the pot, and put the whole shebang in the oven.  After 10 minutes, open the pot and stir, then replace the lid and bake for another 10 minutes.  Fluff with a fork, impress your friends and relatives.

I will probably be asked to make this 2 - 3 times a week, and I suppose I could make a double recipe.  Leila will probably get sick of it after about a month, and then she will never want Mexican rice again, but for now, I've nailed it.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Lord of the Dance

So you may have noticed that my posting has been a bit, um, thin lately.  I've had a few people ask me if I've given up writing or have started a different blog, but neither of those things are true.  Nor is it true that I have been undercover with the CIA, or training for the next Iron Man.  Here's the deal:

Remember last year some time I confided in you all that I had been treated for a little nutty? Well, I'm still on my nutty meds.  The greatest side effect of this medication for me has been restlessness.  I haven't read a book in months because I can't concentrate, and I either fall asleep or get up to do something else.  I have crazy dreams about public transportation -taking buses or subways, being in subway or bus stations, looking at bus and train maps - which cause me to be excessively tired during the day.  Last night I had a dream that I was having Christmas Eve with my mother in law in New York at a restaurant table that was entirely too small.  I'm a zombie today.  And as I write this, my knee is bouncing up and down like it has a life of its own and in that life it wants to be Michael Flatly.  I have been watching very good television: Law and Order SVU, Homeland, Sons of Anarchy, Orange is the New Black, but I have to play solitaire on my phone or scroll through Pinterest because I just get too restless.  I'm either doing minimum two things at once, or I'm fast asleep

So its been very hard to sit and write. I glance over at the computer and feel a jolt of inspiration, and then it passes before I sit down.  Even right now, I want to jump up and eat some shrimp salad.  So I'm working on staying seated without falling asleep.  Its a challenge. I'm getting a glimpse into ADD.

There you have it, the big update.  More to come!