Posts Tagged With: Rice

SUCCESS: Coconut Chicken Curry!

Okay, so if you have ever visited or lived in Athens, Ohio, you hopefully have had the pleasure of eating at Salaam, a Middle Eastern restaurant that is absolutely incredible!  When I first moved to Athens, Salaam was an eclectic hookah bar in the basement of a building in an alley that happened to serve the best food.  A year or two later, the state of Ohio passed a smoking ban (which I actually really appreciate because I have asthma AND a bad smoke allergy) and Salaam had to choose between being a hookah bar and a restaurant.  THANKFULLY, they chose the later because this was seriously one of my favorite restaurants there (I still go every time I return to Athens for a visit).

I kid you not, this place has incredible food.  Branden and I always start with a mezze platter of fresh hummus, warm baba ganoush, roasted red peppers and kalamata olives.  OH, and don’t forget piping hot pita bread!!  If that’s not enough, then we always order the coconut chicken curry which is unlike any other curry I’ve ever had…which leads me to the point of this post (and its not to praise Salaam although I do encourage you to visit if you ever find yourself in Athens).  The point is, I crave this delicious dish – like big time!  I have been trying for years to recreate it and have come really close before.  This time is different because this time, I think I’ve nailed it!

I made this for Branden’s birthday this year along with homemade Naan and baba ganoush (both of which you’ll see recipes for really soon).  This was one of those meals that made me really sad when it was over because there was so much love in this meal and I never wanted it to end!  So for all you Salaam lovers out there, eat your hearts out!

Salaam serves there’s with a beautiful trio of cilantro chutney, cucumber raita, and toasted coconut on the side…you can bet that I did the same!

Salaam’s Coconut Chicken Curry (not the restaurant’s exact recipe, but one that I changed to mimic their’s)

  • 2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 3 to 4 jalapenos, seed removed and finely chopped
  • 1 dried ancho chile pepper, rehydrated in boiling water, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground tumeric
  • 1 TBS ground coriander
  • ½ TBS cayenne pepper
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, separated from skin and bones
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 c. chicken stock
  • 2-3 TBS coconut cream (Reserve some of the creamy part of the coconut milk if you can’t find coconut cream)
  • 3 dried kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • salt to taste

Heat oil in a large dutch oven and add the onions. Sautee until soft. Add the garlic, chilies, tumeric, coriander, and cayenne. Reduce heat, sautee for another 2 minutes or so.  (NOTE: At this point, I threw my coconut milk in the blender and then added the above ingredients.  I gave it a few pulses and then continued on with the recipe – this isn’t necessary, but I wanted my sauce a little more uniformed).

Add chicken, coconut milk, stock, and lime leaves to a dutch oven and and cook on low for about 45 minutes until the sauce thickens.

Stir in them lemon juice and coconut cream. Salt to taste. Remove leaves.  Serve immediately over jasmine rice.

This was adapted from This Primal Life

Categories: Entrees, Middle Eastern, Recipes, Restaurants | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry


I just realized that my queue of posts ran out on Friday and I missed my Monday post.  Whoops.  I promise I have a full queue of yummy things from Pork Butt Chile Verde to Lightened Up Spinach and Artichoke dip (and the best blueberry pancakes ever and homemade marshmallows and an interesting pizza and…more!).  Until then, enjoy this super short but delicious post!

This is a super easy, fast weeknight meal that packed TONS of flavor and hit the nail of my Chinese craving right on the head.


  • 2 (3 1/2-ounce) bags boil-in-bag long-grain white rice
  • 2 TBS dry sherry, divided
  • 2 TBS lower-sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 lb. boneless sirloin steak, cut diagonally across grain into thin slices
  • 1/2 c. lower-sodium beef broth
  • 1 TBS cornstarch
  • 1 TBS hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp. Sriracha (hot chile sauce) or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 TBS canola oil, divided
  • 1 TBS bottled ground fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 4 c. broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/3 c. sliced green onions

Cook rice according to directions.

While rice cooks, combine 1 tablespoon sherry, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, sugar, and beef. Stir together 1 tablespoon sherry, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, broth, cornstarch, hoisin, and Sriracha.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef mixture; sauté 3 minutes or until browned. Remove beef from pan. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Add ginger and garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add broccoli and 1/4 cup water; cook 1 minute. Add onions; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add broth mixture and beef mixture; cook 2 minutes or until beef is thoroughly heated and sauce is slightly thick. Serve beef mixture over rice.

Cooking Light

Categories: Asian, Chinese, Entrees, Recipes | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Chipotle Burrito Bowl

I was hungry for Chipotle the other night, but 1,200 calories for dinner didn’t sound like a good idea, so I decided to make my own version of that wonderul goodness (unfortunately sans that delicious tortilla).  Enter: Burrito Bowl.

This was a pretty simple meal and used a lot of staples that I already had in the house; beans, rice, onion, shrimp (in the freezer).  I also used one of those Frontera sauce packets I’ve talked about before to save some time and add a quick pop of spicy flavor.  Even though this one said it was for chicken, I wanted the smoky tomato and chile flavors without having to add roasted tomatoes and chiles to the dish, so this worked out well.  By the way, you can totaly make this with grilled chicken…I only used shrimp because I knew I could thaw it quicker and quite frankly, it sounded good.

Had I not lost my marbles, I had bought some Mexican queso to sprinkle over the top too.  Alas, its still still in my fridge, forgotten about.  Oh well, this was still yummy in my tummy.


  • 2 c. cooked rice (I used basmati, but a regular long-grain white will do just fine)
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 c. fresh chopped cilantro, divided
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground curry
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 jalepeno, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 lb. fresh shrimp
  • 1 Frontera simmer sauce package
  • 1/2 avocado, thinkly sliced
  • 1/4 cup Mexican queso (optional)

Stir the juice of the lime and 1/2 c. of cilantro into cooked rice.  Set aside.

Mix black beans, curry, and cumin in a small saucepan and heat over low until beginning to simmer.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and saute garlic for one minute.  Add all peppers and onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add shrimp and continue stirring until pink.  Add simmer sauce and bring to a simmer for three minutes.

To serve, place 1/2 c. of rice in bottom of bowl and layer with black beans and sauce mixture.  Top with cilantro, avocado slices, and cheese.


Categories: Entrees, Latin, Mexican, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Don’t Judge Me: Risotto with Fresh Mozzarella, Tomatoes, and Basil

I shouldn’t even try to defend myself again…my obsession with risotto lately is just getting ridiculous, with several posts like this and this and this lately (and for that apologize).  I promise, I think this is the last one for awhile…I just couldn’t help myself since recipe is basically Caprese salad mixed into risotto (which I proved earlier in the summer that I am also obsessed with) and my garden is cranking out the basil and tomatoes at a rapid rate right now.

What else can I say, if you like risotto and Caprese salad, this is sure to be a winner.  Enjoy!

  • 2 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 4 1/2 c. chicken stock
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 2 c. chopped leeks
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 c. Arborio rice
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine**
  • 1/4 c. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 c. halved grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
  • 5 oz. fresh mozzarella, finely diced (or if you can find mozzarella pearls, those work perfect)

Place the vinegar in a small, heavy saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat.  Cook until slightly syrupy and reduced to 1 TBS (about 4 minutes).  Set aside.

Bring to a boil to a simmer in a medium saucepan (do not boil).  Keep warm.

Heat 1 TBS oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add leek to pan; saute 3 minutes or until tender.  Add rice; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Stir in wine, and cook 1 minute or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.  Stir in 1/2 cup broth; cook 5 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat to medium.  Add remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes total).  Stir in heavy cream, salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes.  Remove from heat; stir in tomatoes, basil, and cheese.  Place about 1 cup risotto into each of 6 shallow serving bowls; drizzle each serving with 1/2 tsp balsamic syrup and 1/2 tsp oil.

**For wine, I’ve recently found a new favorite for cooking.  Francis Ford Coppola’s Pino Grigio is a winner in my book for a couple reasons.  First, I like the price (I haven’t paid more that $10 for it locally).  Second, someone once told me that you should never cook with wine that you wouldn’t drink…and this wine doesn’t break that rule.  This wine is delicious for drinking as well while you’re cooking and to enjoy with dinner.  I really like that its dry, but still fruity and refreshing.  Hope that helps!

Adapted from Cooking Light, September 2007



Categories: Entrees, Italian, Recipes, Wine | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Green Curry with Bok Choy

I’ve never cooked with tofu before but was curious.  I’ve had it before at Asian restaurants and didn’t mind it so I thought I’d take a stab at it in this Thai dish…it saved me about 100 calories per serving versus chicken, so what did I have to loose?

As for the flavors of this dish?  Awesome.  I will definitely be making this sauce again.  The original recipe called for reduced fat coconut milk, but I know I’ve sworn up and down in other posts that I just can’t do it…I have to use full-fat coconut milk; its just not worth the flavor sacrifice to me (plus, it holds up better as its not near as runny when heated as reduced fat or fat free).  This sauce was simple and really delicious- I think I’m going to use this sauce as a base for my next attempt at recreating Branden and I’s favorite Coconut Chicken Curry from a hole-in-the-wall Middle-Eastern restaurant in Athens, Ohio that we love.  I have been working diligently to try to recreate it over the last year or so with some semi-success…I’ll let you know how this next attempt goes!

Now you’re probably wondering about my thoughts on tofu.  Interesting.  I think next time beside draining it, I may try pan frying it before adding it to the curry.  Reason being is because even though I used extra-firm tofu, I felt it started to fall apart the more I stirred the dish (and even more so as leftovers).  My thought with pan frying it would be that it would kind of form a crust around the pieces that would hold them together…my theory could be totally wrong here, but its worth a shot next time.  I also think this dish would be really yummy with chicken or shrimp as well (another “next time”).


  • 1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 TBS chopped, peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 small Serrano chiles, seeded (I couldn’t’ find Serrano (surprise, surprise) so I used 3 jalapenos instead)
  • 2 large shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 4 c. coarsely chopped broccoli florets (about 1 head)
  • 2 c. (1/2 inch thick) slices bok choy
  • 2 tsp. dark sesame oil
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 1 TBS soy sauce
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves (I found some that were dried, similar to bay leaves, since fresh are so hard to find around here.  Not quite the same, but they’re better than nothing.  Look for these at specialty Asian grocers)
  • 1 (13.5 oz.) can coconut milk
  • 1 (14 oz.) pkg water-packed, organic extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 3/4″ cubes
  • 1/4 c. fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups hot, cooked long-grain white rice (I used jasmine)
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
  • 2 TBS chopped fresh mint
  1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth (may need to add 1/2 c. of water to make smooth).  Set aside
  2. Cook broccoli florets in boiling water in a large dutch oven for 3 minutes or until crisp tender.  Remove broccoli from water with a slotted spoon, drain, and rinse with cold water.  Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add oil to pan, swirling to coat.  Add cilantro mixture to pan; saute 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add sugar and next 4 ingredients (through coconut milk) to pan; bring to a boil.  Add tofu; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 6 minutes or until slightly thick.  Add broccoli, bok choy, and juice; cook 1 minutes or until heated; tossing to combine.  Discard lime leaves.  Serve over rice and sprinkle with basil and mint.

Adapted from Cooking Light, January 2011

Categories: Asian, Entrees, Recipes, Thai | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Jamaican Chicken Stew

For those of you who haven’t noticed, I am all about a quick weeknight dinner that tastes like I slaved over it for hours.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook  so I don’t mind spending hours on end in the kitchen, but sometimes I’m just whooped by the time I get home from work and errands at 6:30 on most weeknights.  Since I don’t exactly want to be eating dinner at 10 p.m., I rely heavily on easy weeknight dinners that taste great…like this one.  This was a major hit with Branden, too (who said we “definitely are making this again”).  Now that I moved away from “diet” recipes and have been focusing on more well rounded, high protein and high fiber recipes (packed with lots of flavor), I’ve had a much happier husband.  Lesson learned.

This recipe is delicious and a tad spicy which is nice.  I served it over jasmine rice (mostly because I like the flavor and texture better than plain white rice), but use whatever you’d like.  Other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing!


  • 1 cup uncooked Jasmine rice (or other long-grained rice)
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 c. dry red wine
  • 2 TBS. capers (drained)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can fire roasted tomatoes, undrained
  1. Prepare rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
  2. While rice cooks, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion and garlic, saute 3 minutes or until tender.  Combine chicken and the next 5 ingredients (through black pepper) in a bowl.  Add chicken mixture to skillet; saute 4 minutes.  Stir in wine, capers, beans, and tomatoes.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until tender.  Serve over rice.
Categories: Entrees, Latin, Recipes | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Chicken with Cilantro Rice

Branden and I picked up a Thai cookbook at Kroger several years ago for $5 out of a clearance bin.  We picked out this recipe from the book and honestly have never tried anything else.  This recipe has become one of our favorite Thai dishes to prepare at home and we’ve definitely gotten our $5 back with how many times we’ve made this.

This is one of those dishes that makes my mouth water just thinking about it.  The flavor combination is fantastic- ginger and garlic swimming in coconut milk with red onions, mushrooms, and chicken is just magical.  The Cilantro Rice that the chicken mixture is poured over is incredible, too.  We’ve learned a few lessons over the years about this recipe though…  Most important rule: do NOT substitute reduced fat or fat free coconut milk for the regular variety.  You will without a doubt end up with a runny, less flavorful dish that’s just not worth it.  Second lesson: this dish losses something in the fridge over night, so make sure you don’t leave any leftovers.  We learned the hard way that the flavors all blend together when saved as leftovers and while the dish is not horrible the next day, the flavors were definitely less distinct.


  • 2 TBS vegetable oil or peanut oil
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
  • 4 oz. wild mushrooms
  • 1 3/4 c. canned coconut milk
  • 2 TBS soy sauce
  • 1 TBS fish sauce

Cilantro Rice

  • 1 TBS vegetable or peanut oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 3 cups jasmine rice, cooked and cooled
  • 8 oz. bok choy, torn into large pieces
  • handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 TBS soy sauce
  • Juice of one lime
  1. Heat the oil in a preheated wok or large skillet and saute the onion, garlic, and ginger together for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken and mushrooms and cook over high heat until browned.  Add the coconut milk and sauces; bring to a boil.  Let simmer gently for 4-5 minutes until tender.
  3. Heat the oil for the rice in a separate wok or large skillet and cook the onion until softened but not browned.  Add the cooked rice, bok choy, and fresh cilantro, and heat gently until the leaves have wilted and the rice is hot.  Sprinkle over the soy sauce and lime juice.  Serve immediately with the chicken.

Adapted from 30 Minute Thai by Parragon Publishing

Categories: Entrees, Recipes, Thai | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Restaurant Review: Sue Min’s Chinese Gourmet

If you ever find yourself in Wooster, Ohio and craving authentic Chinese, you have to find Sue Min’s Chinese Gourmet!  Branden and I first heard of Sue Min Lee while at Today’s Kitchen Store where she was teaching a Chinese cooking class one Saturday- the store smelled incredible!  That was all it took for us to go searching for Sue Min’s restaurant.

One of the great things about Sue Min’s, apart from it being delicious, is the fact that Sue Min uses no MSG or lard and only uses pure vegetable oil in her cooking.  Although I can’t confirm it since I’m not a vegetarian, but the owner of TKS told us that Sue Min also has a separate set of utensils and cookware for vegetarians that have never touched meat.  The ingredients used at Sue Min’s are incredibly fresh and of the highest quality (which I’ll rave about more later in this post).

Pot Stickers

Finding Sue Min’s is a bit of a challenge as there’s no signage to indicate what it is.  I’ve lived in the area my entire life and never noticed this restaurant (apparently its been there for 20 years!?).  If you’re familiar with the area, its directly across from the OARDC on Madison Avenue.  Hopefully my picture will help you spot it should you go searching.  Branden and I actually drove past it a couple times before deciding that this building must be it and were a little skeptical as we walked in.  One other word for the wise: check to see if they’re open before heading over, they have kind of funny hours.

If you’re looking for aesthetics, you’re not going to find them here.  The inside of the restaurant is really nothing special at all and oddly resembles a really old ice cream parlor (odd, I know).  But once your food is served, you couldn’t care less about what the place looks like.  Seriously, this is some of the best Chinese food I’ve ever had.  I’m not normally a huge Chinese fan (I much prefer other Asian cuisines over Chinese), but I honestly have been craving Sue Min’s lately so of course we went again today.

Moo Shoo Pork

Tonight’s dinner consisted of potstickers for an appetizer and then Branden and I shared an order of Moo Shoo Pork and an order of Shrimp with Lobster Sauce.  So let’s start with the Pot Stickers…holy cow.  Every order is made to order, so it does take some time to get your food, but its worth every second.  These pot stickers are fresh out of the pan and are perfectly crisp (we’ve had them twice now and both orders were consistent).  They’re served with a citrus soy sauce which is to die for (we like to save it to pour on our rice).  Branden will probably kill me for saying this, but he was borderline sipping it like soup, but you didn’t hear it from me…

On to the entrees…perfect!  The Moo Shoo Pork is probably some of the best I’ve ever had and the homemade plum sauce makes it even better.  Like traditional Moo Shoo, its served with Chinese crepes, but these are made to order and were so hot I actually burnt myself.  Now that’s fresh!  The pork is cooked to perfection and the cabbage was cooked, but still had a crunchy texture.  Seriously, I can’t explain good enough how awesome this dish is.  The Shrimp with Lobster Sauce was pretty fabulous, too.  You could tell that high quality shrimp was used and was cooked just right.  The flavor of fresh ginger lingered in the sauce that covered the shrimp and fresh veggies.  Served over white rice, this dish was a winner as well. 

Shrimp with Lobster Sauce

You’ve got options when you go to Sue Min’s.  She offers a full (and extensive) menu that includes options to make “combos” out of your meal by adding rice and an eggroll.  There is also a buffet that looks yummy, but I’ve honestly never tried.  Bottom line is everything is quality and made to order, so it does take time.  Its only Sue Min and her husband are the only ones doing the cooking so either order carryout ahead of time or come prepared to wait a little bit.

Sue Min’s is by far the best Chinese in Wayne County, Ohio and I’d be willing to argue the tri-county area.  If you love Chinese food, Sue Min’s Chinese Gourmet should definitely be added to you list of places to check out in the near future!

Categories: Chinese, Restaurants | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

And Away We Go…

I’m struggling with where to start here because April has been so full of adventures in the food world.  Branden and I have been traveling a lot this month which took us to some AWESOME restaurants.  And then we had Easter and Branden’s birthday which of course led to more food adventures!  Ah!  So much to share, so little time!

Alas, I shall just start with dinner tonight and get to the other recipes that I can’t wait to share in the coming days…[SPOILER ALERT: I have some Mexican recipes and two cake recipes in the queue for this week, so stay tuned!]

The weekday dinner.  Always a challenge.  I struggle on weekdays a bit because I’m often cooking for one during the week while Branden’s out flying around the country.  Combine the idea of cooking for one with the fact that I don’t like to stay up late and you have the following challenge: make a meal that’s fast and relatively simple that either serves one or can be easily reheated.  Tonight was no different.  I needed something satisfying and I was sick of the salmon caesar salads I have been recently living off of because of my obsession with my homemade croutons…but that’s a whole other post.

The verdict: Tandoori Chicken.  This dinner is seriously so easy, its embarassing.  Golden Temple has a whole line of simmer sauces that make weeknight Indian dishes a cinch.  Brown a pound of cut up boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a skillet, pour the simmer sauce over, and give it a stir.  As the name suggests, let the sauce simmer and you’re good to go.  I served over basmati rice and topped with a fresh cilantro and a little greek yogurt concoction I stirred up.

Greek Yogurt is an obsession of mine, especially in savory dishes.  I began my relationship with this amazing condiment (yes, I consider it a condiment and I usually have it on hand in my fridge) while spending a month in Greece a few years ago.  Its so versatile and for tonight’s dinner, I just stirred in a little cumin, paprika, and dried oregano into a cup of yogurt.  Plain and simple, and the cool flavor of the yogurt balances the acidic flavors of the Tandoori sauce.

All in all, I can’t complain about this meal.  How could I?  I was able to whip up a hot meal in less than 30 minutes and now have leftovers to take for lunch tomorrow.  What more can you ask for?

Nervous about Indian Food?  Golden Temple simmer sauces are a great way to test the waters.  At around $4 a jar (which I personally think is more than enough for the one pound of chicken the jar calls for- in fact, I usually use two and still have plenty of sauce), its an inexpensive way to try something new.  My entire meal (rice, 2 pounds of chicken, yogurt, and sauce) ran me about $15-$20 but serves 4.  $5/person for a cultural experience in the comfort of my own home…priceless.


Categories: Entrees, Indian, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blog at