Variations on Gluten-Free Fried Rice

In my city, the only restaurant that offers gluten-free fried rice is P.F. Chang’s, and I order it every time I eat there. Unfortunately, I cannot always count on this when the craving hits, and, you know, making fried rice is the work of minutes if you have cold, leftover rice in your fridge.

And that is the key: cold, leftover rice, or “overnight rice”, a description I read that charms me to this day. Warm rice is too wet to fry up properly. Leftover rice, after a night or so in the refrigerator, is drier. It hits the wok with a sizzle and fries perfectly. Continue reading “Variations on Gluten-Free Fried Rice”

Missing Soy Sauce? Try This Instead

Between you, me, and the wall, I was in the “ain’t never gonna buy or try something call fish sauce” for many years. Let’s face it: the name doesn’t sound appealing. And, well, you know, fish sauce. I was pretty sure I’d hate it.

I didn’t. It was love at first bit. It became an addiction. The kind of addiction that had me making gratuitous fried rice and dipping sauces just so I could get my fish sauce fix (hello spring rolls!). I started sneaking the stuff into dishes where no fish sauce had been contemplated before (when I added it to my caramelized onion dip, I got raves). Continue reading “Missing Soy Sauce? Try This Instead”

Leftovers: Pulled Pork Version

There are, I have learned, people out there who don’t adore leftovers. This baffles me — if it’s good enough to eat the first time, it’s surely just as good the second time. In fact, some foods are even better the second day!

When I made pulled pork for the first time (and the second and third…), I naturally had way more pork than I needed. I only buy pork shoulder when it’s on sale, and it’s generally sold in 3-pound packages at my local store. After a day in the crockpot, the pork is falling apart and so tasty. It makes a fine (gluten free) pulled pork sandwich. Just add a huge spoonful of mustardy cole slaw!

But what to do with the leftovers? Below are some options, and this week’s menu idea features a recipe for one of my favorite ways to serve pulled pork:

  • The easiest solution for leftover pulled pork is to use it as a basis for carnitas. Carnitas are typically pork cooked in lard, pulled, and then fried, griddled, or baked until crispy on the edges. You can then use them in tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, or burritos (here’s a recipe for gluten-free tortillas I’m dying to try!) And don’t forget the sopes from last week — leftover pulled pork is perfect with them.
  • Or, hey!, use that leftover pork in fried rice. Super-simple, super-tasty.
  • How about pulled pork — maybe tossed with a little barbecue sauce — as a pizza topping?
  • Toss it with some potatoes, bell peppers, onion, and you have a quick hash for breakfast or dinner. Top with a fried egg to make it that much more delicious!
  • Stuff a pepper — poblano, bell, your choice — with a mix of pulled pork and quinoa (or rice). Add other veggies, like corn, as you wish.
  • Make spring rolls! Once you get the hang of working with rice paper wrappers, spring rolls take just minutes. I’ve had them with both shrimp and pork as the filling, but if you don’t have shrimp, use that leftover pork. Matchstick some veggies or shred some cabbage or lettuce. Make a spicy dipping sauce out of chili paste, or try a nice peanut sauce.
  • And, of course, you can always make yourself another sandwich. Maybe with melty cheese and roasted peppers?

How do you handle leftovers? What dish do you make just so you’ll have plenty left over for future meals?

Tip of the Week

For the nachos below, make your own tortilla chips. Traditionally, you want to cut the tortillas into six triangles; for these, cut the tortillas into thirds so they’re easy to pick up. Then season them up a bit: brush them with olive oil or spritz with cooking spray, then sprinkle a mix of salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until crispy and brown!

Menu of the Week

I like an ooey, gooey platter of nachos as much as the next person, but when faced with all those chips and cheese and salsa, I tend to overindulge. By placing all the ingredients on a single chip, I get lots of flavor while making a serious (though sometimes losing!) attempt at portion control.

These are also perfect for dinner parties or backyard gatherings. The single-serving size is easier to handle. By quartering the tortillas, you get a larger chip base. Use leftover pulled pork (or chicken, beef, or veggies), mix with shredded cheese, and bake until hot and the cheese is melted. Top with a light salsa. Eat.

Easy Eggs for a Fast Gluten-Free Breakfast

Growing up, I was never much of an egg eater. Or perhaps my mother wasn’t much of an egg cooker. And, of course, as a child, I had typical, rational worries about consuming incipient baby chicks. I am embarrassed to admit I was in my thirties before I discovered this was a warrantless concern.

These days, I eat a lot of eggs. Particularly fried eggs. They make my bunless burgers so much more fun. One of my favorite dinners involves a great burger on a bed of lightly dressed greens, cheese, a fried egg, and bacon. Because, well, bacon. It’s my version of a breakfast burger, and it is so good.

Here are some great egg ideas that are perfect for a gluten-free breakfast — and most are simple enough to make before you’ve had your first cup of coffee. Or lunches. Or dinners. They range from five-minute dishes to thirty-minute dishes. Many of these dishes can incorporate leftover meats and veggies as well. Continue reading “Easy Eggs for a Fast Gluten-Free Breakfast”

Chicken and Rice: The International Duo

For many years, we spent Valentine’s Day in Manhattan…with about 2,000 of our closest friends. Since we were attending a conference, we found ourselves grabbing dinner at the last minute. One of our favorite places was a Cuban restaurant near Times Square, and dinner there with a group of international friends got me thinking about the many ways chicken and rice is eaten around the world.

Now, to be clear, chicken and rice can be served together a million different ways, so I’m focusing here on those dishes where the chicken and rice are generally cooked together (meaning, I’m leaving out dishes like Filipino Adobo), infusing the rice with more intense flavors. It doesn’t take long to realize how many cultures love this idea! Below are my favorites. Continue reading “Chicken and Rice: The International Duo”