Sunday, April 14, 2013

Hawaiian Fried Rice

We had a little bit of Honey Baked ham left from a ham we bought through a fundraiser, and we had been hammed out! We've had so many ham sandwiches I think I'm beginning to oink in my sleep! I wanted to find a different way to use up the last bit of ham, because no way was I about to throw it out!  I put the bone in the freezer anticipating some awesome beans in the future.

I came across this recipe on one of the blogs that I read, Mel's Kitchen Cafe I had just gotten a fresh pineapple in my Green Bean delivery box this week so I was in business!

The fresh pineapple with the salty, smoky baked ham is just delicious. The bits of garlic, green onion and fresh ginger take this to a whole different level. We loved it!

I roasted some brussels sprouts and whole garlic cloves to go along with it. And yes, why that is my homemade radish kimchi along side, thank you for asking! And you're absolutely correct that the cucumbers you see there are the cucumbers that you remember from the post on Asian Pork Satay! You are so perceptive!!! They both were perfect foils for the fried rice :-)

Hawaiian Fried Rice

Increase or decrease the sesame oil and hot sauce to taste based on how you like things. Also, if you don't have leftover cooked ham, you could definitely use deli ham for this recipe. It really does make a difference in fried rice recipes to use rice that is cold from the refrigerator, so make this recipe when you have leftover, chilled rice or plan ahead and make the rice the day before. This recipe is completely outstanding with fresh pineapple and the only way we've eaten it, but canned would make an acceptable substitute if you don't have fresh - just drain well.
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (like Tapatio or Sriracha), more or less to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable, canola or peanut oil
  • 2 cups cooked, chopped ham
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • 6 green onions, chopped, white and green parts separated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 5 cups cooked rice, white or brown, cold
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-2 cups pineapple pieces
  1. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil and hot sauce. Set aside. In a large nonstick skillet or electric frying pan (which is what I use), heat 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil until rippling and hot. Add the ham, red bell pepper, and the chopped white parts of the green onions. Cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and the red pepper is tender (but not mushy), about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook another minute. Scrape the mixture onto a plate and set aside.
  2. Heat another teaspoon of oil in the skillet until hot. Add the cold rice and cook, breaking up large clumps, until the rice is heated through, 5-6 minutes.
  3. Push the rice to one side of the skillet and heat the last teaspoon of oil on the empty side of the skillet. Crack the eggs into the hot oil and stir lightly with a spatula or wooden spoon, cooking until the eggs are lightly scrambled and set. Stir the eggs and the ham mixture into the rice. Pour the soy sauce mixture into the rice and cook, stirring, until thoroughly combined and hot.
  4. Off the heat, stir in the pineapple and green parts of the onions. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cabbage Rolls

I don't know how I could even begin to put into words my love for cabbage rolls. Even as a kid I had a thing for them. Of course back then I discarded the cabbage and ate only the inside and the sauce. Oh how foolish we are in our youth! Now, I devour every single morsel of these tasty concoctions; and sigh with pleasure as I do so.

Recently I've tried to tame the craving with occasional trips to Babushka's. Their's are pretty darn good. But I wanted to have some for dinner with leftovers that I could freeze and have them right at my fingertips. I haven't made them for years because they are a bit time consuming. They're definitely an act of love. Ah, the things we do for love.

I think I may have mentioned before that Bob and I receive produce from Green Bean Delivery. Every two weeks we get a box delivered with fresh produce, and occasionally other goodies that we've order. It really is fun. And we have begun to eat vegetables that I probably wouldn't have considered before. But I digress.

In our last GB box we had a gorgeous head of cabbage. I knew the moment I laid eyes on it that it was destined to be made into cabbage rolls. Call it serendipity, call it fate. Call it a craving if you will. Whatever you want to call it, I'm going with CABBAGE ROLLS!!!

I had saved a recipe for them on Now of course I fiddled with the recipe a tad, and the results were crazy good if I say so myself! I served them with mashed potatoes. We feasted on them last night and have plenty packed away in the freezer for future suppers. Oh yum!

Cabbage Rolls
Adapted from

15-18 cabbage leaves

2 cups cooked and slightly cooled rice
2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
drained sauerkraut (optional - we love it!)


2 -15oz cans tomato sauce
4 Tbsp brown sugar
4 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp & 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (maybe a little more)
2 tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for glass dish).
  2. Bring a large, wide saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add cabbage leaves and cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until softened; drain.
  3. In a large bowl mix all of the sauce ingredients.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ground beef,  cooked rice, onion, garlic, egg, salt and pepper, along with 1/4 cup of sauce. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Divide the beef mixture evenly among the cabbage leaves. Roll and fold, placing seam side down in baking dish. If needed, secure them with toothpicks.
  6. Top each roll with a spoonful of drained sauerkraut. 
  7. Pour the remaining sauce mixture over the top. Cover with foil. 
  8. Bake for 60 minutes.
You can thank me when you've recovered from your food coma :-)