Tag Archives: rice

Andrew’s Superbowl Rice

I used to make something similar in college, though not by a recipe.  Here’s another quick, filling and satisfying Superbowl party snack.


  • 1 chopped green pepper
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 small can of chilies
  • 2 1/2 cups rice

Cook the rice according to the package.

While still steaming hot, stir in the cheese, sour cream, peppers and chilies in a large mixing bowl.

Cook in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes to melt the remaining cheese and heat the sour cream base.  If you like a crunchier topping, place the rice in the broiler with an additional sprinkling of 1/4 cup of cheese for 5-10 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Place in a serving dish that will keep the rice piping hot and serve.

Like I said, this is quick and simple.  The sour cream and cheese meld together to give the rice a creamy, cool base.  The chilies and green peppers add a bitter, spicy bite to the bland rice. If you like things spicier, toss in a jalapeno or habanero.  This would also taste good with green or black olives.  It’s perfect for the vegetarian in the group.



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Filed under Food, Gluten-Free, Lunch/Dinner, Snacks

Black Pepper Tofu


This recipe caught my eye based on the chili peppers.  It is definitely something you might find in an asian restaurant with a picture of a pepper next to the name indicating spicy, but when making it at home you can fiddle around with the amount of peppers added if you are sensitive to hot n’ spicy.  This is another Epicurious recipe courtesy of Tobi, who became my cooking buddy for the night and chopped everything you see in the two bowls below.  Much easier to craft up three recipes in the night with a helper who knows a thing or two about food!

For this recipe you will want to add to your shopping cart:
1 3/4 lbs firm tofu
Vegetable oil for frying
Cornstarch to dust the tofu
11 tbsp butter
12 small shallots (12 ounces in total), thinly sliced
8 fresh red chiles (fairly mild ones), thinly sliced
12 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
3 tbsp sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
3 tbsp light soy sauce
4 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp coarsely crushed black peppercorns (use a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder)
16 small and thin green onions, cut into 1 1/4-inch segments

Start by chopping the shallots, chiles (which I didn’t find fresh, so purchased dried and had to add a little cayenne and red pepper flakes.  It will be much better fresh), garlic (or use your handy-dandy garlic press), and ginger and throw them all together into a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, place the thinly sliced green onions and set aside for the end.  When this is finished, cut approximately two tofu blocks (1 3/4 Lbs) into 1-inch cubes or desired shape for frying.  If following the recipe to a T, you should lightly dust the tofu in cornstarch, but I would recommend flour or even bread crumbs for a better texture and sticking capacity.  image

The cubes are then thrown into a frying pan about 1/4 inch up the sides of the pan with vegetable oil.  In batches start gently placing the cubes into the preheated oil.  The cubes will stick out above the oil, and should be turned a few times so they evenly golden brown and have a slight crust removing them with a slotted spoon and placing them onto awaiting paper towels.  With the cornstarch, I found it unable to properly stick to the soy cubes leaving clumps. When I removed fried tofu, it was still squishy and white. The browned parts stuck to the bottom of the pan and the clumps of cornstarch turned into a clear gel-like consistency resembling something that would come out of a jelly fish.  Once the strange jelly was removed, the tofu tasted fine, it just wasn’t quite fried to my liking of a firm, browned, crispy, solid state.  So again, next time I will try another route like flour or bread crumbs.

While the tofu is cooking whisk together the different soy sauces and sugar in a small bowl. If you are using a mortar and pestle to crush the peppercorns, now is also the time to do that.  I used a simple black pepper grinder, but the fresh black pepper creates a much stronger spice than  the previously ground pepper shakers we all put on the table next to the salt and is an absolute must.  Set this aside for later.


When all your batches of tofu are removed, clean your pan or use another so you don’t continue to burn the residue left behind from the tofu.  Add the stick and a half of butter and melt completely.  When melted throw in the mixing bowl full of vegetables (minus the actual bowl of course).  Saute on low for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are completely softened and on the shiny side. Dont’ forget to stir intermittently or your veggies will stick to the pan and burn.


Next, mix in the whisked together beforehand sugar and soy as well as sprinkling on the ground black pepper to your cooked shallots, garlic, ginger, and chiles.  Add the tofu back into the mix and heat until it is warm.  Finally, toss in the green onions and serve over white rice.  With the green onions thrown in just at the end and not cooking much, the dish has an extra crunch to the soft texture of the rest of the ingredients. These can also be cooked in at the end for a soft, malleable bite. 


The spice in this dish definitely sneaks up on you.  Your first bite will immediately taste the melding of garlic (as there are 12 cloves making a fire-breathing, garlic-sweating dragon out of you), ginger, and the sweetness of the shallots followed shortly by the fire-breathing part.  The chiles and cayenne have that acquired heat to them causing a slight sweat above your bro, but creating an intense flavor combo in your mouth. The tofu, even at the still squishy state, takes on the gusto of the meal balancing it with extra protein. The rice will help balance everything out with its plain, carb-ready, sticky nature.  Absolutely a do-over, delicious dish.

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Filed under Gluten-Free, Lunch/Dinner

Messy Masa

Who doesn’t love authentic Mexican food? I took the liberty to attempt my own version for my dad and Ellen after an elongated car fix. I heard from a friend who lives close to the border that to make anything taste Mexican you must add Knorr chicken flavoring.

To start, I bought instant corn masa. This is easy enough, just the flour and water.  I am still unsure on the consistency, as the directions call for two cups of flour and 2.5 cups of water then stir for four minutes.  Clump 16-18 groups of the mixture to flatten out.  Only when I try these directions it comes out too watery to pull apart, so I usually add more flour.  There is probably a trick to this I just don’t know yet.


When your arm is good and tired of stirring, the tortilla’s need to be pressed down into their signature flat, round shape. I do not own a tortilla press and the dough stuck to my fingers when I tried the hand-press method, so I found this handy-dandy, heavy meat press. Lined it with wax paper, and wall-a, pressed dough.


These cook for 20 seconds on each side, but I left mine in for a minute on each side since I was cooking in a regular pan. They suggest a cast iron skillet for the best flavor.


Quesedilla’s are easy once the tortilla’s are complete. Steam of the Crop makes a corn, black bean, onion, and pepper mix you can just throw in the microwave. Less work than the tortilla’s! Salsa is a quick way to add tomatoes and spice all in one, but the best ingredient to use is cheese. Not only does it ooze out with every bite, but it holds the whole ordeal together. While cooking just wait till this starts to get melty and gooey then you know it’s time to flip. The melted cheese should hold the top and bottom together for a perfect flip. The meal is uber filling, but rice and beans is a great side if you have room left in your stomach.




Filed under Food, Lunch/Dinner