Monday, September 14, 2009

spicy stir fry and how to make perfect brown rice

5 peppers, thinly sliced
3 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 patty pan squash, quartered and sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
1 block super firm tofu, cut into 1" cubes
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup cold water
1 Tbsp. corn starch

Mix the chili sauce, soy sauce, and rice vinegar in a bowl and set it aside. Do the same with the cold water and corn starch. Heat your wok or a large saute' pan on high and add the canola oil. Place your tofu into the wok and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring, until browned on all sides. Add the peppers and zucchini and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes until cooked through but not mushy, we are looking for some good veggie texture in this dish. Now add in the jalepeno and the sauce mixture and toss for 2-3 minutes until everything is coated and the sauce is piping hot. Re-stir the corn starch and water, and add this into the wok. Keep stirring as the liquid comes back to a boil and starts to thicken. Let the boil roll for about one minute until everything is slathered in a thick delicious sweet and spicy sauce. Now get'cher eat on.

For the perfect brown rice:
I remembered reading this in a Cooks Illustrated sometime ago (spring '08) and wanted to find it and give it a whirl. We do love our rice cooker dearly, but to be honest, sometimes the brown rice doesn't come out so well (mushy), and heck, its usually a big pain to clean up. We thought we would try something new and it worked, to perfection, with an easy clean up. It may be safe to say that this is the best brown rice I have ever had.

1 1/2 cups brown rice (we used short grain)
2 1/3 cups of water
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1/3 tsp. salt

Put your oven rack in the middle of your oven and preheat it to 375 degrees. Put the brown rice in an 8"x8" Pyrex baking dish. Bring the water and oil to a boil (covered) on the stove. This part is important so you don't lose too much water due to evaporation: as soon as it reaches a boil, stir in the salt and pour over the rice. Cover with foil and place into the oven for one hour. Remove the baking dish and fluff rice with a fork. Recover and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Uncover and allow 5 more minutes to sit before serving.

Best. Brown. Rice. Evar. Sorry Mr. Rice Cooker, this is how we will be making brown rice forever, you only get to cook the white stuff.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tip on brown rice! Mine always comes out mushy too so I'll have to give your method a try. We've tried using half brown and half white rice in the rice cooker and that seems to be ok.