Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Little Planning Can Simplify Your Cooking

I always tell my clients that a little forethought and creativity can simplify cooking at home. One trick is to make more of a meal’s main item than you’ll eat right away, giving you enough to create a second (or third) meal.

For example, for last Friday’s dinner, I sautéed bone-in pork chops to accompany string beans and fried green tomatoes. I bought and cooked an extra pork chop, knowing I would cut it up to use in Saturday night’s Thai red curry with pork and string beans over brown rice.

The added bonus was the unexpected leftovers of the curry, which provided a third meal. For Tuesday’s lunch, I had the curry and rice again
, but with a wrinkle. I wanted the rice to be a different texture, so I made a crispy rice pancake (photo, above right) using a cast iron pan.

To make the pancake, I heated some olive oil in the pan and then added the leftover rice, pressing it together
with a spatula to help it hold its shape. After the bottom browned, I carefully flipped the pancake to crisp the second side. The reheated pork curry went on top.

My only error was pouring too much sauce on the rice (photo, left), which dulled the rice’s crispiness. But for those of you who have made the Thai curry with me, you know it wasn’t the worst of mistakes.

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