Dinner, Recipes / March 17, 2017

Spicy Bacon Fried Rice

At my house, we love Asian food so this Spicy Bacon Fried Rice is the perfect week-night fix. You don’t typically find jalapeños or bacon in traditional Asian cuisine but you can always find them in my kitchen. I first made Spicy Bacon Fried Rice about two years ago when I was living by myself in a one-bedroom apartment. One evening after work I was exhausted from a long day so I pulled together what leftover ingredients I had from the week before. Not to toot my own horn but the end result is truly spectacular. Toot! This spicy, salty, sweet one-pot-wonder is now one of the best kept secrets in my arsenal!

Jalapeno peppers

This dish is not the healthiest thing you will find on my blog [i.e. BACON GREASE], but it doesn’t claim to be. If you are carb conscious, I recommend substituting the white rice for cauliflower rice. I like to use cauliflower that is previously riced and frozen; I find it best for stove-top dishes. You can pick it up on the frozen vegetable aisle in your local grocery. On week-nights I try to substitute cauliflower rice whenever possible and my boyfriend hardly notices the difference… unless it’s pizza crust. But that’s another story.

If you are using white rice, I suggest preparing it the night before. Not only will it save you time, but it will give the rice time to dry out. If that is not an option, let the rice cool in the fridge for at least an hour before cooking. It is important to use cold rice to maintain the texture and integrity of your dish.

Fried rice is the ultimate one-pot meal. Add whatever veggies you have on hand – shredded carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, etc. Get creative and tell us about your creation in the comments section below!

 

One-Pot Spicy Bacon Fried Rice Recipe from Blue Cheese Bungalow

Side note: I also like to serve this dish with teriyaki chicken or shrimp [my boyfriend is a meat guy]. And I honestly can’t resist a little sriracha and creamy Yum Yum sauce to top off my fried rice. But if you’re like me and trying to watch the added calories, try this yogurt sauce: ½ cup greek yogurt, juice of half a lime, 2 tablespoons of sriracha and a dash of salt. Whisk it up with a fork and BOOM, spicy yogurt sauce! This is on the menu at my house at least once a week.

Let me know what you think in the comments section below!

Kelsey Renee

Spicy Bacon Fried Rice

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 cup

Ingredients

3 cups of cooked white rice (previously prepared and chilled)
½ pack of bacon, cut into ½ inch strips
½ cup red onion, diced
3 oz. frozen peas
1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 large jalapeño, finely chopped
2 eggs
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sesame oil
¼ cup soy sauce

Instructions

1. In a sauté pan on medium heat, cook bacon until crispy. Remove bacon from pan and allow it to drain on a paper towel lined plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon grease and dispose of the rest.
2. Using the reserved bacon grease, sauté jalapeño and red onion on medium heat for 4 minutes. Remove vegetables from pan and allow to drain on same paper towel lined plate.
3. Scramble and fry two eggs in sauté pan. Remove egg from pan and set aside.
4. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan. Add rice, carrots and peas. Stirring constantly, sauté ingredients on medium-high heat for about 4 minutes or until rice starts to brown.
5. Return previously cooked ingredients to the pan including onion, jalapeño, bacon and egg. Add sesame oil and soy sauce. Stir until combined.
6. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
7. Serve in individual bowls and top with chopped cilantro for added freshness.
Optional: Top with sriracha for a kick! Or use Yum Yum sauce to cool it down.
http://www.bluecheesebungalow.com/2017/03/17/spicy-bacon-fried-rice/

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Dinner, Recipes / February 28, 2017

Easy Chicken and Kale Soup

This easy chicken and kale soup recipe is so simple and fresh, I had to share with you all. If you’re anything like me, lunchtime comes around and you’re thinking about something filling, healthy but most importantly, delicious. I can’t stand to eat the same salad or sandwich every day so this soup is perfect to make ahead!

I know, I know, everyone is totally crazy about kale these days. Well, true confession, it’s not my favorite. But, cooked down in this flavorful broth, it adds a great texture and is super filling. Collard greens would be a very good alternative, too.

lemon onion soup

The best thing about this recipe is that it requires a cup of “this”, a cup of “that” and a dash of “this and that”. What I mean is you can’t really go wrong with your portions here…and “a cup” is super easy to remember.

Anytime I pull a rotisserie chicken, I reminisce about sweet memories at my grandma’s kitchen table. She was always “pickin’ a chicken” for Sunday supper, whether it be for her famous dumplin’s or my favorite, cornbread dressing.

Once you have all of your chicken pulled and ingredients chopped, the hard part is over and the fun part begins. One of my favorite scents is onion and celery sautéing in olive oil. When that wave of aroma crashes over you, you’ll see smell what I mean.

When the onion and celery are translucent, add in your broth and bring to a boil – I used about 1½ cartons. Add in the tomatoes, mushrooms, pasta, garlic and kale and boil on medium heat until the pasta is al dente.

pasta wood spoon

Add in the pulled chicken and heat until cooked through. Serve in large bowls and top with lemon juice and Parmesan.

Don’t skip the lemon; the juice gives this soup the perfect blast of freshness. If you’re like me and want to store the soup in Tupperware for lunch, I recommend adding the lemon juice after re-heating in the microwave.

And that’s it! Enjoy!

 

Easy Chicken and Kale Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4 Large Servings

Easy Chicken and Kale Soup

Ingredients

½ rotisserie chicken, pulled (2 cups)
6 cups chicken broth
4 cups of raw chopped kale
½ white onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
2 stalks of celery, chopped
4 oz. white sliced mushrooms
1/3 cup Ditalini pasta
Juice of one lemon
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
2 tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
Shaved Parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions

1. In a large stockpot on medium to high heat, sauté onions and celery in olive oil until translucent (about 3 minutes)
2. Add pressed garlic, salt and pepper, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
3. Add pasta, tomatoes, mushrooms, kale and red pepper flakes. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.
4. Reduce heat to medium low and add chicken. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.
5. Ladle soup into individual bowls and top with 1 tbsp of lemon juice and Parmesan.
http://www.bluecheesebungalow.com/2017/02/24/easy-chicken-kale-soup/

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Recipes, Sweets / March 17, 2017

Mini Basil Berry Pies

I love simple, delicious desserts and let me tell you, it doesn’t get any easier than these Mini Basil Berry Pies. These little cuties are not your traditional one-note berry pies. Oh no, they are layered with fresh flavors, a crispy [store bought] crust and better yet, they’re completely adorable.

berry orange prep

These rustic basil berry pies are the perfect little additions for a bridal shower or backyard barbecue. My boyfriend absolutely devours these bite sized goodies. I’ll never tell him how easy they are to make! My favorite part about this recipe is that you can play with the ingredients depending on what you have at home. Sometimes I make the filling using lemon juice instead of orange for an added punch of freshness! If you try swapping any of the ingredients, send me an email or leave a comment!

Blue Cheese Bungalow - mini basil berry pies

First, you want to start with your basil berry filling. Add sugar, cornstarch, blueberries, basil, orange juice and zest to medium sauce pan. Stirring continuously, bring contents to a boil and simmer on medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until filling thickens. At this point, I like to use a wooden spoon and crush some of the berries to create a “fuller” texture. Remove filling from heat and allow it to cool completely. Carefully remove basil leaves with a fork. Now is the hard part – try not to eat the berry filling straight from the pan!

Here’s where things get even easier. If you want to prepare your own homemade crust, more power to you but, there’s no shame in the store bought crust game! Unroll your dough onto a floured surface and cut small circles (approximately 2.5 inches in diameter). Here’s a tip – the top of a Ball mason jar is the perfect size if baking in a mini muffin pan.

mason jar pie crust

Gently press dough into each cup and prick bottom with a fork. Once you have prepared your crust, spoon the berry filling into each cup. Pop in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes [until crust is golden brown] and let cool.

I like to top mine with powdered sugar but like any other pie, they are delicious served warm with vanilla ice cream.

Let me know if you have any questions. Happy baking!

 

Mini Basil Berry Pies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 42 minutes

Yield: 24 mini pies

Mini Basil Berry Pies

Ingredients

1 pint fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp. cornstarch
4-5 basil leaves
Juice and zest of one orange
1 pie crust [I use store bought dough]

Instructions

For the Berry Filling:
1. Add sugar, cornstarch, blueberries, basil, orange juice and zest to medium sauce pan. Stirring continuously, bring contents to a boil and simmer on medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until filling thickens.
2. Use a wooden spoon and crush some of the berries to create a “fuller” texture.
3. Remove filling from heat and allow it to cool completely.
4. Carefully remove basil leaves with a fork.
To Assemble the Pies
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
2. Prepare your mini-muffin pan with non-stick spray and lightly dust with flour.
3. Unroll your dough onto a floured surface and cut small circles (approximately 2.5 inches in diameter).
4. Gently press dough into each cup and prick bottom with a fork.
5. Once you have prepared your crust, spoon 2 tablespoons of the berry filling into cup.
6. Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes [until crust is golden brown] and let cool.
http://www.bluecheesebungalow.com/2017/01/11/berry-basil-pie/

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