The true reason from my c absence is ironic really. I have been eating take out and going to restaurants the past 2 weeks BECAUSE I love to cook so much. Because I spend more time in my teeny, tiny kitchen than any other room in the house, we finally decided to redo it! Truly my dream come true.
I always try to be positive. There are those without a kitchen, or kitchens smaller than mine (although I have yet to see them). But, the terrible, outdated countertops and dirty linoleum floor had annoyed me to the point of insanity. And although I will still have a small space for my hours of cooking, it will be a pretty space. Which, truly, is all I can ask for!
My dear brother-in-law (thank you, John!) and husband (thank you, Rob!) put in new, gorgeous ceramic tile while I was on a work trip, then my husband and I put in new trim and threshholds, put in new hardware, painted the walls a beautiful neutral color, and now the kitchen is plugged back in and back in business (no more appliances in the dining room, thank goodness!). The final step is in the beginning of February – new granite countertops.
Instead of boring you with fragments of photos, I will wait until the renovation is complete so I can give full before and afters.
Before the demo of 2011 began, I got one last recipe in – leading the way for many nights of Chinese takeout.
I am actually embarrassed to admit that since I couldn’t find Chinese sausage (does anyone know where I can find it? Findley market perhaps?), I substituted lil’ smokies. Sad, I know, but I figured it would have the same smokiness that the Chinese sausage supposedly has.
Despite my desperate substitution, the dish was amazing! Make sure to use a wok and let the rice sit for a minute to get the crusty edges that will soon become your favorite part of the dish. This one is a quickie, and can be easily done on a weeknight. Thanks to Food & Wine for this home version of take out – much better than any takeout I have had (and now I am officially a connoisseur!).
So, hears to my kitchen being open once again, and a newer kitchen on the way!
PORK AND PINEAPPLE FRIED RICE
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3 tablespoons canola oil
4 ounces ground pork
3 small Chinese sausages (5 ounces), thinly sliced
3 scallions, white parts minced and green parts sliced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 hot red chile, seeded and minced
4 cups cold cooked jasmine rice or other long-grain white rice
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup finely diced fresh pineapple
1. In a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce with the hoisin and vinegar. Heat a wok or large skillet. Add the oil and heat until smoking. Add the pork and Chinese sausages and cook over high heat, stirring, until the pork is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the minced scallion whites, ginger, garlic and chile and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rice, breaking up any lumps with your hands as you add it to the wok, and stir-fry until heated through and lightly browned in spots. Stir the hoisin-soy sauce, add it to the wok and stir-fry until nearly absorbed, about 2 minutes. Stir in the scallion greens, cilantro and pineapple. Transfer the fried rice to bowls and serve.