Saturday, January 5, 2013

Hurricane Sandy & Veg ‘N Rice “Croquettes!”

Hey guys! Happy Sunday!
Things here are pretty exciting! Here in NYC, we’re bracing ourselves for Hurricane Sandy.
Mayor Bloomberg has shut down subway service starting tonight at 7pm, and school’s been cancelled for tomorrow, and people in Zone A are under mandatory evacuation orders. Luckily, I’m not in Zone A…close, but no:) Phew!
businesses shutting down during Irene
Two years ago, we went through Hurricane Irene. And it was…a glorified bust. The media hyped the storm soooo much…and it was pretty much a big thunderstorm. The city shut down, and the next morning, people were out having brunch at local restaurants that decided to open after the “aftermath.”
all stocked up for Sandy! – notice the plethora of carrots:)
Buuuut, just to be safe, I decided to stock up on water, and get some groceries. Which, was a feat in itself. The NYC Whole Foods is on steriods. It has 52 checkouts. 52. And you still have to wait in line for typically 20 minutes. Well, today, there was a line just to get into the store. Yeah…awesome. At least I won’t have to go grocery shopping for the next week!
my non perishables :)
My auditions on Monday and Tuesday have already been cancelled. So, to be honest…I’m looking forward to creating some magic in the kitchen:) I’ve already got some yummy ideas brewing in my head:) That is…if we have power. :P
So yeah, I’m super excited about putting back on my cooking apron. To be quite honest, I’ve been making a lot of quick meals and leftovers, since I haven’t been getting home from my auditions until 8 or 9pm. And by that time, I’m in no condition to start being creative and inventive. But now, with the entire city shut down, Sandy and I are going to create some deliciousness together;)
Veg ‘N Rice “Croquettes!”
And now for a quick recipe! My Veg ‘N Rice “Croquettes!”
super delish!
I threw some leftover rice together with some veggies and made beautiful baked “croquettes!” Croquettes, meaning “crunch” in French, are deep-fried balls of a starch — like potatoes or rice, and meat. I tweaked it to make it tummy-friendly, and healthy!
such a crunchy outside!
You can use any veg you have in your fridge….here’s what I used:
1/2 red onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 red pepper, small dice
5 button mushrooms, small dice
handful of spinach, chopped
dried oregano and basil
salt & pepper
splash white wine
1/4 cup veg stock
3/4 cup leftover rice
2 Tbsp oat flour
2 Tbsp GF breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 350. Saute the onions and peppers in 1/2 tsp EVOO with salt, pepper, and your herbs. After they begin to soften, add your garlic and mushrooms, and allow them to release their moisture. After your mushrooms are nice and tender, splash in some white wine, and let that reduce. Then add in your spinach and stir so it wilts.  Once it wilts, stir in your cooked rice and vegetable stock.  Once warmed through, take off the heat and stir in your flour and breadcrumbs.
leftovers elevated to gourmet status!
Set up your breading station while that mixture cools. You’ll need 3 bowls:
1st bowl: GF AP flour – about 1/4 cups
2nd bowl: 1 beaten egg
3rd bowl: GF breadcrumbs — I processed a GF hamburger bun that we keep in the freezer for times like these!
With your hands (this is messy!!) form your cooled veg/rice mixture into balls. I started out using a Tablespoon, but found very quickly that they form much easier if you make them a bit bigger.  Then, the bowl rotation goes 1-2-3 :). Put them on an olive-oil-sprayed baking sheet and put in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping half way through.
what a plate!
With the croquettes, I served my marinara sauce.  Here’s what you need:
1/2 onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt, pepper, dried oregano and basil
splash white wine
1 can diced tomatoes or tomato sauce–I used sauce this time
fresh basil
Saute the onion and garlic in 1/2 tsp oil, with your herbs and S & P. Splash in a touch of white wine, and let it reduce. Pour in your can of tomatoes, warm through, and sprinkle with basil right before serving!
chunky marinara…yum!
This meal was awesome.  I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to turn out, so I made it for myself on a night when my parents were at a dinner party (just in case it was an epic fail). And it totally surpassed my wildest dreams! It was SO fantastic! First, anything “oven fried” is completely delectable. The crust on the outside was crunchy, golden, deliciousness. There’s something about Udi’s Hamburger Buns that give the breadcrumbs a subtle sweetness. Then the inside was just outstanding with the wonderfully sweet red bell pepper, and the meaty, earthy mushrooms. Paired with my homemade marinara sauce, it was just phenomenal. A beautiful meal.
Are you in the path of the Frankenstorm? What are you doing to be prepared?
Until tomorrow!

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