Fried Rice

This one is easy to personalize, but the bacon is mandatory.

12 ounces uncooked bacon
4 ounces leftover (cooked) chicken, pork, etc. – optional
2 eggs
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot
1 can sliced water chestnuts – optional
2 cups bean sprouts
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 cups cooked (2 cups uncooked) white rice
6 green onions


Start cooking the rice. I use a rice cooker because I love rice.

Chop the onion. Shred the carrot with a large grater. Rinse the bean sprouts. Slice the green onions. Keep all these ingredients separate.

Rinse and drain the water chestnuts. Chop the larger pieces in half. Save the empty can for the bacon renderings

Cut the bacon into one inch strips and fry in a big frying pan. I recommend a 20 inch pan with 3 inch sides. Remove the bacon and drain the grease from the pan, reserving it for cooking the next ingredients. HINT: Use the can from the water chestnuts to hold your bacon grease.

Fry the vegetables in a couple tablespoons of bacon grease. Start with the hardest vegetables. The bean sprouts are last on my list. Do not add the green onions in this step. TRY: add different vegetables or (yuck) mushrooms.

Gently mix, not scramble, the egg and fry it in a tablespoon of the bacon grease. I perform this step in a smaller pan. Cook the eggs over hard, then use the spatula to cut it into small pieces. The goal is NOT to scramble the eggs.

Add the cooked rice to the frying pan with the vegetables. Add soy sauce and mix. Add bacon and eggs and mix gently. Garnish with green onions. HINT: If there is any left, it tastes even better the next day. It microwaves well.


Heart Attack Fried Rice – Omit the other ‘meats’ and get a whole pound of bacon. How about three eggs?

New Jersey Fried Rice – Substitute all the meats for 8 ounces (1/2 package) Taylor Ham, cubed. It did not produce any leftover grease, which sounds good, but there wasn’t anything to cook the onions and other ingredients in. In this culinary emergency, I used sesame oil to fry the vegetables.

Arbitrated Fried Rice – Use 12 ounces (uncooked) think-slice smoked bacon from the butcher for this alternative. Thick cut bacon cuts more easily into 1 inch pieces, and tasted much better than the pre-packaged kind. They were even prettier when fried. Add 1/2 cup of semi-cooked green peas from frozen; canned peas are gross. “Use what you have,” is a good motto for this recipe

Spanish Rice

Spanish Rice

2 tbs. Vegetable oil
1 lb. Lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup uncooked rice
2 tsp. chili powder
1 ½ cups water
1 tsp. seasoned salt
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. ground black pepper
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 can (14 ¼ ounces) whole tomatoes, drained and chopped

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the beef, onion., and green pepper, cooking until the meat is browned; drain liquid.  Stir in remaining ingredients; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender.

Inari (Sushi) – Inarizushi

I’m not the biggest fan of sushi. I do prefer my fish cooked. But 20 years ago, I was introduced to Inari. Inari is only (only!) rice mixed with rice vinegar and wrapped in a envelope of fried bean curd. Let me just say, if you’ve never had sushi, you should start here. Inari is the gateway sushi.

In the late nineties, I became friends with a Japanese exchange student that was working in the same hospital pharmacy. One day (at my request), she made the whole crew a big platter of home-made Inari. I was in heaven. She kindly wrote the recipe down, but I don’t read Japanese and never had an opportunity to make this delicious dish.

Flash forward to 2011… I’m in the grocery store, and in the ‘Asian’ isle I found this a can of this…

The can included a recipe, which I slightly modified.

2 cups rice – I use calrose and I cook it in a rice cooker.
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon Mirin
1 can of Inarizushi-no-moto

Drain the liquid from the can and try to get the friend bean curds out of the can without cutting yourself or damaging the delicate wrappers.

In a non-metallic bowl, mix the rice, vinegar and Mirin. It’s okay if it seems a little wet, it keeps the wraps moist the next day. Let this cool in the refrigerator for a while, maybe an hour.

The Inari wrappers remind me of English muffins. They’re not exactly pre-cut, but they do split easily with some care and attention. Open one Inari wrapper and hold it in your palm. Stuff 2-3 tablespoons of rice into the pouch and compress. Try not to squeeze the liquid out, just compress.

When the wrappers are about full (3/4) fold the edges over and place up-side-down.

I eat some of them immediately (duh). I like them with some hot wasabi and a little soy sauce.

Nom Nom!

Pork Chops and Rice

I prepared this dish in my apple ceramic baker. The lid has to be soaked for 30 minutes before baking. It keeps everything moist. The instructions included with the ceramic barker included a recipe for pork chops. The original recipe called for cream of mushroom soup, which I exchanged for cream of chicken.

3-4 large pork chops
1 1/2 cup parboiled rice
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon tarragon

Make an even layer of rice in the bottom of the baker. Place pork chops on top. In mixing bowl, combine soup mix and milk. Add onions, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and tarragon. Pour mix over pork chops and rice. Cover with pre-soaked lid for one hour at 350 degrees.

Nom Nom!

Chicken Tremendous

1 package onion soup mix
3/4 cup uncooked rice
salt to taste pepper to taste
1 cup cream of chicken soup mix diluted with water
4 chicken breasts

Mix first four ingredients. Pour into greased casserole dish. Arrange chicken over rice. Bake at 350* for 60 minutes. Add liquid as needed.

Puerto Rican Rice & Beans

Puerto Rican Rice
8 3/4 ounce Rice, long grain white
5 tsp. Olive oil
4 1/2 oz Onions, chopped
4 1/2 oz Carrots, fine chopped
3 1/4 oz Celery, fine chopped
4 1/2 oz Red Onion diced 1/4″
4 1/2 oz Green Peppers diced 1/4″
1 3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. Black Pepper

Cook rice. Heat oil. Add onions, carrots and celery and sauté until tender but not brown (5 minutes). Stir in garlic, sauté 2 min. Add red onions and peppers and saute until bell pepper is just crisp-tender, 3minutes. Add cooked rice, salt, pepper, combine.

Puerto Rican Beans
13 1/2 ounce Kidney Beans
5 tsp. Olive Oil
6 3/4 ounce Onions, diced
1/2 ounce Garlic, minced
3/4 ounce Base vegetarian Chicken
3 1/2 cups Water
2 whole Bay Leaves
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. Tabasco Sauce
3 1/4 ounce Cheddar cheese, grated

Carefully pick beans to remove all debris. Cover with water and soak beans overnight. Use enough cold water to cover by 3 inches. Drain. Rinse and drain again to remove all rocks. Add recipe amount pressure cooker about 1 hour. Heat oil. Add onions . Cover and cook until golden brown, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes. Stir in garlic, sauté uncovered about 3 minutes. Add vegetarian consommé to beans, then add beans, bay leaves, salt, Tabasco sauce to onions. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes.

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

This isn’t the first time I’ve made Cabbage Rolls.  Once a year, in german class, we would make this and other traditional german dishes (like German Potato Salad).  It had been years since I’d seen a cabbage roll.  For the past year, I’ve been enjoying the russian version of the same dish at my favorite cafe/diner near home.

This simplified version gave me an excuse to get the slow cooker out.


1 large head cabbage
1 egg, beaten
1 can (8 ounce) tomato sauce
1 cup quick-cooking rice
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup crushed saltines (about 15 crackers)
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 – 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 can (46 ounces) V8 juice
Salt to taste
1 can (15 ounce) Whole white potatoes, sliced in half
Grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Remove core from cabbage.  Steam 12 large outer leaves until limp; drain well.

I ended up cutting the whole cabbage in half in order to core it.  Steaming the halves softens them enough to separate them from themselves.  I used my bamboo steamer.

In a bowl, combine the egg, tomato sauce, rice, onion, cracker crumbs and soup mix.  Crumble beef over mixture and mix well.

Make this receipe your own.  I don’t like green peppers, so I substituted onions.  I may add some shredded carrot next time.

Place about 1/3 cup meat mixture on each cabbage leaf.  Fold in sides starting at an unfolded edge, and roll up completely to enclose the filling.  Secure with toothpicks, if desired.

Place cabbage rolls in a slow cooker, seams down.  Place potatoes around rolls.  Pour V8 juice over rolls.

The potatoes weren’t in the original recipe either.  I was inspired by a diner hear home that serves the rolls in a broth with potatoes.

Cover and cook for 6 – 7 hours or until the filling reaches 160 degrees.

I cooked mine on high for 4 hours, and low for 1 hour.

Just before serving, sprinkle with salt and cheese or a dollop of sour cream, if desired.