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Archive for the 'rice' Category

“It looks a little disgusting, but tastes good.”

April
2

One of my favorite dishes, growing up, was a side of sauteed spinach with shallots.
It’s a basic, no-frills recipe that tastes delicious.

All you do is pour two tablespoons of coconut oil (any vegetable oil will do, but coconut oil makes it swoon-worthy) into a heavy-bottomed pan, and when the oil heats up, add a teaspoon of mustard seeds. When the seeds splutter, add half a cup of finely chopped shallots, and two slit green chilies. Wait for the onions to become translucent, about three minutes. To this, add three cups of chopped spinach and cook it down till it looks to be (sadly) about 1/4 of its original quantity. Season with salt. It tastes great with white steamed rice.

I know I am not very scientific in my recipe telling. But I will provide you with the White House Chef Cristeta Comerford’s variation (as I like to call it) of this recipe, which the New York Times recently published. I tried it out last week, and although one is a sauteed dish and the other a soup, they taste curiously alike.

My 8-year-old daughter’s response was equally curious:
“It looks a little disgusting, but tastes good.”

The White House No Cream Creamed Spinach

2 pounds baby spinach, washed and cleaned
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper.

1. Blanch half a pound of spinach in salted, boiling water. Immediately, “shock” the blanched spinach in a bowl of iced water. Drain and squeeze out the excess water. Puree in a blender. Set aside.
2. In a large skillet, sweat the shallots and garlic until translucent. Add the rest of the spinach leaves. Toss and saute until wilted. Fold in the spinach puree. Season with salt and pepper.

Posted by Swapna Venugopal on Thursday, April 2nd, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
| | 4 Comments »

Contemplating leftovers

December
1

When my mother-in-law comes for Thanksgiving, we take the turkey carcass and make soup. When it’s just the family, we dispense with a whole turkey and make house rice out of the remainders.

It may be a generational thing. My mother-in-law grew up during the Great Depression on an Ohio farm in a large family — something like seven brothers and sisters. Everything was used and everything was expected to stretch.

My family is fairly small — my husband, our three children and me — so we’re less inclined to overcook and seldom have leftovers. My children, thankfully, are willing to eat leftovers. They just are very particular about how that leftover food is served.

That’s how we created house rice. It’s based on a typical fried rice offering at the local ethnic eatery, but with leftovers instead of — er — new food.

When I was a child, we had ‘clean out the refrigerator night.’ My own children know that house rice means ‘everything we have in the house goes in the rice.’ So after Thanksgiving, I took what turkey still remained after my son finished his midnight raid, the leftover vegetables, some frozen peas (because you always have to have peas in house rice. Don’t ask), an egg and mixed them in the wok with cooked rice and soy sauce and had no complaints about yet another turkey dish.

Any other family leftover recipes I can try? We’re out of turkey, but I still have some stuffing and mashed potatoes to get rid of.

Posted by Randi Weiner on Monday, December 1st, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
| | 1 Comment »

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About this blog
You make it, they eat it, right?

As most parents soon discover, feeding a family is rarely that easy, whether its nursing a fussy newborn or trying to get a hot meal into a squirming toddler (or attempting both at the same time.) And that's not even the days when work runs late, the main course burns, or your adventurous little sushi eater announces from now on she will only eat food that is pink.

As parents ourselves, we've been there, done that, even learned a few tricks along the way. And we're pretty sure so have you. Maybe together we can make eating together as a family -- gulp! -- fun again.

My site was nominated for Best Parenting Blog!

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About the authors
Hema Easley Hema Easley has been a reporter for The Journal News since July 2002, first covering municipal government and then nonprofit agencies, women's issues and the South Asian and Muslim community in the Lower Hudson Valley. In her previous job, Hema was a correspondent for the Associated Press in South Asia. She lives with her husband and two sons in Orange County.
KatieKatie Ryan O'Connor, a Journal News editor and 35-year-old mother of three, never quite appreciated the work that went into feeding kids until she had to do it herself as a mother. If she had a food-and-kids philosophy it would be something like this: try your best to offer as much healthy food as possible, but sometimes fruits just have to be counted as vegetables and there are far worse things than chicken and spaghetti. Again.
TraceyTracey Princiotta, a 37-year-old mother of one, loves to cook, bake and eat, and is relieved that her son appears to be equally willing to chow down -- even if it's baby food and formula right now. Despite her husband's intense aversion to vegetables, she has high hopes of nurturing a true chowhound who will try everything at least once. And if all else fails, she's not above sneaking veggies into other foods.
Marcela Rojas Marcela Rojas has been a municipal reporter with The Journal News since January 2003. She is a native of Putnam County and grew up eating Peruvian food. She didn't realize until she was 13 that rice did not come with everyone's meal. After several years of living in Los Angeles -- where she grew a fondness for Thai food -- she returned to Putnam County where she now lives with her husband and daughter. Zyla (rhymes with Lilah) just turned 1 in March and, so far (her mother is pleased to note), loves to eat everything.
Swapna Venugopal Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy, a Journal News reporter, started her career as a journalist in 1999 after graduating with a master's degree from New York University. Before joining the paper in 2006, Swapna worked as a municipal reporter for the Home News Tribune in New Jersey, and took a baby sabbatical to care for her two children, now ages 7 and 5. She has currently outsourced feeding her children and husband to her mother, who is visiting from India. Her friend and colleague Katie O'Connor, informs Swapna that she wouldn't mind being fed Indian food by her mother, too.
Randi Weiner Randi Weiner has been a reporter with The Journal News since 1989, having covered police, government and schools in Westchester and in Rockland. An Ohio native and 1976 graduate of Bowling Green State University, she worked for daily newspapers in Ohio and Michigan before moving east. She has tended bar and danced in a beledi troup and sat on the boards of two community theaters. She plays mandolin with the Shamrogues, Connecticuts largest Irish band. Randi lives in Connecticut with her husband and has three children.

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